I’m taking a few weeks off from blogging while my family settles in with our new baby. Before I “unplugged” from the computer, I worked on this series about Ages and Stages. Today is the second installment, on the first year. I hope you enjoy it! Best Wishes – Kara
The first year of a baby’s life is a time of amazing changes and growth. It has always seemed to me that my babies change overnight. Every day they learn something new, grow more confident in their surroundings, and master new ways to communicate and express themselves.
It doesn’t seem take long for the tiny, quiet curled up newborn to become a happy, bouncy, giggling, cooing one year old eager to get into everything and be on the move! The days of the first year go by in the blink of an eye.
I find that parents go through some big changes during the first year, too. That first birthday? It is not just a celebration of the first year of life for a baby, but it a celebration of the first year of life as a parent.
What Does a Baby Really Need?
Much like a newborn, my firm belief is that mostly what baby needs is YOU. They need your hands to hold them, care for them, tickle their toes and play peek a book. They need your voice to model speech and sing songs, to talk to them, to soothe them. Babies need connection and time in the arms of people who love them.
Later, once they are mobile, babies needs a safe place to explore. This is a time for “baby proofing” and providing them an area where they are free to move and discover without danger. Electrical outlets need to be covered, sharp edges padded, breakable things within babies grasp need to be relocated, etc.
I believe that a natural, simple environment is best for a baby. Babies don’t need media or toys that play for them.
Babies need play things that they can interact with and manipulate by themselves. I like open-ended play things that can be used in many ways and that are made of natural materials like wool, cloth, or wood.
Also nice to have:
- a rattle to clutch and shake
- a teether or soother
- a large soft ball
- a mobile over their crib and/or diaper changing area
- a soft stuffed animal or doll (that is safe to chew on and cuddle)
- a high chair or booster seat, once baby starts eating solid foods
- once baby is mobile, a walker or a pull and push toy that encourages movement can be nice
So, what do you think? Did I leave anything out? What would you include in this list of resources for the first year?