Baby is getting so much better at communicating with you as they grow, but what about with other children? It’s entirely possible that Baby may grow into a social butterfly as they get older. These days, though, even if they are interested in other children when they see them, there’s a good chance that, on the playground, they are more of a lone wolf.
This is completely natural for babies and young toddlers. The idea of “parallel play” describes how babies and toddlers play near each other but, except for when they occasionally tussle over a toy they both want, don’t pay too much attention to each other. This period of parallel play can last for a while. So when will Baby start to make their first baby-aged friends? You’ve probably got around another year until then, or at the very least, a few months.
This may be important to remember, because Baby’s first birthday is coming up fast. There’s no reason your family has to go for a traditional party, although if you would enjoy one, and you think Baby might, too, there’s also no reason not to.
Baby’s first birthday isn’t the only thing coming up in the next few weeks, but many of the other big milestones in their path aren’t nearly as fun. Even if you love Baby’s pediatrician, trips to the doctor’s office are rarely a good time. This time especially, Baby is going to have to be a very brave, big kid, since they are due for another round of vaccinations, including measles, mumps, and rubella, and the chickenpox (also called varicella – these vaccines may be delivered in one shot (MMR-V) or as two (MMR and varicella). And the fact that, after their first birthday, they will be able to drink cow’s milk is exciting, but not nearly as exciting as their first-ever birthday cake!
As Baby continues to develop all of their skills, they creeps closer and closer to toddlerdom every single day. They may be limited to some silly-looking walking and semi-random outbursts of “mama” right now, but in just a little while they will be running around drawing on the walls, screaming “look at me!”.
- Puts objects in containers and takes them out: Try using a container with a small opening so that Baby has to work to fit objects in the container using trial and error. This shows a number of different skills, like an understanding of object permanence, as well as the small motor coordination to make precise movements.
- “Dances” to music: It’ll be a little while until Baby can do the Waltz, Tango, or Dougie, but if you play music now and show them what it means to really groove, Baby might already be able to dance their diaper off.
- Shakes head ‘no’: Baby has probably understood what ‘no’ means for a few months now, but around this time, they are mature enough to communicate ‘no’ for themself. ‘No’ is also a common early word for babies, but it’s possible that they start signaling ‘no’ before they can say it.