Babies are born, and then they grow up. The time in between is short but sweet. For parents, it happens too fast.
The milestones of early development are important victories for the little ones out there. Commemorating the milestone and recording it for family viewing later are often primary goals of parents, but don’t forget to soak in the moment and connect with your child as they make strides on the path of growing up.
To help parents out, here is a list of the most important milestones of early life and suggestions on how to celebrate without missing out:
A baby’s first smile is likely to happen around six to eight weeks, but can occur earlier or later. Chances are you won’t have your camera handy when you catch your child grinning for the first time, but where there is one smile there is sure to be more. Casually snap some photos or record the moment with video if possible, but focus mostly on encouraging the smiles through smiling yourself, baby talk, and other standard activities for parents and their infants.
First words usually appear around 12 months after birth, when the baby is nearing their first birthday. The first-word moment can happen anywhere, so be ready for the moment with your smartphone. Chances are slim you’ll capture the true first word on tape, but similar to smiling, more utterances are sure to happen soon so keep the recording device handy.
Is the actual birthday the first one, or is it the end of the first 12 months? That’s for philosophers to argue – we’ll just say it’s the first birthday celebration for the baby. Don’t expect much acknowledgment from your child regarding the festivities; however, this doesn’t mean parents can’t have a little fun. Finding the perfect baby suits at a low price can enable you to have more money available for the rest of the first birthday celebration and make sure your little one looks great too. While your child will be oblivious at the time, the right outfit can make the photos and video much more entertaining in years to come.
First holiday season
Again, this first is more for the parents since a child under 12 months old is unlikely to grasp the joy of the holiday season. However, your baby will no doubt by this point be taking great joy in playing with new and interesting toys. Indulge, and fire away with that camera!
If there is one early-childhood milestone parents want to capture on video, it’s their baby’s first steps. Unlike first smiles and words, first steps are something which won’t happen suddenly and without much warning. Parents will see their child making attempts to walk, giving them time to get the camera rolling. However, first steps are often driven by the verbal encouragement of parents, so don’t get too distracted playing director to prevent the steps from occurring.
A baby’s first complete sentence is an often overlooked milestone, one which doesn’t get nearly as much attention it deserves. It’s a monumental event for a child when the true power of language starts to make sense inside their little heads. What should parents do? Listen. Ask questions about the things your child says. He or she may appear oblivious, but your interaction with them at this stage is paramount for encouraging further speech.
Similar to the first sentence, not enough parents stop and appreciate the moment their baby starts putting crayon or marker to paper. It’s a clear indicator of a child’s developing imagination and more importantly, his or her understanding of the way their thoughts can be converted into creative action. Hang these early portraits on the fridge and make sure to store them away for later viewing.
This is where asking questions of your child pays off – they will eventually start asking questions of their own. It’s a big deal, so try and remember whatever the question was. More times than not, very young children will ask a head scratcher, so be prepared to confront existential issues at the request of your toddler.
Parents will always wonder where the time went after their babies begin to grow up. Documenting and celebrating the milestones of early life are very important, but don’t forget to stop and soak in the moments as they unfold. Time will always go by faster than you want it to, but the memories will remain.