Milestones are behaviors or physical skills seen in infants and children as they grow and develop.
Ask anything about milestones
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Baby developmental milestones chart: 7 to 12 months
Though you’ll find some specifics, like when babies sit up , “normal development” refers to these skills: Gross motor skills: using large groups of muscles, balancing, and changing position (sitting, standing, walking, etc.) Fine motor skills: using hands for smaller, more refined movements (playing, eating, etc.) Language skills: communicating via body language and understanding what others are saying Cognitive skills: more refined thinking skills, like reasoning and remembering Social skills: expressing feelings and responding to the feelings of others one in six children will have a developmental delay, but that doesn’t mean your baby will face long-term issues. Missing a few monthly milestones is not cause for panic. There are many factors that influence when infant milestones happen. In most cases, your baby just needs a little extra time. Babies born prematurely, for example, are more likely to hit each milestone counting from their due date, not their day of birth. Talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns. 7 Month Baby Milestones In month 7, baby’s eyesight is improving, allowing for more coordination. Transfering objects from one hand to another While your baby has explored objects by touch and mouth for months now, around month 7, baby will start transferring objects from from one hand to another, displaying spatial awareness. Improving vision Babies eye control and eye-body coordination becomes more refined. Improved depth perception allows babies to reach for toys and other objects. What’s more, babies’ color vision should be fairly strong by this age! 8 Month Baby Milestones In month 8, baby is on the move and better able to communicate with you. Learning object permanence Their brains continue to amaze as they start to understand object permanence. This is the psychological phenomenon that helps folks understand that when something disappears from view, it doesn’t mean that it’s gone forever. (In other words, when mommy leaves the room, she will come back.) It may seem like small potatoes to grown adults, but think of the amazing intellectual leaps this takes for infants! Crawling The developmental milestone of crawling may not happen all at once or in a linear fashion—and some babies will only crawl for a short period of time. Others babies won’t crawl the way you’d expect to, crawling sideways or scooting their bottom along the floor. Crawling is very important—it not only strengthens baby’s muscles, but it also improves baby’s brain function. It’s tempting to hold baby up and try to teach them to walk—it’s such an exciting time—but a little bit of patience can really help baby. Experts saycrawling improves hand-eye coordination, plus improves comprehension, concentration, and memory. Saying first words Your baby will be communicating now more than ever by the end of these months. She will be repeating sounds like “bababa” or, very adorably, “mamama.” (Though fair warning, mamas: Baby is likely to say Dada first.) Additionally, words start to carry meaning at this stage. You’ll find she understands simple words like, “no.” What’s more, she’ll begin to use her fingers to point, further associating movement with communication and comprehension. 9 Month Baby Milestones In month 9, baby’s brain is working hard—he/she is starting to use objects for their intended purpose. Standing Babies should be able to stand holding on to your hands. You may even witness your baby pulling himself up. Improved dexterity Those jerky arm movements have long since disappeared. Babies are now able to wield objects more efficiently. Their improved dexterity might mean banging or shaking toys (or anything else they can get their hands on! Careful!) This baby milestone also indicates increased cognitive function. You may notice baby beginning to use household objects for their intended purpose. For example, they may mimic drinking out of a cup (or actually do so!). This will also become apparent with pretend play, which should be just about starting. Look forward to baby pretending to talk on the phone and engaging in other imaginative play. 10 Month Baby Milestones In month 10, the fun really begins—baby understands and engages in simple games. Cruising Baby may be walking while holding onto you or furniture. Playing interactive games By this point, babies can understand simple games (think peekaboo), find hidden objects, or take things in and out of a container. Encourage all of these behaviors! They will help develop those all important fine motor skills and every bit of playtime is also learning time. 11 Month Baby Milestones In month 11, you’ll notice baby’s flourishing personality and his/her desire to explore. Starting to explore Baby will take all of those newfound gross motor skills like sitting, crawling, and cruising to start checking everything out. No cabinet or shelf is safe, my friends! Take steps to baby proof and make extra sure cleaning supplies, toiletries, and medicine cabinets are well off limits for baby. Better yet, work on getting any toxic junk out of your house! (See how to make natural cleaners for your home.) Developing their distinct personality Babies start to understand emotions better, reading and reacting to your emotional state. This level of communication and interaction deepens as they are able to use their bourgeoning vocabulary to state what they want and need. 12 Month Baby Milestones In month 12, baby’s brain has more than doubled in size! He/she is walking and talking. Beginning to walk Here’s another developmental milestone you’ve been waiting for! Around 12 months, babies may begin to walk! They may still