Baby’s First Year: What They Learn In 14 Pictures

It’s so exciting and thrilling for a mom to be able to witness her beautiful baby’s milestones and firsts, and there are quite a few of them too. Somethings can be milestones without mom even realizing. When we think of a baby’s milestones we automatically only tend to think about the first time they sit on their own, crawl, say their first work, and walk. There are other little milestones along the way such as the first time your baby cracks a social smile or even the first time they give you their first big hug.

Babies are amazing, and they are learning everything for the first time. Everything is brand new to them. Babies are so pure and innocent, and it’s just magical to see their little faces light up as they are trying new things for the first time or conquering something that they weren’t sure if they were going to be able to.

Babies get to learn a lot by watching what their mom does and by mimicking those behaviors. Babies get things like talking and hugging from watching their parents. When it comes to helping your baby with certain milestones, there are sometimes some things that you, his or her mom, can do to encourage them and help them grow and learn. Here are 15 pictures explaining baby’s first year and the things that they will learn to do and achieve.

14 How To Show Love

The first time your baby wraps their tiny arms around you and gives you that first hug, it may actually be enough to bring you to tears. You have spent so much time hugging and cuddling your baby, the first time they give you a hug back is simply exciting! Your baby may start to give you hug by the time they are 5-months-old. Babies learn to give hugs by seeing and feeling their mother hug them. Your baby will be able to get you lots of hugs back in no time, as well as hugging other people they feel comfortable with, their favorite toy, and maybe even the household pet if there is one. Some babies love giving tons of hugs more than others, so if your baby isn’t the type to give free hugs all day long, try not to feel too bad. Your baby is more interested in being this great explorer, and but will stuff give you lots of hugs when they are ready.

13 The Smile Mom Has Been Waiting For

Babies don’t start to produce what is called a social smile until they are 8-weeks-old. That is because that is when their nervous system and vision develop enough to see mom and dad fully and produce a smile in response to seeing their faces. When you see your baby smile before they are 8-weeks-old, it really could just be gas that is causing that adorable grin, but it’s not because he’s happy to see you, yet. A social smile is when your baby starts smiling because they are happy to see you. It is part of the emotional development, and their smile will also be your baby’s first social skill. Around 8-weeks-old is when your baby starts smiling when they see you and frowning when they don’t see you. That is how they show that they can distinguish different emotions.

12 The First Taste Of Independence

Crawling is how babies first learn to get around without needing assistance from mom. Babies will learn to push up and balance on their hands and knees. When they learn how to crawl, they’ll also be strengthening the muscles in their legs which will ultimately help them with walking in the future. Most babies will learn how to crawl between the age of 7 months and 10 months old. It doesn’t really matter what techniques a baby used when they begin to crawl; it only matters that they are doing it. After they learn how to crawl, some babies may automatically pick up learning how to pull themselves up as well. There are even some babies that skip over the crawling process directly toward standing up. A baby will usually start learning how to crawl once they have begun to sit upright without mom’s assistance. Somewhere between 9 and 10 months, your baby will become proficient in crawling and move around your house with ease.

11 When Babbling Turns Into Words

Babies start off by crying to communicate, and then in their first month or two they will begin with gurgles, coos, and sighing. Then not too long after that, 4 to 6 months, they will be making adorable babbling sounds. At this time, some babies may even start saying “mama” and “dada.” After that, babies start to pick up on some words that they hear and may even start mimicking the sounds. Babies don’t usually start to speak in short sentences until after their first year, somewhere around 18 to 24 months old. There are researchers who believe that the work of a baby trying to first understand language, actually starts to happen while they are safe in their mother’s womb. Kind of like how babies are able to recognize their mother’s voice. So, talking directly to your baby and saying things like “mama” and “dada” will definitely help them develop language and speaking skills. Babies will love when you read to them as well. Plus, it can help with language development and learn new words.

10 When Mom Isn't Needed

Babies learn to hold their bottle themselves at different ages, but on average they are between 6 months and 10-months-old. Some babies may even start to hold their bottle earlier than that. If your baby starts reaching up for their bottle when you are holding it, it could be the first sign that they are ready to start trying to hold it all by himself. Some parents, when feeding their baby, may hold the baby’s hand up to the bottle, without force, for the baby to be able to mimic holding the bottle.

Never leave a baby alone with a propped-up bottle, or keep it like that for very long, but one-way parents can give their baby the freedom to try to hold their bottle would be to prop it up briefly to see if they baby tries taking it. Besides trying to teach your baby how to hold their bottle all by himself, again I must say, never walk out the room with the baby’s bottle propped up, and do not leave it propped up very long to reduce the baby’s risk of choking.

9 Peekaboo!

Babies love playing peekaboo; there is no denying that. But did you know that peekaboo can also help with the baby’s development? It builds gross motor skills, stimulates the baby’s senses, strengthens their visual tracking, appeals to their sense of humor, encourages social development, and it helps with them knowing that just because they can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there: object permanence. Object permanence begins to develop in babies at the age of 5-months-old. Moms can start playing peekaboo with their little one from the time they are born until they no longer find it amusing, which will definitely be a sad day. It’s better to start playing peekaboo with your baby earlier in life so that by the time they are 5-months-old, they will have a better concept of the game they’ll go crazy over!

