We have all heard about the major developmental milestones for infants and can probably name them off the top of our head or at least point to a chart that lists them. However, I’ve found that the “official” milestone charts tend to miss some of the truly enjoyable – and hilarious – first year milestones.
Here are my favorite under appreciated milestones in chronological order along with their description.
Getting Milk Drunk
This is one of my favorite starter milestones, mostly because it happens when your baby
is as personable as a loaf of bread is a newborn. It basically goes like this: Baby chugs mama’s milk until he passes out. He’s drooling with his eyes rolled back and has this look of extreme, drunken euphoria on his face. Snap a photo while you can because if he ever does end up actually getting drunk, you can whip out this photo and do a side-by-side comparison that will sober him up right quick.
Rolling One Way
Like Derek Zoolander, babies are not ambiturners. Many of them roll one way but not the other … at least initially.
If you’re a first time parent and see your baby tip towards his right side until he rolls over, you’ll cheer, “He rolled over! He can roll over now!” and then you’ll see your little one wiggling around like a beetle turned upside down. “It’s okay, honey. You got this! Just roll over the other way.” Baby is still wiggling. Becoming more desperate, you yell, “Turn Left! Turn Left!” But baby just keeps wiggling. You throw down your iPhone mid-recording and rescue your offspring from himself. “Phew, that was a close call!”
And if it’s your third child? “Offspring #1, can you please roll your brother back over so Mommy can finish her lukewarm coffee? Thaaaaanks.”
Learning to Sit
“Sitting by himself” is a well-known milestone, but its cousin – learning to sit – is definitely in need of some public appreciation.
All babies pass through this mini-milestone, but some babies create truly epic memories while learning to sit (hopefully on a soft surface where they won’t fall, like the middle of a large bed with mom or dad around).
Here’s how it goes: After a couple seconds of sitting upright, baby tips over like a bar stool and suddenly – “Boom!” – baby is lying horizontally. What makes this milestone epic is the look on baby’s face. As an adult, we would probably think “What the **** just happened?! Why am I now suddenly sideways?” and have the corresponding look of surprise, horror, and frustration on our faces. But babies? They are totally not phased. “Oh, everything is sideways now. Whatevs. I’ll just keep chewing my fingers.”
Doing Parlor Tricks
Your pediatrician might inform you at some point that your child is old enough to learn how to do simple things like clap his hands or wave goodbye. (Yawn).
What your pediatrician may fail to inform you is that the second half of baby’s first year is prime time for teaching parlor tricks that will generate a chuckle. I may know a small child who can bob his head like Steve and Doug Butabi do in Night at the Roxbury (great for character building?). And I may or may not be instructing my little one in the art of throwing their arms up in the air whenever they hear the word, “touchdown!” The sky is the limit, people!
Just be aware, like the singing frog, your perfect performer may leave you out to dry once you get an audience … or bids going. So hedge your bets.
It’s no secret babies learn to crawl. But it is lesser known that many babies learn to crawl backwards first. It’s like moon walking, just crawling (“moon crawling”?). As your babe crawls backwards, he gives you this look of utter bewilderment like, “Help! I’m stuck in reverse! How the heck do I make this thing go forward?” He eventually crawls himself -feet first – into a corner, at which point you can call out, “Nobody puts baby in a corner!” and laugh yourself silly before putting your baby back into the middle of the room. Before returning to your lukewarm coffee, you can add 25 cents to his therapy fund jar.
Eating with the Wrong Hand
When you eat soup, you hold a spoon in your hand and eat the soup. And when you eat pasta, you hold the fork in your hand and eat the pasta. Babies know this too, they just hold the spoon or fork in the opposite hand that they are eating with. So there baby is, bib on, fork in left hand, picking up pasta with right hand. This is a delightfully enjoyable precursor to actually using the eating utensil to pick up the food. Once again, picture for your child’s
teenage blackmail baby books.
Do you have a favorite funny milestone? If so, mention it in the comments.