Your Baby’s First Year: What To Expect

Artie turned one year old last week and it feels like an accomplishment! We have officially survived our baby’s first year and it has been quite a ride! This year was one of the most exciting, rewarding, and challenging years of my life!

While every baby is different, there are some things that will be a part of every new mom’s first year. There may be some difficult times, from sleepless nights to relentless tears, but the good times will make it all worth it!

This year you will experience your baby’s first smile, first laugh, first word, maybe even their first steps! Sharing new experiences and witnessing my baby’s “firsts” have been my favorite part of Artie’s first year.

This article will let you know what to expect during your baby’s first year, including all of the ups and downs! From getting to know your baby during those first few weeks to counting down the last days before your baby’s first birthday.

The Newborn Phase

During the newborn phase you will experience your baby’s first milestones, get to know your baby, and maybe even make some changes yourself! Over these first few months you will change hundreds of diapers and enjoy thousands of snuggles! It is during the newborn phase that you will start building your confidence as a mom!

Milestones

Babies grow and change so quickly! During your baby’s first three months you will experience his first smile, maybe even his first laugh. Your child will be lifting his head up on his own, his movements will become smoother, and he might even flip onto his back! Give your baby plenty of tummy time to help develop these skills!

You will notice your baby making eye contact and eventually following your face with his eyes. It’s absolutely amazing to see how rapidly your newborn will develop. These milestones continue to get more and more exciting throughout your baby’s first year!

What To Expect From Your Baby

Newborn Sleep

I hope you are one of those moms whose newborn comes out sleeping through the night! Most moms I know haven’t been so fortunate… including myself! Newborns sleep a lot… just not at night.

Artie woke up every two to three hours during his first three months. During the first few weeks he woke up even more frequently, nursing for an hour at a time.  If your baby is having trouble sleeping I am so happy to tell you, YOU WILL SLEEP AGAIN!

As soon as Artie started sleeping through the night I felt like a brand new person! It is truly amazing what a good night’s sleep can do!

You must decide if you want to sleep train your baby or not. It is important to know there are so many different methods to choose from, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I started very light sleep training with my son when he was four months old. You can find out here How I Taught My Baby To Sleep Through The Night!

Crying

At first your baby’s only way of communicating will be to cry. When he is hungry, tired, needs to be changed, feels hot, feels cold, has a tummy ache… anything! Your baby will cry to let you know he is uncomfortable and it’s your job to solve the mystery! This checklist will tell you exactly What To Do When Your Newborn Cries.

During Artie’s first few weeks he would cry every afternoon. He didn’t want to eat, wouldn’t sleep, and his diaper was clean. This was one of the most difficult things for me. I hated seeing my baby cry and not knowing how to help him.

I thought I was doing something wrong but we finally found a solution! If this sounds like your baby click here to find out what Three Things Improved My Baby’s Temperament.

How I Felt

Baby Blues

The first few weeks of motherhood were quite a shock for me. From the hormonal imbalances to the lack of sleep, my emotions were on a roller coaster ride!

I was so happy to hold my baby and begin my new life as a mother, but I also felt a huge responsibility on my shoulders that I never had before. I also felt like I was experiencing a loss, saying goodbye to my old life and who I was before I became a mom.

I realized I was experiencing the baby blues! Baby blues are common, affecting 4 out of 5 women during their first days after child birth, and lasting up to 2 weeks. For me they passed within a few weeks but if your baby blues aren’t going away on their own, contact your doctor.

Are you having a hard time adjusting to life with your newborn? You are not the only one! Check out When Does Being A Mom Get Easier and How To Survive The First Six Weeks With Your Newborn!

Becoming A Mom

Some moms feel an immediate attachment to their baby, while others take some time to establish that connection. I was in love with Artie before he was even born, but our bond became even stronger during our first few weeks together.

I realize now how selfish I was before I became a mom. I cared about others but my priority was my own needs and feelings. I got a huge wake up call when my world suddenly revolved around my newborn baby.

I remember one of Artie’s first nights at home, during a long night feeding, after a day of endless diapers, I learned to appreciate his dependence on me. I had a realization…this little guy couldn’t do anything for himself! He depended on us completely for all of his needs.

