This comprehensive baby calendar will give you an insight into the development of your baby, ranging from when they are first introduced to a bright new world full of sights and sounds to how they go on to develop their own character and way of being. The calendar explores the first year of a baby’s life to give a glimpse into what to expect. Of course, things will differ in some way between babies but this is still an excellent means to prepare yourself for things like your child moving onto solid foods and the time at which your baby becomes more independent and you need to watch out for them more closely. The calendar is organised weekly for the initial time after birth, but then moves onto a monthly outlook to give you practical advice.
During the first week, you will probably be feeling a mixture of excitement, trepidation and worry; this is completely normal and you will soon adapt to life as a new parent.
During this time, your baby will be adjusting to their new surroundings, taking in new sights and sounds and getting used to being out in the wide world; this is a huge contrast to the womb and it’ll take some time for them to adapt. You will probably notice your baby looking around a lot and staring at you and other people they see; their vision isn’t developed fully yet so they may only be able to see things very close to them. You will notice that your baby starts to stretch their limbs out as they get used to the space around them.
Try to bond with your baby during feeding times and by cuddling them lots and spending time looking at and touching them; it may not look like it, but they will be starting to recognise your face and voice during this time.
Newborn babies have tiny stomachs so they like to feed often, in small doses; most babies feed around every two-three hours but every baby is different.
During this first week or so, your midwife will visit you to see how you are doing and how the baby is getting on; if you have any concerns or questions you should not hesitate to discuss these with her. As a new parent, you should be trying to get as much rest as possible during this first stage; try napping while your baby sleeps during the day so that your body can recover from the birth.
At this time, your baby is still getting used to their new surroundings and you will notice them playing with and chewing their hands and watching people and objects. Try to spend time touching your baby and talking to them with your partner and other members of the family; most babies are very nosey and they like to see new things and new faces.
Some babies breathe heavily during the first couple of weeks, as they get used to their new home and the materials and dust around the house; this is normal but if you are particularly worried, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your GP (it is very unlikely that they will have a cold or breathing difficulties but it is worth seeing a doctor if you are really worried).
During this week, you may get a visit from your health visitor; if you have any concerns about your health or your baby’s health, you should discuss this with them; they will probably ask you about how your baby is feeding and generally ask about how you are and how you are getting on. The health visitor will examine both the baby and the mother to check progression and make sure any wounds or sores are healing well.
At this point, if you are breastfeeding, you and your baby may still be getting used to feeding and you may still be experiencing a few small teething problems; ask your health visitor or midwife for help if you’re struggling and persevere; it takes most people a few days to get used to breastfeeding.
Your baby is developing all the time and you may start to notice them blinking, grasping and holding your fingers and reaching for your nipple if you are breastfeeding. Your baby’s eyesight is developing all the time and you may start to notice them looking at you more often.
It is common for babies to develop colic at this stage; around 1 in 5 babies are affected by colic between 2 and 4 weeks of age. Colic is very common and is usually characterised by prolonged bouts of crying, which appear to happen for no reason; it can help to hold the baby while they are crying and rock them gently to reassure them. It can also help to bathe the baby in warm water. There is no known cause of colic and no specific treatment; in most cases, the symptoms of colic subside by the age of six months and there are no long-term effects.
If you are breastfeeding you may still be getting used to the feeding routine; all babies are different and some babies feed more regularly than others. If you are worried about your baby’s feeding habits, talk to your health visitor or GP.
By this time, your baby may be starting to move their limbs more, as their muscle strength increases and their coordination improves. Your baby may be starting to move their head from side to side and them may be able to life their head slightly when they are lying on their back.
As time goes by, your baby will start to get into a feeding and sleeping routine; all babies are different and some babies adapt to a routine earlier than other babies.
Your baby is becoming more alert and interested by the day, so encourage them to look at objects, pictures and images; many babies like to watch and stare at things as they rest before they go to sleep; lullaby lights (lamps which play music and project images onto the wall) and mobiles are good for this.
If you are struggling to cope with sleep deprivation because your baby is waking up regularly during the night, try to get some sleep during the day, while your baby naps or ask somebody close to you to look after your baby while you catch up on sleep for an hour or two; you may be able to ask your partner or a friend or family member to help out.