need a bit of help or support, but the pitter patter of those precious little feet are on the horizon. Improving language skills Watch out! At this stage, children should start repeating the words you say. They should already have a small vocabulary, and they will be practicing simple gestures like waving bye or shaking their head yes and no. Baby Milestones Chart Month Milestones Month 1: Baby is getting acquainted with the outside world. • Reacting to sights and sounds • Displaying reflexes Month 2: Baby’s development centers around his relationship with you and other caregivers. • Paying attention to faces and recognizing people • Cooing • Smiling • Supporting their own head Month 3: Baby’s working on her coordination. • Connecting sound, sight, and movement • Grasping objects Month 4: Baby’s cognitive, social, and motor skills start to develop at a rapid pace. • Copying sounds, movements, and facial expressions • Rolling over • Babbling • Laughing Month 5: Baby’s becoming more expressive and preparing for crawling, pulling himself up, and walking. • Smiling at the mirror • Expressing new emotions • Refining basic movements Month 6: Baby’s narrowing in on his communication and motor skills. • Responding to their own name • Moving… a lot • Sitting Month 7: Baby’s eyesight is improving, allowing for more coordination. • Transfering objects from one hand to another • Improving vision Month 8: Baby is on the move and better able to communicate with you. • Learning object permanence • Crawling • Saying first words Month 9: Baby’s brain is working hard—he/she is starting to use objects for their intended purpose. • Standing • Improved dexterity Month 10: The fun really begins—baby understands and engages in simple games. • Cruising • Playing interactive games Month 11: You’ll notice baby’s flourishing personality and his/her desire to explore. • Starting to explore • Developing their distinct personality Month 12: Baby’s brain has more than doubled in size! He/she is walking and talking. • Beginning to walk • Improving language skills What to Do If Your Baby Isn’t Meeting Milestones All of baby’s firsts are important, but missing a few monthly milestones is usually not cause for panic. Your baby’s doctor will be watching for baby’s developmental milestones during each well child visit. If there’s any concern, the pediatrician may recommend a developmental assessment test to determine if any treatment or intervention is needed. If your doctor gives the all clear, but you still have concerns, get a second opinion. Remember: You know your child’s movements and patterns best. Even if it is just a nagging feeling, never be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns. content source
2-month-old, first week: Growth, care and more
Your baby at two months old Drum roll please... It’s the moment you've been waiting for since you met your tiny little baby all those weeks ago. Around now you should be getting your first lopsided smile – not wind, but a perfect little smile. Hopefully it will make all those sleepless nights worthwhile, or at least bearable for a bit longer. Maybe your baby smiled at six weeks old, or maybe you might have to wait another month – it’s not an exact science, so don't worry. Read on below to find out more about the developments you might expect to see from your 2 month old baby. Your baby’s senses at two months old Vision Colour differences are becoming clearer to your baby, and they start to distinguish between colours. Your baby will still prefer bright primary colours and clear, bold designs and shapes but they can now see around 60cm from their face. Encourage your baby by showing them bright pictures. Hearing At 2 months old your babies hearing will be becoming a better listener and they will be able to differentiate between voices they’ve heard more frequently. Regularly talking (or singing) to your baby is a great way to get them used to your voice and also a way to sooth and calm them as they become more familiar. Your baby’s motor skills at two months old Kicking and waving Your baby’s movements are becoming less jerky and slightly more co-ordinated. They start to love kicking out when lying down, which is great exercise and helps strengthen their legs. They may also wave their little fists in excitement. At least we hope it’s excitement. Pushing up and rolling Your baby may have enough neck muscle power to hold their head up for short periods when they’re lying on their tummy or on your shoulder – but not for long. You might find your baby is now rolling around more. They won’t yet be able to fully roll onto their front (although that will come soon!) but you’ll still want to keep an eye on them if you have them elevated e.g. during a nappy change. Grasping and unclasping Your baby was born with a grasping reflex, but they don’t yet know how to let go of things – which is why long-haired mums better be prepared for some painful moments. Around now you may notice them unclasping their fists and trying to wave them. Other 2 month old baby developments Drooling They won’t yet be teething, but you might notice that your baby is starting to drool more (and making a bit of a mess!), as their salivary glands develop. Fear not though, their drool actually contains a lot of bacteria killing enzymes so it’s no bad thing to get it on their toys or other surfaces they’re interacting with. Sleeping You may find that your baby is beginning to sleep in more solid blocks (of 5 or 6 hours) but at 2 months old, it’s still very common for your baby to be waking up in the middle of the night. Reading to your baby They might not be able to follow along just yet, but reading to your baby can help to sooth them, whilst also helping them to become more familiar with your voice. Try varying the tone and intonation of your voice to keep them interested and build a better