The first few years of a baby’s life is jam-packed full of firsts; the first gummy smile that makes your heart melt, the first time they roll, then sit up by themselves, and then crawl. Their first taste of solid food, that first little razor-sharp tooth, the first step and the first word.
As parents, we happily make note all of these little milestones, of course we do – let’s be honest, babies are fairly boring otherwise.
However despite celebrating these traditional milestones, they don’t really change life massively for the better. A mobile baby is actually a bit of a pain in the bum, feeding kids… well that’s basically something you now have to do three times a day, seven days a week for the rest of forever, and once they start talking they really just don’t stop.
Parents: These are 18 of the milestones that you really should be looking forward to in your child’s first few years.
These are the total game changers, my friends.
1. The first time they put their own dummy back in
Hallelujah, this kid might actually learn to self settle at some point!
2. The first time they don’t wake you up by screaming
I think we can all agree that there’s nothing quite like waking up to the furious cries of an angry baby to start your day (or middle of the night) just right.
3. The first time they entertain themselves when they wake up
Admittedly some babies do this and some preschoolers are entirely incapable, but it’s good when it happens as long as ‘entertaining themselves’ doesn’t involve squirting full tubes of toothpaste around the bathroom or painting the walls with what they found in their nappy.
4. The first time they get themselves a snack
Self sufficiency is within arm’s reach, even if you do have to move everything decent into the higher cupboards now. See also: First time they make themselves breakfast.
5. The first time you can leave the house with a normal bag
You know you are a mum to a baby when you have to pack four outfits, milk, a bunch of muslins and a multipack of nappies just to nip to Co-op. Now my kids are way past the nappies and potty training stage, I take my little handbag rather than a huge changing bag everywhere I go and BOY am I smug (and often woefully underprepared).
6. The first time they sleep through the night AND you do too
If they slept but you didn’t, that’s not a win; that’s just cruel.
7. The first time you can wash their hair without them reacting like you are pouring acid on their head
It makes it a lot easier to look the neighbours in the eye if it doesn’t sound like you’re sacrificing a child every evening.
8. The first time they understand the concept of bribery
A bag of Cadbury Buttons and you can achieve anything.
9. The first time they can climb into and out of their own car seat
(And do so willingly). You can start packing and unpacking the car without going back or forth to the house or putting bags on the floor. Hurrah!
10. The first time they ask you to turn Peppa Pig off and watch something else
Unless that something else is Paw Patrol, and then you’ll start missing Peppa.
11. The first time they admit they’re actually tired
And maybe even ask to go to bed! NB Some kids probably never do this either.
12. The first time you go out of the house without a buggy
Because not only can they now walk, they can do so at an almost reasonable speed and be trusted not to make a break for it into oncoming traffic.
13. The first time they have a sleepover with someone else
And you’re not too damn tired to do something other than have an early night.
14. The first time they can take themselves for a wee on their own
And remember to wash their own hands!
15. The first time they manage to vomit into a bin/bowl/toilet
As opposed to all over their bed and you.
16. The first time you can let them disappear at soft play
When they can be trusted to stay out of the baby area and you can finally take a book and clock off for a bit. Hurrah!
17. The first time they say ‘I love you’ totally unprompted
Makes it feel totally worth it, for a few minutes at least!
18. The first time they don’t need their butt wiped after a poo
I hear this happens at some point…