This article was contributed by our fan favorite, Elaine Dalton.
Babies are literally brand new humans who have never experienced anything outside the womb yet. If life was a video game, they would have zero experience points and no fancy armor, weapons or cool upgrades. But as life goes on, we gain experience and learn from our past.
The subject of baby’s firsts is wildly conversed among parents and whole books are dedicated to it—mainly all those wonderful baby memory books we are supposed to be filling out each month. There are also online versions of the classic analog book, with Qeepsake being the leader in this digital revolution.
Regardless of which medium you use to record baby’s history, the subject of firsts will always come up and you will want to record the big ones of course. But what about some of the smaller ones?
Are there any unusual firsts you could record to make baby’s book stand out from the crowd? Or are you one of those energetic moms who want to record everything there is to record about baby? Either way, here is a nice list of baby’s firsts—some more important than others.
This is the most important of all the firsts. That first breath is amazing, terrifying and vital to the rest of baby’s existence. And it happens in a matter of seconds once baby arrives.
At First Touch
That first time baby touches your cheek or wraps their tiny fingers around yours is magical and beyond words for many people. You’ll be enjoying it too much to take time out to record it for later.
First Diaper Change
This is considerably less fun than some of the other firsts baby will have but it is a necessary first. Try to pass this one onto dad while you rest. There will be lots of diapers for you to change later.
The first sneeze. Again, this is another first of many which you will be enjoying too much to actually write down and record but it is still a first and oh so adorable.
First Coo, Squeak And Fussy Squeal
These are early forms of communication and they are pretty adorable, although fussy squeal gets old after awhile.
What Did He Just Say?
Their first word. This one you will definitely write down and you’ll remember it for years to come—especially considering that it will be either, “Mama” or “Dada.” I know, after everything you’ve done for the kid and his first word is Dada. I feel your pain.
This is where baby learning to talk backfires on us. Now he can say no and scream very loudly. He will also begin to pick up other new words so now is a good time to develop the habit of swearing in ice cream flavors.
Sometimes there is a space for this in the baby books but more often than not, you will be having too much fun enjoying the little laugh and trying to make baby laugh again to really pay attention to the time and date.
There is nothing sweeter than a baby singing. And when they start picking up on tunes mom and dad love to listen to, it makes it all the more hilarious to watch them sing and dance along.
First Time Sitting-Up Independently
Sure, he has been practicing for a week sitting up leaning against a pillow or a baby chair or daddy but now he just sat in the middle of the floor all by himself. Sitting baby!
Rolls For Days
Ah, baby is rolling over now. This usually happens before he sits up but it is less exciting. It is, in fact, a bit dangerous because now your tiny baby can roll right off of things.
First Time Crawling
If you haven’t baby-proofed the house, now is the time to do so. Baby can crawl which means baby can investigate all over the house. Under the bed, in the bathroom, inside cabinets left conveniently open, down the stairs. There are lots of interesting places to entice a curious and newly mobile little person.
Those First Steps
After crawling comes furniture cruising and then you blink and baby is a walking talking knee-height force of nature! Of course, now that he is walking we don’t have to carry him so much but on the flip side, this means he will be on the go all day long and get into the rest of the house which we haven’t gotten around to baby-proofing yet.
And He’s Off!
Oh dear, he is running now. You’ll never catch him unless he wants to be caught or he is hungry.
First Time Riding a Bike
Apparently, there are other forms of faster transportation than his own short little legs. At least he is outside getting fresh air and not inside tearing the books like when he was a toddler.
First Fall Off The Bed, A Table, A Chair, Etc…
Hopefully, this is a first which we won’t have to cross off. But boys do tend to be more accident-prone than girls and all babies and toddlers are naturally curious and top-heavy. Someone is bound to fall off of something eventually.
First Time Meeting Relatives
Whether the meeting takes place in the hospital moments after baby is born or a few days later at home when Grandma and Grandpa come to visit, baby will have a first time meeting all his new relations. Take pictures and write down the dates for the important ones and then forget about the rest as they blur together.
First Time Being Held By A Sibling
That first meeting between baby and an older sibling is special and should be treated as such. Take lots of pictures as the older sibling tenderly holds their tiny new playmate and stares at them wordlessly.
There will be future fights, tantrums, meltdowns, apologies, embraces, cuddles, play sessions and food fights but this first meeting will always hold a special place in everyone’s heart—even if the key players are too young to remember it.
First Time Wearing Blue, Purple, Red, Etc
Most newborn outfits are plain and white so when you put baby in that one outfit which makes her eyes pop and suits her complexion so perfectly, it will be a great moment. At least, until she spits up on herself and ruins it. But now you know what color she looks best in so you can buy more clothes.
First Time Eating Food
With the first baby, this will be a moment heavily documented with videos, pictures and a description of exactly what baby ate and how much. With subsequent babies, more often than not an older sibling will try to feed baby some of his lunch and baby will just roll with it—happy to be included in the big kids’ activities.
Here Comes Ba Ba
The first bottle is less of a major event in the life of a formula-fed baby and more so in the life of a breastfed baby. Most likely, it is a bottle of water around the six-month phase and baby chews on it more than drinks.
Baby’s first drink. This is referring mainly to water but if you procrastinate enough, you can write down beer or vodka for her twenty-first birthday and call it a day.
Her first book. Whether it is a cloth covered book that baby tries to eat or a classic book from a relative that baby tries to eat or their first library book which baby hopefully does not eat, their first book is something neat and unique to write down in that memory book on the top shelf you forgot about.
First Favorite Movie
All toddlers watch TV, it is a fact of life. And eventually, they will have that one favorite movie they like to watch more often than other movies.
