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These popular 20 games will boost development of your baby

Your baby's attention span will vary a lot, depending on his age, his temperament, and his mood. Sometimes he'll enjoy a game for as long as 20 minutes, but more often you'll need to modify the game every five minutes or so. You'll know your baby's loving your antics when he's turning toward you, smiling, or laughing. But if he squirms away from you, looks away, or cries, it's time to change the activity. Not every baby will catch on to every game. Don't allow this to freak you out, but of course if you have concerns about a possible developmental delay, talk to your baby's doctor. Birth to 3 months To the outside observer, a newborn basically seems like a pooping ball of protoplasm. Your baby will mostly just lie there, except when he's crying. So how can you connect with him and have fun? Your best chance of doing this is to engage your baby's senses: touch, sight (remember, your baby is still very nearsighted), smell, and hearing. (Let's leave taste out for now.) By the end of his first three months, your baby may reach out and try to grab things and will be fascinated by sounds, smells, and patterns. Note: It may take your newborn several seconds to respond to you or he may not respond much at all. Be patient – you may need to keep trying or wait a while for him to enter an alert, responsive state. 10 games your baby will love: Newborn to 3 months old Newborns constantly take in new sights, sounds, smells, and more. Help your baby learn about the world by trying these 10 fun games. Dance, Dance Revolution In the afternoons when my own baby got grumpy, nothing worked as well as dancing with her. I'd put on some music – she preferred soulful tunes from Stevie Wonder and James Brown – and either put her in the sling or hold her in my arms. At first she preferred soft swaying. Later on she liked me to swing her in the air or bump her up and down rather rudely. (Just be sure to offer neck support and don't shake your baby.) When your arms get tired, put your baby down and keep up the dance. Silly exaggerated movements like jazz hands or shaking your butt are particularly funny to babies. Close the drapes so the neighbors won't see. Let's Look at Stuff Most of your early playtime will be spent showing your baby stuff. Any object in the house that won't poison, electrocute, or otherwise hurt him is fair game. Babies love egg beaters, spoons, wire whisks, spatulas, books and magazines with pictures, bottles of shampoo or conditioner (don't leave your baby alone with these!), record albums, colorful fabrics or clothes, fruits and vegetables, and so on. Keep a little stash of objects beside you and sit with your baby. When the moment's right, whip something out like a magician. "Look, Kyle, Daddy's bicycle bell." Hold the object still about a foot from his face and stare at it yourself. Hey, now that you look at it, that bicycle bell is kind of interesting. Congratulations! You're thinking like a baby! Oh, and don't expect babies to really "get" books at this age. You'll know they're enjoying them by their way of getting still and watchful when you bring a favorite book out. Babies don't tend to sit through a whole story, though, and when they're a few months older they'll grab the books from you and close them. This is all developmental stuff. Babies love looking at books and cuddling close to you, but they usually don't care about the plot. Journey Into Mom's Closet You haven't spent a lifetime accumulating a closetful of bright, slinky, tactile clothing for nothing. Dig into your closet and show your baby your cashmere sweater, your cottony-soft favorite jeans, your brilliant plaid skirt. Run soft or silky fabrics over her face, hands, and feet. Lay fuzzy stuff down on the floor and put your baby on top of it. In a few months, your baby will want to run her hands over anything beaded, embroidered, or otherwise embellished. But for now, she may just be content to gaze in wonder. Hey! What's Over My Head? You'll be amazed at how much fun you can have with the simplest stuff around your house. Here are three ideas to start you off: Tie or tape some ribbons, fabric, or other interesting streamers onto a wooden spoon and dangle them gently over and in front of your baby's face. Take a floaty scarf and fling it into the air, letting it settle on your baby's head. Tie a toy to an elastic string (like the kind used for cat toys) and bounce it up and down in front of your baby's face, saying "Boing! Boing!" every time it descends. Remember, never leave your baby alone with strings or ribbons that could encircle his neck or that he could get into his mouth. The Diva Within You may have a terrible voice – but your kid doesn't know it! Now's the time to sing at volume 10, so set free that opera voice inside you. Your baby may like absolutely anything you sing, but there are some classics you should know. "Itsy Bitsy Spider" was the only song that made my baby stop crying when she was on a jag. And most kids like any song with movements – "The Wheels on the Bus," "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," and "Patty-Cake," to name a few. (If you don't remember the words to a favorite song, just look online.) You may feel silly at first, but as your child gets into it, so will you. Try