Welcome to parenthood! It’s an exciting time. However, you may also be feeling a little apprehensive about all the change, and that’s perfectly understandable. Emily Manning highlights the baby developments
in store for you and your little one over the first few months. Now all you need to do is relax in the knowledge that you both will discover and learn together.Baby’s first month
In these first few weeks, your baby grows in size and strength. While his head will still need plenty of support, you will start to see him use those neck muscles to lift his head for short periods. His eyesight will also improve and he will be able to follow lights and sounds. Your baby will love nothing more than to stare at your face and watch you, so encourage this with lots of face time and plenty of one-on-one chats. Be prepared for his appetite to increase and for some sort of sleeping
to appear.Baby at two months
All those cooing conversations you’ve been having with your baby will start to reap rewards as he begins to gurgle back at you. But most likely, the major baby milestone
this month will be baby’s first smile!
By now you will have noticed that your baby is starting to spend a little more time awake and is going a little longer between feeds. Hopefully, he is sleeping more at night, but at this stage many babies will still wake for one to two feeds during the night. This month will also see you and your baby back to hospital for your six-week check. At this appointment, a paediatrician will check your baby over from head to toe, including weighing and measuring his length and head circumference. Don’t be afraid to ask if you have any concerns or questions about how your baby is developing, feeding or sleeping. You will also be bringing your baby for his first vaccinations
to help protect against diphtheria, whooping cough, Hib, tetanus and polio.
Baby at three months
Keep up that chat, as your baby will definitely start to become more vocal around now. He will also recognise mum, dad and siblings at this point as familiar people to coo, smile and giggle at.
Making his presence known is fast becoming a theme this month – some babies at this stage may start rolling over, making parents nervous! Encourage your baby’s new acrobatic skills with some regular “tummy time”, which will help to develop those all-important neck and back muscles.
You will hopefully start to see an improvement in the night wakings over these few weeks – some babies may already be sleeping through the night.Baby at four months
Getting sturdier by the day, your baby can hold his head steadily now and has mastered rolling over. Being aware of his surroundings has become a regular pastime – grabbing for things around him, shouting for your attention, and grasping a favourite toy or teddy.
Baby’s second set of vaccinations also happen this month, and then again at six months.
Baby at five to six months
It’s time for some mess! At this stage, you can start to introduce baby to solid food
gradually – and get ready to take lots of funny, messy face photos to show your baby in years to come. Many parents opt for purées when it comes to weaning; however, you may prefer baby-led weaning. First foods tend to be baby cereals, fruit and vegetables, with chicken and meat introduced once first foods have been established.
Other developments to be seen around now will include your baby recognising his own name, which is a wondrous moment that will leave new parents amazed. Copying sounds he hears from you will soon become his favourite activity, with sounds like “gaga”, “dada” and “mama” the most popular.