My world had changed completely. There was nothing I would rather do than care for my baby boy. A few days later I was rewarded with Artie’s first smile. <3

Try to enjoy these special moments that come with the newborn phase. As difficult as it may be at times, you will miss it when it’s over. And it will be over before you know it!

More Resources For Moms With Newborns

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10 Items You Should Always Keep In Your Diaper Bag

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Starting A Savings Account For Your Baby

3-6 Months

For me, this is when things started to get easier. Artie started sleeping longer stretches at night and developed a more consistent schedule. I had become well adjusted to my role as a mother and had developed a deep bond with my baby.

At this age you will start to see some of your baby’s personality shine through! Your baby will start to interact more with the people and things around him. He will become more mobile and develop new ways of communicating. There will be less diapers to change and more laughs to enjoy!

Milestones

It is crazy to think how much your baby will change during his first six months. From being completely immobile at birth, to flipping over, and maybe even starting to crawl by the end of his first six months! Continue tummy time to encourage your baby’s gross motor development.

At 3-6 months your baby will pay more attention to what is going on around him, so you will be able to play with and entertain each other more than before. Your baby will start sitting up with support and babbling, the start of many exciting things to come!

During these second three months your baby will also become more social! He will start to interact more with you and his toys. I highly recommend getting your 3 month old baby an activity gym like this! Artie spent all of his free time playing in his and it helped develop his motor skills! He loved looking at the bright colored toys and swatting at them hanging above him! By the end of his first six months we took the toys down for him to explore in a whole new way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What To Expect From Your Baby

Changes

Babies are always growing and changing so we must do our best to keep up and make adjustments!

At this point your baby will likely become more consistent. You may notice that your baby has developed a routine for eating and sleeping. I realized Artie would get fussy after two hours of being awake at this age, so I started putting him down for his naps every two hours.

If you haven’t already, this is a great time to start a bedtime routine with your baby. You can find our Baby’s Bedtime Routine here!

At 3-6 months your baby’s stomach has grown significantly so he will be able to eat more at a time and sleep longer stretches. You have survived the newborn phase and things should start to get a little easier!

There are so many adventures in store for you and your family. You may even start offering solid foods to your baby at this age. Always speak with your pediatrician before starting solids.

Activities

At this age you can interact with your baby more, but you may struggle to figure out exactly what to do with them. There are plenty of fun things you can do at home from playing peekaboo and making funny faces, to waving around your baby’s rattle and playing with different toys.

Your baby can also enjoy getting out of the house and experiencing new places more than before. Taking your baby to a store or restaurant is like an adventure to them! They will love looking at all of the new faces and seeing new things they haven’t seen before.


How I Felt

By the time Artie reached 3 months I had started to feel more confident as a mom. I was finally sleeping for more than two hours at a time and had recovered from the aftermath of pregnancy and childbirth. I was beginning to feel like myself again!

Now that Artie was more aware of his surroundings, being a mom was becoming more fun. I enjoyed taking Artie out to run errands and to visit friends. I loved watching the smile on his face as we played with his toys. By six months he was really becoming more interactive and I knew we had so much more fun to look forward to!

During my second three months as a mom, I was constantly amazed by how much my baby was learning in such a short time! I felt so blessed and excited to watch our little boy continue to develop and grow!

More Resources For Your 3-6 Month Old

5 Things I Started Doing When I Became A Mom

The Best Baby Activity Centers

10 Items To Pack For Baby’s First Beach Trip

6-9 Months

By now you and your baby have really gotten to know each other. You can probably even tell what your baby needs depending on the sound of his cry. Your baby has probably outgrown his bassinet and might even be sleeping in his own room!

Milestones

This is such a fun age with so many firsts! Your baby is developing his motor and social skills more rapidly than ever! During these three months your baby will learn to enjoy eating solid foods, start crawling, and may even say Mama! Your baby could start pulling himself up on the furniture by the time he reaches 9 months! It’s time to baby proof the house!

Get on the floor with your baby and help him master those gross motor skills. Artie loved practicing his new moves on this playmat! It’s nontoxic and soft so your baby can roll around for hours of fun!

What To Expect From Your Baby

Your baby will be on the move at this age! From crawling to cruising get ready to start chasing him around! It is amazing how far their motor skills have come in just a few months!

If your baby’s first teeth haven’t already pushed through, it is likely to start now. Be prepared for irritation caused by teething. You can put teethers like these in your freezer to soothe your baby’s gums.