adding your baby's name to the song: "Old Mac Ethan had a farm," "Kate is my sunshine, my only sunshine," and so on. Try songs with silly sounds or animal noises in them, like "Witch Doctor" or "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?" Try singing a song in a low growly voice and then in a high squeaky voice, to see which gets the most reaction. Try singing the song breathily into your baby's ear, or use a hand puppet (or a napkin or sock willing to play the part of a hand puppet). And get used to singing, because this could begin to eat up a significant portion of your day. 4 to 6 months At this age, your baby will become a lot more physical, learning how to roll over and even sit up. She can now hold, handle, and mouth objects, and she'll spend a good part of her busy days doing so (meaning extra vigilance is needed on your part). Games can get more physical now. Your baby might enjoy knee rides or tickle games. She's also more responsive to you, making noises and meeting your eyes. Smell the Spice Rack You're in the kitchen, trying to throw some kind of dinner together when your baby starts wailing. Take him over to the spice rack and introduce him to the intoxicating scent of cinnamon. Rub some on your hand and put it up to your baby's nose. (Don't let it get in his eyes or mouth.) If he likes it, try others: Vanilla, peppermint, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, and many other herbs and spices have intriguing fragrances that your baby might love. Other household goods are fragrant, too: Dad's shaving lotion, Mom's hand cream. Sniff out everything yummy – just be careful not to let your baby eat it! 10 games your baby will love: 4 to 6 months old Now that your baby is more alert, make him smile with these 10 fun games that are perfect for bonding and developing new skills. Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere There's something magical about bubbles, and at this point your baby can see far enough away to focus on them. Blow bubbles when she's getting fussy waiting for the bus and watch the tears dry up. Blow bubbles in the park to attract older kids who'll caper nearby and entertain your baby in the process. Blow bubbles in the bathtub or out on the porch when it's late afternoon and your baby is cranky. Bubbles are unbelievably cheap, easily transportable, and endlessly fascinating for babies. I'm Gonna Get You! Your baby is old enough to have a sense of anticipation now. And no baby can resist your coming at him mock-menacingly with a threat of hugs, kisses, or tickles. Here's what you could say: "Hey, Sweetpea! I see you over there sitting up! Well, that just makes you closer to my lips and I'm going to come over there and kiss you! I'm going to steal a kiss, baby! I'm coming! I'm coming! I... gotcha!" Then cover your baby in smooches. In our house we threaten to eat the baby and punctuate our advances with lip chomps on her fat little feet. A delicacy! When your baby's older you can modify this game to include a chase around the house – this works wonderfully as a way to get your child out the door when you're in a rush. This Little Piggy Touch your baby's toes in turn, starting with the big toe. Say, "This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none. And this little piggy went wee-wee-wee all the way home." As you say that last part, run your fingers up your baby's belly. This game is useful for putting on socks and shoes or distracting your baby during diaper changes. You can also play this game in the bathtub with a squirt bottle targeting your baby's toes. Find two perfect, development-boosting activities for every week of your baby's first year. Tummy Time It's important to have your baby spend time on her tummy, even if she protests vociferously. Get down on the floor with your baby. Look her in the eye as you lie on your own belly. Lay your baby down on a towel and use it to gently roll her from side to side. Try saying, "Oops-a-daisy, Oops-a-daisy" as you roll her. Fly, Baby, Fly! Now that your baby can hold his head up, it's time to hoist him into the air. You can play that he's a rocket ship, flying him over you and making realistic rocket noises. You can play that your baby is in an elevator, which advances up floor by floor before sinking quickly to the bottom (my husband likes to bump noses with our baby and say "Ding!" at this point). Or pretend that your baby's doing a helicopter traffic report. 7 to 9 months Your baby's becoming an expert at sitting and may soon be crawling as well. Encourage these physical feats by celebrating each new milestone with claps and a cheer: "Yay, you sat up! Amazing baby!" The ability to transfer objects from hand to hand and the fabled pincer grasp are part of your baby's increasing hand control (which means you'll be forced to carry a container of O-shaped cereal with you at all times for the next year). Your baby also begins to understand that when an object moves out of sight, it hasn't disappeared from the face of the earth. This discovery makes games like peek-a-boo a favorite. Touch It, Hold It, Bang It If your baby has one object, she'll bang it on the table. If she has two objects, she'll bang them together, hold them up to the light, squint at them, bang them separately on the table, hit the table with both at the same time, see if the object sounds different