Growth & Development

Growth is the progressive increase in the size of a child or parts of a child. Development is progressive acquisition of various skills such as head support, speaking, learning, expressing the feelings etc

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This is how your baby will grow at eight months

How your baby's growing Your baby's now exploring objects by shaking them, banging them, dropping them and throwing them before falling back on the tried-and-tested method of gumming them. The idea that you do something to an object is beginning to emerge (using a comb to tidy her hair), so an activity centre with lots of things your baby can bang, poke, twist, squeeze, shake, drop and open will fascinate her. Your baby will also be fascinated with toys that have specific functions, such as phones. If she can't hold it up to her ear herself, do it for her and pretend to have a conversation. Over the next few months, she'll start to use objects for their intended purposes – brushing her hair, drinking from a cup and babbling on her play phone. Find out more fascinating facts about your eight-month-old's development How your life's changing It's completely natural for your baby to start showing signs of separation anxiety when you leave him in the care of others. In fact, it's a sign of normal, healthy development. Not that knowing this makes it any easier on you to see your baby in distress. To help the two of you weather the goodbye blues:   Say goodbye in an affectionate but matter-of-fact way. Try not to draw out farewells or let yourself get emotional in response to your baby's crying. Stay away once you say goodbye. Resist the temptation to turn back and check if he's OK. This will only make things more difficult for you both. If it will make you feel better, call when you get to where you're going. Chances are he stopped crying straight after you left and got diverted by an activity. Spend some special time together when you pick up your baby. Read the signals and trust your instincts. Does your baby react the same way when your partner does the drop-off? If not, perhaps getting him to do the dropping off is a better alternative. Does he seem unhappy when you pick him up? It's unlikely – but possible – that your baby and the babysitter or carer may just not be a good "fit".  

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Growth spurts: What you need to know

From age 2 to 4, kids add about 2 to 3 inches in height per year and up to 4 pounds in weight. (From ages 1 to 3, growth takes place primarily in the legs and trunk.) Growth percentiles reveal your child's height and weight relative to other children of the same age and sex. For example, a child in the 75th percentile in height is taller than three-fourths of his peers. Growth is seldom steady and even. Instead, it tends to happen in spurts. Among the signs of a growth spurt in progress: Your child may seem hungrier than usual or eat more at a sitting. Your child may nap longer than usual or sleep longer at night. Your child may be crankier or clingier than usual even though he's not ill. It's probably a good idea not to put too much emphasis on growth spurts, however, in justifying behavioral changes over the long term. Typically, parents notice a child's growth spurt after it has already happened. You dress your child in the same pants he wore last week and they no longer reach his ankles, or his feet seem too big for his shoes. It's not uncommon for a young preschooler to grow two clothing sizes in a season. Responding to growth spurts You don't need to do much in response to a growth spurt, other than restock the closet. If your child seems to have a larger appetite than usual, feed her another serving at meals or provide more frequent snacks. Preschoolers often veer between "living on air" and vacuuming up food, depending on their body's needs. Let your child sleep longer for a few days if she seems to need it. What about growing pains? "Growing pains" – dull aches in the legs, especially around the calves, knees, and front of the thighs – are somewhat controversial and probably misnamed. No medical evidence links them to growing muscles or bones. It's possible, however, for growing muscles to feel tight and spasm after a lot of activity. As many as 25 to 40 percent of kids report this feeling, beginning around ages 3 to 5 (and then again in the tween years). Often the pain wakes a child up in the middle of the night. These pains tend to follow days of vigorous outside play. They can be treated with warm compresses, massage, gentle stretching, or acetaminophen. If the pain is severe or lasts more than 24 hours, report it to your child's doctor so he can rule out other causes, including juvenile arthritis, rheumatologic disorders, infection, fractures, and other orthopedic problems.   Content and Feature Image Source:

Is Your Child Really Ready for Preschool?