Don’t be surprised if your baby’s sleep patterns take a turn for the worst at some point during these three months. Because they are developing so rapidly many babies experience a sleep regression. Don’t worry it’s only temporary!

How I Felt

On The Move

At this age I felt like a pro… until Artie started climbing the furniture! As soon as you master how to care for a newborn, you have a 6 month old on your hands and have to relearn everything!

We were no longer lying around, tummy time style… those days were long gone.  I spent most of these months chasing Artie around. Once he started crawling, he was into everything! It’s amazing how babies can find trouble even in a home that is baby proofed!

Before I knew it Artie was cruising the furniture. This was a little stressful for me because he was so clumsy. He was constantly falling so I always had to be there to catch him. Luckily I lost those last few pounds of baby weight chasing him around our home!

This walker was perfect for developing Artie’s walking skills! It provides support while your baby practices his steps and also has an activity board on the front!

Moving Baby To His Nursery

During these three months we decided Artie was ready to move to his nursery. He was outgrowing his bassinet and wasn’t sleeping well in our room. The three of us were constantly waking each other up.

When I say we realized Artie was ready, I should probably say I was ready… I think Artie and Dad were ready long before I was. I was hesitant to move on to the next phase. Artie had slept right next to me every night since he was born. I wasn’t sure I was ready to let that go.

Once I took the plunge I was so glad I did. I spent the first two nights staring at Artie’s baby monitor, but he slept better than ever! I knew we had made the right decision and quickly adjusted to our new sleeping arrangement. Me and Dad had our room back and Artie was sleeping great!

Something I have noticed as a mom is that we always know when the time is right!

More Resources For Your 6-9 Month Old

The Best Baby Products For Your 6 Month Old

Tips & Tricks For Your 6 Month Old Baby

Your Baby’s First Swimming Lessons

9-12 Months

For me, these are the months that flew by the fastest, maybe because I spent them chasing Artie around!

You will suddenly realize your baby is becoming a little boy or girl. Artie started to move and look different, almost overnight! I noticed changes in him from one day to the next. He took his first steps and was walking on his own by the end of these three months.

At this age you can interact with your baby more than ever. Your baby will be on the move and probably saying several words! It was such a fun and exciting time for our family!

Milestones

Your baby will walk and talk his way through the last three months of his first year! Well… not literally but he is definitely getting closer! These are the months for those BIG milestones! Your baby may take his first steps and say his first words during these three months. How exciting! My heart melted the first time Artie said Mama!

What To Expect From Your Baby

These three months were the most enjoyable for me! There are a ton of messes to clean up but lots of fun to be had while making those messes!

Your baby will be able to do more and play harder than ever before! Artie spent his time practicing his new moves and exploring his favorite toys. During these months he loved playing with cars, balls, and blocks!

If your baby grows bored with the toys he has, introduce some new “toys” like a spatula or plastic spoon from the kitchen! Artie could be entertained by the most simple things at this age. He just loved experiencing new things!

We had so much fun with Artie during these three months!

How I Felt

These last three months filled me with a ton of emotions as I watched Artie eagerly each day, wondering what new thing he would do next!

It was so exciting to see him developing so rapidly and I could see he was enjoying himself too. One day he would clumsily take a step before falling and the next he would walk a straight line across the room. It was absolutely amazing!

His speech developed tremendously as well. Nothing can describe the feeling of hearing your baby say his first words. It was so surprising to hear my baby repeating the words I said.

I could see the changes when I looked at Artie during those last few months. He no longer looked anything like the newborn I once held in my arms. My baby was becoming a toddler!

Find out how I felt on My Baby’s First Birthday!

More Resources For Your 9-12 Month Old

Find The Perfect Gift For Your One Year Old

Baby Sleep Essentials

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Have Another Child?

Artie’s first year was undeniably the best year of my life. There are so many remarkable moments and miraculous “firsts” to enjoy. Every day I thought there was no way I could love my son any more than I did, but then the next day somehow I did. Motherhood is truly an amazing experience and I could not be more excited to continue our journey! Appreciate every moment of your baby’s first year because it will be over in the blink of an eye!

More Resources For New Moms

10 Must Read Articles For New Moms

Everything You Need To Know Before Traveling With Baby

Baby’s First Christmas: Everything You Need To Know

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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