First Fair, Movie In The Park, Theater Or Other Event
These family outings are always fun for everyone and tend to occur more often in families with multiple children since those older kids tend to have a lot of energy and require a lot of distraction while baby is simple and easy and just wants to sleep, eat and cuddle with mama all day long.
But an older baby will enjoy these outings (for the most part) and they help to bulk out baby’s book for the overachievers out there.
First Time Swimming
Not all babies are water babies but most of them will have a blast swimming—as long as the water isn’t too cold for them and mommy or daddy never lets them go.
This is usually a lot more enjoyable for babies than swimming unless it is the first bath at the hospital and the nurse scrubs just a little too hard and the water is just a little too cold.
Newborn babies have to wait for a full bath till the umbilical cord stump falls off but after that, they can be submerged and get a test of their former home in a way. Oftentimes, a warm bath soothes a colicy baby better than anything else.
First Hike Or Nature Walk
All babies love to be outside and a walk is the perfect way to get some fresh air and introduce baby to nature. Just don’t let him eat any dirt or rocks. He can accomplish that when he is an adventurous toddler.
First Train, Plane Or Boat Ride
Traveling with a baby isn’t generally a fun experience but you can make it more fun depending on baby’s age by bringing along some toys and little treats for her. At the end of the trip you will have some memories she will never remember (so you can embellish them later on if you want) and something else to put in her memory book.
Similar to an elevator ride, the first hotel stay is one of those experiences that we take for granted and never really consider that it might be someone’s first time at it and that someone is baby.
Baby On Board
Eventually, by the second or third baby, sticking baby in a carrier or sling and going about your business cleaning house, grocery shopping or working becomes second nature. But it is still a nice thing to put in the memory book.
First Fruit, Vegetable, Meat, And So On
You could classify this aa s first food and call it good or you could break it down into food groups and mark each new entry in the baby memory book. It depends on how much spare time you have for journaling.
First Bruise, Cut, Scrape, Broken Bone, Etc
Similar to falling off of things, this is one first we really hope we never have to write down. But since kids will be fearless kids and boys especially are accident prone, one or multiple of these incidents will occur before baby is a year old. Hopeful,ly it is just a bruise from crawling on Grandma’s hardwood floors and nothing more serious.
A Trip To The Doctor/Dentist
This one is always listed in the baby books and it is a good idea to keep track of baby’s medical health over the years. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to look back on this as an adult. That being said, parents who forego well checks can still record weight, height and other developmental markers in these slots, too.
First Hospital Stay
Hopeful,ly you can write this one in when your baby girl is in the hospital having her own baby. Otherwise, an overnight stay in a hospital is not something any parent wants to happen. Let’s keep this one blank then, shall we?
This can range from dumped a whole bag of flour out on the floor and played in it to cut their own hair with sharp scissors. It doesn’t take much for curious kids to have misadventures.
Or another typical childhood illness. These are inevitable, especially with older siblings who sweetly and freely share their germs with everyone they meet. Just stock up on some cold remedies, like elderberry syrup, and spend some extra time babying your baby.
Here Come The Temper Tantrums
This is most likely due to you giving her the wrong colored cup with water in it but almost anything can set a toddler off and leave them wailing in tears on the floor making a huge scene. Jot it down in the notes app for later and make a margarita with dinner. The terrible twos have officially begun.
First Time Eating A Book
Or other non-food items, preferably harmless like paper or glue.
First Time Swallowing A Coin
Or some other similar object she shouldn’t have been playing with but most likely found on the floor in some dusty corner. These are always fun moments and you might get to check off First Doctor Visit at the same time to get her x-rayed to see if that really was a dime she ate.
You will probably give her her first haircut but there is a chance that she will get a hold of the scissors and do it herself. You never know. Just be sure to save a lock and stick it in her baby book.
This includes that first tooth popping in and then later falling out. It is always a bittersweet moment to see your sweet baby turning into a big baby with teething rage and sharp little chompers. She will probably bite herself at some point too.
Ya Gotta Have Friends
Her first friend can be a stuffed animal she drags everyone, her baby brother who tolerates her, her favorite cousin or a little friend from daycare that she adores. Whichever it is, that is now baby’s first friend.
This might get checked off in infancy if you already own pets or it might get checked off later in life when you give in to his insistent whining and buy him a puppy. It still counts though so dig out the baby book and make a note.
This is still a long ways off if you are reading this on your phone with a newborn sleeping in your arms. Around the sixteenth year baby will want to get out of the house more and stretch his wings so a summer job will help keep him occupied and gives you something neat to write about.
A picture of him in complete teenage appearance next to the new (likely used, older model) car that he just acquired is a must for this entry. It might be a good idea to have baby enroll in some mechanic classes in high school so he or she can fix their car whenever it breaks down till it finally dies and they have to buy a replacement.
Their First Cell Phone/Techy Gadget They Begged For
With the limitations of screen time expanding as baby ages, they will eventually come up to you and ask for a phone or a computer or a tablet and will pester you till you give in and get them an older model.
Or maybe they are just now starting high school and you want to keep better track of them or help them with homework so you get them a phone or computer and put strict usage limits on it which nobody bothers to follow in a year or so.
First Tattoo Or Piercing
This is most definitely something we don’t need to worry about till baby is a teenager at least. Babies don’t want their ears pierced; they just want to eat and sleep. Toddlers and preschoolers are busy exploring life and don’t have time to worry about shiny earrings.
Around puberty is when they suddenly get a lot more interested in their bodies and might want their ears pierced. Anything else pierced will have to wait till they are 18 and not living with you anymore.
First Time Saying, “I love you”
And it won’t be to their significant other. In the middle of the turbulent toddler years, baby will turn to look at you and in that adorable innocent and deeply sincere way that children have, he or she will throw their little arms around you and say, for the first time, “I love you mama.”