Infants & Cognitive LeapsOne of the most beautiful things about the newborn phase is their growth. Within their first year, you may witness drastic changes in your baby that will surprise you. Here are some enlightening baby growth indicators.
One of the most beautiful things about the newborn phase is their growth. Within their first year, you may witness drastic changes in your baby that will surprise you. Their development will sometimes move at an astonishing rate.
Most moms are already aware of these developmental milestones. The birth weight and height will change fast, but beyond these, you may notice personality changes and swift learning progress.
Your little one might become curious about things around them, which signifies that it's time for you to be more cautious and thoughtful of their safety. Here are some enlightening baby growth indicators.
Growth Spurt and Leaps
Leaps usually refer to the mental or cognitive development of your child. Learning new skills and trying new things are the most common signs.
There is no accurate timetable for all babies. In a baby's first year, there is so much to watch out for: their lovely hands and feet, their beautiful faces, those infectious laughs and giggles, and the heartbreaking sobbing simply because they miss mom.
Some of these events are more enjoyable than others, but before you know it, you will already have a toddler that has their own personality and follows wherever you go (into the bathroom, anyone?). They will surely be a lot busier in the coming days, so here's what to watch out for.
Phases of Leaps
During their intense period of development, your baby will experience these changes:
Awareness of Their Surroundings
During the first few weeks of your baby's existence, your baby will behave in the same way they were in the womb. It is only when they reach the 5th week that they will start having a greater understanding of the world around them. You could notice that your baby is gazing at everything all of a sudden. Allow them to pursue their interests because it's all part of the process.
Visual and Musical Patterns
Recognizing patterns begins at the 8th week. More than just gaining clearer eyesight, newborns are slowly getting themselves entertained by the music they hear at home.
Your talking or singing voice, the water from the shower when you're about to take a bath, your touch, and other everyday noises - they take note of all these, and you will witness them smiling at you, kicking with excitement, grinning, and even yawning in response. During this phase, they may even start to vocalize and imitate the way you talk, so listen closely.
There are celebrated milestones in a newborn, and this is among the huge leaps. From discovering patterns, they will quickly transition to creating movements that indicate their emotions or reaction to people around them.
They will intentionally use their arms and legs while trying to reach things. You may see them attempt to kick and grasp objects that catch their attention. Smoothly and deliberately, they will try to engage in the world they are in.
Cause and Effect of Events
Another remarkable stage in your child’s development is the use of thorough observations. The 4th leap talks of the realm of events.
At around week 19, your little one will already know what happens after the usual things. The concept of gravity, for example, in its simple sense will sink in. If you throw a ball up, they will begin to understand it will fall down next.
This mental development will allow your child to adapt and develop their behavior towards every circumstance. Although they might appear to be a bit stubborn, they will be stimulated, and cognitively, enough for them to improve their skills and learn new ones.
However, at this time, your child may experience sleep regression. The excitement and challenge of learning may cause them to be fussy and feel energized to not want to sleep.
Your baby’s development at this stage may lead to inconvenient sleeping habits if you don't get to deal with sleep regression healthily. Getting enough sleep is essential for kids, and it will be easier for you to instill this in your child’s mind as you will always be reminded whenever your kid opts not to doze off.
When babies reach the 26th week, they will be able to understand the value of relationships. At this period, you might notice your baby is quite clingy and afraid of separation. It makes them uncomfortable not to have you around. Tantrums, screams, and cries inevitably follow. It can be frustrating to you, but this phase will slowly pass.
Signs of Leaps
You might need to put in extra work to help your growing child, so these are the most noticeable changes you need to cope with:
- Increased appetite – Whether breastfed or formula, you will have to satisfy your demanding little one who needs to feed more to sustain healthy growth.
- Changes in sleep time – Extra feedings may lead to extra waking too. So be prepared to wake up in the middle of the night for a midnight snack. Growth does not only connote progress, but sometimes it also means regression. During their growth spurt, your child may experience this. Although they might fight sleep, they will learn how to manage time.
- Grumpy and cranky – Even cheerful babies will become grumpy as they go through their growth spurts. The increase in appetite and changing sleep patterns will be quite disturbing for your little one, and it can cause them to be moody.
What Parents Can Do
Fill yourself with patience, love, and trust! These are very important during this phase. As your child goes through a lot of changes, they'll rely even more on you to provide guidance and stability.
- If your child is always hungry, then feed on demand. Extra meals are necessary to meet their body's new and old needs.
- Whenever you find it difficult to make your child sleep, try to make a sleep schedule. It's the best time to develop a routine.
- Pay attention to their needs and yours as well. Your baby’s overall health is your priority, but your health is equally important, too. So, try to nourish yourself and rest whenever you can. It will be difficult for you to adjust with your baby if you do not have the energy to cope with them and their demands on you.
- Let yourself be annoyed! The moment you get frustrated, that is when you will witness your child growing up (it's bittersweet) because that means they're becoming their own person. Your actions have a great impact on your baby’s development, so let them see it's okay to be frustrated, but show healthy ways to cope accordingly.
Things may be different, but find comfort knowing that these phases are just for the meantime and all part of the growing process. Try not to overthink and don’t unjustly blame yourself for not being perfect. Growth is supposed to be messy. Trust the process and be more patient with your baby and yourself. At the end of the day, everything you do for your baby to become their best self will all be worthwhile.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.