When you’re pregnant, you envision who your child is going to be. You mash your face and your partner’s face in your mind, and you create a child that’s going to look like a split of the two of you. You think about the clubs they might join when they are toddlers and the schools they may go to, and you think about all of the things that they will do to become amazing and wonderful human beings. But you are going to panic.
From the moment you find out that you’re pregnant, you’re going to panic about whether the baby is healthy. You’re going to worry whether they are growing correctly in the womb. And that doesn’t stop when they’re born. When they’re born, you’ll panic about not knowing what their cries mean, but you soon learn which one is hungry and which one is tired. You’ll soon learn how they prefer to be rocked and which angle they prefer to sit in when they are being burped. You’re going to go through the developmental milestones at one and two, and three months old and Start learning who your baby is. You have to remember that you are as new to them as they are to you, and you are going to be as new at parenting as they are to being a human being.
The developmental milestones at 5 months old are going to thrill you and make you sad all at once. The developmental milestones at one year are going to make you cry when you blow the candle out with them on their first birthday because not only is it their birthday of being one year old, it’s your birthday being a one-year-old parent. Essentially, as the baby grows, you will grow more confident about your parenting skills. But understanding how to tell that your child is actually healthy is important. So let’s take a look at some of the signs.
- A healthy, happy baby is soothed by your touch and your voice. You’re going to know very quickly whether or not your baby is happy and healthy, as whether they are soothed when you sing to them, or you hold them, or you stroke them. Newborns will cry a lot, but if you’ve ever read up on the 4th Trimester, you’ll know that they’ll cry less if they are comforted by somebody that they know and they know you and your heartbeat from the inside out. A baby is used to being in a close, warm, muted environment, and your arms provide that same environment with that same smell.
- You are changing a lot of diapers. You might think a baby is going wrong somewhere with the amount of diapers they go through, but if you’re changing a lot of wet diapers a day and they’re gaining a good amount of weight, then you have a very healthy baby on your hands. It means that they are getting enough milk and they are very hydrated because even when how much they drink changes as they go through growth spurts, you’re going to notice an uptick. In the amount of diapers that you change. If you want to know whether you’re feeding your baby enough, the proof is in their output.
- They are content. A healthy baby is quiet and attentive at least a few times each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. In the first few weeks of being at home with a newborn, the weeks become blurry. They are a revolving door of diapers and feeds and sleep deprivation. And it’s going to take some time for you to get used to having a baby around as much as it is for your baby to get used to being around. If your baby is quiet and happy to sit quietly and be attentive to the world around them then they are perfectly content to be within their own company and comfort.
- Your baby is turning towards new sounds at birth. Almost all newborns have a hearing test to determine whether their hearing has developed in the womb. When they turn towards new sounds and they sit to listen to them, it proves that they’re hearing is developing correctly and that their brain is discerning those sounds, which is a milestone. It takes a few weeks for them to be able to filter out the white noise of their daily existence outside the womb. However, if they are reacting to loud noises or turning towards nice noises, then you can pretty much be sure that your baby can hear everything around them.
- They track you with their eyes. It doesn’t happen early on, but when babies start to look at movement and colours and patterns, their eyesight begins to sharpen, and their brains develop to suit. Babies are not born with great eyesight, just like they’re not born with great hearing. But as time moves forward, that eyesight sharpens, and they start to focus more on things around them. When your baby starts staring at your face and smiling, it’s because they’re recognizing who you are. How cute.
- Your baby is smiling. A smiling baby is a social and happy creature, and that’s exactly what you want for your child. That first moment of true eye contact with the baby comes around when they’re a month old, and the first smile happens between the ages of two and three months. If they’re laughing by four months, then they are on track developmentally, and you know that their brain is developing as it should.
- They start to sleep more regularly. As time goes on during that first year, your baby will start to settle and sleep more regularly. They get into a pattern of nap times and bedtimes that you are easily able to follow. This proves that the nervous system is maturing in the right way, and if you’ve noticed that perceptible shift in the routine, then there is a glimmer of hope that you’re going to be coming out of that newborn juggernaut.
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