connection. First Immunisations When your baby is 2 months old you’ll be offered the first round of immunisations which includes protection against a range of diseases including: Rotavirus – A highly infectious virus that can cause gastroenteritis in your baby DTaP/IPV/Hib – Protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and haemophilus influenza Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) – This protects against pneumococcal infections including pneumonia, meningitis and bronchitis Six-week postnatal check At around the 6 week mark, both you and your baby will be offered a post-natal check-up. This check up with b to make sure your baby is developing well and is healthy. In this check-up you can expect the nurse to weigh and measure your baby, check their development of hips, heart, genitals and eyes, and also ask you some questions about how they’re feeding. How to help your baby develop in month two When you’re talking to your baby, give them time to respond to what you are saying with a look or babble. Research shows babies whose parents who allow them to respond learn to talk earlier This is a great time to introduce a baby gym – they’ll try to bat at the hanging toys, but careful not to overdo it – a five to 10 minute session is enough, and don’t persevere if they cry. Leave it a week or two and try again Lots of mums get embarrassed about talking to their baby and don’t know what on earth to say. One way to get started is to keep up a kind of commentary on what you’re doing, a bit like a Victorian nanny, according to babycare expert Dr Miriam Stoppard. “They would say, ‘now, shall we put our coats on? Now, let’s go out for a walk. That’s right, into the pram we go.’ I think a child should hear words for much of the time they are awake. Babies have a window when they can learn speech, and it’s open from birth” Game of the month Try playing different types of music and watch your baby kick their legs and listen with intense concentration. If you play a quieter tune you will see them visibly relax (some research says it may even send them to sleep. No promises.) Are they normal? A small note on developmental milestones: it’s really true – all babies are different and although we can encourage them, they will do things at their own pace and in their own time. content source
Seven-weeks old baby: Health, growth, care and more
At 7 weeks old, your little one is going through a lot of growth and development. Every day might seem to bring new surprises, but here’s what you can expect as a parent of a 7-week-old baby. Your Growing Baby You can expect your 7-week-old baby to continue their plotted development on the growth chart specific to their personal development. At this time, they will: Continue to gain about 1.5 to 2 pounds a month Grow about 10 inches (25 centimeters) between the time of birth and 12 months Have a head circumference that grows at about 2 centimeters a month Despite the fact that your baby is always growing and developing, babies will not always grow at a constant, regular rate. They may instead be more apt to have periods of rapid growth followed by slower growth. So, if it seems like they are moving out of those newborn onesies and into 3-month-old outfits seemingly overnight, it's normal. Developmental Milestones Although every baby is different, your 7-week-old baby should be making the following physical and developmental milestones appropriate for this age. Body Holds objects in their hand. Unlike the reflexive clutching skills that your baby has displayed so far, your little one now has more strength to be able to hold items on their own. Begins to bat at objects. Your baby might not quite be able to grab items out of their reach just yet, but you may notice them start to bat at objects, especially overhead toys, like play mats or swings and bouncer seats with mobiles. Brain After a big growth spurt in week 6, it might feel like your 7-week-old baby is settling down a bit. You may notice more frequent periods of calmness and alertness as they study the world around them. It's not random—they really are learning more each and every moment. Thanks to all of that new brain growth, take note of some of these new skills. Tracking objects or people. Feel like you’re constantly being watched? You are! Your little one is learning to keep eyes on you at all times as they gain the ability to follow objects with their eyes as they move. Test this new skill by holding an object in front of your baby’s eyes, then moving it slowly from side to side or just walk across the room. Your baby will best be able to track items or people moving horizontally; tracking vertical or diagonal movements will come in the next several months. Smiling. Your baby’s first smiles may have occurred last week or will develop this week. As the days go on, your baby will flash more and more smiles your way as they figure out that their smiles lead to mom smiles. Babies love to make you smile and even at this young age, they are figuring out how to get what they want by being adorable. When to Be Concerned All babies develop at different rates and babies who were born prematurely or who have special needs may have different developmental milestones to meet according to their own timetables. For full-term babies who have no other medical conditions, you will want to talk to your pediatrician at 7 weeks old if your baby: Is not able to hold his or her head up Cannot track horizontal movements Appears to be developing a flat spot on either the back of the head or either side Cannot turn his or her head Baby Care Basics This week is a good time to make tummy time a consistent part of your daily routine if you haven’t done it already. Tummy time is important at this age, especially because your baby has gained the neck muscles necessary to hold up their head, but those muscles may be