From Pregnancy To 2nd Birthday: The Baby's First 1,000 Days

Everyone has heard or said these words before: “Where did all the time go?” To parents it feels like it was just yesterday when they arrived home with that little being that couldn’t even see them properly. Now all of a sudden, they are running around the house, making a mess wherever they turn. How did all that happen so fast? And the sad part is, there is no way to pause time.

After bringing home a baby from the hospital, parents are just consumed with all their needs. Sleepless nights, diaper changes and singing lullabies while fixing a bottle is the order of the day. Sometimes parents can’t even tell what day it is. Those days quickly pass by and soon, the baby has that first smile, the first tooth appears, those first steps…fast forward and somehow, mom and dad are now celebrating their 2nd birthday. How did that happen?

We are luckier than previous generous to be able to capture it all on our smart devices but still, it doesn’t take the feeling away that it is all just happening a little too fast. This is why we thought we should take moms back a bit – help her relive some of those darling moments that will forever be in their hearts. On the other hand, if mom is expecting and wants to know what to look forward to, scroll down below as we take moms through the first 1,000 days of a baby’s life.

25 Those Newborn Reflexes Will Catch You By Surprise

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So you’ve probably just gone through hours of labor and you now have that little bundle of joy in your arms. You notice an interesting thing though – they have jerky movements. From their punching to kicking, none of it seems like fluid, intentional movement. Newborn reflexes catch many new parents by surprise. They are the involuntary movements by the baby that are spontaneous and jerky. Standford Children’s Health highlights how important these reflexes are, “Reflexes help identify normal brain and nerve activity”.

24 They Sleep A Lot, But Not All At Once

For a moment, you might just think that being a baby is the best thing on earth. Why? Because of all the sleeping they do. Healthline explains that “Once born, your baby might sleep for most of the day. Some babies sleep for 16 to 18 hours each day, waking up only for short breaks to eat and have a diaper change”. This is why most of the time, a new mom will be encouraged to “sleep when the baby sleeps” although you may try to, we all know that sometimes it is impossible, especially when you have loads of other things to do around the house.

23 The Crying Can At Times Be Almost Deafening

Babies cry as a way for them to communicate with us since they have not mastered speech yet. Even though we know this, we still panic a bit as we hear them crying and try to figure out if they need a diaper change, a feeding or just our comforting arms. After a few days, you’ll get used to the crying as you know it will soon come to an end…unless they have colic. Ah yes, a new mom’s worst nightmare. A baby with colic will have intense crying bouts that lasts for a few hours, even though they are changed, fed and in your arms. You’ve consulted your doctor, friends and family members and they’ve advised you on soothing tips which sometimes work but other times, not so much. All you can truly do here is hang in there mom.

22 Umbilical Cord Will Fall Off

Let’s be honest – the umbilical cord looks a little gross. As gross as it may look, we still appreciate it very much because of all the work it did when our little ones were in the womb. The caregivers at the hospital will most likely guide you on how to clean it and keep it dry until it falls off naturally. At around 1 to 3 weeks postpartum, that little stump will eventually dry out and gently fall off and you’ll start to feel amazing for being able to handle all that.

21 Baby Starts To Recognize Parents' Faces

A newborn’s vision is not the greatest and we totally get it – they are still adjusting to life outside the womb. As time passes though, you will begin to notice something special – your little one will begin looking at you closely for extended periods of time. It will almost be like they are studying your features. BabyCenter explains that “Some studies suggest babies may be able to recognize their parents’ faces within days of birth, but others say it could take up to two months”.

20 The First Postnatal Checkup At 6 Weeks

You’ve marked this date on your calendar. You’ve spoken to your partner about how you’d like them to accompany you to the appointment. You’ve even been closely monitoring if your little one is reaching all their little milestones so that if they haven’t, you can speak to your healthcare provider about it. The 6 week appointment feels like it creeps up on us so quickly. For many moms, this is also the first time they get to actually get out the house (albeit for an hour or so).

19 No More Supporting His Neck By 3 Months

As you do much reading on the internet, you’ll begin to understand how important it is for the baby’s neck muscles to be strong. Once they are strong, they will be able to hold their head up, they will be able to sit up by themselves and hit loads more milestones that are important for them. Tummy time is therefore an important activity to practice a couple of times each day with your baby. Mayoclinic highlights that “It can help your baby develop strong neck and shoulder muscles and promote motor skills. Tummy time can also prevent the back of your baby’s head from developing flat spots (since they sleep so much)”.