when hit using the left hand rather than the right hand, and on and on. Help her out by handing over objects that make interesting sounds: hollow containers, metal spoons, bells. Pay attention to tactile sensations as well: Your baby will be fascinated by an embossed greeting card or the slickness of Mom's enameled jewelry box. A baby with strands of cooked spaghetti to play with will be thoroughly entranced. I Can Control the World Babies love cause and effect at this age, as in: I do this, the light comes on. I do that, the light goes off. Showing your baby how to work light switches, faucets, doorbells, and more will thrill him – but can make life more difficult for you when he insists on being held up to work the lights yet again. Instead, you may want to offer a other dangers (dressers with drawers pulled out can turn over on a child) and then let your baby go to town. Obstacle Course If your baby's crawling, scooting, or walking, she may enjoy the challenge of having to move over things. (This is great for developing her motor skills, too. Pillows, tired parents, and laundry make good obstacles. Sleeping cats do not. So Many Variations on Peek-a-boo The classic: Hold up a towel between your face and your baby's and ask, "Where's Sam? There's Sam!" over and over again. You can vary this game in a million ways. Hide behind a door and make your baby push it open to see you. Hide behind a chair and pop out first from above then from the sides. Go behind a corner with another person and alternate who jumps out and yells "Boo!" Keep a selection of hats behind the couch and pop up wearing a different one each time. A surefire laugh-getter is to put a hat on your head, low enough to cover your eyes, and let your baby take it off, saying "Oh!" in surprise each time he does it. (This will also guarantee that you'll never wear a hat in peace again.) Roll Play Babies are fascinated by balls and how they move. You'll get a big laugh by juggling or tossing balls up in the air and letting them hit the floor while you make a silly sound effect: "Whoops!" Roll a soft ball toward your baby and watch her grab and squeeze it. Eventually, with encouragement, she'll roll the ball back toward you. And someday she'll be able to kick and toss the ball or drop it into a big bowl or bucket. For now, bounce and roll. 10 to 12 months Developmentally, your baby has suddenly morphed into an almost-toddler. Games that allow him to practice so-called gross motor skills such as standing, pulling up, and climbing are important for him now. Your baby will also like to work on his fine motor skills by fiddling with the tag on your shirt or the pages of a book – and maybe your breasts or bra if he's still nursing. Rearrange and Re-rearrange Your baby is figuring out the connections between objects in the world. She'll love to stack and arrange objects, as well as fill and empty them. Give your baby a box that's easy to open (like a shoe box) and show her how to put things inside and take them out. At our house, this game quickly evolves into "Take everything out of Mommy's purse and fling it wildly around the living room," which is why I no longer carry change or pens. Another way to play this game: Get a bunch of cups (maybe even stackable measuring cups – ooh, two toys in one!) and show your baby how to pour water, sand, or cornmeal from one to the other, or into a larger container. The Endless Cruise Once your baby is up on his feet, you can encourage cruising by placing a favorite toy at the far end of the couch or over on the coffee table. Try enticing your baby by putting one of your toys, such as your or sunglasses, a distance away and cruising on your knees toward it. Your baby may find this amusing and attempt to join you. Encourage your baby to push an object around the room. Push toys and large empty boxes work well. Avoid folding chairs, which can fold up unexpectedly. Top That Kid Babies this age love to imitate. Encourage this behavior by making a ridiculous noise and then nodding at your baby to go ahead and try a noise. She may imitate you or make her own noise, which you can imitate. Or you can make up a new noise of your own. You can also play this game with faces or movements – our kid likes to raise her arms in a V shape and wave them around. When we do it back, her expression is of someone witnessing magic. The Bath Is Fun No longer is your baby content to sit in the tub and be washed. Older babies want to stand up, splash, grab your hair, pat the shower curtain, and so on. (Note: Never leave a baby unattended in the bath, not even for a minute.) Encourage the fun by adding lots of toys to the tub. Plenty of stuff around the house can be endlessly filled, drained, poured from or into, and floated. Pile up some plastic cups, yogurt containers, funnels, and squeeze bottles, and bring them into the bath along with any of your baby's plastic toys. Poke holes in the top of a plastic bottle with a flat cap to make a homemade watering can. Let your baby feel the sensation of the water dripping onto him and show him how to cut off the flow by blocking it with his hand. Use your homemade toy to give his rubber ducky a shower. At the end of the bath, drain the toys in a plastic colander or a net bag suction-cupped to the side of the tub. Hopefully your baby is clean, happy, and ready to sleep. Wasn't that fun?