underutilized if your baby is spending a lot of time on their back. If a baby spends too much time on their back without changing position, they may be at risk for developing positional plagiocephaly, or a flat head. Increasing tummy time can help, but in some cases, it may require a specially fitted helmet for your baby. Without sufficient tummy time, babies may also have delays in other development milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, and crawling, because the muscles they need are not strong enough. Get started on tummy time with these tips: Work your way up. Start with shorter periods of time, from a few minutes, and work your way up to 10- to 20-minute periods of tummy twice a day. If you haven’t done a lot of tummy time yet, your baby may not like it very much at first. That’s okay—they just need more practice. Remember tummy time doesn’t have to be on the floor. Holding your baby to your chest counts for tummy time, too, because it will still get those muscles working. Use a play mat. Many activity mats and play mats have playful, colorful patterns that your little one can look at and study to make tummy time more fun. Use a pillow. Breastfeeding pillows are especially helpful for tummy time—just be sure you never leave your baby unsupervised around a pillow or on the floor. Get involved! If your little one is resisting tummy time, join in on the fun by getting down on the floor with them. Feeding & Nutrition Your baby may still be experiencing a significant amount of gas at this age. It could be completely normal and your baby will outgrow it, or it could be caused by breast milk or infant formula. If your baby is formula-fed, try experimenting with different types of formula. Your baby’s digestive system may have changed since the newborn days, so it may be worth re-visiting other brands or types of formula that you tried in the past without success. A formula that didn’t work for your baby at 2 weeks may just work at 7 weeks. If your baby is breastfed, think about what you are consuming that may be causing gassiness in your infant. Some common culprits of foods that can lead to your baby getting gas through breast milk include cow's milk and dairy products, vegetables (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, and peppers), cucumbers, garlic, and chocolate. Sleep This week also marks a significant sleep milestone for many infants. According to a study in Archives of Disease in Childhood, the peak age for infant fussiness and crying at night is between 5 and 6 weeks. And although your infant probably won't sleep through the night (defined as sleeping longer periods of time, not necessarily a full eight-hour stretch like an adult) until around 13 weeks, you may be moving past the peak age of evening fussiness. Hopefully, that means calmer evenings and an easier time putting your baby to sleep at this age. But be careful to not let the newfound ease make you lax on bedtime routines; it’s still important to be consistent with bedtime and sleep cues so that your baby can learn how to go to sleep on their own. Of course, keep in mind that all babies are different, so your infant might have a longer experience of being fussy, too. content source
Two-weeks old baby: Health, growth, care and more
How your baby's growing? Reflexes -- sucking, grasping, rooting (when she searches for your nipple), and blinking -- continue to be all-important this week. At times she may catch your gaze and look at you (make the most of these moments by looking back intently, smiling broadly, nodding your head, and so on), but she'll be quick about it. Find out more fascinating facts about your two-week-old's development If your baby's been crying or fussing for more than three hours a day for more than three days in one week, she may be colicky. Generally, about 20% of babies develop colic around two to four weeks of age. Not only do they seem to cry incessantly, they look very uncomfortable. If your baby is colicky, you're probably in for a rough few weeks, but there's plenty you can do to cope. And it will pass. How your life's changing You and your baby may be getting more used to breastfeeding, although you may still have lots of questions. If you think your husband feels shut out when you settle down to feed your baby, let him know how important his support is to you. He can give the baby expressed milk or a supplement feed. You can find out how to include him when you're breastfeeding too -- he can help in several small but significant way Baby Care: Nappy changing Changing your baby's nappies regularly is important, as urine combined with the bacteria in faeces can make skin sore and lead to nappy rash. Expect to do it before or after every feed (except at night, when changing may disrupt her sleep), plus when she has done a poo. Things to consider Your bleeding or lochia may be darker and more profuse when you breastfeed. Don't worry - it's just that your uterus contracts as the milk is let down. If it continues to be bright red or very heavy in the next couple of weeks, contact your doctor. Featured Image Source
Development Milestones for Preschoolers
