It’s been a year since you and your baby first met and what a whirlwind it has been for both of you. So this milestone is as much for you Mum as it is for your baby. You know how baby is celebrating his birthday but what are you doing to celebrate your journey?
It’s time to start getting really organised and planning the future for you, baby and the family as the next years will whizz by, before you even know it baby 2, 3 or more have arrived! And baby’s first birthday party will certainly be one of those big memory moments so if you haven’t already started looking at ways to keep memories of your growing baby you might want to consider doing so. At this age babies will enjoy learning how to use crayons and paint – let him be creative and you’ll have lots of pictures to remember this time. Take photographs of baby taking those wobbly first steps – letting your baby push the pushchair is a great way to help with learning to walk and also uses up lots of energy. Your baby will be getting more interested in communicating with their 2-3 words they may have so far. But if they aren’t ready for words try using Makaton signs to help them learn words and communicate with you. Your baby will also get a sense of humour – finding it funny to play ’dropsy’ with his toys – don’t join in the fun – let him pick them up himself! But what about you – what are your milestones at 12 months post-birth – where are you heading? Are you going back to work? Have you checked out your child carer? Are you planning the next baby? How close in age would you like them to be? Are you wanting to take up that hobby you have always wanted to do – arts and crafts, exercising, volunteering? Are you planning your baby’s education as you know you’ll be going back to work in a year’s time – finding and getting into the right schools sometimes has to start as early as 2 years – make sure you check which schools are ‘feeder schools’ so that you know there will, hopefully, be a seamless move from school to school for your little one. You may now just be feeling that you’re getting a handle on this ‘mothering’ business and you aren’t alone in that feeling. It can take up to a year for most of us to feel that we have successfully raised our baby to be 1 year old and you should feel very proud of yourself. Make sure you have a special celebration for your milestone ‘A Year as a Mum’. Enjoy time to yourself and/or have a party with friends and family or just have a quiet, weekend away with your partner (without the little one). Your baby is growing and hitting milestones faster than you can keep up with his changes. He is becoming an independent person who still needs his mummy most of the time. But there are going to be times when he really knows your there but doesn’t need you directly. Use these opportunities to do something for yourself and make your own little milestones.