When Will My Baby…
As a new parent, I remember “mourning” the loss of various stages and milestones as we passed through them. I was lamenting to a friend one day about this, and she reassured me that just as we miss one stage, there is another equally fun and exciting one just around the corner. Three kids later, I can say how right she was. What are some milestones you’ll have the pleasure of mourning the loss of but anticipating as well?
Newborn babies’ hands spend so much time balled into tight little fists that it’s exciting when you notice your baby trying to grasp and hold an object, even if only for a second or two! Rejoice in this milestone around 3 months, because she will be able to entertain herself a bit better by holding onto toys for longer periods of time.
You’ve been putting your baby to sleep on her back because it’s safer and—Bam!—she’s on her tummy! Rolling over is another fun but sometimes scary and uncertain milestone. Typically, rolling tummy to back happens earlier, around 4 months, while rolling back to tummy happens a bit later, closer to 5-6 months, because it requires more muscle strength. Keep in mind, once your baby is rolling over, it’s time to reevaluate your swaddling situation!
Sitting up unsupported can happen anywhere from 4 to 7 months. At first, you’ll find your baby is able to sit for only a second or two before toppling over, but gradually, the time will lengthen. Soon, you’ll discover she no longer prefers lying down to play but rather enjoys sitting up. With this new perspective, you and she will find fresh thrills in playtime.
Although the process of teething happens long before you notice the telltale white buds, your baby’s first teeth can start to show anywhere from 4 to 7 months. Our first child had four teeth at 16 months, and our third had four teeth at 9 months! Dr. Carolyn Davis, pediatrician at Pediatric Care Specialists in Overland Park, says, “If they seem uncomfortable, massage their gums with your finger or use a teething ring that is cooled in the refrigerator. The FDA warns against using teething gel on a baby’s gums as it may numb his throat, causing difficulty swallowing, or possibly an allergic reaction.” Be sure to capture those last few gummy smiles on camera too!
Crawling takes on various forms, but however it happens, it’s a game changer! Your non-mobile baby suddenly is everywhere, exploring his environment, which typically happens around 7 to 10 months. “My 5-month old just started to push up to crawl!” says Natalie, a Shawnee first-time mom. “It's scary and exciting all at the same time!”
Once your baby can crawl, it’s only a matter of time before she starts pulling up to a standing position, usually around 8 to 10 months. A musical table is a great toy to entertain your baby in this new position. Make sure to secure furniture and unstable objects for her safety. Check out CharliesHouse.org for an in-home safety checklist.
If you thought crawling threw you for a loop, wait until your little one takes those first steps! Walking is probably the most varied milestone in terms of when it can happen, anywhere from as early as 9 months to as late as 17 months. Be sure to purchase a good quality shoe and provide safe opportunities for your baby to practice this new skill.
Celebrate each milestone as it comes and try not to rush, because each stage passes more quickly than you think. “I remember the first year, watching my kiddo like a hawk for these milestones...I think when he was about 8 months I started relaxing more and realized I should stop wishing him on because he'll be grown up far quicker than I want him to be. He's 2 now, and I feel like it's just flying by faster each day!” shares Gardner mom Ashley.
Remember, babies develop at different rates, and these ranges are only approximate. Try to steer clear of comparisons between siblings or friends and accept your baby where he is developmentally. However, if you do have concerns, be sure to discuss them with your pediatrician.
Julie Collett writes from Overland Park, where she is realizing these stages are flying by WAY too fast with her third baby, who is 9 months old!