As your baby continues to grow, you’ll feel that the baby is growing so fast. You’ll have the anxiety that you wouldn’t get to do all the fun stuff that you hoped you would; make all the little memories that will last forever. This is a more glaring reality for working parents who may not always have time to make those memories. Sure, you take time off to get those things done, but the time doesn’t seem to be sufficient.
Here is a guide to help you know what things you should do before your baby turns one and turns into a toddler. It’s kind of like a wish list that you can tick off in your mind as you go through them in no particular order:
1) Baby-proof the house
Your baby is growing up and becoming more confident in his capabilities. He is getting stronger and even more curious and wants to explore that curiosity. Your baby will take every opportunity to try out whatever new skills he has, whether crawling or walking. Although all these are entirely natural and beautiful, they may turn out disastrous if proper precautionary measures are not taken. Ensure that your baby’s crib isn’t too far off the ground (in case they get out). Also, make sure that the railings are high and wouldn’t be easy for the baby to scale and just in case the baby scales the crib, make sure there are soft pillows on the floor to cushion a fall.
2) Leave the bottles behind
When your baby shows some signs of independence, try to introduce sippy cups instead of bottles. This will help the baby transition and acquire another skill.
3) Get new toys
We all outgrow things, babies included. Your baby will get tired of his current toys so you may as well get new ones. Your one-year-old needs toys that involve creating or solving basic problems, some of his earlier toys may be kept but you’ll need new ones.
4) Let go of the pacifier
Your baby is growing older and will no longer need the pacifier. What you need to do is try to wean him off the pacifier before he turns one so that, by the time he is one, it will be a smooth transition.
5) Their room
It is expected that by the time your baby is one, he’ll already be used to sleeping in his bed, in his room, by himself. Get a stable routine that will help your baby embrace this new phase, it will serve as a step toward independence.
Although your baby is just one, you must establish some ground rules. He is at an age where he wants to explore and do things that may not turn out well. What you need is perhaps a one-minute time out for naughty behavior.
7) Reduce Daytime Breastfeeding
You already know that in your baby’s development you will have to wean him off breast milk. Doing it gradually is better for the baby than just cutting it off at once. You can try reducing the number of times you breastfeed the baby in a day and gradually wean the baby.
8) Get a reliable babysitter
At one year of age, you may think about going back to work. This is usually the best time to do it but you’ll need help. You will need a babysitter that is already familiar with your baby and who your baby already has a relationship with.
9) Help your baby with Speech
This is a time when your baby may have already said his or her first words and is learning other words. You can help your baby by saying some words to him repeatedly and encouraging him to try saying it too.
10) Teach your baby to sleep through the night
Let’s get this out of the way; nobody sleeps through the night, we all toss and turn and wake up in between for one reason or another. What I mean here is that you teach your baby to fall back to sleep when he wakes up without making a fuss.
11) Introduce finger foods
At this point, your baby is ready to try new things and you can be part of that. Introduce such food that the baby will be able to pick up and feed himself, which helps to improve his coordination skills.
12) Introduce breakfast, lunch, and dinner
When your baby becomes familiar with eating solid foods, you can take it a step further by introducing the three meals of the day. This helps the baby understand that there are specific times of the day for eating food and adjust to that.
13) Encourage independence
Your baby still needs you and you’ll still be a big part of everything he or she does. However, you must let the baby do things he is capable of, like feeding himself and taking a few steps. These help the baby develop confidence in himself.
14) Do outdoor activities
Sure, sometimes you should definitely be home with your child, but you must make time for outdoor activities too. Go to the neighborhood playground, let your baby have that experience, and perhaps make a play friend.
15) Read to your baby
Your baby’s curiosity is at an all-time high, you want to teach him as much as you can. The best way to do that is by reading to him and letting him see pictures that he can associate with what you are reading out to him.
16) Don’t get tired of describing things
Every outing and everything might become an opportunity to teach the baby something new. When you see a bright colored apple or just a piece of paper, take time to tell the baby it’s an apple, and it is red.
17) Get whole milk
Your baby’s milk may still suffice for a while, but you will need to switch to whole milk. This will help give the baby the right nutrition he requires to grow.
18) Have a playtime
Although teaching your baby can be part of playtime, it will be good to have an actual playtime where you get on the floor and just have fun with the baby.
19) Wean off supplements
Your baby supplements will have to go at some point too. To make it easier, try to how much is given and how many times it is given in a day.
Your baby will learn a lot from you when you sing, whether it be the alphabet or the numbers or a song you just made up. It’s always good fun to sing.
21) Get the baby some new clothes
Some baby’s clothes will still do, but you’ll need something that your baby is more comfortable in.
These are some things you can do before your baby turns one, you can throw in some other things you’ll like to do too. Don’t make it a chore, try to make it fun for you and your baby.