The expression “time flies” takes on a whole new meaning when you first become a parent. Your tiny, perfectly packaged newborn suddenly seems to go from burping and squinting one day, to eating, pulling silly faces and chasing you around the house the next. And you ask yourself, where on earth did those first 12 months go?
So if you find yourself frantically trying to keep up with that inevitable thing called ‘growth’, while also wanting to slow down and savour the small moments, here’s a list that might give you a few ideas.
25 beautiful everyday moments to share with your baby before their first birthday
1. Make faces with her in the mirror. From a young age, babies progress from thinking the baby in the mirror is another baby, to slowly realising that it’s their own reflection! It’s a beautiful process to observe.
2. Blow bubbles and watch as her face lights up the first time she sees them.
3. Rumble with him on the floor, tickle him, and laugh until you’re out of breath.
4. Take him out to eat his dinner alfresco style, with a view.
5. Let her eat watermelon, clad in just a nappy on a long, summer afternoon.
6. Snap some hilarious silly-face selfies together with your smartphone or tablet.
7. Take a trip on a bus, plane, train or ferry and watch his eyes pop out of his head!
8. Give her a bath in a bucket. Bubbles go well with this too!
9. Take him to the beach or lake, and let him play in the sand and splash in the water.
10. Take your first family photo. And then try to remember to take a couple more during that first year!
11. Give him his first haircut (if there’s enough hair to cut!)
12. Capture her reading a book with her grandparents.
13. Take him for a joy ride in the wheelbarrow.
14. Go for a walk to the nearest lake or pond and feed the ducks.
15. Take her for a swim in the local pool (I would recommend a heated one for the first time).
16. Take her to the zoo or a baby animal farm and teach her animal sounds (or watch as she practices the ones she’s learned).
17. Celebrate when construction workers set up a worksite opposite your house, and let your baby spend hours in happy distraction, watching them work.
18. Pick a sunny weekend and go for a bush walk. Remember to bring water and a hat!
19. Turn on the sprinklers and let her run or crawl through.
20. Go for a picnic by the sea or in the park.
21. Let him play a musical instrument and experiment with making sound.
22. Build some impossibly high towers and enjoy the brief moments before she moves in to demolish them.
23. Treat her to her very first juicy summer mango.
24. Crack open the old family albums and compare his facial expressions to other family member’s baby photos. Maybe he’ll have daddy’s smile or Uncle Sam’s ‘caught-in-the-act face’!
25. Simply watch from a distance as he engages in free, independent play. Let him experiment with the toys and everyday objects around him. You’ll be amazed at how his brain is making connections through even the simplest of actions and movements.
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There is so much that can be learned simply by watching children play. I got out the nesting rainbow blocks this morning and showed my 15 month old how to build a tower (though really I was mindlessly building it myself – I find playing with wooden blocks so relaxing ?). But he was more interested in turning them upside down and watching the semicircles rock back and forth. If I'd pushed past with 'my' agenda, he may not have had the chance to explore that. He would have given up quickly and moved on to something else. But he stayed rocking and spinning the blocks for a good 20 minutes. Being guided by your children's interests is immensely freeing. And so wonderful to watch their mind at work while they play. ? #mondaymusings #trustyourchild #childledplay #naturallearning #mulberrychildhood #letthembelittle #unstructuredplay #littlesoulfireslearns
What’s the most memorable moment you shared with your baby before they turned one? We’d love you to share.