The first year of baby’s life is such an exciting series of events. Everything changes. And keeps on changing. You, life, routines, them. We found it fun to mark the changes with special little treats each month. Some were doing new things, some were buying new things, and each was chosen for the given month because he’d become old enough for it. Here’s what we did.
3 months. We didn’t actually get started until Sam was 3 months because, well, before that we were just figuring all of this parenting stuff out. But the 3 month mark is a big one. Suddenly they’re not so tiny anymore, and are morphing from an infant to a baby. Sam was really great at holding up his own head by this point so we bought him a Bumbo seat. He loved it! Suddenly he was able to look around and take it all in. He was a little wobbly at first, but that didn’t last long. And he used it for several months until the first time he tried to wriggle out :)
4 months. First swim! Sam loved the water from an early age, so we really looked forward to taking him for his first dip. He was pretty chilled out about the experience. We imagined splashing and smiling. We got a stone cold expression and and a bit of a meh! He started swimming classes a few months later though and loves them.
5 months. Doorway bouncer, how I adored you. Sam loved his Lindam Doorway Bouncer, but not nearly as much as Mommy. He happily bounced away in this for 30 minutes at a time, sometimes longer, which meant I could get dinner, or lunch, or do laundry or send emails, without him fussing at all. It was bliss for about 4 months. As soon as Sam figured out how to cruise the furniture the bouncer was a no-go, but those months were brilliant.
6 months. Baths go from horizontal to sitting up. And Sam loved it. Before Sam was sitting well, we used a water cushion in the bath which he lay back on. He was really happy with it until sitting up became his new favourite thing to do. A slippery wet body is tough to hold on to in the tub though, so this seat was much loved. Splashing took on a whole new meaning.
7 months. At long last Sam was big enough to sit in the playground swing. And a new love was born. He doesn’t look particularly happy in this shot, but he was. And still is, every time we go to the park. Which is about 4 times a week :)
8 months. A trip to the beach. It was July before a trip to the beach was even thinkable last summer. And it was somewhat cloudy and not nearly warm enough for Sam to swim, but we picnicked, played in the sand and dipped his toes in the water. Then went home to have a warm dinner and a bubble bath. You’ve got to love Irish summers.
9 months. Sam is standing! Friends of ours bought him this fabulous walker with wooden blocks which he still loves today. At 9 months we tightened the wheels so that you really needed to push it to get it going and it was perfectly stable enough to support our (not so!) timid walker-in-training.
10 months. By this age Sam was really in to making some noise. So a DIY drum kit and other musical instruments (a tambourine, maracas, and a plastic thing that makes a deafening clatter) joined our toy collection. The drums were two used formula canisters and the drumsticks were chopsticks with corks stuck on top. He’s no John Bonham but he tries his best :)
11 months. Sam’s first visit to an indoor play centre. There are a few of these places near our house, but until Sam was really moving- crawling, climbing, standing, rolling, I just didn’t see the point. At 11 months he was totally into it and had a ball. We don’t go often because I’m more of a fresh air and free playground kind of Mom, but on rainy days, these places are a treat.
12 months. Sam’s 1st birthday was an all-day treat with cupcakes to devour, presents to rip open, a party in the park (ie. swings!) a bath and lots of his other favourite things. Because that’s what first birthday’s are all about, right? But the one thing that was brand new and completely fabulous was his first taste of chocolate. It went down well. He even licked the plate :)
And there you have it. Seeing your newborn grow in to a toddler is a heck of a ride. This was a fun way for us to mark the changes and growth along the way.