Baby is getting so much better at communicating with you as she grows, but what about with other children? It’s entirely possible that Baby may grow into a social butterfly as she gets older. These days, though, even if she is interested in other children when she sees them, there’s a good chance that, on the playground, she is 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 her 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 her 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 she is 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 her first birthday, she will be able to drink cow’s milk is exciting, but not nearly as exciting as her first-ever birthday cake!
As Baby continues to develop all of her skills, she creeps closer and closer to toddlerdom every single day. She may be limited to some silly-looking walking and semi-random outbursts of “mama” right now, but in just a little while she 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 her what it means to really groove, Baby might already be able to dance her diaper off.
- Shakes head ‘no’: Baby has probably understood what ‘no’ means for a few months now, but around this time, she is mature enough to communicate ‘no’ for herself. ‘No’ is also a common early word for babies, but it’s possible that she starts signaling ‘no’ before she can say it.