By this time, your baby is coming on leaps and bounds; you will notice that they start to follow you around and can hold your gaze for a significant period of time. Your baby will start to look at you and if you put a toy or object in front of them and move it around, their eyes will now be able to follow it. Your baby will also have greater control of their limbs and their head; you will start to notice that they life their head up and stretch their limbs out when they are lying or sitting down in a chair.
Your baby will also start to make noises at this stage; they will start to blow bubbles, hum and gurgle; it is beneficial for you to try and imitate the noises and talk back to your baby, as they will recognise your voice and respond to it.
Most mums find they are settled into some kind of routine by this point and they are used to their baby being around; however, it is perfectly normal to still be struggling with certain aspects of looking after a newborn and you may still be experiencing difficulties and struggling to cope with the emotions. If you are suffering from symptoms including feeling low and down, feeling guilty about being a bad mother, feeling like you’re letting your baby down and suffering from a lack of energy and drive, you may have postnatal depression. Postnatal depression is a common condition, so don’t feel scared or embarrassed to talk to either your health visitor or GP about it; they will bale to recommend a treatment, which will help you.
From 5 weeks old, your baby may start to smile; babies usually respond to people or objects so you may find they smile directly at you or other people; try to encourage them by smiling back at them, touching them and playing with them. Babies of this age like to look at bright colours and lights and you may catch them staring at lights or brightly coloured objects like earrings or necklaces and toys.
By this time, your baby will start to really recognise your face and other people who they see on a regular basis; they will respond to seeing different people and they will communicate with you by changing expressions and making noises. If they are really excited they may start to move their hands and legs, as well as making happy sounding noises.
At this stage, your baby will start to develop a real sense of character; they will start to smile and they may even be able to laugh. Your baby will respond to people they know and they will usually favour their parents, as they spend most time with them. They will probably smile more when they see you.
Babies of this age also start to respond to their surroundings more and they may move to the sound of music and noises and follow sounds and images. Many babies like listening to music so put some lively music on when your baby is playing and some soothing music when they are resting or going to sleep. You can also try singing to your baby and doing actions; in tome, they will start to copy you.
This is a really exciting time for parents, as their baby starts to respond to them and really starts to establish a relationship with them.
This is however a common time for mums to suffer from postnatal depression; if you experience any of the signs, don’t hesitate to talk to your health visitor or arrange to see your GP.
At this point, your baby is starting to respond to you and will stop doing what they are doing in order to listen to you or watch you if you come into a room or make a noise, for example. Your baby will appear more elongated now, as their limbs are stretched out and relaxed after being curled up in the womb.
When your baby is lying on their back or tummy, you may start to notice them trying to move around and they may be able to lift their head and hold it for a short period of time.
At this stage, you should encourage your baby to communicate with you and other people by singing to them, speaking to them and involving them in conversations with friends and relatives. Stimulate your baby by introducing new toys, showing them pictures and playing them music.
As your routine develops, you may find you are able to get some more sleep and your baby may start to wake up at certain times during the night, rather than at random intervals.
During the next month, you will notice several changes in your baby:
Week.1: at this stage, your baby will start to put weight on more rapidly than before (around 2lb each month) and they will be able to hold their head for a few seconds at a time. Your baby’s sight is also getting better and they are now able to see objects that are further away; they will also follow objects and images that are in front of them and respond to lights. At this stage, your baby may also begin to look at her hand as you move objects in front of her; this is known as ‘regarding’ and it is often pre-emptive of reaching out and grabbing things.
Week.2: at this stage, your baby will probably not be sleeping through the night, although some babies might. Most babies will still wake at least once every four or five hours but you should be able to get a bit more sleep than when the baby was younger. Your baby will also start to nap less frequently during the day and some babies will stay awake for around nice to ten hours a day. At this stage you should be encouraging your baby’s growth and development by playing with them and introducing them to new images and sounds; make sure you incorporate them in daily life and encourage older siblings to get involved in looking after them and playing with them.
Week.3: your baby will start to move much more and you should encourage them to stretch out and eel their limbs by lying them on a play mat on either their front or back; if the mat has noises and lights, this will encourage them to respond to them and turn their head towards them. Your baby will continue to progress and will be more enthusiastic around people they know and recognise; they will start to become more noisy and they will start to interact with you more.
