Parenting "Scary" Moments

Embracing Growth: Top 6 Exciting (Yet Nerve-Wracking) Milestones in Your Baby's Development

The first few years of your baby's life have many milestones. It often feels like as soon as we get used to one phase or stage, we're onto the next! Between the new skills they're constantly acquiring, growth, and behavioral changes, it feels like we can't blink without missing something!

While most of these changes are exciting, positive, and oh-so-much-fun to watch, there are some milestones that can be a bit...well...scary! We've picked the top six milestones that we're asked about here at Moms on Call and demystified them. Say so long to the scaries because we're giving you the information and tools you need to feel confident about these exciting milestones!

Developmental Milestone #1: Starting Solids

There is no date set in stone for when to begin. Typically, around 4-6 months of age, your baby will hit these developmental milestones to progress toward beginning solids.

  • Sitting with minimal support
  • Good head control
  • Reaching or showing interest in your food

This motor development is progressive. We want to offer 1 new food at a time (making sure they don’t have a reaction), textures over a few weeks, and variety in both texture and taste daily. Moms on Call breaks down solid food progression in our new and improved Baby Food Introduction Calendar with bonus content that includes sample menu options (our favorite part!) and suggested lists by food group and age.

Being prepared is important. This is also a great time to take or refresh your memory on CPR and choking so that you’re confident in your ability to handle anything that may arise!

Developmental Milestone #2: Outgrowing Naps

Typically, around 3 years of age, we hit more bad nap days than good ones. The reality is that our day-to-day schedules can be crazy, especially in the summertime. When will your little one outgrow their nap completely? We give them “nap opportunities” all the way up until their fifth year.

Between 3-5 years of age, we offer the nap opportunity. This is a time to take away the stimulation of the day. Where little ones can cry, play or sleep (they often choose to play!).

Here is what it looks like:

  • 1.5 hour minimum
  • 3 hours maximum if they actually fall asleep.
  • In the afternoon.

Even our little ones need breaks from the day. We need time to decompress, too -- whether that’s laundry, thinking a complete thought, or even staring at a wall -- so that we can be the best parents we can be!

Developmental Milestone #3: Soothing Rounds

Once your baby hits 2 weeks of age and is past their birth weight, we can begin soothing rounds. With the right things in place, this isn’t scary!

Let’s set you up for success!

  • Follow along with Moms on Call’s routine and schedules.
  • The right swaddle blanket and swaddle (under 12 weeks of age).
  • The correct sound machine. We recommend the LectroFan Classic!

When a baby is put down or wakes in the middle of the night, practice the pause, wait a few minutes, then go in and try a few (or all) of the following:

  • Double check swaddle.
  • Reposition if needed.
  • Shush and gently jiggle.
  • Offer paci.

In a transitional sleep cycle, your baby will wake, fuss and go back to sleep. Waking due to hunger? After 15-30 mins or the third soothing round, go in and feed. Watch our soothing video here to see it in action.

Developmental Milestone #4: Dropping the Swaddle

This may be the scariest moment of all. But the reward is so worth it because we are working towards 10-12 hours of sleep.. in a row! With a few things in place, we can get through this within 3-5 days!

Here’s how to start!

  • Moms on Call routine (At this age, follow along with the 8-16 week Typical Day schedule).
  • Sound machine (Notice that this is a recurring piece to the puzzle!)
  • Footed PJs, at least until they are rolling easily.

These first few nights are rough. You will get through this! With the sleep environment in place, begin the nighttime routine, feed well, and put your baby down. They may cry on and off and wiggle about to find their comfy spot. By the third night, your baby will be waking and singing with the birds. Remember, they are safe, they are loved, and they can learn to do this!

Check out the Moms on Call guidelines in the 0-6 month book and online course to get you through this big transition! This blog post gives you a glimpse into what this looks like!

Developmental Milestone #5: Going Back to Work

This can be an emotional roller coaster! But you can do it, and here’s how to begin.

  • Find a daycare or caregiver you trust!
    • Have a list of questions for the caregiver or daycare. (Get with friends or family with littles to get their help with this one!)
  • Have a practice day a week or so before you start so you can be prepared!
  • If breastfeeding, keep your baby familiar with the bottle from the get-go!
  • Make bottles the night before.
    • Fresh breastmilk is good in the fridge for 3-4 days.
    • Thawed breastmilk OR mixed formula is good in the fridge for 24 hours.
    • In the Typical Day schedule, Moms on Call breaks down amounts and feedings.
  • Stay consistent with the schedule!
  • Pumping mommas, keep a checklist and pack your pump the night before!
  • Check out our Returning to Work from Maternity Leave post for more.

You will do great. These adjustments take about 2 weeks. Take it day by day. Your family is adaptable, capable, and strong!

Developmental Milestone #6: Traveling for the First Time

Traveling with your little one for the first time is a big step! Follow these 5 tips to make it as stress-free and enjoyable as possible!

  1. Feed and go!
    • If driving: Feed and then hit the road. Stop as needed for gas (or diaper explosions-yikes!), feed again, and then get back on the road!
    • If flying: Feed (even if it is not a full feeding) around take-off and landing times. Use a bottle for babies and offer toddlers a sippy cup. (Don’t forget to bring snacks too!)
    • It is okay to be of “routine” on travel days.
  2. Feed to the timezone you’re in.
    • Upon arrival, pick up with the next feeding time, regardless of the time zone. Feed to the time of where you are!
  3. Get up and go!
    • The day after travel, start your day on time.
  4. Let life happen.
    • Consistency is key! Having a few key markers in the day creates familiarity for our little ones. Moms on Call parents are used to seeing “C” times in our schedules! This is specifically for these crazy days. Hit your “C” times, and keep the evening routine in place when possible.
    • Stick to the schedule as much as life allows!
    • It is okay if you miss a nap or have a late night. Remember, our babies are resilient!
  5. Pack by category.
    • Breaking your packing list up into categories of things your little one will need and activities they’ll be doing (clothing, diapers, sleeping, feeding, playing, etc.) will help to ensure you don’t forget anything!
    • Check out our favorite traveling products for your baby and toddler!

Take a big sigh of relief! These developmental milestones aren't so scary, are they? And now, you’re prepared for it all and have the tools in place to master each of these. You will do great!!

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