A few weeks ago, I wrote a list about great things about the newborn phase. Lots of you loved it, so this is the next in the series: what are the great things about 6-12 months?
I think that by the time you’re getting to 6 months, you’re starting to get your head around being a parent. You’re into the swing of things… and then things change. You start weaning. Your baby’s sleep changes – for better or worse. You might be getting ready to return to work.
But, in the spirit of being positive, here are the best things about 6-12 months:
1. The long naps!
- In my experience, babies don’t sleep all the time… They sleep quite often, for short periods of time. And then some time after they turn 6 months, those naps get longer. Then, your baby is regularly sleeping for 2 hours a couple of times a day. It’s amazing! Yes, you can sometimes find it a bit limiting if you want to be out and about, but after those months of being frustrated that you can’t do anything, you can finally get things done.
- I have got a very old post about Ben’s routine at 8 months – Samuel is actually very similar.
2. The personality
For the first six months, your baby can’t really do very much. Then they start to be able to sit up, to wave, to clap… You finally feel like you’re getting something back. They start to show little clues to their personalities and have toys that they definitely prefer.
3. The happiness when they finally crawl
Again, it’s really interesting when they start to crawl, because you see their interests and their personalities – and how determined they can be to get what they want! The crawling is often preceded by weeks of frustration, so it’s a relief when they finally get it.
4. The sitting up
Both of my babies have been quite sicky in their first few months. For both of them, once they’ve started sitting up independently, this has reduced massively. It’s such a relief! It’s also really lovely when they can sit and play with toys – bashing them together, waving them around – for a longer period of time.
Now, I know weaning is also a source of massive stress and anxiety for some people, and I have to say, the mess isn’t my favourite, but it has massive benefits. Firstly, it takes up a bit of time and adds some structure to your day, which is nice. Secondly, you’re getting to see someone try new food for the very first time. That is exciting in itself. Finally, you now have a brilliant distraction tool, especially once you can get them eating rice cakes. Samuel can pretty much be distracted from anything with a rice cake.
So there you have it. I was going to write a bit about going back to work too, but I’ll save that for another post… That’s another leap which brings mixed emotions for me too.
For me, 6-12 months has its real highs and lows, so it’s a time when you do really need to focus on the positives! We’ve also done a bit of sleep training around 8 months with our boys, and it’s been quite successful, but we’ve been driven to it after 8 months of very broken night time sleep. I think it’s also when you stop thinking of your baby as a newborn, but they are definitely not a toddler yet. There’s a temptation to wish time would stop and they’d be a baby for ever.
I do think it’s a time when you really develop confidence with your baby. They don’t seem quite as fragile, and they can express themselves a bit more. It’s also a real time of firsts – first food, first tooth, first word, sometimes first steps. It’s definitely a time to have the camera out and record as much as you can, because these babies seem to change day by day!