As a new parent, you undoubtedly want to celebrate every new thing your baby learns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your little one should meet over 100 distinct milestones by the time they hit the 18-month mark, from their first spontaneous smiles to feeding themselves with a spoon. By the time your baby is four months old, they could be hitting up to 20 new benchmarks per month! Every single one is a proud moment for mama and dada and is worthy of celebrating.
40+ Milestones to Celebrate
But which ones are the big ones? In those first few months, every single one feels huge and worthy of dressing her up in cute baby girl clothes and commemorating with a photoshoot! You can pick and choose whichever ones feel especially monumental to you and your family, but here are some fun ones to look out for. Remember, all babies develop at their own pace, so don’t worry if your baby is quicker or slower than the baseline.
*2 to 4 Months
*Begins to smile at parents and strangers
*Coos, babbles or makes gurgling sounds
*Turns head to look at sounds
*Holds head up unsupported
*Copies facial expressions, such as smiling
*Reaches for toys
*Rolls from tummy to back
*5 to 8 months
*Likes to watch self in mirror
*Responds to sounds by making sounds
*Brings items to mouth
*Passes toys from one hand to another
*Rolls over back to front and front to back
*Tries first few solid foods
*Sits without support
*Stands and bounces
*9 to 12 months
*Makes noises, such as “mama” or “baba”
*Points at things with fingers
*Picks up small items between thumb and index finger
*Pulls self up to stand
*13 to 16 months
*Hands you a book at bedtime
*Responds to requests
*Says words like “mama,” “dada” and “uh-oh”
*Tries to mimic words you say
*Changes tone with different words
*Copies your gestures
*Takes first steps
*16 to 18 months
*Hands toys to others
*Plays pretend, such as brushing doll’s hair
*Says “no” and shakes head
*Points to show what they want
*Pulls toys behind while walking
*Drinks from a cup
*Feeds self with a spoon
Fun Ways to Commemorate Firsts
With so many quick changes and advancements to follow, you want to make sure you document and celebrate as much as possible. One of the best ways to commemorate a baby’s big firsts is to do something to commemorate it, like write it down in the notes app of your phone or share it with friends and family on Facebook. Here are some more ways to celebrate a baby’s milestones.
*Do a Photoshoot — If you’re a modern parent, chances are you’re already creating mini photoshoots every single day. But you can make it extra special by turning your living room into a photo studio! Every few months, put her in all those cute newborn baby boy clothes you’ve been saving and create a mini photo session at home. No need to shell out for a pro every time. Save the paid shoots for extra-special milestones, such as her first birthday.
*Write Them Down — One of the best ways to remember and track your baby’s milestones is simply to keep them documented. As parents, we’re busy and it’s easy to lose track of how far our little ones have come. Luckily, there are tons of easy ways to record milestones without much effort.
*Use your notes app. This is a realistic way to ensure that nothing goes untracked! Write everything down in the notes app on your phone. You can then use them to create a baby journal.
*Use a milestone app. There are tons of excellent apps that help you understand where your baby should be and let you track as they grow. The WonderWeeks and Baby Sparks are popular options.
*Buy a milestone journal. Peek at the many different baby journals available at your local bookstore or online. There are so many fun baby memory books that help you record precious milestones. The best part is, they’ll get to look back on it when they’re older.
*Buy New Shoes — One of the best ways to celebrate a baby taking her first few steps is to mark the occasion with some cute baby girl shoes. Your baby needs a good foundation from which to begin walking, so make sure to choose pairs that accommodate those unsteady first steps. Studies show that kids fall more often when barefoot or wearing flexible shoes, so look for pairs that are more rigid and supportive but still comfortable on the baby’s foot.
*Post About It Online — These days, it seems like posting a baby’s monthly milestones on social media is a parenting requirement. We love it because it creates a visual log that you can look back on anytime you want. Plus, it always makes family and friends smile! Invest in a baby month blanket or milestone stickers and post a photo of some of your little one’s biggest moments. Be sure to use the caption to explain all the benchmarks they hit that month!
*Write Notes to Your Child — Writing special notes to your child is a sweet way to mark every big first and create something they will cherish forever. Try to write to them monthly or whenever they reach big milestones, so they know how much they are loved! Add them all to a keepsake box and include photos, mementos and more.
As cliché as it sounds, every parent will agree that the first few months fly by. To ensure that you’re soaking in every special moment, take a step back and try to record all the moments that feel like milestones, no matter how big or small they may be, so you remember them forever!