Week.4: your baby is developing all the time and you should encourage this by reading to them during the day and in the evening, singing to them and talking to them. You may find that they start to move while you sing or play music and they may communicate with you if you talk to them. Reading to your baby is beneficial even at this early stage and it can be a great way to bond with your baby. Try to choose soft books that have bright colours and large pictures.
You will notice a huge difference in this coming month, especially in your baby’s movements and the way they react to you.
Week.1: your baby is getting stronger all the time and they should start to be able to support the weight of their head at this stage. They may not be able to hold it perfectly yet but this will come with time. During this stage, the muscles in the limbs will also become stronger and your baby’s coordination will improve, meaning your baby will move more fluently and freely. Most babies start to pay lots of attention to their parents at this point; as they recognise you, they may make noises or smile at you and they may reach towards you if somebody else is holding them or they are sitting in a rocker or lying down.
Week.2: at this stage your baby will start to respond positively to touch so encourage this by cuddling them and feeling them lots and introducing them to different textures; you can do this by getting them a play mat which has areas of different material on and giving them toys which feel different. Skin to skin contact will encourage bonding between you and your baby and will reassure them when they are tired or feeling upset or irritable.
Week.3: your baby will be getting a real sense of their surroundings now and will be enjoying being nosey and looking around. Most babies also enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror 9they won’t actually realise it is them in the mirror until much later on) so put them in a rocker chair and sit them in front of the mirror; they will look at their reflection and they may try to reach out and touch the mirror. Sitting in front of the mirror can also be comforting for babies if you leave the room for a minute, as it makes them feel like they’re not on their own because they can see the reflection.
Week.4: your baby will be eager to move around as they grow; some babies prefer to be on their front or back and some really don’t like being in certain positions. You may start to notice that babies try to roll over when they lying on their front or back and they will lift their head and start to look around when they are in this position; as they practice moving more, the strength in their leg and arm muscles will increase and they will start to move more easily and support themselves in certain positions. If your baby does succeed in rolling over, say well done, give them a cuddle and clap to show that they have done something special; this will encourage them to do it again and again.
Week.1: your baby will be getting stronger all the time and they will start to hold their head in positions and roll over during this month. Some babies like rolling and moving around, while others get anxious and may cry when they feel they are stuck on their front or back; encourage them to move by moving toys just out of their reach or moving your face to the side you want them to go; reassure them and help them if they try to roll and get stuck halfway round; if they manage to roll over, reward them to let them know they have done a good job, as this will encourage them to do it again and not be scared. At this stage, you may also find your baby starts to make clearer sounds; they may also react to sounds more proactively.
Week.2: at this stage your baby may be more than happy to entertain him or herself; lots of babies spend time playing with their hands and feet and most are quite happy to sit and play with toys or roll around on a play mat. Babies like to practise movements and action at this stage and you will probably notice them practising the same action over and over again.
Week.3: your baby will start to really develop a personality and you may find they start to become a little bit cheeky; they will start to communicate with you more and their facial expressions will become more pronounced and developed. Try to have fun with your baby and encourage them to play with you and communicate with you; listen to music, sing together and play with toys and books. Some babies are more sociable than others; some are show-offs and will love being around lots of people, while others may be a little more shy. You will find that your baby starts to laugh and chuckle more; encourage this by doing things that they like and think are funny, like tickling them or pulling a funny face.
Week.4: it can be really helpful to get your baby into a routine at night time; this way they know when it s bedtime and you can start to get a bit more sleep. Try to do the same thing every night; give them a feed, bath them, get them into their pyjamas and read them a story; try to involve your partner and other members of the family in this routine, as this will encourage bonding and family togetherness. You will find that your baby sleeps for longer periods of time now and they may not nap as much during the day.
Week.1: at this point your baby may have become very attached to you and they may cry when you leave the room or reach out for you when other people are holding them; this is a good sign but it can cause problems when you want to go out for a bit so try not to panda to every need and try to encourage your baby to bond with other people, including your friends and relatives and their siblings, so that they can adapt to being with other people. You will also feel less guilty if they are used to the people you may leave them with for a bit while you do some errands or have an hour or two to yourself. You may also notice that your baby reaches up towards you when they are lying on the floor or on the bed or sitting in a chair; they may also smile at you and make noises at you so that they get your attention.