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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

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7 signs to show that your child loves you

We love them endlessly, and we constantly tell them that as well. However, most of our little ones haven’t mastered the art of speech yet. But, they do tell us they love us in different ways given below: 1. She stares into your eyes: Newborns love to look at faces, and yours is her favorite. That soulful gaze is a survival instinct designed to attract love and attention from a caregiver. It's also the beginning of her love for you – she's realizing just how important you are in her life. 2. She recognizes your smell: Given the choice between a dozen fragrant roses and your sweaty, milk-stained T-shirt, your baby will go for the shirt every time. "Even a 1-week-old will turn his head toward a breast pad soaked with his mother's milk. According to experts, when it comes to your newborn, nothing smells sweeter than you. 3. She smiles at you: The first time your baby gives you a true, fabulous grin is a magical moment. It's her way of saying "I love you." 4. She wants you around: About halfway through your baby's first year, you'll notice that she's not happy with your absence. She may scrunch up her face or cry when you step out of the room, and she'll smile upon your return which is a sign of her growing attachment. 5. She shares your interests: Whether you are involved in dusting the home or washing the clothes, if you scrutinise it, your baby will do the same. Called mutual attention, this behavior can start when your baby is just a few months old, but it's more pronounced at 9 to 12 months. "It's a sign that your child is engaged with you and values what you're paying attention to.  6. She uses you as a shield: Don't be surprised if your baby buries her head in your chest when someone new appears on the scene. "Stranger anxiety" is a normal phase, and turning to you for protection means your baby loves you and trusts you to keep her safe. 7. She turns to you for rescue: You're walking through the park when a big dog runs up to your toddler. She raises her arms for you to pick her up and hold her close. She trusts you to help her, and that's a way of showing love.   Content source Featured image source

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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

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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:

How to calm your Crying Baby

Baby's First Year

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Help your Baby Develop Through Fun

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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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Four-weeks old baby: Health, growth, care and more

At 4 weeks, your baby is almost a month old and you've both gone through an enormous amount of change in a very short period of time. Before you do anything else, give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far and recognise all that you have accomplished since you met your little one. You’ve made it through sleepless nights, struggled through feedings, and learnt to do pretty much any task one-handed. But just like every new week so far, there’s plenty more in store for both of you! Here’s what you need to know about your 4-week-old baby. Developmental Milestones: Some babies will develop a little faster than others and some babies may need time to “catch up.” At 4 weeks old, your baby might be able to: Body Hold their head up for a few minutes Lift hands toward the face or mouth, but it won’t be long before they reach their mouth! Control more head movement, like turning the neck from side to side Make jerky, quivering arm thrusts Keep hands in tight fists Continue strong reflex movements Brain Recognize you, your partner, or family members with widened eyes  See more clearly, up to about 18 inches in front of them Listen intently when you speak or sing Start to coo May turn toward familiar sounds, including your voice. Hearing is fully developed at this stage. Study human faces Baby Care Basics: By four weeks, chances are you’ve become a diaper-changing pro! Whether you are using cloth diapers or disposable diapers, your little one may start experiencing a diaper rash from time to time, especially during the summer months. To help prevent and treat diaper rash: Change your baby’s diaper more frequently: As soon as you notice the diaper is wet or soiled during the day, change it.  Use a diaper rash cream: You can apply a diaper rash cream as a preventive measure, especially if your baby is prone to getting rashes.  Air it out: The best way to prevent and treat diaper rash is to let your baby go all-natural.    If your baby seems excessively uncomfortable, especially after a feeding, they may be experiencing gas. Try these helpful tips: Burp after feedings: Be sure to burp your baby from the bottom upward to facilitate the air movement. Switching formulas: Your infant may need to change formulas several times before finding one that works best for their digestive system. Change bottles: Bottles and nipples are all made differently, so it might be helpful to try several types of bottles and nipples that have different kinds of airflow to experiment with what reduces gas in your little one. Health & Safety At 4 weeks old, your baby will have another well-child check-up. At this visit, the pediatrician will evaluate your baby’s growth and development and go over important safety guidelines with you. You can expect to be asked about: Your home environment: If you smoke, you should quit to reduce the risk of SIDS and increase your baby’s health. No smoke or secondhand smoke should be around the baby. Car seat safety: At 4 weeks old, your infant should be in a rear-facing infant seat. Vaccines: The second dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine may also be administered at this visit. Content source Featured image source

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What can you expect your baby to be doing at four months old?

