One of the best and most precious gifts you can give your baby is their own book of My Baby Milestones. This is a book that you wouldn’t find in any bookshop, either on line or in real life. Its content is totally unique and copyrighted and cannot be copied from anywhere else. The writer of this book is you and its main and only character is your baby. This is because your baby is a special individual, and just like every other person on Earth, there is no one else who is exactly like them.
In your book of infant landmarks, you would log several types of significant events in the life of your child, as you will see further on this article. These include developmental “firsts”, special family occasions, and important cultural or religious events.
Every baby has their own pace of development, and even though there are general landmarks in the growth of a baby, nothing is cast in stone. Provided that your baby is healthy and all is well, you should not be too worried if they do not start crawling at the exact same time as the baby next door. At the same time, if your baby does not seem to be progressing, or something seems to be wrong, you should consult your paediatrician to find out if this is the way things are supposed to be.
For the sake of your own peace of mind, as well as to help your paediatrician observe your baby’s progress, it is a good idea to log every stage of your little ones progress. By so doing, you can be alert to any possible problems. At the same time, if you do think your child is only progressing slowly, you could take a quick look back at your baby development log and you will be very reassured when you see that in fact your little one is doing very nicely.
To make things easier, you could keep one basic diary for the clinic and a special album for your baby. In your maternal health book, you would simply write, for example:
10th May 2020
Age: Four months
Jack’s 1st tooth appeared!
In your baby’s album, however, you would record their first smile with a cute photograph and a caption such as, “10th Jan 2020 – Jack greets the world with his first smiles at four weeks old!”
There are apps too track your baby’s development but it is nice to print out and take a photograph with a millstone card each month so you can place that in your album or on your chart.
Another way to keep track of your baby’s growth and development is to make a special, colourful chart. If this is your first baby, you can download one from the Internet.
If, on the other hand, you have older children, you could get them to make one. In fact, sitting down with your baby’s older siblings, some felt tips, and paper to make such a chart could be a great project to help them bond with the family’s latest arrival. Draw up a list of categories, such as: 3 months; 6 months, 7 months, and so forth.
As each date passes, you can fill in the significant things that your little one has learnt to do around then. If you want to be exact, you can put in a date. You can also add photographs, and to make it more fun, your other kids can illustrate each stage. For example, your children would probably enjoy drawing a little baby on hands and knees to illustrate “baby crawling for the first time” or a spoon and bowl for “feeding baby with a spoon,” etc.
As your baby gets older, your log of their landmarks will become a record of your toddler’s milestones, and so forth, until such close monitoring is no longer necessary. Then, it can join the other baby memorabilia that you will have kept, such as the ultrasound pictures you preserved from your pregnancy and the hospital cards from the birth.
When your baby has grown up and has become a young adult, you and your family can present them with their own special album, with all of the most significant mementos and memorabilia of these early years. A book and chart of all the baby and toddler milestones of their lives and the life of the family is the greatest and most irreplaceable personal gift, celebrating the growth and development of your very special child. And hopefully your “baby” will take the precious gift of the love that you have given with it, and one day they will pass it on to their own child. As an adult with your own children there is nothing that they enjoy more than going through a book of your own baby milestones and seeing you as a young baby.