Your child may be attending school, but they’re learning so much more than number and letters. Social and emotional skills are just as important. Learning to Play With Others Your child should enjoy playing with other kids and may even have a best friend. Try to encourage a variety of play activities from arts and crafts and imaginary play to organized sports and a visit to the park. Playing with other kids helps your child learn how to work with others and compromise when they can’t always have their way. There are some social skills they can only learn by playing with other children. Your child’s executive function skills are continuing to develop. They’re learning to apply working memory to remember their morning routine for school each day and they’re using self-control to stay focused on activities at home and in school. Each of these skills will help them be successful later on during their school years. Play and Social Skills Is interested in, aware of, and able to maintain eye contact with others Enjoys playing in small groups with children of the same age Is able to initiate and play with another child of the same age Turns head in response to name being called Interested in exploring varied environments, such as new playground or friend’s house Is able to play in new social situations Enjoys playing with variety of toys intended for children of the same age Is aware of risky and unsafe environments and behavior Participates in crafts/activities that involve wet textures, such as glue Enjoys rough but safe play with peers, siblings, or parents Enjoys swinging on playground swings Enjoys playing with new toys Is able to locate objects you are pointing to Enjoys sitting to look at or listen to a book Usually does not bring non-food objects to mouth Is able to play with one toy or theme for 15 minute periods of time Coordination Enjoys and seeks out various ways to move and play Has adequate endurance and strength to play with peers Coordinates movements needed to play and explore Usually walks with heel toe pattern and not primarily on toes Can maintain balance to catch ball or when gently bumped by peers Is able to walk and maintain balance over uneven surfaces Walks through new room without bumping into objects or people Only leans on furniture, walls, or people and sits slumped over when tired Is able to throw and attempt to catch ball without losing balance Coordinates both hands to play, such as swinging a bat or opening a container Coordinates hand and finger movement needed to participate in table top games and activities Is able to color and begin to imitate shapes Uses appropriate force when playing with peers or pets or when holding objects Is able to maintain good sitting posture needed to sit in chair Daily Activities Is able to use utensils to pick up pieces of food Has an established sleep schedule Is usually able to self calm to fall asleep Is able to tolerate and wear textures of new and varied articles of clothes Is able to take appropriate bites of food, does not always stuff mouth Is able to tolerate haircuts and nail cutting without crying Is able to adapt to changes in routine Can take bath or shower, although preference may be present Eats a diet rich in various foods, temperatures, and textures Can drink from a cup and straw without dribbling Need for crashing, bumping and moving fast does not interfere with participation in activities and family life Is able to complete everyday tasks that have multiple steps, such as dressing Frequently wakes up rested and ready for a new day Self-Expression Is generally happy when not hungry or tired Has grown accustomed to everyday sounds and is usually not startled by them Has an established and reliable sleeping schedule Is able to enjoy a wide variety of touch, noises, and smells Cries and notices when hurt Is able to calm self down after upsetting event Is able to transition to new environment or activity Is able to pay attention and is not distracted by sounds not noticed by others Is able to cope with an unexpected change Content and Feature Image Source: https://pathways.org/growth-development/child/abilities/
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When can you start giving Finger Foods to your baby?
Any bite-size, easy-to-eat pieces of food that your baby can easily pick up and eat on his own can be described as finger food. Eating finger food is fun for your baby, and an important step towards independence that also helps him develop his fine motor skills and coordination. When you can introduce finger foods to your baby? When your baby is between 8 and 9 months old, she'll probably let you know that she's ready to start feeding herself by grabbing the spoon you're feeding her with or snatching food off your plate. How should you introduce finger foods to your baby? Simply scatter four or five pieces of finger food onto your baby's highchair tray or an unbreakable plate. You can add more pieces of food as your baby eats them. Feeding your baby in a highchair rather than in a car seat or stroller will reduce the risk of choking and teach him that a highchair is the place to eat. Which foods make the best finger foods? When choosing the best finger foods for baby—whether you’re starting at 6 months or 9 months—experts suggest that it’s best to begin with small pieces of soft food that dissolve easily. Your baby may have a good appetite, but she probably doesn't have many teeth, so start with foods that she can chew or that will dissolve easily in her mouth. As she grows into a toddler, you'll be able to give her bite-size pieces of whatever you're eating. Remember that your baby is learning about food's texture, color, and aroma as she feeds herself, so try to offer her a variety. Resist the temptation to give your baby sweets like cookies and cake or high-fat snacks like cheese puffs and chips. Your baby needs nutrient-rich foods now, not empty calories. Here's a list of finger food favourites: Small pieces of lightly toasted bread or bagels (spread with vegetable puree for extra vitamins) Small chunks of banana or other very ripe peeled and pitted fruit, like mango, plum, pear, peach, or seedless watermelon Well-cooked pasta spirals, cut into pieces Very small chunks of soft cheese Chopped hard-boiled egg Small pieces of well-cooked vegetables, like carrots, peas, potato, or sweet potato Small well-cooked broccoli or cauliflower "trees" Pea-size pieces of cooked chicken, ground beef or turkey, or other soft meat Content source Featured image source
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".