Week.2: at this stage your baby may be slightly wary of other people and you may notice that they cry when you leave them or pass them onto other people; some babies get anxious when they can’t recognise anyone around them, while others revel in all the attention given to them by new people. Try to encourage your baby to spend time with other people and reassure them when they are being held by other people. Don’t be embarrassed if you give your baby to a friend or relative and they start screaming; this is completely normal and they will get used to new people as they meet them more often and become more independent. Try to share activities and books and toys your baby likes with other people so that they can join in playtime and get involved in your baby’s development; this is especially important if the person is going to be spending a lot of time with your baby in the future.
Week.3: your baby is going from strength to strength and they will now be able to recognise their favourite toys, books and sounds. Try to actively encourage playtime, bring toys into the bath and get the whole family involved at bedtime. Your baby will now have become very familiar with their surroundings and they will develop quickly, learning new actions and making new faces and sounds every day.
Week.4: your baby will probably be becoming noisier and more communicative and you can probably hold a conversation of sorts with them (obviously this does not contain proper speech but a series of sounds and noises). Your baby will also enjoy playing with new toys and seeing new faces and they will start to show a real sense of character and sense of humour around this time. Your baby is getting stronger every day and they be starting to move more independently and become more inquisitive.
During the next month, you will recognise real changes and progression in your baby, as they start to try solid foods and become stronger and more independent.
Week.1: some babies start to develop teeth from this age; in some cases, babies may already have some teeth and in others it may be a while before the first tooth appears, but on average teeth start to appear from this age onwards. If your baby is teething, they may become clingy and emotional and you may notice changes in their appetite and the content of their nappies (some babies suffer from diarrhoea when they are teething and they may get nappy rash); there are gels and creams available to help ease the pain of teething and you can given them infant pain relief medication (make sure you ask a pharmacist or GP before you do this). Once your baby has teeth you should start to look after them by brushing them gently. From this age, you can start to introduce solid foods, as well as giving your baby breast or formula milk. Start by giving them pureed vegetables and fruits; let them get used to the feel, taste and texture of the foods; it is completely normal for them to spit them out at first but they should soon adapt and start to enjoy different foods.
Week.2: once your baby has tried a few foods, introduce new foods including different kinds of mashed up fruits and vegetables, mashed up pasta and potato and finger food (babies often like to hold the food they are eating so try and give them sticks of carrot to suck or little pieces of toast). If you have any questions about moving onto solid foods, you can ask your health visitor or GP about this; you may wish to discuss this with them if you have a family history of allergies as this may affect your baby. You may also notice at this time that your baby prefers to use one hand, rather than the other; don’t try to change their preference, just let them get on with it.
Week.3: your baby will be getting stronger and stronger by the day and they may start to sit up whilst being supported, by a cushion for example. Encourage them to sit and play with an A-frame or look in the mirror; as they get stronger and become used to sitting, they will get more confident and start to sit on their own; make sure they are on a soft surface and away from dangerous objects and hard surfaces if you are trying to get them to sit independently, as they may fall.
Week.4: your baby will be getting used to trying new foods by now and you may wish to start introducing home cooked meals that you and the rest of your family are having (make sure you do not add sugar or salt if you are doing this and blend the meal before giving it to your baby); try to integrate your baby into family mealtimes and ensure they are getting plenty of healthy food to help them grow and develop. At this stage, you may also want to encourage them to use a cup, rather than a bottle; reward them for being able to hold and drink from the cup by clapping and telling them that they are clever; cups are preferable to bottles because the teats can affect the growth and development of the teeth. You may also notice that your baby starts to gravitate to certain toys and soft toys; it is very common for children to have favourite teddy bears or blankets, as this can be reassuring for them and act as a comforter. By this stage, your baby should be sleeping through the night and you should be in a steady routine of feeding and sleeping during the day.
Week.1: as your baby gets used to eating new foods, you may find that they want to feel the food and grab the spoon when you feed them; let them touch their food and try to feed themselves, as this will encourage them to try new foods and develop an interest in food. You will probably find that they enjoy eating food that they can hold themselves; if they haven’t got many teeth yet, give them something that will dissolve as they suck on it, such as a piece of toast.
