It involves learning to interact with other people and to understand and control your own emotions
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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
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?
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
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".
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:
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
Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development in children
Child psychology is one of the many branches of psychology and one of the most frequently studied specialty areas. This particular branch focuses on the mind and behaviour of children from prenatal development through adolescence. Child psychology deals not only with how children grow physically, but with their mental, emotional, and social development as well. By keeping in mind, the psychological development in children, Erik Erikson proposed his own theory and according to his theory successful completion of each stage results in a healthy personality and the acquisition of basic virtues in children. Failure to successfully complete a stage can result in a reduced ability to complete further stages and therefore an unhealthier personality and sense of self. The stages proposed by Erikson for Psychological Development in children are: - Stage Psychosocial Crisis Basic Virtue Age 1. Trust vs. Mistrust Hope 0 - 1½ 2. Autonomy vs. Shame Will 1½ - 3 3. Initiative vs. Guilt Purpose 3 - 5 1. Trust vs. Mistrust Trust vs. mistrust is the first stage in Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development. This stage begins as birth continues to approximately 18 months of age. During this stage, the infant is uncertain about the world in which they live, and looks towards their primary caregiver for stability and consistency of care. If the care received by an infant is consistent, predictable and reliable, they will develop a sense of trust which they will carry with them to other relationships, and they will be able to feel secure even when threatened. If these needs are not consistently met, mistrust, suspicion, and anxiety may develop. If the care has been inconsistent, unpredictable and unreliable, then the infant may develop a sense of mistrust, suspicion, and anxiety. In this situation the infant will not have confidence. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of hope. By developing a sense of trust, the infant can have hope as new crises arise, there is a real possibility that other people will be there as a source of support. Failing to acquire the virtue of hope will lead to the development of fear. The infants will carry the basic sense of mistrust with them to other relationships. It may result in anxiety, heightened insecurities, and an over feeling of mistrust in the world around them. 2. Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt Autonomy versus shame and doubt is the second stage of Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development. This stage occurs between the ages of 18 months to approximately 3 years. According to Erikson, children at this stage are focused on developing a sense of personal control over physical skills and a sense of independence. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of will. If children in this stage are encouraged and supported in their increased independence, they become more confident and secure in their own ability to survive in the world. If children are criticized, overly controlled, or not given the opportunity to assert themselves, they begin to feel inadequate in their ability to survive, and may then become overly dependent upon others, lack self-esteem, and feel a sense of shame or doubt in their abilities. What Happens During This Stage? The child is developing physically and becoming more mobile, and discovering that he or she has many skills and abilities, such as putting on clothes and shoes, playing with toys, etc. Such skills illustrate the child's growing sense of independence and autonomy. For example, during this stage children begin to assert their independence, by walking away from their mother, picking which toy to play with, and making choices about what they like to wear, to eat, etc. What Can Parents Do to Encourage a Sense of Control? Erikson states it is critical that parents allow their children to explore the limits of their abilities within an encouraging environment which is tolerant of failure. For example, rather than put on a child's clothes a supportive parent should have the patience to allow the child to try until they succeed or ask for assistance. So, the parents need to encourage the child to become more independent while at the same time protecting the child so that constant failure is avoided. A delicate balance is required from the parent. They must try not to do everything for the child, but if the child fails at a particular task, they must not criticize the child for failures and accidents (particularly when toilet training). The aim has to be “self-control without a loss of self-esteem” 3. Initiative vs. Guilt Initiative versus guilt is the third stage of Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development. During the initiative versus guilt stage, children assert themselves more frequently. These are particularly lively, rapid-developing years in a child’s life. it is a time of vigor of action and of behaviors