Child Development

What do we really know about how a young child develops? 
What can parents do to best support their child's healthy 
development and growing brains?

Here are some of the key findings from a report from the National 
Academy of Sciences.

  1. Your relationship with your child is the foundation of his or 
    her healthy development.
  2. Your child's development depends on both the traits he or 
    she was born with, and what he or she experiences.
  3. All areas of development (social, emotional, intellectual, 
    language, and motor) are linked. Each depends on, and 
    influences the others.
  4. What children experience, including how their parents 
    respond to them, shapes their development as they adapt 
    to the world.

 

Newborn
Hold, look and cuddle your baby.
Recognize the temperamental characteristics of your infant.
Maintain close interaction.
Never leave your baby alone with pets or young siblings.

Call us if your baby has fever higher than 100.4 F., a weak cry, vomiting, diarrhea etc.

More Resources
Healthy Minds: Nurturing Your Child's Development – 0 to 2 Months (pdf)
http://www.zerotothree.org/healthyminds/0-2months.pdf


2 – 4 Weeks
Hold, cuddle, enjoy and talk to your baby.

Your baby should:
* Raise his/her head when lying on his stomach.
* Fix on face or object and follow.

Never leave your baby unattended on surface from which may fall.

More Resources
Healthy Minds: Nurturing Your Child's Development – 0 to 2 Months (pdf) 
http://www.zerotothree.org/healthyminds/0-2months.pdf


2 Months
Play with, talk to and cuddle your baby.
Babies are very interactive at this age. They use their new language 
and communications skills as they smile and coo back and forth.

Your baby should:
* Regard face in direct line of vision.
* Grasp rattle placed in hand.
* Coo.
* Have a social smile.

Do not hold your baby when drinking hot liquids.

More Resources
Healthy Minds: Nurturing Your Child's Development – 0 to 2 Months (pdf)
http://www.zerotothree.org/healthyminds/0-2months.pdf


4 Months
Talk to your baby and respond to vocalizations.
Your baby may babble and then pause, waiting for you to respond.
These early conversations will teach her/him hundred of words 
before she/he can actually speak any of them.

Babies this age love to explore. They learn from looking at, holding 
and putting their mouth on different objects. Introduce one toy at a time so your baby can focus on, and explore each one. Make sure 
all objects are safe.

Your baby should:
* Hold head high, raise body on hands when prone.
* Steady head control when held upright.
* Roll over from stomach to back.
* Play with hands; hold rattle.
* Smile, coo, laugh, squeal; initiate social contact.

Protect your baby from falls.
Keep powder containers and small objects out of reach.

More Resources
Healthy Minds: Nurturing Your Child's Development – 2 to 6 Months (pdf)
http://www.zerotothree.org/healthyminds/2-6months.pdf


6 Months
Interact with your baby and watch her social and emotional development as well as her motor abilities.
Stranger anxiety may occur.
May show sleep resistance.

Babies have greater control over their bodies.
Place your baby in different positions to allow her/him to explore in different ways.

Your baby should:
* Roll over.
* Sit with support when placed in a sitting position.
* Bear weight.
* Transfer objects hand to hand.
* Laugh and babble.
* Turn to sound.

Poison proof your home. Remember that detergents, disinfectants, drain cleaners, insecticides, paint, paint thinners, bleach, medicines etc., may be lethal weapons to young children.

Protect your baby from falls.
We do not recommend the use of walkers.
Never leave the baby alone in the tub.

Protect your baby from hot liquids, dangling cords,pulling table cloths.

More Resources
Healthy Minds: Nurturing Your Child's Development – 2 to 6 Months (pdf)
http://www.zerotothree.org/healthyminds/2-6months.pdf


9 Months
Babies this age are big communicators. They use sounds, gestures and facial expressions to communicate what they want.
Talk a lot with your baby. Respond to her/his communications.

Your baby will start to imitate others, especially you. This leads to 
the development of lots of new skills.
Push a button on the jack-in-the-box, then wait for your baby to do 
it before you do it again. This teaches your baby cause and effect.

Motor skills are rapidly advancing.
Create an environment that is safe for exploration.

Provide safe toys for the bath. This will encourage your baby to
explore and experiment.

Your baby should:
* Sit well.
* Crawl, creep.
* Pull to stand, cruises.
* Precise pincer grasp.
* Bang two toys together.
* Finger feed
* Use "dada" or "mama" nonspecifically
* Enjoy games-peek-a-boo; pat-a-cake.
* Understand no-no, bye-bye.
* Responds to name.

Prevent falls. Use stair gates; window guards.
Use a playpen as a safety island.
Prevent choking: no small objects, peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs, 
raisins etc.

More Resources
Healthy Minds: Nurturing Your Child's Development – 6 to 9 Months (pdf)
http://www.zerotothree.org/healthyminds/6-9months.pdf


12 Months
Babies this age are very good at expressing their feelings with their
gestures, sounds and facial expressions.
Help your baby handle her feelings. Comfort her when she cries,
acknowledge when she is frustrated and help her calm down and try
again. This helps your child manage her very stong feelings and
develop self control.

Thanks to their new memory skills, your baby knows that when you 
leave, you still exist.
Be positive when leaving her. Go to her at night to reassure her but 
don't pick her up.
When saying "good bye", tell her that you will miss her, but you will 
return.

Be your child learning partner and coach. Talk, read and play with 
your baby. Praise desired behavior.
Set limits. Be firm.

More Resources
Healthy Minds: Nurturing Your Child's Development – 9 to 12 Months (pdf)
http://www.zerotothree.org/healthyminds/9-12months.pdf


Sleeping
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be 
positioned on their backs when sleeping and use a pacifier in their 
mouths.

* Do not dip the pacifier in sugar or honey.
* Babies should sleep in their own crib or bassinet.
* You may allow your baby to stay in your room.
* Avoid soft materials such as comforters, pillows or stuffed animals 
in the infant's crib.
* Avoid overbundling the baby.
* Avoid overheating the baby's sleep environment.
* Educate your babysitter or caregiver to put the baby to sleep on 
his back, not on his side or tummy.
 


Umbilical Cord Care
Keep the cord dry and clean.
Clean the cord with alcohol once or twice a day.
Do not bathe the baby until the cord has fallen.
The cord usually falls within 6 – 8 days after birth.

Call us right away if the cord is foul-smelling or if you see redness 
around the navel.

Call us immediately if your baby:

* has rectal temperature + 100.4 F
* has a weak cry or if he is crying inconsolably
* is difficult to awaken
* has rapid breathing after the nose is clear
* is pale or his lips are blue
* refuses breast milk or formula
* is vomiting
* has bloody stools or diarrhea