As parents, we can’t wait to gloat over and immortalise on film those big milestones in our baby’s life — from their first smile to the first tooth and of course, the first steps.
But you ought to cheer on your cherub’s lesser known but no-less-important landmark moments as well. These give you a fascinating peek into junior’s developing mind and body. We also show you how you can support their progress…
1) The first time baby reaches for you
With arms wide open, your mini-me leans their entire body towards you as they demand to be carried. While this could be the start of “the clingy months”, it’s also a sign that they recognise that there’s a whole world of people, toys and other interesting objects beyond their cot and play mat. And what’s even more amazing — they can use their arms and hands to touch those things!
It’s also one of their first steps towards communicating their desires — “Mummy, carry me, please!” — to you. This is likely to happen at around the fifth month.
As your peewee nears 6 months of age, she may start to turn to look at you when you say her name.
2) The first time you bring baby out on your own
More of a milestone for you than for your baby, this day may also mark the end of your confinement at home.
You might have struggled with the endless list of baby barang to bring along and pored over mall directories looking for nursing rooms, but the results are more than worth it. If bubba isn’t keen on the stroller, pop them in a baby carrier — they’ll love being close to you, while the swaying movements as you walk will remind them of being in your womb.
3) The first time they respond to their name
As your peewee nears 6 months of age, they may start to turn to look at you when you say their name. This shows that they understand that when those sounds are uttered, they are referring to them.
It’s also a sign that they are discovering their independence, that they are their own person and not part of you. By pointing to different people and objects and saying their name, you are teaching your baby that everyone and everything has their own identity.
Four more subtle baby firsts that you will love watching out for!
4) The first time they sit alone in the supermarket trolley
This marks the moment where you’re finally free to do your grocery shopping while bubba can entertain themselves in the trolley. It also shows that their neck and stomach muscles are strong enough for them to sit upright. Before you know it, they’ll be reaching for the packets of Milo and Oreo cookies to toss into the cart.
5) The first time they share anything
At around a year old, your munchkin may start offering you their favourite ball or biscuit. While you may gush over what a sweet child they’re becoming, it’s also a sign that they have made a huge leap and now can think about others. Instead of thinking only of their own needs, they are learning to empathise — considering someone else’s welfare and wanting to please them. Don’t forget to shower them with praise and say “Thank you!”
It’s quite a milestone when you one day realise that bubba has crawled over to their stacking toy and…is busy with it.
6) The first time they play on their own
You might often hear other parents telling their kids, “Go play with your toys”. But this has been quite the fantasy for you so far as you have a younger baby or toddler. So, it’s quite a milestone when you one day realise that bubba has crawled over to their stacking toy and…is busy with it. If they can entertain themselves for 10 minutes or more, they are playing independently. It’s also a sign that their imagination is growing.
7) The first time they sing and dance
It’s a particularly magical moment when your kewpie recognises a tune and starts clapping, wiggling or even “crooning” to it. This behaviour demonstrates that they have the ability to feel joy and is physically confident because of the way they are moving their body and limbs. Encourage them and dance along! This will build junior’s self-esteem as they become increasingly able to move their body in time to the music. This usually happens about the time your mini-me turns 1.
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