While pregnancy is a miraculous time in its own right, once your baby's born, their rapid development will continue to amaze and surprise you each and every day. The first year is full of milestones, both those that we're quick to add to the baby book and those that we don't even realise are happening. Here, 20 ways that your baby is growing and changing (at warp speed!) during year one.
1. Your love and affection are actually causing your baby's brain to grow (it's scientifically proven!).
2. Half of their sleeping hours are spent in REM sleep (compared to just 25 percent in adults).
3. After about six weeks, your baby will be able to make direct eye contact with you.
4. After about six months, they'll start to try to read your lips.
5. Better stock up on those diapers — a newborn urinates about every 20 minutes, with this frequency decreasing to approximately every hour by six months.
6. They're growing an average of one to one and a half inches every month.
7. By six to 12 months, the pigment (melanin) in your baby's eyes is activated, and their eye colour will become permanent.
8. Your baby's first "real" smile will probably occur between four and six weeks after he/she enters the world.
9. Babies are born without kneecaps. They won't fully develop until after six months.
10. A baby can breathe and swallow at the same time until around seven months.
11. They double their birth weight within the first five months of life.
12. While a newborn may cry a lot, they won't produce actual teardrops until they're between 1 to 3 months of age.
13. Babies are born with about 10,000 taste buds. In time, approximately half of these will disappear.
14. By age 1, your baby can probably understand about 70 words.
15. Babies' brains can perceive music before they're able to understand words.
16. A baby's heart rate will drop from beating 180 times per minute to 115 times per minute in the first year.
17. By nine months, your baby will probably be able to wave to you.
18. Your baby's brain will reach 60 percent of its adult size by his or her first birthday.
19. Most newborns will lose all of the hair that they're born with by three to four months.
20. Your friends may find "baby talk" to be annoying, but it's actually helping your child's development. The use of simple language, exaggerated sounds, and high pitches helps babies learn words with greater speed and ease.