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Having a baby is beautiful, emotional, and hard all at the same time. Before you know it, your little bundle of joy is turning one! Life can get crazy and the first year goes by so fast, so make sure you do these 20 things with your baby before they turn one:
- Find an amazing babysitter. Whether you get out of the house often or not in that first year, you want your baby to be familiar with the person that will watch them in the future. Find a good sitter that you trust with your child in that first year.
- Snatch their footprints: We forget how tiny their fingers and toes are those first months. Don’t forget to snatch their footprints or fingerprints before they get bigger in ink or with a casting.
- Sing to your baby: Not only do babies love your voice, but they love to hear you sing to them. Singing helps develop the brain and enhances their learning. Try to sing to your baby as often as you can. Learning songs are great ways to teach things like numbers, shapes, colours, and manners.
- Start teaching your baby sign language. Babies as young as 6 months old can learn sign language. Your baby may not be able to sign back, but it is a perfect opportunity to start teaching your little one communication.
- Count: Your baby may not be able to count on their own, but playing little counting games like counting toes and little piggy’s is a great way to help your child understand the concept of counting.
- Take time to play without a screen. Having a lot of screen time before the age of one can make it difficult for your child to learn to play without being entertained. Playing with your child without screens is ideal.
- Make your pots and pans into musical instruments. Babies love music, but more than loving to listen to it, they love to make it. Give your baby some music to create with your pots, pans, and wooden spoons.
- Take pictures. Take as many pictures as you can before your little bundle turns one. The months go so fast and before you know it, you will want to look back and reminisce on those days.
- Get professional pictures taken. You can have all the pictures in the world of your baby on your phone, but nothing is quite as satisfying as having those first pictures professionally done. Schedule a time to get professional pictures for your baby before they turn one.
- Go swimming in the pool. The more you do with baby in that first year, the less scary it is as they get older. Give your baby the experience of playing in the water because as they get older, playing in the water will just become habit.
- Read with your baby. Reading is great for all kids, but the younger they are when you start reading the better. Foster the love of reading with your baby as soon as you can because then they will love to read as they get into the toddler years.
- Document their milestones. One of the things I wish I would have done in that first year is document all the milestones. From when they first lifted their heads and first tooth to their first steps. You never get those firsts back, so make sure to document them when you see them.
- Have fun being goofy. The best thing about having a baby is that you don’t have to be serious. Get out the goofy faces, the giggles, and just have fun being goofy. With a messy bun and few silly faces, you can get your baby laughing for hours.
- Take a trip to the zoo. Before your child turns one, you just have to visit the zoo at least once. Take pictures of your child’s favourite animals and save them for later.
- Take your baby for a ride on your bike. A great way to lose those extra baby pounds and keep your little one occupied is to take them out biking with you. Trust me, it’s much easier to pull a baby along than it is a big toddler.
- Get messy. Before that big birthday cake, get out the shaving cream, paint or edible play dough and get messy. Get in some messy fun so your child can fully enjoy their messy experience when it’s time to play in the cake.
- Have a playdate. Just because your baby isn’t old enough to talk doesn’t mean he or she won’t enjoy other babies. Have a playdate with other babies also helps to encourage developmental milestones.
- Exercise with baby. One of the best ways you can spend time with baby is to make your baby part of your exercise regimen. You can do flying baby on your legs, use baby to strengthen your arms, or do pushups over baby giving kisses each time you go down.
- Talk about colours. When you play with your kids, read a picture book, or talk to them, use descriptive words like colours. When you say things like the yellow truck, or the blue ball, you help them recognize and distinguish colors.
- Sing the alphabet song while they are sleeping. Did you know that you can actually learn better while you sleep? If you want your baby to pick up on their alphabet, sing it to them while they sleep in your arms. The more they hear it, the easier it will be to repeat it.
Having a baby is one of the greatest joys and sometimes life just goes too fast. When it comes to making the most out of the time you have, these little things will keep you and your little one learning, happy, and loved.
What other things would you recommend doing with your baby before they turn one? Share them in the comments below!
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!