When to begin toilet training your child
There is no right age to toilet train a child. Readiness to begin toilet training depends on the individual child. In general, starting before age 2 (24 months) is not recommended. The readiness skills and physical development your child needs occur between age 18 months and 2.5 years. Your child will show cues that he or she is developmentally ready. Signs of readiness include the following: Your child can imitate your behavior. Your child begins to put things where they belong. Your child can demonstrate independence by saying “no.” Your child can express interest in toilet training (eg, following you to the bathroom). Your child can walk and is ready to sit down. Your child can indicate first when he is “going” (urinating or defecating) and then when he needs to “go.” Your child is able to pull clothes up and down (on and off). Each child has his or her own style of behavior, which is called temperament. In planning your approach to toilet training, it is important to consider your child's temperament. Consider your child's moods and the time of day your child is most approachable. Plan your approach based on when your child is most cooperative. If your child is generally shy and withdrawn, he or she may need additional support and encouragement. Work with your child's attention span. Plan for distractions that will keep him or her comfortable on the potty chair. For example, reading a story to your child may help keep him or her interested. Consider your child's frustration level, and be ready to encourage and reassure him or her at each step. Before you begin toilet training, have your child examined by his or her health care provider. During your child's check-up, talk with the health care provider about the child's developmental readiness and temperament. Your health care provider can help you determine whether your child is ready to begin toilet training and help you plan your approach. Timing is important. Toilet training should not be started when the child is feeling ill or when the child is experiencing any major life changes such as moving, new siblings, new school, or new child-care situation. If your child is feeling too pressured to toilet train or if the process is too stressful, he or she may begin to withhold urine or stool. Withholding can be the result of too much pressure or can be caused by constipation (hard and painful stools). Try not to feel pressured to toilet train your child. If you are feeling pressured to train your child because of caregiver considerations or family members' views, your anxiety about toilet training can create anxiety in your child. GETTING STARTED What to Know Toilet training includes discussing, undressing, going, wiping, dressing, flushing, and hand-washing. Remember to reinforce your child's success at each step. There are many steps to the toilet training process. The more ready the child is when you begin, the more quickly the toilet training process will go. Initial success relies on your child understanding the use of the toilet, not mastering the process. Check your child's stools. It is very important that they are soft. Hard stools can be very painful and are difficult to pass. If your child's stools are hard, add fiber to your child's diet and consult your health care provider for a recommended stool-softener. When the stool is softer, reassure your child that now it won't hurt. A high-fiber diet and reduced quantity of dairy products can help soften the stool and develop and maintain regular bowel movements. Because children can resist being forced to eat nutritious foods, and because they learn best by example, eating a high-fiber balanced diet yourself will encourage your child to eat well. What To Do Get a potty chair. Many children feel more secure on a potty chair than on a toilet because when they sit, their feet are securely on the floor and they are not afraid of falling off or in. Allow your child to become familiar with the potty chair. Let your child observe, touch, and get comfortable with the potty chair before attempting to use it. Also, introduce the potty chair to your child as his or her own chair. Place the potty chair in a convenient place for your child. The potty chair does not have to be limited to the bathroom. Keep it in the playroom, in the yard, or wherever your child is playing, so your child can get to it when he or she wants. If your child is afraid of the potty chair, don't pressure him or her to use it. Put toilet training aside for 1 or 2 months, and give your child time to get used to the idea of the potty chair and to be comfortable with it. Let your child first sit on the potty chair fully clothed once a day as a routine. Also, let your child leave the potty chair at any time, and never force your child to spend time sitting on it. After your child is comfortable sitting on the potty chair with clothes on, let him or her sit there without clothes. Take the stool from your child's diaper and put it into his or her potty chair so that your child can see where it should go. HELPFUL TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS Setbacks Setbacks are to be expected, not to be seen as a failure or regression, but as a temporary step back. Setbacks are normal and may occur when your child feels too much pressure. Setbacks can be frustrating, but your child needs encouragement and reassurance from you. Try to remember that this is your child's task, not your own. Coordinating Plans Make sure to coordinate your toilet training plans with others who may be with your child during the day (caregivers, grandparents, day care staff members). It is important that they know how you want your child to be trained so that the child receives the same message during the day when you are not present as during evenings and weekends when you are. Parental Encouragement Make this experience as positive, natural, and nonthreatening as possible so that your child feels confident that he or she is doing it on his or her own. Often, what seems like laziness in your child is resistance to pressure or immaturity. Your child is likely to want to be trained as much as you want him or her to be trained. Encourage imitation. When you sit on the toilet, allow your child to sit on the potty chair beside you. Boys