that the parents may see as aggressive. During this period the primary feature involves the child regularly interacting with other children at school. Central to this stage is play, as it provides children with the opportunity to explore their interpersonal skills through initiating activities. Children begin to plan activities, make up games, and initiate activities with others. If given this opportunity, children develop a sense of initiative and feel secure in their ability to lead others and make decisions. Conversely, if this tendency is squelched, either through criticism or control, children develop a sense of guilt. The child will often overstep the mark in his forcefulness, and the danger is that the parents will tend to punish the child and restrict his initiatives too much. It is at this stage that the child will begin to ask many questions as his thirst for knowledge grows. If the parents treat the child’s questions as trivial, a nuisance or embarrassing or other aspects of their behaviour as threatening then the child may have feelings of guilt for “being a nuisance”. Too much guilt can make the child slow to interact with others and may inhibit their creativity. Some guilt is, of course, necessary; otherwise the child would not know how to exercise self-control or have a conscience. A healthy balance between initiative and guilt is important. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of purpose, while failure results in a sense of guilt. Content Source
5 Fascinating Bedtime Stories for Babies
Do you get the feeling that your little baby is growing too fast and you want a new way to strengthen the bond that you two shares? Bedtime stories are a wonderful way to bond with your baby or toddler. Reading children a bedtime story inculcates a love of reading in them and improves their understanding of the language. When you snuggle up in bed with your toddler and read him a soothing bedtime story, it has a calming effect that lulls the baby to sleep. It is a great idea to use picture books and even books with sound effects, as babies find these books very interesting. In most cases, while the moral of the story is important, the tone and actions used help capture the baby’s attention. Once your baby grows a little old you can also tell them inspirational stories. Best Baby and Toddler Bedtime Stories Here are 5 of the best bedtime stories for babies and toddlers. These are the most popular bedtime story books that will definitely have a calming effect on your baby and soothe him to sleep. 1. Goodnight Moon This is one of the most popular short bedtime stories for toddlers with pictures. This picture book is written by Margaret Wise Brown and is about a bunny who would say goodnight to everything around him. Written as a rhyming poem, Goodnight Moon describes how the bunny says goodnight to various inanimate and living objects around him, such as a dollhouse, a red balloon, two kittens, the moon, etc. Babies love rhyming words and the calming rhythm of the story, and it swiftly lulls them to sleep. 2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar This story written by Eric Carle is one of the well-known toddler stories for bedtime. This book has colourful pictures and differently shaped pages with holes showing the caterpillar eating through various foods. On a Sunday morning, from an egg perched on the leaf, a caterpillar hatches and starts to look for food. He eats a leaf but is not satisfied. He then eats through increasing quantities of various foods for the next five days. On Monday the caterpillar eats through 1 apple, on Tuesday 2 pears, on Wednesday 3 plums, four strawberries on Thursday, and five oranges on Friday. On Saturday, the caterpillar has an enormous feast of one piece each of chocolate cake, pickle, ice-cream cone, salami, Swiss cheese, lollipop, sausage, cherry pie, cupcake, and watermelon. After this, the caterpillar has a terrible ache in his stomach from eating too much food. He feels much better on Sunday once he returns to his regular diet of a green leaf. Later, he spins a cocoon to wrap himself and remains in it for two weeks. As the two weeks pass, the caterpillar emerges out from the cocoon transformed into a colourful, beautiful butterfly with majestic wings. This book teaches toddlers about counting, names of various foods, days of the week, and the life cycle of a butterfly. 3. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book You can find numerous toddler bedtime stories online, and Dr. Seuss Bedtime Stories are amongst the most popular. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book talks about many different creatures from various lands going through their bedtime routines before falling asleep. It starts at the County of Keck where there is a small bug named Van Vleck who yawns so wide that you can see down his neck. The yawn spreads to some birds who are building their nest to sleep for the night. The story goes on to describe even stranger creatures and the weird ways they sleep. It then talks about different things that creatures do when they sleep, such as dreaming, snoring, sleep-talking, and sleepwalking. The book then talks about various kinds of sleepers until the number of sleepers is in the billions. Finally, there is a page of sleeping creatures snuggling against each other with their eyes shut and smile on their faces. The book ends with an empty page containing just the words a good night. 