By: Natasha Archary
Parenthood is one of the privileged blessings of life. Something that cannot be explained in words but rather experienced. The connection you have with your child is incredible. It is only natural to feel hyper-sentimental once the parent in you awakens.
Scrapbooking and taking snap after snap of every quizzical facial expression and cherub-like serenity as they sleep. There are so many priceless moments you will experience as your child grows and develops over the years. In Part 1, we touched on the usual “Baby’s first milestones” and in Part 2 we brought you the “Working mom edition”. This time we share the monthly milestones that are worth waiting for.
These are the more emotional milestones, as moms and dads reminisce about the day your precious bundle arrived. Recapping every fear and panic-infused over-reaction on the way to hospital or during labour. The monthly milestones have to be the most special. Don’t forget every child develops at their own pace, so don’t worry if your baby isn’t hitting milestones according to the “norm” for his age. If ever you’re concerned speak to your paediatrician who will be able to advise you further.
The first month with a newborn passes by like a whirlwind. You’re still not sure what you did right to be this little one’s mom or dad and despite the sleep deprivation, this is exactly where you need to be. Savouring every moment with this squirmy, fragile, perfect babe. The first month milestone can be celebrated with a family photoshoot. This is a huge deal, you’re a mommy or daddy and you want to eternalise this moment forever.
It’’s not that the second month is insignificant but by the time month three rolls around, you would have “gotten into the swing of things” and may already have a routine that works.
You’re a lot more comfortable holding, swaddling and caring for your little one now. They’ve done some remarkable growing and your three-month visit to the paediatrician is a good gauge for how well you’re both doing. Most moms dread the third month because maternity leave will soon be over, have your babies hands and feet moulded in clay or painted. You can plonk it on your desk when you get back to the office. It will help you get through those hours away from them.
You’re halfway through the first year together, well done. Most babies are now reaching and grabbing stuff, which always ends up in their spitty mouths. Teething is a nightmare for many parents, you try everything to soothe them and despite many doctors telling you that fevers are not linked to teething, many parents know better. Some babies do break a fever when a tooth cuts and you are allowed to go with your gut. The first tooth popping is a definite milestone to celebrate. Grab your camera and snap the one-toothed, gummy smile to break out when they turn eighteen.
They’re now on the move. With the assistance of walkers, baby is now zipping around, getting more stable on those chubby legs. This is usually when the crawling starts and there’s no stopping them now. Make sure you have one eye permanently fixed on them at all times because accidents are likely to happen around the ninth month. Bumping into furniture because they don’t know any better and taking some tumbles as they attempt to stand up, it’s a fun time. Exhausting but fun. Crawl around with them, spend more time outdoors exploring together. It’s amazing to discover the world anew, through their eyes.
The first year has gone by in a flash. You’ve spent months planning your child’s first birthday. It’s a big deal. But it’s not practical to splurge out half your savings on this day. One, your baby is not going to understand what’s happening just yet. Two, having too many people around can overwhelm your child making for one very crabby one-year-old. It’s okay to just celebrate the day by having a few close friends and family around. And celebrate as parents too, it’s not just your child’s milestone but yours too. You did good!
That brings the series to an end. You will have so many milestones together, with each year bringing its own challenges and memorable moments. Own it, enjoy it while it lasts, for they won’t be this little for too much longer.