should learn to urinate sitting first, because if they stand first, they may not want to sit to have a bowel movement. Start a routine with regular reminders beginning with one time a day—after breakfast or maybe at bath time when your child is already undressed. Watch for behavior, grimaces, or poses that may signal the need for a bowel movement, and ask your child if he or she needs to go. Praise your child whenever he or she tells you that he/she needs to go and when your child tells you without being reminded. Let your child flush if he or she wants to. Because some children do not like the sound of the toilet or are afraid of the toilet, be sure to determine whether your child is scared. Also, try to reassure your child if he or she becomes upset about the disappearance of the stool down the toilet. Clothing/Diapers Keep your child in loose, easy-to-remove clothing. Help your child master the dressing and undressing needed to sit on the potty chair. Once the child is comfortably sitting on the potty chair with clothes on, then try it with clothes off. When your child is using the potty chair successfully several times a day, he or she may be ready for underwear for part of the day. Because diapers can be very reassuring, do not rush your child out of diapers. Your child's skin is just as likely to get a rash from wetness or exposure to a stool as it did during infancy. Therefore, keeping your child dry and clean is as important during training as it was when he or she was an infant. Change your child regularly, and do not leave him or her in soiled clothing as a training method. Disposable or nondisposable training pants may be used as part of the transition from diaper to underwear, but they are not recommended as an initial step. They may be helpful when your child is ready to take over the training process. Specific Training Issues Accidents are common and should be expected in the training process. Boys generally take longer to be trained than do girls. If you feel you need help in the training process, contact your pediatrician or health care professional to discuss any issues you may have. Night-time Training Nighttime or naptime dryness may occur at the same time as daytime dryness, although it may not occur until a year or so later. Aside from taking your child to the toilet before going to sleep, here are some other tips to help the child stay dry through the night: Ask your child to withhold urine a little during the day to gain better control. With your child's permission, wake him or her during the night to use the bathroom. A nighttime potty chair kept by the bed can make it more convenient for your child when he or she wakes during the night. If your child is still consistently wetting the bed 1 year after age 7 years, consult your pediatrician or health care professional. content source
Do's and don't when Potty Training your newborn
It can be helpful to think of potty training as a process in which both you and your child have your own “jobs” to do. It is the parent’s responsibility to create a supportive learning environment. This means that you: Recognize that your child is in control of his or her body Let your child decide whether to use the potty or a diaper/pull-up each day Teach your child words for body parts, urine, and bowel movements Offer your child the tools she needs to be successful at toileting (such as a small potty, potty seat, stool, etc.) Expect and handle potty accidents without anger Avoid punishment as well as too much praise around toilet use. (This can make children feel bad when they aren’t successful.) It is your child’s responsibility to: Decide whether to use the toilet or a diaper/pull-up Learn his body’s signals for when he needs to use the toilet Use the toilet at his own speed Finding a toilet training method that works for your family is the key. No matter how you do it, remember this is a learning process that takes time, with many accidents along the way. Being patient is the best way you can support your child as she learns. Keep in mind that children with special needs may take longer to learn to use the potty. They may also need special equipment, and a lot of help and support from you. If you need assistance with your child’s toilet training, talk with your child’s health care provider or community service coordinator. What to Avoid When Potty Training My Toddler Toddlers are all about trying to gain some control over their world. They are using their growing physical, thinking, and language skills to gain some power over themselves, their bodies, and their surroundings. This natural and healthy desire for control can lead to power struggles, as children quickly figure out that one way to feel in charge is by refusing to do something they know their parent wants them to do. And, for better or worse, learning to use the potty is way up there on most parents’ list of what they really, really, really want their children to do—and children quickly pick up on that. (Just picture mom and dad clapping and jumping up and down when they see their child’s first bowel movement in the potty.) Toilet training is particularly ripe for power struggles because it is so tied up with toddlers wanting to have control over their own bodies. So it’s important to approach toilet training matter-of-factly and without a lot of emotion. Think of it as just another skill you are helping your child learn. If you show anger or disappointment when it’s not going well, or overwhelming joy when it is, it lets your child know this is something you want him to do badly. Refusing to do it becomes a very powerful way for your child to feel in control. The more emotional you are, the more it shows your child how much it matters to you that he use the potty. It is also very important not to force your child to use the potty because it can cause intense power struggles. These power struggles sometimes lead to children trying to regain control over their bodies by withholding urine or bowel movements. This can create physical problems, like constipation. So if you are starting to see power struggles developing over potty training, it might help to take the pressure off. Stop talking about potty training or doing anything about it for a little while, until your child shows signs of readiness and