Your baby at four months old At four months old your baby's development will be speeding up. Along with improved senses, they will likely be going through the early stages of speech development and may even have the early signs of their first teeth.   Your baby’s senses at four months old Further development of their touch Your baby will be fascinated by anything with a texture now – crinkly, shiny, lumpy or furry. Most of the objects they touch, whatever their texture, will go straight in their mouth. Sometimes they will hit themselves in the face with the toy and cry, giving you a look as if to ask, ‘Why did you do that, Mum?’ What your baby can see Their vision has really come on since those first few fuzzy images at birth – your baby can now see across the room, although they will still prefer to look at things close-up. If you can see any squint, contact your health visitor as it’s important to get checked out. Although they can see colour from birth, your baby will now be much better at distinguishing between different shades, being able to more accurately work out the difference between similar shades. This can be a great time to introduce more colourful toys and books which they’ll love looking at. Your baby’s motor skills at four months old Speech development If you listen carefully to your baby’s babble you may be able to make out vowel and consonant sounds: p and b sounds when they’re unhappy and guttural sounds like j and k when they’re happy. They may also be able to imitate the sounds you make now, so if you say boo, they may try to say it back. Rolling on Rolling over is more likely now. The age at which babies first roll over varies – some are ready at three months, some not until six or seven months. So it may happen this month. Or it may not. You can’t force it but you can gently encourage it by putting a favourite toy by their side and see if they roll over to get it. You may also notice that whilst laying on their front, they’re able to arch their back. This is a good exercise that can help them develop their neck muscles further and is a good way for them to start developing the muscles they’ll need to sit up and eventually crawl, stand and walk.  

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Baby developmental milestones: 3 months

All babies have their own timetables. Little boys and girls simply grow and develop at their own rates, and on their own unique schedules. However, there are several common markers you can watch for. Celebrate with your baby as he reaches or nears the following key developmental milestones. May raise head and chest while on tummy: For your baby, holding up his head and chest while leaning on his elbows will be a major triumph. Hold a toy in front of your baby to encourage him to lift his head and look forward. This strengthens his neck muscles. Opens and shuts hands: Is your baby staring at her hands a lot these days? She's just discovered that she can open and shut them. Press a lightweight toy or rattle in her hand and she'll grip it, explore or shake it, and drop it when she loses interest. Pushes down on legs when feet are on a firm surface: Let your baby stand for a few seconds with some help from you. Hold him in a standing position with his feet on the floor and he'll push down and straighten his legs. Let him bounce a couple of times if he tries. May swipe at dangling objects and may grasp and shake hand toys: Your baby is learning hand-eye coordination. Lay her under an infant gym and she'll throw her whole body into batting and grabbing for the dangling toys. Hold a toy in front of her while she's sitting on your lap and let her try to reach for it. Can start to follow moving objects with eyes: Your baby's eyes can move and focus at the same time now. He may follow an object moving all the way around in a half-circle. He loves watching things move! Jiggle a mobile above his crib. Watching it will be a favourite activity. Recognises familiar objects and people at a distance: At birth, your baby could only see fuzzy shapes. Now she can recognize the outline of a face when someone enters the room. She even may smile at you from across the room! Take her out often in her stroller or baby carrier and let her discover all there is to see. May make cooing sounds and turns head towards some sounds: Is your baby cooing, aahing, and oohing? He's starting to imitate sounds, the first step to speech. Coo back to him and he'll begin to understand how two people talk. Sprinkle real words into talks with baby, too. He'll understand words long before he can say them. Content source Featured image source

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Best toys for 3-6-month-old babies

