12 Things To Do With Your Baby Before They Turn One

Ad failed to load

At times, the first year of your baby's life might feeling like it's crawling by (much slower than your baby, probably!). But in truth, those introductory twelve months whizz by in a flash of milestones and memories, evidence of which is probably still on your phone. The weeks go by so fast, in fact, that some of our best-laid plans (professional photo shoots, anyone?) never come to pass. That's okay, though, because there are still plenty of totally doable things to do with your baby before her first birthday that will never be quite as sweet again.

Young babies have a way of looking at the world that makes everything seem flat-out amazing, from airplanes to caterpillars to ice cubes to remote controls. That means even the simplest of outings or activities have the potential to completely blow their little minds. In fact, sometimes it's the simpler things that appeal to babies the most. So even though you might be anxious to share some of your favorite big kid pastimes that you remember so fondly from your own childhood with your baby, take advantage of this time to cash in on some of the more blissfully basic things life has to offer. And keep in mind that if you're actually have a recollection of it, you were probably well past your own first birthday when you experienced it.

Here are some ideas of activities to do with your baby before they turn one to get you started.

Ad failed to load

1Go on a nature walk

Giphy

The idea of hitting the trails with an infant might seem like more of a workout for you than a fun time for them. Still, no matter where you live or what the season, your baby will get so much out of the experience — even if they're on your back (or in the stroller) the whole time. Don't be afraid to let them get up close and personal with the flora and fauna: Encourage them to hold a leaf, or run their fingers through blades of grass, or even dip their toes in a stream. So much all-natural sensory enrichment!

2Ride through a car wash

Giphy

If ever there was a moment to capture on video for posterity (and decades of laughter), it's your baby's first ride through a car wash. The water! The suds! The big brushy things! Who knows what might happen next? (Definitely not your baby, which is why this thrill ride is a rollercoaster of emotions.)

3Visit a farm

Giphy

Take our advice and save the full-on zoo experience for when your baby has the patience to wait in line for 15 minutes to catch a glimpse of a tiger sleeping several yards away (so, never?). The farm is a must for kids under one, who get about as excited to see a cow IRL as you would if Beyoncé showed up at the grocery store.

Ad failed to load

4Give them an entire box of tissues

Giphy

This one might seem random (and a touch wasteful), but every baby deserves the experience of pulling apart a whole box of tissues one by one and tossing them in the air. (Also, every parent deserves to have this experience on video to look back on when their baby has morphed into a sullen tween.) It's a memory that's worth the price of a box of Kleenex and then some!

5Take a 'mommy and me' music class

Giphy

Does signing your child up for a class where you and a bunch of other caregivers sit on the floor while your bewildered babies chew on tambourines guarantee they'll grow up to be a musical genius? Probably not, but they'll love it anyway, and you will too. Plus, classes like these can be great places to make mom friends.

6Dress him in ridiculous clothes

Giphy

Before you know it, your compliant little bundle will have a bunch of opinions about what you dress them in, so now's the time to push the hats with ears and ironic onesies. Take pics!

Ad failed to load

7Go to a children's museum

Giphy

Just because your baby is still years away from being able to appreciate abstract expressionism or ancient Greek pottery doesn't mean they can't have a blast at a museum — or, to put a finer point on it, a children's museum. Most museums of this kind have plenty of activities for the one-and-under set, including big foam structures to crawl through, water tables and more. (You're guaranteed a solid afternoon nap after this one!)

8Cool off in the sprinklers

Giphy

Whether you're lucky enough to live near a playground with built-in sprinklers or you happen to have some in the backyard, there's nothing quite like watching a baby learn (over and over and over again) that water is indeed wet.

9Get them used to a babysitter

Giphy

It's a zillion times easier for your baby to get used to a sitter in those early months before separation anxiety sets in, so if possible, use this first year to find a sitter or two you can rely on for whatever your needs might be.

Ad failed to load

10Find a favorite playground

Giphy

Even if your baby is too little to take a turn on the slide (without help) or tackle the jungle gym, it's worth it to find a local park that can become your go-to spot and get familiar with everything it has to offer.

11Blow all the bubbles

Giphy

The truth is, kids of every age love bubbles — but babies under one like, love bubbles. They can't master the mechanism of blowing them just yet, but as long as you're willing to sit there and wave that wand, you'll keep them entertained for hours.

12Get On A Plane

Giphy

While the idea of traveling with an infant seems daunting (that's because it definitely can be), did you know that babies fly for free until they're two? That's a few hundred bucks you would save just on the airline tickets alone while taking a family vacation, not to mention all the souvenirs you won't have to buy them because they're not old enough to demand every over-priced trinket from the airport gift shop yet. And while they may not remember these early family vacations, they'll still love looking back at the photos when they're older.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack