Here are some of my favorite "unofficial" milestones I've noticed with each of my babies along with baby items that make the first year that much more magical!
The first smile whether gas or not is just pure magic! With each of my babies, this milestone seemed to happen during a middle of the night feeding or diaper change so I was a bit delirious and sometimes unsure if I really saw it or not! The CL Knotted gowns are the perfect outfit for when you finally capture a smile on camera and they make those late nights a bit smoother! This early milestone makes all those late nights worth it!
"They see me rolling!" This is such a fun milestone, but it also indicates it's time to be even more vigilant about where you put baby because now they are officially mobile! Babies usually start by accidentally rolling from their tummy to their back during tummy time. Then eventually develop the ability to roll both ways. Tummy time is so important to foster this rolling skill and I personally love this Lovevery play gym/mat because it grows with your baby. It also comes with different accessories to target each milestone as well as an informative parenting book.
It's amazing to watch your little one discover their hands! It can begin with simply chewing on their hands and eventually becomes reaching and holding little hanging toys or teethers. I love these teethers and toys to encourage holding! We love our banana brush and Frida Not too Cold to Hold teether!
4. Toe Grabbing!
Hands down one of the most adorable milestones is when your baby finds and grabs their toes! Not only will you wish you had this much flexibility, but you'll be snapping all the pictures of this cuteness! These little socks really encourage the toe grabbing!
Dada, Dada, Dada on repeat! When the babbling begins it is music to any parents ears even if "Dada" is likely easier for them to say than "Mama"! Let your little one babble away and talk back to them to encourage the early conversation! I love reading books aloud to my little ones with rhythm books being some of my favorite, like "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom". These books can also be incorporated with musical instruments to create an even more immersive sensory experience.
6. Sitting Up and Starting Solids
Around 6 months or a bit after it seems like so much happens at once! Your little one may be sitting up with some assistance and you'll likely be starting to introduce solids! Be sure to capture their expressions as they try new foods with different flavors and textures. I always liked repurposing my Boppy pillow to assist my little ones in sitting up and using other fun toys or books to have them reaching while in their sitting position. Honestly, for me once they get to this milestone time just flies!
7. Scooting Backwards
If you notice that you left baby on their play mat and suddenly they have scooched backwards off of it, this is a new milestone! Scooting backwards is easier than going forward for babies so you may notice this as an early indicator of crawling. This means if you haven't already it's time to give your home one more look to baby proof because your baby is officially about to TAKE OFF! Catch some videos of your little Houdini because they will be in one spot then suddenly disappear!
Obviously this is a key milestone, but I'll say with four babies, crawling has looked different for each one! I've had a speed crawler, an army crawler, a rock on all 4's crawler, and I'm excited to see which technique baby boy adopts in just a few short months! To encourage crawling you don't need a fancy electronic toy, in fact I've found that just putting a loved stuffed animal or book just out of babies reach is a great way to encourage crawling while talking to baby.
9. Pulling Up
Okay if Toe Grabbing is my favorite unofficial milestone then pulling up is likely my least favorite! I love the independence of it, but it's also the stage where you literally wish you could bubble wrap baby because they are more prone to bumps and tumbles. Luckily, I've found that pulling up leads quickly to the pinnacle of milestones in the first year and beyond…
This little activity center grows with baby and is helpful as a pull up toy for baby.
This is the milestone everyone will be asking about, but seriously I'm here to tell you just like the "Baby Race" episode of "Bluey" reiterates this milestone is not a competition! As the episode teaches, parents should encourage their littles to "run your own race"! Whether your baby makes it to this milestone at 9 months or much later it is so much fun and so much work! Here are toys I love to assist during this milestone! I try to utilize Montessori-aligned methods in our home so these push walkers and similar toys are what we prefer to traditional baby walkers!
This shopping cart was a hit for my daughter's one year old Christmas and my big girls play with it all the time too!
Take all the videos and all the photos to capture this magical milestone because the next one is surely running when you can't catch them for photos and then I'm 100% positive the next one is dropping them off for college!