4. Hush Little Baby This book is written by Sylvia Long and is a modern version of the old bedtime lullaby. The original lullaby has lyrics that promise a child various rewards such as a Mockingbird, a diamond ring, and a looking glass for being quiet and going to sleep. The one by Sylvia Long tells the story of a mother bunny that soothes her baby bunny to sleep by singing about different wonderful things in nature, such as a flying hummingbird, the evening sky, the call of crickets, a shooting star, and the harvest moon. The book ends with the mama bunny promising the baby bunny a lullaby. The book contains fascinating miniature pictures of the objects mentioned in the story. 5. The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain This book contains cheerful and bright pictures that show a caterpillar who is always hungry, but wishes that he was able to fly. The caterpillar is busy crunching and munching on leaves when various flying creatures visit him. He is visited by a bumblebee, a sparrow, and a butterfly. When he expresses his desire to fly like each of them, he is told that he is too large and bulky, has legs for walking, and lacks wings for flying. The caterpillar then wraps himself in a leaf and spins a cocoon around his body. He then naps for a long time. When he wakes, he stretches himself and discovers that he has become a beautiful butterfly with wings. Content Source Feature Image Source
Most Recommended Games for 0-6 Month Old Babies
Babies need stimulation from an early age. The parents/caregivers should play various games with their baby to enhance his/her growth. Here are some games that can be played with babies. 0-3-Month-Old Games 1. Motor Games and Activities • Place baby on their tummy to play for a few minutes at a time, a few times a day • Lie down and place baby tummy down on your chest so you’re face-to-face • Hold baby’s hands and clap them together while you play music and sing • Nestle baby close to you while you gently rock and sway • Change the direction that baby sleeps to encourage head-turning and build strength 2. Sensory Games and Activities • Hang a colourful mobile above the baby’s crib to provide visual stimulation • Gently touch and tickle baby to make them giggle • Play with the baby in a variety of positions • Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact with a parent or caregiver • Smile at baby, touch her hands, feet, and forehead. See how she wiggles, reacts to touch and voices • Play or sing songs with the baby to help enhance baby’s listening skills • When changing the baby’s diaper touch different body parts and say “beep” baby may begin watching your hand and anticipating touch. • Hang a mirror on the wall. Tap the mirror and say the baby’s name. Over time baby will begin to understand who the baby in the mirror is. • Show baby family photos or flip through a magazine. Point out the smiling faces to baby 3. Communication Games and Activities • Speak in a high-pitched, sing-song voice to help get and keep baby’s attention while you talk • Describe your actions as you dress, feed, and bathe your child. Talk about where you’re going and what you’re doing. • Give baby frequent face-to-face time • Shake a rattle up and down while singing to the baby • Show pictures of family and friends and point out smiling faces • Hold up a doll or stuffed animal and point out the different body parts 4. Feeding Games and Activities • Collect a variety of scents (flowers, spices, cookies) and pass them under baby’s nose one at a time to see what kinds of smells they prefer 4-6 Month-Old Games 1. Motor Games and Activities • Place baby on their tummy to play in short spurts for up to an hour over the course of the day • Place baby tummy down on a blanket and move the blanket slowly around the room • Allow baby to explore age-appropriate toys with their mouth and tongue (be sure that the toys are large enough so that baby does not risk choking) • Encourage baby to practice repeated rolling from back to tummy. Place toys around to encourage pivoting 2. Sensory Games and Activities • Encourage baby to touch fabric with different textures such as wool, corduroy, and velvet • Lift baby up and down and play in different positions to help develop their sense of movement and balance • Find balls with different textures and colors. Teach baby how to roll, drop, and bounce them. 3. Communication Games and Activities • Play peek-a-boo • Use a variety of facial expressions while you talk • Read with the baby. “Reading” can simply mean describing pictures without following the written words. • Encourage two-way communication. When baby coos or babbles, be sure to respond and take turns in “conversation”. • Play with rhymes and songs • Encourage baby to play with toys that make sounds 4. Feeding Games and Activities • Collect a variety of scents (flowers, spices, cookies) and pass them under baby’s nose one at a time to see what kinds of smells they prefer Content Source
Most Recommended Games for 7-12 Month Old Babies