Every child develops at his own pace, so preschool readiness and social readiness can blossom at different rates. Some children are more than ready at 18 months, while other children need to be 3 or 4 years old before they pick up a mini-backpack or lunch box. As you ponder whether to start preschool, take the following into consideration:  Can your child work on his own for a brief period?  He should be able to focus and complete a puzzle, a drawing, or a block construction by himself without direct supervision or support from an adult.  Can he do basic self-care?  Most centers want kids toilet-trained or at least showing strong signs of readiness. (If a child is on the verge, the example of the other kids often works as a motivator.)  Can he participate in group activities?  While this is a skill he'll be developing in preschool, he has to be ready to start. He should be able to sit in circle time listening to the teacher and the other kids, and to follow stories and activities presented in a group.  Can she separate from you for a few hours at a time?  If your child accepts babysitters or goes readily to day care, there's a good chance she will be ready to separate for a preschool experience, although all children will need some support and time to adjust.  Can she manage a preschool schedule?  Preschools are busy places, usually with activities, a snack, outdoor play in the morning, and a quiet time or nap in the afternoon. If you have a child who is still a morning napper or has trouble with several activities in the morning, she may not be ready for preschool.    Content and Feature Image Source

Facts About Young Children / Pinterest

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How Nature can Benefit Children / Skipping Stones

Preschool Checklist / Pinterest

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4 Things your Child Should Know before Preschool / Rainbow Chimes

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Make the Most of the First 2 Years / ipha.com

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Baby's First Year

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Help your Baby Develop Through Fun

Infant Development Milestone Chart

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Developmental milestones record for your 4 months old

Do you feel like your 4-month-old is a whole new baby at times? You’re not imagining things! The 4-month mark is a big milestone in your little one’s life, thanks to some major brain and physical development milestones. Most babies by this age will have doubled their birth weights (or more) and will be sleeping more solid and longer stretches at night. You may have a more predictable schedule for naps, bedtime, and feedings, so life might feel a little more settled. But fair warning, this month can often include the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. Don’t worry—we’re here to help. Find out what to expect from your 4-month-old. Your Growing Baby: By 4 months old, most babies have a hit a pretty significant physical milestone by doubling their birth weight. If your baby was born prematurely, for instance, they may need a little more time to double their birth weight. Developmental Milestones: Your baby will become much more active and alert and learn to interact with the world around them. Here are some of the major developmental milestones you can expect at this age. Body Rolls over from front to back Sits with the support  Bears weight when standing on a hard surface Holds a rattle or other baby toys Holds up head and chest Pushes up to elbows when laying on stomach Reaches for objects with one hand Coordinates seeing and movement—spotting something they want, then reaching for it Follows objects moving from side to side with eyes Brings hands to mouth Brain Learns cause and effect Understands object permanence Improves clarity of eyesight and enjoys looking at more patterns, shapes, and colors Smiles spontaneously, most often at people Enjoys playing and may react with negative emotion, such as crying, if playing stops Mimics facial expressions, such as smiling or frowning Babbles and may try to mimic language, like cooing Recognizes people from a distance Cries in different ways to communicate hunger, boredom, frustration, sleepiness, etc When to Be Concerned: Although every baby will develop differently, if your little one is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms, be sure to talk to your doctor about them at your baby’s 4-month well-child check-up: Crossed eyes Has gained less than 50 percent of their birth weight Is unable to hold their head up Is not able to sit up at all with support Does not seem to respond to or is uninterested in your face Soft spot that appears to be bulging Doesn’t watch items or people as they move Isn’t smiling Content source Featured image source

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2-month-old, third week: Growth, care and more

If you feel you’re investing a lot of energy with your little one, this month may turn the tide a little bit. The early weeks of parenting can be a very one sided affair, with lots of input and not much feedback from babies to let their parents know how they’re growing. But now is the time when your baby will be more animated, smiling, beginning to coo and connect with you. Seeing your baby smile can be heart melting. Even if you’ve never had much to do with babies before, you are likely to have some idea of how to talk to your own. Just remember to establish eye contact with them, speak gently and show some animation on your face. As your baby smiles in response to you, then you, in turn will respond to them. This is known as reciprocity or the “dance” of communication which happens between a parent and their baby. Here are some crucial milestones that you may witness this month:  Feeding: Your baby may show increased signs of hunger this month and demand to be fed more often. Try to follow their lead when it comes to feeding times. If you are breastfeeding and have only been offering one breast, you may find you need to start offering both breasts at feed times in this month. Sleeping: Watch for more patterns of sleep developing this month, with your baby sleeping anywhere from 1-3 hours between most of their day sleeps. They are likely to be showing tired signs after the end of their feed session and this is often the best time to place them into their cots for a sleep. Total sleep over 24 hours varies considerably and any amount between 9-18 hours is considered normal at this age. Behaviour: Many babies peak in their crying episodes at 2 months, causing their parents to become almost as distressed. There are many reasons for baby’s cry even when it seems that all of their needs have been met. Maturation of the nervous system, being overwhelmed by stimulus, becoming overtired or just wanting reassurance are some of the most common reasons. Developmental milestones: Your baby’s involuntary grasp reflex will disappear around now, only to be replaced by a deliberate grip. Make sure you have some rattles and small but safe toys which they can entertain themselves with. This is also the time when your baby will discover their hands and feet and will keep themselves amused for stretches of time. As yet, your baby is still too young to know that those interesting appendages belong to them which mean they’ll be just as fascinated each time their hands and feet happen to cross their field of vision. Baby’s brain is hard at work learning to distinguish colors. As a result, baby will probably begin to show a preference for bright primary colors and more detailed and complicated designs. Encourage this development by showing baby pictures, photos, books, and toys. Growth: Your baby is likely to have a lot of growth and weight gain in the 2nd month, with an average of 150-200 grams per week. Don’t worry if they gain a lot of weight one week and not so much the next. Weight gain is only one indicator of growth. Head circumference and length, contentedness and general behaviour are equally as important as what the numbers and percentiles on the scales demonstrate.     Content source Featured image source  

