I thought I'd put together a guide for new, or soon-to-be-new parents about their new baby. I offer this advice based on extensive research by watching baby cartoons.
0-2 months: Your baby will eat, sleep, cry, and shit -- in any random order. You will know your baby is advancing because sometimes your baby will combine two or even three of those items at the same time. Your baby can't see more than a couple feet in front of her, so screw that elaborate artwork and mobiles you have planned. She ain't gonna care. But you'll do it anyway and decorate the room in some gaudy looking striped pattern with big-eyed animals that would give most adults nightmares.
3-4 months: Holy shit! All of the sudden your baby can smile! You suddenly become a stand-up comic extraordinaire. You will spend all your waking moments doing anything -- anything! -- to make your baby smile. And, for whatever reason, just about anything will. This is also about the time where their sight will improve and can see a fair distance away. This is characterized by the shocked look on their faces when they see how horribly their room is decorated.
5-6 months: Now toys start to come into play as they start to interact with the world around them. The most important rule from the child's point of view is the toy should make noise, move and be loud. From a parent's point of view, the most important rule is the toy should not make noise, move, or be loud. Your baby may also begin attempting to crawl, sit or roll-over. This is important because from now on, wherever you leave them, you may not necessarily find them there when you return. This wasn't the case before. In order to protect the baby and ensure you're aware of their movements, it's best to attach a small bell around their arm.
7-8 months: Your child is likely crawling a fair bit now, or attempting to. A bell won't suffice anymore. Best to go with a leash. Additionally, your baby's personality is really starting to shine through and you'll see how they're watching you closely, absorbing everything you do and perhaps even try to mimic it. For example, if you notice your baby refusing a bottle unless it comes with a twist-off cap and a squeeze of lime, you know it's time to cut down on the parties. Toys need to get more sophisticated at this point as well. A netbook should do -- nothing too fancy, but your kid deserves at least 1 gig of RAM, doesn't she?
9-10 months: Your baby is on solid foods now and you'll definitely notice a change in their demeanor, their activity level, and the smell of their shit. You thought it smelled bad before? Wait until they digest a totally new food for the first time! Even skunks in the neighbourhood are avoiding your house. But it's an exciting time too. Your child likely has more teeth than grandma now, and probably a better memory too.
11-12 months: Wow, where did the year go? It went by so fast as far as you're concerned, but that's probably because you're in such a sleep-deprived stupor, you don't remember most of it. Because of this, your mother-in-law will likely remind you a few times of when you told her to fuck off two months ago -- just in case you forgot. Your baby is probably creeping along furniture and maybe even taking a step or two. In fact, your baby walking reminds you of how you walk when you're drunk. Scarily enough, when your baby talks, she also reminds you of how you talk when you're drunk.
With the first year behind you, you're excited for what lays beyond: Toys that keep playing even after the child left the room 10 minutes ago; expensive baby foods that are just pureed versions of what you're having for dinner; toys that cost $50 and last for 50 minutes before they're broken; but most importantly, a child that will look at you and smile and say "I love you"...and then look at the lamp and say "I love you."