keep in mind that all babies are unique. Whether your baby
reaches milestones early or late, he has his own developmental
path to follow. The dividing lines between these months are
very fuzzy. If you have any concerns or questions about your
babyís development, please check with his health care provider.
this age, babies are usually very mobile. And so are you --
constantly chasing baby. Their abilities to move include crawling
quickly, the ability to flip flop into sitting from virtually
any position, and possibly even walking. Hang in there. And
donít rely on your child proofing of spaces in the home to
keep baby safe. His job right now is to move, explore and
learn. Your job is to be one step ahead of him.
coffee table is just the right height for baby to pull up
to a stand and practice cruising or taking steps while holding
on for balance. He may cruise from one piece of furniture
to another around your living room. This is very satisfying
because baby can now view an object and move himself while
standing up to reach it. He may even hold on with one hand
and make attempts to bend down and pick up an enticing toy
off the ground. Or, watch his face as he lets go and stands
all by himself. This is a triumph -- only to be topped by
those first few steps that are just around the corner.
may have been given a walker for your baby as a gift or offered
one as a hand-me-down. Walkers are controversial. Some parents
swear by them. Developmentally, experts feel that walkers
do not support the skills needed for baby to learn how to
walk; they utilize muscles in a different way. Basically,
walkers enable babies to do something before they are developmentally
ready to do it on their own. They are also the cause of more
accidents than any other type of childrenís toy, particularly
if they are used near the top of stairs or in the kitchen
near a hot dish.
examples may seem obviously unsafe, but the point is, walkers
allow children to move very quickly. Since the children are
standing, they are at a better vantage point to reach things.
Combined with non-stop curiosity, a walker could potentially
put baby in a very unsafe situation.
being said, you may decide not to offer your baby a walker
and then find him using a chair or other large item to push
and walk at the same time. This is a bit different because
these items are heavy and not on wheels, so he cannot get
the same speed that he can with a commercial walker.
your baby is not crawling or pulling to a stand by this age,
you may concerned about his development. There are many normal,
healthy babies who are not as interested in gross motor activities
and are quite content to sit and play quietly. These babies
may be great observers of more active babies -- constantly
watching and absorbing information.
are your baby will start crawling suddenly. Remember again,
some babies donít crawl -- many scoot on their bottoms, creep
on their tummies, or figure out another means of getting from
point A to point B. And some go straight to pulling to a stand
and cruising around furniture. Once these babies start moving,
they tend to learn how to move themselves at a faster rate
than the more active babies did a few months back.
is far more important to support your babyís individual interests
than to push baby into doing something before he is ready.
If you are still concerned about your childís lack of interest
in moving, talk to his health care provider who can do an
assessment -- which will probably result in your peace of
mind. Our advice: enjoy not having to chase baby while you
Peek A Boo
and Object Permanence
memory has made great strides this month. When he doesnít
see you, he is developing the cognitive ability to remember
that you still exist. There are some games that babies like
to play that support this learning of the permanence of objects.
if you havenít initiated peek-a-boo with your baby yet, he
will. A lot of babies like to take their favorite blankets,
put them over their heads and then pull them back to see parents'
smiling faces. He will love it if you say something while
he is covered, such as, "Where did baby go?" If he is not
initiating the game with a blanket, try your hands over your
eyes. Heíll surely imitate you, have great fun, and be learning
at the same time.
interesting game for baby is to hide a favorite object under
a blanket. He is learning that he can pick up the blanket
to get his toy back.
will probably be another month or two before you hear babyís
first real word, but he is communicating with you all the
time. You two can teach each other signals to communicate
what baby needs.
he is in the high chair and wants out, teach him to hold up
his arms as a sign. Of course, keep exposing him to language
by explaining to him what he is telling you. "Oh, are you
done? You want to get out of the highchair? You want to get
popular signal is a simple bye-bye wave. When baby is separating
from a parent, give baby a wave and tell him that the parent
is leaving and will see him later. In the beginning, baby
may wave after the fact, showing that he is absorbing the
information and practicing. In time, heíll wave right back