This is it – we’ve reached J’s first birthday! It makes me emotional just thinking about it. Someone once told me that the days are long and the months are short when you have young children, and I think this is definitely true. It feels as though this year has flown by, but equally it feels like a lifetime ago that J was newborn. I look at tiny babies now and can’t believe that he was ever so small. This month has been all about getting ready for his first birthday party, and reflecting on his first year!
J’s first year has certainly been a learning curve. I remember all the initial worries about how to feed him, how to change him, how to make sure he was warm/cool enough, how to take him out and about. All the reading in the world cannot prepare you for the rollercoaster that is new parenthood. You learn as you go, and routines change weekly. Just when you’ve got into the swing of things, he changes, and you have to adapt things again!
I am so incredibly proud of our baby boy. He has brought so much joy to so many people, and I cannot wait to watch him grow and create many more special memories. Here are some of the musical adventures we have enjoyed together this month – try these out with your 12-month old:
Make an playlist for your baby’s first year
People often put together albums of photographs to commemorate their baby’s first year. It is lovely to look back at all the pictures you have taken, and to pick out your favourites. Photos of their first Xmas, Halloween, Easter, trip to the zoo, cuddles with Mum and Dad…all of these are so special to look through and share. Luke put one together for me to celebrate J’s first year using Freeprints, which was really reasonable and of great quality.
Why not do the same with music?
Put together a playlist of music that has been special and memorable. Music has the power to evoke such strong memories, and is a fab way to recall your favourite moments from throughout the year. Your memories of the little things will fade as the years pass, but music from the time will take you back and put a smile on your face. Check out these ideas for things to include:
- If you had music playing during your labour, include a couple of tracks from this (bonus points if you know which song/piece your baby was born to!)
- The song that was number 1 when your baby was born
- Any lullabies that you have sung to your baby, to soothe them or put them to sleep
- Any Disney songs or film tracks that you have enjoyed together. For example, Beauty and the Beast was released in J’s first year, and so I had included the title track in his list
- Any favourite songs that you have enjoyed dancing or singing to together
- Any songs that perfectly sum up how you feel about your little one!
Go to the theatre
So many people struggle with what to buy for their baby’s first birthday. They are not old enough to ask for anything, and most children get so many presents from other family and friends. Luke and I have always bought each other experiences for birthdays and Christmas, as they are something to look forward to and enjoy together. We decided to do the same for J, and are looking forward to taking him to the Baby Show next week in London. Why not try the same?
Theatre shows are usually more suitable for older children and adults, but there are lots of companies that are now offering shows for little ones. The idea of letting youngsters experience the theatre is a lovely one – it is so engaging and interesting for little eyes and ears. Check the lower age suggestion before booking, and make sure that you are booking a casual viewing (which will allow you to move about/feed your child if necessary).
Shows related to favourite kid’s TV programmes are always popular – we took J to see In The Night Garden this month, which was loved by all the children there. Click here for more ideas of great things to take your child to this month.
If your child is anything like J, they love it when you’re being silly! They laugh when you’re doing anything out of the ordinary, and giggle when you’re being daft. Dancing together is a lovely way to be silly, while learning at the same time. Your little one may be standing with your help now, or maybe even walking on their own. Either way, pull them to their feet, put some favourite songs on, and get wiggling! You could even try an early version of ‘Musical Bumps’, by bumping them to the floor when the music stops. This is fab for encouraging them to listen.
You can also start throwing them around a bit more to songs with actions! Favourite songs to sing and dance to include:
- Hokey Cokey
- Grand Old Duke of York
- If You’re Happy and You Know It
- Dingle Dangle Scarecrow
- Shake Your Sillies Out
Dancing is great for their gross motor skills, helping them to balance and strengthen their leg and core muscles. It helps them to feel the pulse of the music, and is a fantastic mood-booster for everyone!