Week.2: you may start to notice your baby becoming more responsive when you call their name and you will find that they are communicating with you a lot more; sometimes they may babble away for a long period of time, as if they are telling you a story or talking to you. Your baby will be finding everything around them more interesting and you will find that they are grabbing hold of things, reaching for toys and observing everything around them. You will notice that your baby is becoming more inquisitive and curious every day and their personality will be developing all the time; you may find that they start to find it funny when you tell them not to do something; they’re not being naughty, just a bit cheeky!
Week.3: your baby may be getting their first teeth or getting a few more teeth at this stage and they may be struggling with some nasty side-effects, including a high temperature, rosy cheeks and painful gums. To help your baby, you can give them infant pain relief medication and rub cooling gel into their gums; it also helps to get them cool teething rings, which they can chew on.
Week.4: by this time, you will probably notice a difference in the way your baby cries; you will be able to determine whether they are in pain or if they are upset or if they just want a bit of attention. Your baby’s different emotions will become more obvious and they will really be coming out of their shell and showing off their sense of humour and personality. Your baby will also be copying actions and sounds that you make. Most babies will be sitting independently by this point as well.
Week.1: as your baby gets more comfortable with sitting on their own, you may notice them start to reach forwards to grab toys or books; soon they will start to learn to get into the position to crawl and this is the first step. Your baby will now have full control of their head and the muscles in their legs and arms will have become much stronger. When your baby is lying on their front or back you will find that they try to lift themselves up and hold themselves in a certain position. By this stage your baby’s eyes will have changed colour to the colour they will stay for the rest of their lives.
Week.2: your baby will now have a firm grasp and will be able to hold toys tightly; they will also have goof finger and thumb control and improved co-ordination. By now, your baby will be sleeping around 10-13 hours during the night and you should have a routine in place. You may be thinking about going back to work around this time and it will help your baby to have a routine so that the person who is looking after your baby can take over with as little disruption as possible; if your baby is going to nursery, you can talk to the staff about your baby’s routine and they can try to stick to it.
Week.3: your baby’s eyesight is now almost fully developed and you will notice them staring and looking at new objects, people and places. At this stage, your baby may be starting to get themself into the crawling position, by raising their bottom and shoulders up when they are lying down; most babies get stuck in this position while they are trying to move forwards; in time, their strength will increase and they will be able to get into the position properly and move forwards. You can encourage them to crawl by placing toys just out of their reach and moving to the other side of the room and encouraging them to come towards you.
Week.4: your baby may be starting to pull themself up and move around the furniture at this stage; as they learn to do this, they will probably fall down quite a lot but most of the time their landing will be cushioned by their nappy; try not to let them stand up on hard surfaces and try to keep them away from sharp corners. Their sitting and crawling will be coming on and they may start to crawl properly.
Week.1: at this stage your baby will be practising their crawling; all babies are different and some will be up and raring to go by now, while others may just be getting to grips with the crawling position. Encourage your baby to crawl by putting toys just out of their reach and moving away from them and encouraging them to follow you. Once your baby starts crawling, you need to keep an eye on them as they can vanish from sight in a second; make sure you get stair gates to prevent them from falling down the stairs and put locks on the kitchen cupboards so that your baby can’t get hold of any dangerous substances.
Week.2: at this stage, your baby’s memory will be developing and they will have a good sense of their surroundings; they may start to remember where certain things, like their favourite toys, are kept, for example. Your baby will be a lot more active now and you may find they have a larger appetite; by now they should be well used to eating solid foods and should be eating home cooked meals; it is a good idea to make a large amount of food for your baby and then freeze it; you can use trays to make ice cubes of food for your baby. Try to feed your baby at the same time as the family sits down for dinner; this will get them used to family mealtimes and encourage bonding with other siblings.
Week.3: your baby will probably be whizzing around quite quickly now and they will be starting to master walking around the furniture. You will also find that their communication is improving all the time and they may be starting to formulate words like mama and dada. Encourage the development of your baby’s speech and communication skills by talking to them, singing to them and making noises (like animal noises) with them.
Week.4: your baby will be more sociable now and may start to smile at strangers and people they know and wave goodbye. Some babies are more reticent than others but most will be becoming noisier by the day and they may be starting to play and chat with other babies if they go to nursery or see other babies.