8 The First Taste Of Pasta

Most babies are generally ready to start being introduced to solid foods by the time they are 6-months-old. Although, every baby is different and has different needs, so always check with your baby’s pediatrician first to make sure that they are ready to start taking on solid food. If the doctor gives you the green light, pick a day where your baby is not cranky or too tired to reduce the risk of choking. Try taking an iron-rich, single grain baby cereal and mix it with breastmilk or formula. Let your baby smell and taste the food by bringing the spoon to his lips. Since this is all new to your baby, don’t be surprised if he rejects it at first. Just give them a moment and then try it again. If they still don’t want it, just wait until another time.

7 Mom, I See You!

Your baby had already started to recognize your voice while they were still inside of the womb when you were about 7 months pregnant with them. Even though your voice was filtered by amniotic fluid, they are still able to recognize it even after they are born, which is simply amazing. From birth to two months old your baby will begin to recognize what you look like. Even though a newborn’s vision is blurry, they can still see things that are about 8 to 14 inches away, which would be about the distance of you holding them to feed them. Another amazing this is that within days of being born, your baby will have mastered your scent, and what you smell like. 3-day-old infants are even to tell its mother's milk from an imposter. Your baby will also love the smell of you, and they will learn that you are a person they can trust.

6 The First Step

In general, babies take their first steps in between 9 and 12 months of age. Don’t stress if it takes your baby longer than this. However, most babies don’t start walking until after their first year and are 14 or 15 months old. Babies develop the strength they will need to walk as they are learning to roll over, sit up, and then crawl. When they are around 6-months-old, if you sit down and balance your baby on your lap as if they were standing, they’ll start to bounce, which will become their new favorite activity. Another part of a baby learning to walk is learning to stand, and then learning to bend their knees, and learning how to sit after they have been in the standing position. Around 12 months, your baby will become proficient in using furniture to help them cruise around the house with ease, or just gripping your hands for balance. They may also be able to start walking on their own; they just won’t be very sturdy yet.

5 What's My Name Again?

For most babies, they will begin to learn their name between 5 and 7-months-old. This happens because the baby is beginning to develop the ability to match sounds with different objects and people, and babies will learn that their name is a representation of their self. It may seem like babies pick up on the sound of their name much sooner than they actually do but this is because as their mom is talking to her little one, it is responding to the recognition of its mother’s voice. To help your baby learn their name better, frequently add their name to the sentence as you are speaking to them by saying things like, “I love you, Sarah.” or “Do you want your bottle, Michael?” You can even add mommy into the sentence to help your baby further learn with recognition. So, now you can say, “Mommy loves you, Sarah.” instead. Talk to your baby often to help their language skills are starting to develop even more.

4 The Big-Kid Cup

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most babies are ready to start drinking from a sippy cup by the time they are 6-months-old, and by the time they reach their first birthday the bottle should be banned altogether. One reason for banning the bottle at that age is because by then the baby should be walking, and if the baby is walking, they are most likely going to try carrying the bottle around with them. If the baby is carrying around their bottle, they are probably taking frequent sips, and frequent sipping can actually lead to tooth decay. A baby learning to use a sippy cup can be an exciting time for them because they are drinking out of cups like a big girl or like a big boy just like they see their mom, dad, or older siblings do. They may not take to the sippy cup right away, but it will definitely grow on them.

3 Time To Flip Over

Once a baby starts learning head control and how to sit on their own, with some support from mom, the baby will start learning to roll over. A baby may be able to flip himself from his belly to his back and early as 4-months-old. It may take a little longer for the baby to be able to flip from back to belly. That may happen at about 5 or 6 months of age. This is because the baby needs to develop stronger neck and arm muscles first. After a baby has learned how to push himself up by pushing up on their arms and lifting their head, they will begin to start strengthening the muscle that they will need to roll over. A baby learns how to roll over by rocking on his stomach, kicking his legs, and making swimming motions with his hands.

2 The Push-Up

A baby will start to be able to push themselves up, once they’ve learned to lift their head and hold it up. A baby learning to push himself up could happen, generally, around 3 months. When a baby makes their first attempt to push himself up, they will only make it part of the way up. He’ll be able to raise his head and prop himself up on his elbows and be able to look around. By the time the baby is 6-months-old, he’ll be able to push up all the way and prop himself up on his hands. Pushing up requires a lot of practice for the baby, and he’ll need to be lying on his belly to be able to practice this. So, the baby spending some time on his belly is important. However, never ever put a baby on the belly to go to sleep. If your baby falls asleep on his tummy, just flip him over to his back to avoid the baby accidentally suffocating.

1 Learning To Stand

Before babies can stand, they have to gain some coordination and muscle strength. By the time they stand on their own, they will already have learned how to roll over and sit which has laid the groundwork for learning how to stand. Around 5 months old, moms can help their babies stand by gently pulling them up with their arms. By 6 months of age, babies will be able to put weight on their tiny little legs and feet, and they will learn, and love, to bounce up and down with their mother’s support. By the time your baby is between 6 and 9-months-old, they can start pulling themselves up on furniture. The baby may only be able to stand for a few seconds, and that’s okay because your baby is trying new things. Around 12-months-old or your baby’s first birthday, they will most likely be able to stand up all by their self.

Sources: Babycenter.com, Kidshealth.org, Momtricks.com, Parents.com, Parenting.com, Babycentre.co.uk, Whattoexpect.com, loving2learn.com

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