18 Baby Starts Crying Distinctly To Express Different Needs

Earlier, we mentioned how much newborns tend to cry because that is their only form of communicating their needs to us. The interesting thing you’ll notice is how, as weeks and months pass, those cries will start to sound and feel different. You will begin to know when your baby is crying because they are hungry, or they need a diaper change, or they are just simply uncomfortable. While some may not hear any difference in their crying, we will know exactly what they need, when they need it.

17 You Will Have To Go Back To Work

Via TheBump

Leaving your baby home while you get back to work is something most moms have to do. While many of us would like to just stay home and keep looking after them because, you know, only we can look after them the right way. The truth is, many of our households can’t afford to depend on one income or lose ours. While this may be a tough step to take, remind yourself that you’re doing it all for them. Also – getting out the house and seeing your colleagues again will be a much-welcomed relief.

16 Baby Starts Engaging In Playtime And Reaching For Things

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When you’re a new mom, they don’t tell you that for the first few months of your baby’s life, they will really not be able to “play”. You can put all the colorful and noisy toys in front of them but all they will be trying to do is other important things like keeping their head up during tummy time, trying to move that head side to side. You know – the basics. So one day, you will lay out your baby’s mat and put their toys in front of them and an amazing thing will happen – they will begin noticing these toys and even like the sounds they make. Ah, this is a special moment.

15 Sleeping Patterns Will Begin To Change

As already discussed, babies tend to sleep a lot but as we know – not all at once. During the first 3 months, they are more likely to sleep on and off during the day and night. As time progresses, they will still be doing their little naps during the day, but they will be capable of having longer stretches of sleep at night. To help your baby sleep better at night, BabyCenter advises to “establish set bedtimes and naptimes and to begin to develop a bedtime routine”.

14 Rolling On Tummy And Back

Via Babyology

Remember when you could just leave your baby in one spot, go quickly to grab something from the kitchen and then return to find them exactly where you left them? Yeah, those days are long gone now. Your baby is now on the move. Sure, they may not be walking yet but they are definitely rolling all over the place. BabyCenter explains that even though he may be able to go from tummy to his back from as early as 4 months, “it may take him until he’s about 5 or 6 months to flip from back to front because he needs stronger neck and arm muscles for that manoeuvre”.

13 They Start Their Solids

Your baby is ready for their solids at around 6 months of age. Notice how we said “ready”. Yeah, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will enjoy them or want to eat them, it just means that biologically, they can now handle solids. This will most likely be a struggle at first for both baby and mom as they simply don’t understand why you won’t just give them their milk like you’ve been doing for the past few months.

12 Those Smiles, Laughs And Babbling Will Get You Everytime

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By this time, your baby can fully engage with you and all that is around them. They will smile, laugh and even babble along as they communicate with us and the family members. You may even understand their personality a bit more and get a sense of what they like and don’t like. At this stage, a game of peekaboo is simply a delight. Even though you may have started it earlier on, as your baby gets older and their cognitive function improves, they will simply not be able to get over it.

11 They Watch You Closely And Start Imitating You

Looking at the world through a baby’s eyes is truly a fascinating thing. Everything and everyone around them is interesting, including you. This is why you’ll notice that your baby just can’t take his eyes off you. Don’t think it’s because you’re the most gorgeous being on earth (which you are, but that’s not the point). By this time, your baby’s vision has improved greatly and he is sometimes mimicking you and can’t stop staring at this woman in front of him who gives him all the love he needs.

10 Crawling Starts And They Soon Start To Pull Themselves Up

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Our babies starting to crawl is something all parents look up to, and we feel very proud when that moment arrives. Whether or not they hit that milestone early, on time, or late, we still can’t help but smile as they start getting around the house. It is interesting to note that crawling becomes a large part of your baby’s mental development. Parents explains that “crawling babies develop navigation skills and memorize facts. For instance, they’ll learn that they have to go around the coffee table and beyond the recliner to get to the basket of toys.”

