keep in mind that all babies are unique. Whether your baby
reaches milestones early or late, she has her 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 her health care provider.
becomes a favorite pastime for babies in their seventh month.
Most babies can now sit unsupported -- although keep those
cushions nearby in case she topples.
your child sees an interesting object out of reach, she may
try to get it. Lunging forward from a sitting position is
a very important movement. In time, as she continues lunging,
she may pivot up onto her knees for an extra long stretch.
Sheíll learn that she can hold herself up on her knees and
hands -- up on all fours. She may rock back and forth with
this new position, practicing for the next big movement, crawling.
crawling is not in itself a milestone. Seeing an out-of-reach
object and figuring out a way to get to it is a milestone.
Some babies creep on the bellies, some crawl, others scoot
on their bottoms. Some babies skip this stage and start pulling
up to a stand and walking. But your baby is probably very
content right now sitting and observing the interesting sights
around her. Enjoy this time, because it may be the last time
before she is in constant motion.
is a good time for you to start thinking about safety. Look
at your home carefully. Start covering electrical plugs, encasing
cords for blinds and draperies, removing breakable or sharp
objects from coffee tables and other spaces where baby will
be able to reach.
places in the home where you may want a gate -- definitely
at the top and bottom of stairs! It is very important that
baby has a safe space to explore, because for the next months
that will be her job -- to check out and investigate every
nook and cranny in the home.
There is a continuum for how active
and inquisitive babies can be during this stage. Some parents
have reported barely child proofing the home for one child
and then doing a major child proofing haul for the following
you have a very active child who is almost crawling by month
seven, you may consider having a safety expert come to your
home and point out potential dangers. If your baby seems content
sitting and not as interested right now in learning how to
crawl, you may still have some time.
now, baby has likely grown too big for the infant tub, but
wet baby bodies are slippery, and placing baby directly in
the tub may be frightening for parents. You may want to use
a bath seat -- especially now that baby enjoys sitting. This
is a small seat with suction cups on the bottom that attaches
to the floor of tub. Often these seats swivel and have seat
belts and toy bars. They offer a safe way to introduce baby
to the big tub.
Bath time is a great time to connect
with baby after a long day. Test the water with your elbow,
a part of your anatomy that is more sensitive to temperature
than your hands. Have your supplies ready -- towel, washcloth,
cleanser, shampoo, and anything else you need. Take baby out
of the water carefully, but quickly cover her in a fluffy
towel and dry off. Often, it is not the water that bothers
babies who donít seem to like the bath, but being wet and
are, of course, great toys for the bath, ones that squirt
water or soft sponges in the shapes of animals. Plastic cups
for baby to stack, fill with water and pour are winners. And
no babyís bath is complete without a rubber ducky.
between six and twelve months, your baby may show the first
signs of being wary of strangers. She can clearly distinguish
between people she knows and people she doesnít. It is a normal
phase and affects children in varying degrees.
play a very important role in helping children accept strangers.
First, you never have to apologize to anyone for her reactions.
Her response is not an indicator of insecurity or a reflection
of your parenting skills. Instead, talk to your baby about
the stranger. "This is your uncle Rajesh. He has heard a lot
about you. He looks very happy to meet you." Your baby will
accept the stranger must faster if she can feel your own acceptance.
If you like this person, then maybe he is okay.
the safety of your arms, baby will watch the strangerís face
and listen to the tone of the conversation between you and
the mysterious, new person. Give her the space to become more
comfortable. For those children who are more sensitive to
strangers, it may not be a good idea to hand baby over to
the new person to hold. In time, she will warm up and engage
the stranger in her own individual way.
around this time, baby may seem to have a harder time separating
from you. Separation anxiety can appear anytime after six
months, but usually peaks closer to twelve months.
from baby is a huge milestone for parents too. If baby is
upset or clinging, it can be heart breaking. Is raises questions
for parents such as "Is my baby insecure?" "Is she too dependent?"
"Why canít she trust others?" "Am I a bad parent for leaving
her?" Hard as it may be -- try not to worry. This is a normal
stage in her development. There are specific strategies that
you can use to help you and baby separate more easily.
her with your mother-in-law or a close relative or a caregiver
that you know and trust. Stranger and separation anxiety often
go hand in hand. Spend some time with this caregiver together,
so she can feel your own trust in this person.
- even if baby is happily playing - say goodbye. Tell her
that you will be back and you want her to have a good time
with _____ (name of caregiver). Drawn out goodbyes are hard
on everyone. Be confident! Your baby will have a much easier
time if she knows you feel good about leaving with the caregiver.