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Your 2 months old baby growth and development

All your efforts and hard work as a doting parent will begin to show during your baby’s second month. Your baby isn’t quite capable of providing you with feedback about how they are currently doing but this month can be a bit more rewarding. Expect more smiles and a lot of cooing as your baby becomes animated. You are sure to get a strong emotional connection than earlier as you revel in the joys of motherhood. Second Month Baby Milestones: Motor Skills Two-month-old babies are gaining more control over their bodies. That means they can hold their head a little steadier while lying on their tummies or being supported upright. In the second month of life, babies continue to have a strong sucking reflex. You may notice your baby likes to suck on a fist or a few fingers. This is one of the best ways babies have of comforting themselves. At 2 months, your baby doesn’t yet have the coordination to play with toys. But she may bat at a colorful object hanging in front of her. Your baby may even briefly hold a toy that you place in one of her hands. Second Month Baby Milestones: Sleep Your baby’s sleep patterns are evolving, but at two months, they still aren’t fully established. At this age, babies sleep 15 to 16 hours a day. But those hours are sporadic, and they usually aren’t ready to sleep through the night. This is especially true for breastfed babies, who generally wake up to eat every three hours or so. Hang in there for just a few more weeks and you’ll be able to get some much-needed rest. You may even be able to get to a full night’s sleep earlier by helping your baby learn how to fall asleep on her own. All babies need to be put to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). You can provide plenty of tummy time when your baby is awake and supervised. Also, remove all soft objects from baby’s crib, including pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and soft bumpers. Second Month Baby Milestones: The Senses At two months, babies can see objects -- and people -- from up to 18 inches away. That means you still need to get pretty close, but your baby will be able to see your face pretty well while feeding. She should also be able to follow movements when you walk close by. Baby’s hearing is improving, too. Your 2-month-old will especially enjoy listening to the sound of your voice. Second Month Baby Milestones: Communication For a 2-month-old, most communication consists of crying. But you may hear a few gurgles, grunts, and even some sweet coos. Your baby should recognize your face and voice, and respond to them. You might even see the first adorable hint of a smile. One of the most important things you can do at this age is talk to your baby. Even though 2-month-old babies can’t talk back, they will respond to the sound of your voice, and it will encourage them to start forming their own first words in the coming months.     Content source Featured image source

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When do infants make eye contact?

Parents typically notice the first direct eye contact from their baby at around 6 to 8 weeks of age. However, there is a much wider range that is still considered normal, and some perfectly normal, healthy babies don't initiate eye contact until 3 months of age.  Eye contact indicates that your baby's neurological development is progressing normally. A baby who makes eye contact is showing that she knows what a face is and understands that facial expressions can indicate how a person is feeling. It also makes bonding stronger between parent and child, since it shows you that your baby does know who you are and how important you are in her life. One major concern when a baby does not develop eye contact is the possibility of a future diagnosis of autism. Autistic children have trouble making eye contact with others, but other signs and symptoms are also present in autistics, so missing this single developmental milestone isn't enough for a definitive diagnosis. It is truly a concern only when the child also does not develop the ability to follow someone else's gaze to look at something, known as exhibiting joint attention, nor understand other aspects of social communication. A baby needs to be calm and alert to initiate eye contact, so don't try to assess this developmental milestone when she is hungry, upset or sleepy. If your baby is over 3 months old and still not making eye contact, have her pediatrician check her for vision problems. If your baby's vision testing comes out fine, but she still isn't making eye contact, the doctor might suggest testing her for attachment or behavior problems or adopting a wait-and-see attitude of observing her development over the next few months before trying to diagnose a problem.