Week.1: your baby’s communication skills are getting better all the time and they will be getting better at copying the noises you make; they may start to sing along with you and they may imitate your actions; most babies learn to clap and wave around this age. Encourage your baby to talk and chat to you (obviously this will not involve full words at this stage); try not to talk in baby words, but in full, properly pronounced words so that they learn to speak properly and formulate the sounds correctly.
Week.2: your baby will now be confident with crawling and sitting up and will probably be busy making a mess of your house! Try to be relaxed about tidying and encourage them to play; try to play with them and encourage them to learn while they play.
Week.3: your baby is getting more confident when standing and moving around the furniture and you may notice them start to let go for very short periods of time. They may also start to try and bend down while they are standing but it may take them a while to pluck up the courage to take that first step.
Week.4: your baby will be comfortable in their own surroundings now but they may be anxious when you take them into a new environments, such as another person’s house or a childminders or nursery; babies are very good at adapting to different situations and in time they will get used to new settings; some babies are raring to go and love the excitement of new people and new places, while others are shy and get distressed once their mum or dad leaves them; if this is the case, try not to worry as they will get used to it much quicker than you think. If you are worried about leaving your baby, some nurseries have CCTV so you can see how your baby is getting on without actually being near them; this will help to put your mind at rest.
Week.1: at this stage, your baby will probably be spending a lot of time propped up against and moving around your furniture; as their confidence builds, they may start to let go and try to walk. Try to encourage your baby to take steps by walking around with them, holding their hands and then just a few fingers and then just one finger; once your baby can walk just holding on to one of your fingers, you can start trying to let go completely. At first you will find that they fall down quite regularly but they will usually land on their nappy so they won’t injure themselves. Some babies enjoy crawling and are quite happy to use this means of moving around, while others will be desperate to get up on their feet.
Week.2: your baby will be getting stronger all the time, their muscles will be getting more toned and they will be moving around with more conviction and speed. Once your baby starts to crawl and walk lots they will need more to eat; if your baby was a bit podgy you will find that they lose quite a lot of weight once they start to move around. Most babies of this age eat three meals a day plus snacks in the afternoon. Most babies are starting to use cups most of the time, rather than bottles.
Week.3: babies of this age like dancing and moving to the rhythm of music, playing with toys and flicking through books; most babies like books that are full of bright colours and have different materials, which you can feel and touch. Your baby will also be starting to clap and will make noises when you sing to them.
Week.4: at this stage, your baby will be practising their standing and walking around the furniture; some babies will be able to stand alone at this point in time, while others may still need a little support. You should be starting to encourage your baby to say please and thank you when you give them food or toys; this will encourage them to say it when they are older and develop good manners.
Over the course of the last twelve months your baby has changed an incredible amount; they have gone from being completely dependent on you to being their own individual character, with likes and dislikes, a sense of humour and their own unique personality. Over the course of the year, they have learnt to roll over, sit up, crawl and the likelihood is that by twelve months they will be starting to take their first few steps. Your newborn baby has grown and developed into a little person. As your baby starts to become more confident with their walking, you can take them for their first pair of shoes.
Mother, Baby and Beyond
- Pregnancy & Birth Guide
- Mother, Baby and Beyond
- Baby calendar
- Newborn Baby’s Check-ups and Tests
- Newborn Babies’ Appearance
- Bonding with Your Baby
- A Guide to Sleeping for Mother and Baby
- Coping with a Crying Baby
- Sibling Bonding
- The Father’s Role
- Postnatal Health
- Baby Predicaments
- Sex after Childbirth
- Weaning and Moving onto Solid Foods
- Travelling with a Newborn Baby
- Losing Baby Weight
- Baby Health Concerns
- Caring for your child
- Looking after Twins
- Baby vaccinations
- Caring for your newborn
- Mother and Baby Myths
- Mother and baby development FAQ
- Pregnancy & Birth Guide
- Guide to Getting Pregnant
- Guide to Pregnancy
- Guide to Giving Birth
- Guide to Pregnancy Tests
- Mother, Baby & Beyond Guide
- Guide to Pain Relief in Labour
- Guide to pregnancy scans
- Pregnancy calendar guide
- Baby calendar guide
- Child development calendar guide
- Guide to miscarriage
- Guide to breastfeeding
- Guide to sleeping for mother & baby
- Guide to birth defects
- Guide to Post Natal depression