There’s so much to consider during your baby’s first year of development. Baby essentials, like feeding and sleeping, are the big ones. However, there’s also baby clothing, babywearing, baby bathing, colic, reflux, eczema… am I forgetting anything? Ya, honestly… there’s a whole lot more! But, when it comes to how to raise a good baby, there are a few essentials that should take priority.
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Baby’s First Year Of Development
I know you want to give your baby the best of everything during her first year, and really there’s no reason why you can’t! I do want to talk for a minute though, about how the very best baby essentials for the first year are not products.
I’d say my very favorite baby product was a solid white short sleeve onesie. It seemed like no matter how big my baby got, I could stick him in that solid white, short sleeve onesie and he felt small again.
Many of my best memories with my oldest son were made in those onesies. He nursed in those onesies. He slept in those onesies. And he smiled his big joyful smile at me from within that solid white, short sleeve onesie! He was so freakin’ cute! (still is although he’s almost a teenager now)
You Are Your Baby’s Most Important Essential
Here’s the thing about all the first year baby essentials… you don’t need most of them to raise a good baby or raise her to become a really great kid! Don’t get me wrong, they are fun to have and they can help a mommy out! All my babies had swings, bouncy seats, rocking chairs, tons of clothes, and a bunch of sweet-smelling baby stuff.
Looking back though, I know 100% that none of it had anything to do with how awesome all of my kids are today. I used every great baby essential for my kids. Dressing them was fun. Bathing them was precious. Feeding them was messy-awesome. And wearing my babies in these slings, was strait-up fill-my-heart-fantastic!
Today, all these years later, my kids are awesome because I knew my baby’s most important essential was ME. The time, energy, love, and training I put into my kids from the very beginning were the most essential – essential in having a happy, healthy baby. A baby that turned into a sweet, fun-loving toddler/preschooler, and eventually molded into a well-behaved big kid!
Essentials For Baby’s First Year Of Development.
After 2 months of zero sleep with my first born, we started co-sleeping. This was the only way (i thought) that I could get some sleep at the time. After 4 months of co-sleeping, I was feeling heavy on my heart, the need to sleep train him.
So I did lots of research and developed a sleep training guide for my baby. Over the years I’ve shared it with other moms and it has helped them get the sleep they need for themselves and their babies.
How your baby sleeps is a baby’s first year of development essential #1. Read about how important sleep is, here. I sleep trained my oldest son to go to sleep at 7:30 p.m. and wake up at 7:30 a.m.
Today, while his bedtime has been pushed back a bit, to accommodate his “big-kid style,” he still pops out of bed like toast from a toaster at 7:30! I am so grateful for this since I know it will be important to his adult life.
I breastfed all 4 of my babies. Three of them exclusively. My fourth and final baby required formula from 9-12 months of age after my breasts stopped producing cold turkey! (that was heartbreaking) I was stubborn about breastfeeding and adamant that I would do it. I don’t regret it for a second.
Regardless of whether you breastfeed or formula feed, establishing great eating standards for your baby is your baby’s first year of development essential #2.
Transition baby from breast milk or formula to the best first foods for baby. The best first foods for baby are foods full of high-quality fat and vegetables. My top three favorite options are avocados, leafy-greens (like spinach), and egg yolks.
Resist the urge to feed baby rice and wheat products first as they provide very little nutrition and are actually metabolized similarly to sugar. Rather, starting baby with nutritious foods from the “get-go” will make food battles in the later years almost nonexistent! You’re setting a standard. Read more about baby’s food here.
You have monumental influence over your baby’s behavior. Babies aren’t just babies. The majority of the way your baby acts is trained by how you parent. Consider what we’ve discussed so far about sleep and eating. If your baby gets the sleep she needs she’ll be happier and go to sleep easier, which is essentially good behavior.
Similarly, if your baby gets the nutrition she needs from the good food standards you set, she’ll be healthy and eat whatever you put in front of her, which is also good behavior. Setting standards for good behavior is your baby’s first year of development essential #3.
Train Good Baby Behavior in the First Year
The ways in which you can train your baby for good behavior are endless. For instance – train her to:
- wake up happy each day.
- not throw food on the floor.
- sign instead of grunt. (read more about speech development here)
How To Raise A Good Baby
You have a little baby. That means, you literally have the best opportunity to have well-behaved kids because you are at the beginning. The person your baby will become depends largely on how you train her for the next handful of years.
That makes me so happy. To know that you are intentional and want the very best for your baby. To know that you are determined to turn that perfect baby into a well-behaved child. I love it when great moms are determined to take a stand against the negative parenting culture that wants them to believe that raising a good baby into a great kid isn’t possible.
It’s completely possible. Finally, you know how to raise a good baby and what you don’t know, you can learn. Start with those baby’s first year of development essentials and do a bang-up job training your baby to sleep, eat and behave well. You’ll find you are creating habits that continue to grow and develop as your perfect baby turns into a fan-freakin-tastic kid!!!