9 They Grow An Attachment To You And Those They Are Used To

There is nothing like the bond that is developed between a baby and the baby’s parents and eventually, close family members. They see us every day, we feed them, we clothe them, we change their diapers, we play with them, and they soon understand that whenever they need soothing, we will be right there for them. It is therefore understandable that they get a little uncomfortable when they see an unfamiliar face visit. By this time, your baby knows you and you are their world.

8 They Now Want To Feed Themselves

Via ParentsMagazine

We spoke a little about their personalities beginning to come out earlier and this is where we really see it – during feeding time. Some babies will want you to continue feeding them because you’re mommy and that’s what you do, while others will begin to feel like you’re wasting their time and they can do it themselves. Plus, they want to explore the food with their hands. They want to touch it and squeeze before putting it eat their mouths. Yeah, we simply have no advise for this stage of your baby’s development. Patience mommy. Patience.

7 Walking While Holding On to Anything

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We’ve already covered how your baby has started crawling. Soon after they have mastered the crawl, they will begin pulling themselves up and then eventually walking while holding onto pretty much anything that can help them reach their destination. This is one of the biggest delights to see as your child gets older. Don’t be tempted to help them start walking though, as Active Babies Smart Kids highlights that “don’t be in a hurry for your child to walk, for it is not how early a child walks, but how much is learned before walking that will influence the development of physical, social and academic well-being”.

6 Those Magical First Steps

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You’ve watched your child crawl, pull themselves up and then start to walk around the room while holding on to furniture or anything else that can keep them steady. This seems to go on for a while until one day, they finally let go off that furniture and move towards you all on their own. Most parents get a little worried if their child takes some time to reach this milestone but Living and Loving explains that “there’s no set date when babies start to walk. Some will be on their feet at nine months, others may not get there until the age of two”. As long as he is showing signs of good mobility, be patient because he will eventually get there.

5 The First Birthday

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Ah yes, you have survived the first 365 days. Firstly, congratulations mommy and daddy. It’s been rough at times but it has also been well worth it. The first birthday is a major milestone and the birthday party can even be more stressful. Deciding on the type of celebration that is fit for your little angel is a tough decision to make, considering they don’t even know what’s happening and will most likely be moody at the sight of unfamiliar faces. Our advise here – do what makes you feel comfortable. If you want a big party to celebrate. Do it. You certainly deserve it. If you want an intimate party with close family and friends, there is definitely no problem with that. Just remember to enjoy every moment.

4 They Are Now Literally On The Run

So your baby either starting walking before their first birthday or a few months after. Whenever that magical moment happened, once they start, there is no stopping them. By now, you have definitely babyproofed the house (which should have been done around the time they started crawling) and you’re keeping a close eye on them. Their mobility comes with excitement for both you and baby as you love the site of them toddling along and they can’t believe at how fast they are going, even if it just a thousand tiny steps a minute.

3 Language Development Takes Off

Once your little one figures out that everything has a name, there is no shutting them up. They will babble along, saying words that you sometimes understand but other times not so much. Parents explains that “by 16 months, it’s abundantly clear that your child understands most of what you say, even if her own conversation still relies on gibberish”. This gibberish, sometimes sounds like a secret language developed between mommy and child that no one else understands.

2 The Second Birthday

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You’ve made it to the second birthday. Again, congratulations mommy and daddy. By now, you have probably planned out well what you really want for their birthday celebration, after learning the dos and don’ts from their first birthday party. Also by now, they can probably blow out their own candles (with help from you, of course…if they let you). Again, with the celebration, we highly recommend that whether you’ll have a big or small celebration, you do what feels right and comfortable for your family.

1 Where Did All The Time Go?

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Again, you ask yourself that all-important question – Where did all the time go? How is this the little guy you brought home from the hospital just the other day? By the time your baby hits 1 000 days of life, you’re probably much more confident about your mommy skills than you were at the beginning. Sure, you sometimes don’t know it all but you’re definitely sure more than ever that you can face anything that comes your way because you have done so for the past 1 000 days.

References: Stanford Children's Health, Healthline, BabyCenter, Mayoclinic, BabyCenter - Baby's Sleeping Patterns, BabyCenter - Baby Rolling, Parents, Active Babies Smart Kids, Living And Loving, Parents - Language Development

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