I think we’re all in agreement when we say: “Where did that year go?!” Before they reach that (terrifying) milestone, read up on 14 things to experience with your baby for a wonderfully rounded first year of life!
- A Nature Walk
Breathe in that sweet, fresh air and explore Mother Nature with baby. Sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D (but remember that baby has sensitive skin, so indirect sunlight is safest). Nature walks are a fun way of showing your baby what exists outside the house. It’s fantastic for mum too - a chance to get some exercise and reconnect with the rest of the world.
- Professional Photoshoot
You can take all the baby pictures you want on your phone, but they’ll never be quite as good as what a professional photographer can capture. The best part of having someone else behind the camera is that you, your partner and your baby can all get in one shot, without guessing with the timer. There are plenty of reasonably priced studios that offer family photo-shoots, and the pictures make great family gifts when framed.
- The Zoo
Seeing other humans is exciting, but seeing other animals? That’s next level. A trip to the zoo is fun but also educational, as it’s never too early to start teaching animal names and noises. We guarantee your baby will be fascinated by the sights and sounds of the zoo!
- Farm Trip
A classic family day out, farm attractions offer a more intimate, sensory experience for little ones compared to a zoo. Babies can get closer to a whole range of new animals - and they’re normally cheaper too.
- Fancy dress
Getting dressed up in silly costumes is something your little one will love for years to come. At this age, you’re completely in control of what baby wears, so go crazy. Hello tiger print onesie! Baby will love it if you put on your own fancy dress too. Just make sure you take lots of snaps!
- Blow Bubbles
It’s official: babies LOVE bubbles. But did you know that playing with bubbles also helps develop key skills like eye-tracking and hand-eye co-ordination? You can make home-made bubble mix easily at home using fairy liquid and water – why not take it outside and watch the bubbles dance in the wind?
- Hand and Foot Prints
Something else to do in baby’s first year is to record their handprints and footprints. You can either get professionally made casts, or you can simply make the prints yourself using paint, paper and a lot of patience. These can look amazing when framed and proudly displayed on the shelf, as a reminder of your newborn’s tiny fingers and toes.
- Ride through a car wash
The excitement of driving through a car wash never gets old – there’s foam, water and massive pink brushy things! It’s like baby’s first rollercoaster. However, it might be a good idea to go with a friend for the first time, so there’s someone next to baby just in case the excitement of it all gets a bit overwhelming
- Baby’s First Swimming lesson
There are lots of benefits of baby swimming. It helps baby gain confidence in the water early, develops co-ordination and balance, helps build muscles, provides quality bonding time and it’s fun!
While baby can go swimming any time after birth, most classes and sessions start after six weeks. Babies get cold quickly, so choose a pool that’s heated to around 32°C and consider a baby wetsuit. It’s recommended that new mums wait around six weeks after giving birth before going swimming. Learn more about swimming with your baby on the Baby Centre website.
- Bike Ride
Get a bike seat, strap baby in safely and hit the road together. Babies love the feel of the wind on their skin and watching the world go by. Plus, cycling burns plenty of calories for mums and dads! Babies are usually developed enough to sit upright in a bike seat at around 9 months.
- Museum Meet Up
You might think baby is too young to appreciate things like art and history – and you’re probably right there – but museums still have lots to offer babies. There are hands-on, interactive exhibitions and baby activities running most days, with foam and water play areas for visitors under-one. Amazingly, they’re often free!
- Sandy Toes
Unless you’re lucky enough to live by the coast, taking baby to the seaside might not be something you’ve considered. But it’s worth the drive to take in the fresh sea air and feel the sand between your toes. Remember to be careful in the sun, as baby’s new skin is delicate and burns easily. You can protect baby using an anti-UV sun tent. You’ll also want to pack sun cream, baby sunglasses and beach towels, and ideally choose a relatively quiet, cooler time of day too.
- Baby Class
Community centres and leisure complexes offer lots of events for new mums and babies, including group exercise classes, massage, music classes and even yoga! Not only is the exercise and learning good for you and baby, but you’ll meet lots of new parents too, giving your little one chance to make new friends.
- Read at the Library
Libraries are magical places full of books, toys and things you don’t have to pay to use! It’s never too early to start reading to baby. Even though they won’t understand the words, the sound of your voice helps them develop listening skills and soothes them. By the time they turn one, your baby has already learned all the sounds needed to talk. The more words they hear, the better they’ll be at speaking. It’s also a great bonding opportunity.