Do you ever ask your friends “At what age did your baby…”? Discover several baby milestones you don’t always hear about!
Flip through any baby book, and you’ll likely find baby milestones down to the month or even week.
We parents like to know whether our babies are on track or if we should worry about potential delays. And sometimes we just need guidance on what to encourage them to do next.
Except not all milestones make the cut, particularly practical, everyday ones we should also be on the lookout for.
These are the sorts of questions that pop up when you see another baby the same age doing something yours can’t yet. They’re the milestones you ask your mom friends about. You want to see when their kids started doing them, and whether you should encourage yours to do the same.
Unique baby milestones
As with all milestones, the key is to use them in a proactive way. Comparisons can get tricky, especially if you pressure your child to do something she’s not capable of just yet.
Instead, use milestones as a way to introduce new skills without adding pressure, especially when she takes no interest to it. Remember the mantra: All kids develop differently.
That also means that milestones are guides. Even if 99% of kids do something by a certain age, it doesn’t mean yours will, or that anything is wrong because she isn’t doing it.
That said, I’ve listened to moms asking what age their kids reached baby milestones and thought it’d be helpful to list a few here. Take a look at these common questions below:
1. “At what age can a baby drop to one nap?”
In the early days, it seemed like your entire day centered on getting your baby to sleep. She napped so often that you didn’t even bother counting how many naps she was actually taking.
Now that she’s a bit older, she’s dwindled her naps, from multiple times a day, to now just two. Except how do you know it’s time to drop to one nap—that one single nap that could free your mornings and afternoons?
Kids typically drop to one nap around 14-18 months old. This is when you’ll see changes in their sleep as they start to need a longer stretch of sleep midday (as well as more time awake before and after).
That said, some drop to one nap earlier, like if they need to follow daycare schedules. Meanwhile, others hang on to two naps much longer, especially if they don’t clock in enough sleep at night.
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2. “At what age can you do away with high chairs?”
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Tired of the high chair taking up space in the kitchen or dining room? You’re not alone. Plenty of parents wonder what age their kids can be so they can get rid of the high chair.
Typically, you can switch to a booster chair around two-years-old. These can save you a ton of space because you can attach it to one of your current dining chairs.
Another option is to use a child-sized table and chairs, especially for snacks. Many preschools use these to encourage independence, and you can do the same at home. Your child is free to get up as needed without having to strap in.
Then, at around age 3, she can do away with the booster or little chairs completely and sit (or kneel) on your regular chairs.
3. “At what age can a baby bathe in the regular tub?”
Your baby has likely gone through several stages of bathtubs. First was the newborn bathtub, where you placed him on a hammock, careful to avoid wetting the umbilical cord. Then he used the same tub, but this time was submerged in water.
As he got bigger, he began taking baths in toddler tubs, the kind you place inside the regular tub, allowing him more space and the ability to sit up. But now even that’s getting too small. When can he bathe in the regular tub?
Babies tend to bathe sitting in the tub when they can sit comfortably and confidently on their own. Since this varies by age, there’s no one set age, but typically eight months is about the time it starts. Your baby should be able to sit without needing you to hold him the entire time.
One way to make bathing in the tub easier is to either use a bath mat to reduce slips, or to sit him in an empty laundry hamper. The hamper is more contained, but has holes to allow the water to seep right through.
4. “At what age can a baby eat with a spoon?”
I’m not the only parent who grew tired of having to spoon feed her baby. At the same time, I also like to keep my dining room neat, and the idea of a baby with a spoonful of food in his hands didn’t sound enticing.
Still, at some point, your baby should learn to feed herself with utensils, starting with a spoon. I recommend offering a pre-loaded spoon around 6-8 months (depending on when you started feeding her). Either hand the spoon to her or place it in front of her to grab.
Then, around 10-11 months, encourage her to scoop her own food with the spoon. Start with food that’s thick, like yogurt or mashed bananas, and expect plenty of mess at this stage! A “splat mat” (or a regular chair mat) can help keep your floor clean.
But by 15-19 months, your baby—now a toddler—may be able to feed herself independently. And finally, she’ll likely learn to cut most of her own food—using real silverware—at age 4.
5. “At what age can a baby eat finger foods?”
You likely see babies eating bowls of Cheerios or a graham cracker and wonder when yours can do the same.
Many babies can begin eating finger foods around 7-9 months. Some parents worry that a lack of teeth won’t allow for good chewing, but rest assured that her gums are strong. If you’re concerned, stick to easy-to-chew food that dissolves in the mouth.
6. “At what age can a baby sleep with a blanket?”
Blankets aren’t safe for infants, especially if they move around a lot. That’s why it’s best to reserve blankets for when your child has transitioned into a toddler bed.
If you need to use a blanket before then, do so when you can keep an eye on him, like during naps. Otherwise, it’s best to keep him well-dressed and layered instead. Think onesie with a thick footed pajama and a sleep sack.
7. “At what age do babies stop wearing onesies?”
Thinking of stocking up on onesies and wondering what age babies outgrow them? Onesies—and other pieces of clothing—are purely preference. Many clothing brands still make onesie-types of clothes well into the toddler years.
Some parents prefer using shirts and pants instead of onesies as early as 6 months, while others continue to use onesies into toddlerhood.
I stopped buying onesies after a few months, but we did receive onesies as presents long after, which we still used. They came in especially handy when one of my twins would put his hand in his diaper while he slept, something a onesie can prevent.
Other parents also prefer onesies if the weather is hot—the onesie provides a complete “outfit” while keeping the baby cool.
8. “At what age do babies not need monitors anymore?”
Wondering how much longer you need to keep checking in on your child with a monitor? Or are you expecting again and want to use the monitor for the new baby?
Like onesies, using a monitor is a preference, and depends a lot on your home and level of convenience. A few reasons parents hang onto monitors include:
- Seeing what their kids are up to without having to open the door (Anyone who has had a child woken up because of the tiniest creak of the door knows what I’m talking about!)
- Having a large or a two-story home that makes checking in more difficult
- Sleeping so deeply that they don’t wake up easily, even with the baby crying in the next room
- Feeling at ease knowing they can be alerted should their baby need them
As you can see, babies hit milestones at different ages, from when they drop a nap to bathing in the regular tub.
Still, it helps to be on the lookout for new skills you could be teaching your baby but wasn’t aware it was possible yet. Other times, you just want to know a good time to do away with an item.
And sometimes all it takes is knowing other kids can usually do something to get you to introduce it with your own child. From using a spoon to eating finger foods, these milestones will help you determine the right stage to try.
Get more tips:
- 5 Signs Your Child Is Ready for a Toddler Bed
- How to Gently Handle Separation Anxiety in Babies
- Foolproof 13 Month Old Nap Schedule Examples
- Easy Gross Motor Activities for 1 Year Olds
- How to Encourage Your Toddler to Talk
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