Meaningful Milestones: 5 Developmental Moments to Look Forward to in Baby’s First Year


    Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

    Having a new baby is a really special time and you’ll see lots of amazing things happen in that first year. As your little one grows up, they’ll change a lot and learn to do many new things. Let’s talk about five cool things you’ll get to see your baby do as they get bigger.

    1. The First Smile (Around 2 months)

    One of the most heart-melting moments you’ll experience is your baby’s first real smile. While newborns may smile in their sleep, their first intentional smile usually appears around 2 months of age.

    At first, you might wonder if it’s just gas or a reflex, but soon you’ll notice your baby smiling in response to your voice or face. This simple gesture is a big deal — it shows that your baby is starting to connect with the world around them.

    You might even catch that first smile while you’re using your breastfeeding pillow during a feeding session. Remember, every baby develops at their own pace, so don’t worry if your one takes a bit longer to flash that gummy grin. When it happens, it’ll be worth the wait.

    1. Rolling Over (Around 4-6 months)
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    Around the 4 to 6-month mark, you might find your baby suddenly on their tummy when you could’ve sworn you left them on their back. Surprise! They’re learning to roll over.

    This milestone is exciting for several reasons:

    • It signals your baby’s strength and coordination is growing 
    • It shows your baby is gaining control over their body
    • It’s the first step towards mobility

    As your baby starts rolling, it’s important to always keep a hand on them during diaper changes and never leave them unattended on high surfaces. This is also a good time to make sure your home is baby-proofed.

    1. First Words (Around 9-12 months)

    Hearing your baby’s first word is a magical moment. While babies start cooing and babbling much earlier, their first recognizable word usually comes between 9 and 12 months.

    Often, first words are simple and related to things your baby sees every day, like “Mama” or “Dada” or “Ball” or “Bye-bye.”

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    Don’t be surprised if your baby’s first word isn’t what you expect. Every child is different, and some might prefer to say “car” before “mama”.

    1. Taking First Steps (Around 9-15 months)

    Watching your baby take their first wobbly steps is both exciting and a little bittersweet. It usually happens between 9 and 15 months, though some babies may walk earlier or later.

    Before walking independently, your baby will likely pull themselves up to stand, cruise along furniture, and take a few steps while holding your hands.

    1. Showing Affection (Throughout the first year)

    Watching your baby learn to show affection is a beautiful process that unfolds throughout the first year.

    It starts with your newborn recognizing your voice and face, then progresses to reaching for you, snuggling close during feedings, or hugging you and beloved toys.

    Soak It Up

    Your baby’s first year is a time of incredible change and growth. From that first heart-melting smile to those wobbly first steps, each milestone is a celebration of your little one’s unique journey.

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    Try not to stress too much about milestones, though. Your baby will get there in their own time. Instead, focus on enjoying each day with them and take lots of pictures and videos to capture these special moments.

    Most importantly, take care of yourself and accept help when it’s offered. The happier and more rested you are, the better you can enjoy these precious moments with your baby.