In the 3-6 month age range, your baby will begin to start playing with toys as he figures out what his hands, feet and voice can do. Toys during this phase need to be big enough that they cannot be put in the mouth since this is the age where everything finds its way to the child’s mouth. Be sure to check labels on all toys to ensure that they are appropriate for this age. Small parts and anything that can cause suffocation or strangulation should not be given to children from 3-6 months old. Check out the best toys for 3-6-months-old that can help your baby develop both his body and his mind. These are best toys for 3-6-month-olds:  1. Activity Center An activity center is a great toy for a child 3-6 months old since it provides a series of activities that your baby can use to begin to develop motor skills. Until your baby begins to sit up on his own, an activity center in the crib is a good option. Once the baby can sit up and wants to be more mobile, a free standing activity or one on a mat on the floor will be the best option. 2. Lightweight Rattles This is the age when a rattle becomes an interactive toy for your child. Until about the age of 3 months-old, your baby will react to you shaking a rattle. During the 3-6 month range, your developing child will reach for the rattle and begin to shake it himself. By this age, most babies are intrigued by anything that makes noise – as long as they are not startled by loud noises. A rattle or musical rattle will be a perfect toy. 3. Activity Bars An activity bar with hanging toys may be a perfect toy when your child is confined to a stroller or car seat. These toys allow your child to interact by hitting the toys and making noise if they contain rattles. Since these toys can be distracting for a tired baby, you may find that you want to reserve these toys for “awake” time. Baby’s crib may not be the right place for this toy. 4. Stuffed Animals A safe stuffed animal is one that a child can sleep with without having to worry about buttons that can come off or wires that can poke the baby. A perfect stuffed animal is one that is soft without ANYTHING that the child could remove and choke on. Remember, this is the age where your child will want to “taste” everything. 5. Bumbo As your 3-6 month-old learns to sit up, a Bumbo seat may be a perfect way for your child to be upright. These seats provide the stability your developing child needs and is a perfect size to take with you when you go visiting or when you go to a restaurant. Very light weight, the Bumbo will take up very little room in your car but should NOT be used as a car seat for a child of any age. 6. Musical Toys Musical toys are great at any age, but the 3-6 month-old range is when a child will really begin to understand that music can be enjoyable to make as well as listen to. Many age-appropriate musical toys that can be purchased including those that have built-in music and those require your child to do something to make the music. Either way, your child can begin to discover the joys of music during this time. Content source Featured image source

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What Is Social Development in Early Childhood?

Social development in early childhood is an important part of a person’s overall health, well-being, and happiness throughout his or her life. Social development is very closely linked to cognitive and emotional development, and together these developmental markers and milestones build the foundation for developing relationships with other people, coping with stressful situations, and many other skills. Healthy social development is especially important as a child enters school. Social development involves children’s ability to interact with others and regulate their own behaviour. Identifying these milestones in young children can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with them, so we’ve laid out some of these markers, as well as some red flags. Milestones of Social Development in Early Childhood Between the age of three and four years, a child’s sense of confidence begins to develop as he or she learns to do more activities without assistance. At this stage, most children typically begin to: •    Share toys and take turns •    Begin engaging in pretend play •    Follow simple rules in games •    Sometimes become be bossy and defiant •    Show more independence •    Might show attachment to one friend Between the age of four and five, children start to gain a greater awareness of their own individuality. A child’s sense of self in these early stages can set a pattern for the rest of his or her life. At this stage, most children typically begin to: •    Develop friendships with other kids •    Compare themselves to other children and adults •    Understand other people’s thoughts and feelings •    Initiate or join in play with other children and make up games •    Show an understanding of right and wrong •    Listen while others are speaking Red Flags for Social Development in Early Childhood The following are indicators of possible dysfunctional social development. If your child exhibits some or all of these behaviours, you may want to have your child’s Executive Function skills assessed or seek advice from your paediatrician or another health professional. •    Shows no interest in playing with other children •    Is unable to share or take turns with other children •    Wants to be dependent on caregivers for everything •    Is extremely “rigid” about routines and becomes upset when things change •    Has extreme difficulty separating from parents or caregivers How Executive Function Skills Promote Healthy Social Development Executive Function is the “controller” for all cognitive skills. EF skills help people do things like regulate their behaviour, accomplish tasks, and develop relationships. Researchers have found emotional and social skills essential for school readiness, and Executive Function skills play an integral role in their development. These skills include the ability to pay attention in class, transition from one activity to the next, and cooperate with other children. Content Source