Your baby's first year of life is one of incredible growth and change. He'll go from being a helpless infant dependent upon you for everything to a curious little person full of energy and wonder. It's a time of discovery and learning for both of you. Every child is different and may reach milestones earlier or later than predicted, but there are a few general developments you can anticipate during the first twelve months.
Grow, Baby, Grow!
One of the major areas of development for a baby in his first year is physical growth. WebMD predicts your baby will have tripled his weight since birth and grown roughly 9 to 11 inches. That's a huge growth spurt! Your child won't experience another as dramatic until his adolescence, says HealthyChildren.org. You'll also notice that by his first birthday, your once-immobile infant has become highly active. He's curious about his surroundings and will use his newfound ability to crawl, pull, tug, stand and shimmy to explore them. This is a great time to baby-proof the house. Your little one will be keeping you on your toes from here on out.
Did He Say "Mama"?
More than likely, those sounds you're hearing really do mean something. By the end of your baby's first year, he'll progress from grunts and inarticulate sounds to trying to form real words. In fact, says PBS Parents, he may even be stringing simple word combinations together. Children are great imitators, so expect him to copycat the things you say, both the good and the bad. At this age, babies absorb the language spoken around them and can now understand much of what you say, even simple directions.
Meltdowns and Temper Tantrums
Guess what other word your tyke will learn this year? You guessed it: "no." That's because your baby has figured out he's his own little person full of his own wants and feelings. Saying no to you is his way of seeking autonomy, says PBS Parents. That's all well and good, but you're not always going to be able to say yes in return. Your 1-year old has discovered the wide range of emotions he's capable of but has no clue how to control them. Frustration easily melts into temper tantrums and tears.
Time to Eat
As your child's first birthday approaches, he will likely have progressed from breastfeeding exclusively to being able to handle whole cow's milk and simple snacks. Avoid choking-hazard foods like pieces of hot dog, whole grapes and popcorn, suggests WebMD. Also avoid low-fat foods, as your baby will need healthy fats for good brain development. Stay near your little one as he eats and keep foods to easy, bite-sized pieces.
All Five Senses
Your baby loves sensory information, and he'll use all his senses to the fullest to explore. Help your baby learn by offering him a variety of textures, shapes and colors to examine. Just be careful not to give him anything small enough to choke on, as anything he can put his hands on will also go down the hatch. Your little one doesn't just want to know what things look, feel, smell and sound like -- he wants to know what they taste like too!