If he doesn’t have them yet, keep an eye out for Baby’s two top front teeth! Baby’s little chompers aren’t the only ways he looks different from when the two of you first met, but the pattern of how teeth grow in is one of the most predictable ways his looks might change. If his newborn curls grow in straight and fine a few months later, there’s no way to predict it.
Baby is getting better and better at picking up and moving small objects – his coordination has never been better! This is definitely a sign of maturity, but not so much maturity that it’s safe to ease up on watching out for choking hazards. In fact, as Baby gets better at picking potential choking hazards up, it’s up to you to get even better at keeping them away from him. If Baby is desperate to show off his pincer grasp, small, soft foods that he can eat easily, like small cereal puffs, small cubes of cheese, small cubes of tofu, or small pieces of fruit are a great way for him to hone his coordination safely, and have a snack at the same time.
Baby may be especially interested in toys around this time, too. Stacking toys, toys with buckets that objects go in and out of, and toys with moving parts, which let Baby show off all of his new motor skills for you may be a great hit.
And if you haven’t already, start reading to Baby! He is like a sponge right now – soaking up all of the information that he possibly can about the world. And given how short of a time it’s been since he showed up on this side of the womb, there is still a ton to learn. Reading to Baby helps build his vocabulary, and introduces him to many ideas that he couldn’t encounter in day-to-day life – how many farm animals does Baby play with in your average day? Some books also mix in other sensory learning, like textures, sounds, and smells.
- Says “mama” and “dada” and knows what they mean: This could start as early as 6 months, but most babies don’t fully understanding what they mean until around this time. It’s very possible that this hasn’t happened yet, and it’s also very possible that Baby even has another word or two in his back diaper pocket.
- Waves bye: If the first rule of parenting is “don’t panic,” the second is “make your baby wave bye to anybody and everybody once he is able to.” Babies love showing their new tricks, so Baby will be happy to humor you on this one.
- “Cruises” furniture: It’s not quite walking, but it’s not exactly not walking? Cruising involves using the help of furniture to shuffle from place to place, so while it’s probably not how you go about walking, it’s certainly on the right track.