Just as a public service announcement, here are some milestones I have found to be mostly, if not universally true, that you will not find in many parenting books. In fact, there have been times that I've predicted the age of a kid in the grocery store based on what they're doing, and the parents look incredibly relieved when I say I do daycare and this behavior is completely typical. It's frustrating to have this baby/toddler that you think you can predict, or have all figured out, and then all of a sudden they start doing something where you think, I have failed as a parent. WHY are they doing this?
Two/three weeks old: Ginormous growth spurt. They want to eat every 45 minutes or so and take at least half an hour every time so you feel like a milk cow or hooked to a bottle or something every minute of the day. They also tend to randomly projectile vomit every three days or so, for no reason that I've been able to figure out, but especially if you're nursing, it can bring you to tears because they want to eat all the time and it may still be in the stage where it hurts to nurse, and then the ungrateful children have the audacity to throw up everything you worked so hard to give them. I hear many people quit nursing at this stage because they think it will be like this forever. Most of the time it isn't like this forever, but you gotta get through it if you want to keep nursing. No matter what your feeding method is though, if it happens to you, just know it's temporary. :)
Four months old: Your child's salivary glands begin to function. They have been inoperable up to this point and now they kick in. Until the baby learns that they should be swallowing all this extra spit they're making, they drool like nobody's business. They'll be wearing double bibs all the time and still be wet. Almost everybody comes in at this point and tells me that they think the baby has begun teething because of the drool. Some kids do get teeth at this stage, but more often it's just insane amounts of slobber due to them not knowing what to do with it yet.
Five months old: GRUMPY. Holy cow grumpy. Sometimes for the whole month. They're not sleeping as much as they used to when they were tiny, but in most cases they can't sit up unassisted and so they get bored very very easily. They're getting heavier so you don't want to carry them around constantly like you might have when they were a teeny snuggly bundle. They are happy for ninety seconds at a time and then they want a change of scenery. But what do you do with them at this age? They really can't do much on their own and they are angry about it. Usually this will resolve itself, either when they learn to sit up, or when they are strong enough to hang out in an exersaucer or play with toys on the floor, or just something to occupy themselves.
Twelve-fourteen months old: Napoleon complex. Real bad. Once they start walking, they tend to get incredibly aggressive just for a month or so. They're the smallest ones in the playroom, but by golly they can WALK! They can reach the shoulders and faces of those big kids they hadn't been able to catch before! They can HIT those kids and then RUN AWAY! This is the best thing ever! I cannot count the number of times I've had a three or four year old come to me sobbing because a baby hit them. They are hugely perplexed by this. The big kids have learned by now to be nice, to use their words for the most part, and to not hit people- especially a baby who's so much smaller. They have no idea what to do with it and it breaks their hearts every time. "Baby Simba/ Aurora /Bianca/whoever... HIT ME!!!" yeah. Not so much a baby anymore, huh? :)
More to follow.....