As a new parent there are certain milestones that we look for, record, and celebrate. Our baby’s first bath, the first time they roll over, sit up, stand up, walk, first tooth, first word, first taste of solids.
These are exciting and special milestones, but I’ve found there are some milestones that seem small but mean HUGE things for life changes! These are the milestones that I’ve learned to truly celebrate.
* The first time the baby sleeps three consecutive hours… then four, then five! (Five is considered sleeping through the night for a baby, just be warned.) But that first time when you get three hours you suddenly understand the value of a single uninterrupted sleep cycle.
* The first time baby latches onto the breast without you needing to provide extensive assistance or try repeatedly to get a good latch. Because nursing DOES get easier and you go from needing three or four hands and someone checking latch and multiple pillows and burp cloths and several tries to suddenly baby opens wide and latches on! Then one day your baby crawls over and pulls up your shirt and helps themselves.
* When they stop pooping every time you nurse them so you don’t feed them, they fall asleep and poop and you have to wake them up to change their diaper. (I’ll risk waking up a baby to change a poopy diaper, I won’t risk waking up a baby to change a wet diaper unless that thing is so full it’s going to leak and wake up the baby. Or if there’s any tender skin/rash risk, then diapers get changed way more often.)
* Oh, and when you don’t have to burp them every feed! At first if you don’t burp them then you risk them having a bubble that hurts their belly or causes them to later spit up a ton and you have to nurse all over again. But one day their little tummies handle it better and you realize you didn’t have to burp them and they didn’t spit up!! It’s a joyous day.
* The day you are able to set the baby down and they are content long enough for you to eat a meal! Without having to hold/nurse them with a napkin over their head to avoid dropping your peas on them. (Peas are one of the less messy things I’ve dropped on my nursing babies’ heads.)
* Babies’ mouths hurt when their teeth are pushing up against the gums causing inflammation. Once the tooth breaks the surface of the gums then the pain is generally MUCH less or gone. So seeing those tiny teeth poke through is a huge milestone for many reasons. Molars are especially painful (more surface area cutting to push through) but once those molars are through your baby can chomp through all sorts of new yummy foods. In my mind this also means decreased risk of choking, which is a big cause for celebration.
* The day they outgrow shoving everything into their mouth to see how quickly they can make you fly across the room to remove the choking hazard. I breathe a lot easier the day I see my little one find a choking hazard (they always find them, no matter HOW often you clean your floors) and not shove it straight into their mouth. Woo-hoo!
* My husband wants me to add that when the newborn finally grows a chunky enough rear & thighs that diapers fit better so they don’t have constant poop explosions. That’s a nice one! Those newborn tushes just don’t seem to fit the diapers as well.
* When your baby gets enough head control that they don’t constantly slump over in their carseat no matter what kind of headrest you provide, and the accompanying perk of being able to wear them more easily in the baby carriers (more variety in positioning in carriers, that is.)
* The day your baby first uses sign language (formal or something as simple as pointing) to communicate with you. You know your brilliant baby is developing in countless unseen ways, but that little peak of their desire to communicate with you (without screaming!) is indescribably amazing.
Enjoy ALL of your baby’s special milestones, as there is something new to celebrate every day and you’ll blink and see a ten year old standing in front of you.