Once your baby is 6 months old, he/she would have already mastered various skills and you can further enhance his/her development by playing the following games with your child. 7-9 Month Old Games 1. Motor Games and Activities • Put a toy or book inside an empty cardboard box. Wrap it with colorful paper or newspaper comics. Clap your hands when baby yanks it opens then announce what is inside. • Encourage movement by placing toys around the baby where they must move to reach them • Encourage baby push-ups during Tummy Time by raising and lowering a rattle over baby’s head • Engage baby in activities like reading or playing with a ball while in sitting • Gently push the baby back and forth on a swing in the park, but make sure the baby can sit up and hold the head steady with no problem • When the baby is holding a toy in each hand offer the third toy; watch as baby figures out how to grasp the new toy without letting go of the other two • Punch holes in the lid of empty food container and fill with water to make a fun bath time toy • Get an empty plastic bucket and let baby throw toys into it • Use different household items, like squeeze toys or newspapers to make different noises for baby 2. Sensory Games and Activities • Use your hands to make shadow puppets for baby • Gently touch baby on the feet and tummy to make them giggle • Play with a jack in the box or windup toy with the baby to show motion • Use animal sounds when playing with or reading to the baby; point out an image of an animal then associate the sound that animal makes with the picture • Walk with baby in a carrier or baby backpack • Play with baby in many different positions • Take baby on a walk in a stroller or jogger • Use slow, rocking motions for calming and more vigorous motions for play time • Give baby space to explore the environment, while staying close to supervise • Introduce new textures while the baby is eating, sleeping, dressing, or playing outdoors, use a variety of sponges, soaps, and lotions during bath time • Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact with a parent or caregiver • Encourage baby to play on the floor with toys of various colors, sizes, and shapes • Allow baby to grab and explore items within reach 3. Communication Games and Activities • Draw a picture of the baby’s face and then point out the different parts • Play with a pretend phone; talk into the phone as you would a regular call, then offer it to baby to do the same • Read short stories with baby • Start using hand movements along with associated words to teach baby to communicate with gestures • Describe your actions throughout the day as you dress, feed, and bathe the baby. This gives the baby an opportunity to listen to the sounds and rhythms of speech • Respond to baby’s sounds and encourage two-way communication • Play music throughout the day – lively, upbeat music during playtime, and quiet melodic music for naps and bedtime • Read picture books together to help baby connect words and images • Give baby frequent face time • Point out objects while you walk and talk with baby 4. Feeding Games and Activities • Try introducing pureed foods to baby. Puree a small amount of whatever you are having for dinner in a food processor, but be sure to avoid honey, cow’s milk, salt, and artificial sweeteners • Introduce new foods gradually and watch for baby’s response • Do not force food or show stress over a baby’s dislike for certain foods • Change the texture of food if baby refuses food • Provide baby with a healthy diet – avoid artificial ingredients, sugars, and preservatives 10-12 Month Old Games 1. Motor Games and Activities • Get baby to stack toys such as blocks or rings and describe each toy as your baby picks it up • Lie down on the floor and have baby crawl over you • Practice new gestures with the baby like blowing kisses, clapping hands, or giving a high five • Use a toy to encourage baby to crawl when they are in a tummy time position • Roll a softball across the floor and encourage baby to crawl after it • Allow baby to play with toys they can push or pull across the floor • Read with the baby while they lie on their tummy • Play with stackable blocks • Let baby play with large objects like tunnels, pillows, or cushions while supervised • If the baby is already walking, let them try riding toys that they can sit on and scoot across the floor • Provide push toys that allow baby to practice walking with some support • Encourage baby to dance and sway to the music • Provide opportunities for baby to experience slow, rocking movements 2. Sensory Games and Activities • Play peek-a-boo with baby • Have baby look at their reflection in the mirror and point out each body part • Encourage baby to crawl over, under, and through various objects in your home • Introduce baby to new textures through food, toys, clothes, sponges, etc. • Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact with caregivers • Keep baby away from areas where people are smoking or using harsh chemicals 3. Communication Games and Activities • Practice waving bye-bye when a guest leaves your home • Read daily from big, colorful books and let baby turn the pages • Encourage baby to wave hello when meeting new people • Ask baby to point to different body parts when you name them • Ask baby questions and encourage response with words, baby sounds, cooing, or babbling. Record the conversation and play it back for baby to hear • Direct baby’s attention to interesting objects by helping them point their finger • Name textures, shapes, and sizes to help baby attach words to tactile experiences • Describe your actions throughout the day as you dress, feed, and bathe the baby • Respond to baby’s sounds to encourage two-way communication 4. Feeding Games and Activities • Offer baby an assortment of food to try • Keep track of where the baby is in their feeding development, well-meaning friends and family may give baby food inappropriate for their age Content Source