Having a baby is both wonderful and traumatizing. It can be easy to get caught up in the blur of sleepless nights, feedings, and comforting a fussy baby. Among all that, don’t forget to make good memories and spend quality time. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself having regrets…
- Find a good mums group and/or playgroup. Let your baby socialize and look at other children and babies. It’s a great opportunity to meet other parents and make friends for you and your child too.
- Find a good daycare. We didn’t enroll our son in daycare until he was around 7 or 8 months old. I was nervous he’d be upset being separated from us but he didn’t even cry on the first day. He gets to have lots of new experiences too, playing with others, playing with different toys, doing crafts etc. Definitely wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.
- Make a keepsake to remember how small they were, such as a plaster mold of their tiny hand or feet, or just their prints in finger paint.
- Take lots of photos. You’ll never regret taking too many photos.
- Professional photos. They are worth having if you can afford them, they can be pricey, but worth it. Have your favorite blown up and display it in your home.
- Start a memory box. Keep their hospital bracelet, hair from their first haircut, hand and footprints, etc. It will be something special to look back on when they’re older.
- Record their milestones. If baby books aren’t your thing, try just recording your memories in a journal.
- Start a growth chart – they’ll never have such a fast growth rate as they will in the first year.
- Record their favorites. Favorite toys, foods, activities, or weird objects that they just like. My son likes lids from jars, crinkly wrappers and some certain other weird ‘junk’ objects. One day he put all these things into a jar, which will make a great keepsake for when he’s older and less interested in these things. These kind of things would be great to compare when your child has their own children.
- Enroll in swimming lessons. Get your baby comfortable in the water early, and it will be much less scary for them when they’re older.
- Visit the beach. Playing in the sand is a great sensory activity, and you can find lots of interesting things for them to feel and look at, like seashells, pieces of driftwood etc.
- Take lots of videos. Like photos, you’ll never regret taking too many. Record their laugh, their cry, their first bath, first outings, first haircut. I really like watching videos of my son in his first week of life, with all the newborn sounds, and the way he moved like he was performing tai-chi.
- Read to your baby. This is something you should do daily and is great to establish as part of a bedtime routine. Reading helps your baby learn the sounds of language and will help their development.
- Visit a zoo or petting zoo. We got an annual pass to a local attraction that has a petting zoo with farm animals, and allows kids to pet and feed kangaroos. These are great places to take some amazing photos and if you revisit a few months apart, you’ll notice your baby being more aware of the animals, maybe even developing some favorites or learning to pet and cuddle them.
- Sing and play music for your baby. The time our son started crawling was the same time he started dancing. He will dance any time that he hears music, no matter how brief. Get some cute videos of your baby’s reaction to their favorite songs.
- Make your own music. Let your baby play with various objects and see what sounds they make when hit together. Watch your baby’s reactions to the sounds of different objects.
- Take them to the park. You may get a funny reaction the first time they experience the sensation of having grass under their feet. Once they are able to sit, they’ll also be able to use baby swings if they’re available.
- Travel. Do this while your baby is young and their needs are easy to meet on the go. Toddlers will need entertainment, suitable solid foods and baby-proofing, and wont take well to long periods of sitting. A young baby only needs feeding, sleep, changes and cuddles. If you’re breastfeeding that also makes travel even easier (no feeding equipment required). So, get that wanderlust out of your system while you can.
- Get lots of cuddles. It wont be long before they’re on the move and wont want to cuddle as much. Savor all those sweet cuddly moments.
- Savor the moments. Watch them sleep, memorize their baby face (it will change a lot, even in the first year), enjoy time being fully present with them. These days will soon be gone.
What things did you most enjoy doing with your baby in their first year? Let me know in a comment. Don’t forget to pin this article for later.
Thanks for reading!