interest again. To Use Rewards for Potty Training or Not Many parents wonder about offering rewards for using the potty—a sticker, an extra sweet, or a little toy every time their child is successful on the toilet. Although these kinds of rewards may encourage progress in the short run, the concern is that for some children, the pressure of “success” in the form of the reward creates anxiety or feelings of failure when they have a (very normal and even expected) potty accident. The other risk is that the use of rewards for toileting can lead children to expect rewards for doing almost anything—finishing a meal, brushing teeth, etc. When parents are matter-of-fact about potty training and don’t make a big deal about it, children are more likely to follow their own internal desire to reach this important milestone. When Preschoolers Are Still Not Interested in Potty Training Reach out to your child’s health care provider with your questions or concerns about potty training. Occasionally, children have physical issues that make potty training more difficult, so a check-up is always a good idea. You may also want to sit down with a child development specialist who can help you figure out what the challenges around potty training might be for your individual child and can help you identify toilet learning strategies that might be more successful. content source
Signs That Children Are Ready for Potty Training
Most children develop control over their bowel and bladder by 18 months. This skill is necessary for children to physically be able to use the toilet. How ready a child is emotionally to begin learning to use the potty depends on the individual child. Some children are ready at 18 months, and others are ready at 3. While every child is different, about 22% of children are out of diapers by 2½, and 88% of children are out of diapers by 3½. Your child is ready to learn to use the toilet when he or she: Stays dry for at least 2 hours at a time, or after naps Recognizes that she is urinating or having a bowel movement. For example, your child might go into another room or under the table when she has a bowel movement. This is important—if you child does not realize she is having a bowel movement, she won’t be successful at potty training. Is developing physical skills that are critical to potty training—the ability to walk, to pull pants up and down, and to get onto/off the potty (with some help). Copies a parent’s toileting behavior. Can follow simple instructions. Most important, your child wants to use the potty. He may tell you that he wants to wear “big boy” underpants or learn to go potty “like Daddy does.” He may feel uncomfortable in a soiled diaper and ask to be changed or ask to use the toilet himself. When Not to Start Potty Training There are some issues that can sometimes get in the way of successful potty training. For example, when children are going through a significant change or several changes at once (see list below) it might be smart to hold off on adventures in potty training. At these times, children often feel overwhelmed and sometimes lose skills they have already learned or were making progress on, like potty training. Common situations that can cause stress and are generally not good times to start training include: An upcoming or recent family move Beginning new or changing existing child care arrangements Switching from crib to bed When you are expecting or have recently had a new baby. A major illness, a recent death, or some other family crisis If your child is in the middle of potty training during a stressful time and seems to be having more accidents than usual, know that this is normal. Your child needs all of your patience and support right now. She will return to her previous level of potty training once things have gotten back to normal. content source
Symptoms and Remedies for Teething in Babies
The first tooth is a big event in your baby’s young life, but it can be uncomfortable. The more you know about teething, the better you can help your baby get through it. Schedule a trip to the dentist after her first tooth arrives (usually around 6 months), or generally by her first birthday. Signs of Teething Most babies begin to teethe between 4-7 months old. But some start much later. The symptoms aren’t the same for every baby, but they may include: Swollen, tender gums Fussiness and crying A slightly raised temperature (less than 101 F) Gnawing or wanting to chew on hard things Lots of drool Changes in eating or sleeping patterns What works to soothe a friend’s baby might not work for yours. You may need to try different things to help your little one feel better. Often, something cold in your baby’s mouth helps. Try a cold pacifier, spoon, clean wet washcloth, or a solid (not liquid) refrigerated teething toy or ring. Some experts say frozen teething toys are too cold and may hurt your baby’s mouth. Make sure to clean teething toys, washcloths, and other items after the baby uses them. Babies -- especially those who are teething -- love to chew. It’s OK to let your baby chew as much as she wants. Just make sure you know what she’s putting into her mouth and that it’s safe and clean. A hard, unsweetened teething cracker can be comforting. If your baby is older than 6-9 months, you can offer cool water from a sippy cup, too. You can also massage her gums by gently rubbing them with your clean finger. If the teeth haven’t come in yet, you can let your baby gnaw on your finger. If you’re nursing your baby, try dipping your fingers in cool water and massaging her gums before each feeding. That may keep her from biting your nipple while nursing. Medicine that you rub on your baby’s gums to stop the pain of teething may not help. It quickly washes away in the mouth. Stay away from over-the-counter teething gels and liquids that have the ingredient benzocaine. The FDA says this ingredient shouldn’t be given to children under 2. It can cause rare but serious side effects. A small dose of a children’s pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may help your baby. But ask your doctor before giving her any medication, and use it exactly as the doctor says. Teething can be rough for you and your baby at first. But it’ll get easier as you both learn how to soothe each new tooth that pops out.