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
baby’s development, please check with his health care provider.
to modern technology, we know more about early brain development
than ever before. Empirical research has confirmed what every
parent already knows intuitively: early experiences are critical
for shaping how babies think and learn.
When you held your baby for the
first time, he was born with an astonishing 100 billion brain
cells. These cells will be connected in networks as the brain
matures. And by his third birthday, his brain has formed about
1000 trillion connections. How these connections are formed
is based upon baby -- his developing interests, his discoveries,
his learning about the world.
You are the First Teacher
This month, watch how baby watches you. By studying your face,
your eyes, and your expressions, baby is learning. When he
bats at a toy or holds a rattle, neural connections are being
formed. Incredibly, these are the same connections that may
help him one day to hit a baseball, solve an arithmetic problem
or strum a guitar.
parents get so excited about their young baby’s developing
skills, they encourage certain types of play. We understand
this sort of excitement. It is hard to believe how much baby
can do already.
baby and learn what sorts of activities baby is attracted
to on his own. If baby likes to lie on his back and bat at
toys, lie beside him and talk about what he is doing. If baby
likes to be held upright, bounce him a bit and talk to him
about what he is seeing. You know better than anyone what
your child likes to do. By supporting his natural interests,
you are showing respect for his development as a unique individual.
is a powerful way to support baby’s early brain development
and your loving relationship. Cuddling your baby when he is
upset or stroking his head as he falls asleep actually releases
hormones that are important for his growth.
have shown that babies who are regularly massaged gain weight
faster and have deeper periods of sleep. Cortisol, a stress
hormone that inhibits growth, is found to be produced less
by infants who are regularly massaged by their primary caregivers.
By making massage part of baby’s routine, you may be surprised
one day by his little hands wanting to lovingly massage your
weary parental shoulders after a long day. It is not a bad
family tradition to start!
A Little Book Worm
child is never too young to appreciate a good book. His way
of enjoying a book right now may be by touching the hard cover,
trying to turn the pages, looking at you reading to him, and
even taking a taste of the pages.
interest in books at this age may appear to be fleeting, but
even a few precious seconds with a book make a lasting impression.
Keep reading to him. The gentle sound of your voice, especially
with sing-song or rhythmic text, the closeness of being on
your lap and the experience of touching the book are very
exciting for him.
books that are short, have sturdy pages and are about things
that are interesting to him. We have a selection of popular
books chosen by our panel of child readers.
day soon, he will start to be more interested in the sounds
you are making and the objects that these sounds represent.
It won’t be long before he will be picking up a book, handing
it to you to read to him and practicing to say the sounds
-- over and over.
this time, some babies roll over. As with all milestones,
there is a huge age range as to when babies roll over. Some
studies have questioned whether babies are rolling over later
with the current emphasis on putting them on their backs to
sleep. Obviously, the importance of preventing SIDS is the
bottom line. Still, it is important to keep putting baby on
his tummy for short periods of time to play and build his
first time baby rolls over is usually from tummy to back.
The round shape of his tummy allows for fun side-to-side rocking
and then a roll over. This feat can be startling for baby.
Some babies will immediately roll over again and others won’t
repeat the milestone for weeks.
can support baby by placing him on his tummy and showing him
one of his favorite toys just out of reach. In the process
of stretching to get it, he may roll over again.
first pearly whites usually do not show themselves for a few
more months, but for some babies, they can make their appearance
as early as three months. Heredity is a strong factor, so
check with your family history for a clue as to when your
child’s baby teeth will appear.
babies have a bulging gum or ridge for weeks before the tooth
appears, while other babies wake up one morning with a tooth
out of nowhere. The degree of unpleasantness for baby that
accompanies teething varies.
(which may go on for weeks before the tooth appears) a facial
rash as a result of excessive drooling biting objects to satisfy
achy gums irritability which unfortunately often is expressed
in the middle of the night refusal to nurse or take a bottle
pulling on an ear or rubbing a sore cheek possibly even a
low grade fever or diarrhea
you have any questions or concerns about how to support baby
while teething, consult your child’s health care provider.