She’s turning one already?! How did your baby and you get here this quickly?! You suddenly realize that she has a personality of her own and that your patience has never been tested more; having said that; you have never experienced greater joy either.
Your baby’s development
Your baby’s growing independence as she asserts herself and insists on all your attention may be met with mixed feelings. While her emerging personality should be encouraged, it is also important to let her know that you have other things to do and that there will be times that she has to wait for you to get done.
Teaching baby patience at this time may seem harsh, but if like most parents, you are wearing more than one hat – of parent, spouse and career professional, you may stretch yourself too thin and wind up being helpful to no one. So while you shower her with your love and attention, let her know who is boss; especially when it comes to her own safety. She cannot get her way if you think that the activity she is interested in is unsafe or dangerous.
Your baby’s napping schedule will also be constantly evolving as her needs change. You will find that several small naps during the day will be replaced by one long nap, which may actually work out better for you. If you have a schedule that works, don’t allow your baby’s nap to go beyond her usual time as you may find it challenging to get her to sleep at night. Babies and children thrive on following a routine; so stick to one whenever possible.
By now your baby is pointing at different objects that interest her as if to say, “what’s that?”; this is a great way to learn what things are called while you learn what interests your baby. If she has not said her first word yet, then it is likely right around the corner. Give every opportunity for her to absorb all the vocabulary around her and before you know it, she will be naming everything in sight.
At the one-year appointment, the pediatrician will offer you the choice of a Varicella or chickenpox vaccine for your baby.
Your life as Parents
The joy of hearing your baby’s first words are only second to seeing her walk. Your baby is more curious now than ever. She may point to a caterpillar in the garden and look back at you expecting you to tell her what it is. This developmental stage is a truly gratifying one for the parents as the baby expresses curiosity about everything that you have taught her. Regardless of what your baby is saying to you, her need to share her observations with you is an important milestone of the first year.
Many babies do not talk until they are 18 to 24 months old. This should not cause concern as long as your baby is interested in interacting with you along with good eye contact, even if only in gestures. If you are concerned about your baby’s development in this area, bring it to your pediatrician’s attention at this month’s checkup for a thorough evaluation. Even if there is a speech or developmental delay that is detected, early intervention with the right therapies (speech and occupational) can make all the difference in your baby’s future.