By Jenna Smith
As a parent, you always prepare for the birthdays and big holidays, spending weeks preparing for a fun party, shopping all year long for Christmas gifts. These are important times in a child’s life, but there are other very important milestones that parents don’t always see coming -getting and losing the first teeth, crawling and walking, a baptism or first communion, a first haircut, the first day of school, high school graduation.
Teething. Babies normally start teething around six months, but it can happen anywhere between three and twelve months. Primary teeth are breaking through the gums which can be painful, causing some babies to get fussy due to swelling and soreness -but some babies seem to be unaffected by teething. For those babies experiencing pain, try teething rings, frozen wet wash cloths, or even frozen bagels.
Crawling and Walking. At six to nine months parents need to be prepared to start child-proofing their homes because at this age babies begin to crawl and reach for things and even pull items off the shelf. At nine to twelve months you can expect your baby to start taking their first steps; a huge milestone in a child`s life and extremely important to their development.
Baptisms and First Communions. Not physical development but rather spiritual. Although an infant may not understand the significance at the time, they will be able to appreciate it later in life. Make sure to commemorate a milestone such as a first communion or anything similar by buying a gift they can save (and therefore remember) forever . For tips on first communion and similar gifts, see them here.
First Day of School. Many parents cry at their child’s first day of school (some each year), because it’s hard seeing your child go into the world without you and to realize the rapid passing of time and g rowth in your little one. In these ways, it is often more difficult for the parent, but still a child can be terrified at the thought of leaving a parent’s side. It is important to prepare your child for the first day of school so that she understands where and why she is going and how she should behave. To memorialize the occassion, take a first day of school photo, mark each child’s height on the wall, and maybe surprise him or her with a small gift.
From infancy to adolescence, a child will experience many more milestones, some significant for physical development and others for emotional wellbeing. All milestones in a child’s life are imperative to their growth as a person. The important thing is to be prepared for each and every one of them.
Being ready will make you a better parent. You can help your child prepare for these events that might be overwhelming, and also, in the end, commemorate them for future enjoyment.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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