Spotting Language Development Delays
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Language development includes both speech and non-verbal communication. If your baby isn't verbal, he may have a hearing problem -- or he may just be going at his own pace. Learn the keys to spotting language development delays here.
Transcript: Being aware of what's typical in language development will help you know if your child is right on target...
Being aware of what's typical in language development will help you know if your child is right on target or is potentially delayed. Every child develops language at her own speed, but you can rest assured that most communicate well by the time they reach school age. Still, about 5 to 10% of children younger than three do experience developmental delays with language. Some delays relate solely to speech, which is the verbal expression and understanding of language. And some delays involve ALL of language, and if you have decided to raise your child bilingually, some doctors believe that this may cause some temporary language acquisition delays, but rest assured that this gap almost always closes, and that the benefits of being poly-lingual outweigh the potential temporary delay in language development. Which ALSO includes nonverbal communication, like waving. You can use a general timeline to track your child's language and speech development. By the time your baby is four to six months, your little one should be both laughing and mimicking the sounds you make. As well, your baby should respond to his or her name and also respond to human voices by turning both head and eyes to where the voice came from. Additionally, your child should be able to understand tone, and respond accordingly to friendly and angry intonations. By the end of your baby's ninth month, your infant should also be babbling and stringing sounds together. Your little one should turn towards sounds she hears, reach for things she wants, and use her voice to get attention. Meanwhile, she ought to be capable of making her needs known by her first birthday, as well as understand simple directions with gestures. Your baby should also be able to use some gestures, like pointing, and combine non-verbal communication with sounds and perhaps a few words. By 15 months, your baby should have a wide range of speech sounds in their babbling, and at least one or more true, discernible words, like: mama, dada, bottle, or bye-bye. An on-target child will usually be able to use at 10 to 20 words by her 18th month, and will also imitate words you say and your little one should also be able to identify several body parts when named and 50 or so words by the time she turns two, forming simple sentences like, "Mommy go outside," and "Daddy big." Also, you child will likely recognize pictures in books and follow two-step commance like : "Please pick up the book and bring me your doll." Parents often witness a linguistic explosion by the time their child hits their 3rd birthday, at this point, your toddler's vocabulary should consist of 900 - 1000 words, and your little one should routinely combine 3 or more words into sentences. Your child also ought to understand instructions at this age. And 50% of what your child says, at this point, should be intelligible and understandable by a stranger. Your kid should also be able to give his or her sex, name and age. And by four, your child should be fairly easy to understand, even by people who don't know her. If you're worried that your baby is missing these milestones, it's wise to call the pediatrician. The doctor will likely conduct a structured evaluation of your child's language skills. If the pediatrician agrees that there IS a problem, you will be referred to a speech-language pathologist, a health professional trained to evaluate and treat speech, language, voice or swallowing disorders, including hearing impairment, who can help determine the cause. A hearing test is often included in the evaluation because a hearing problem can affect speech and language development. Other reasons for speech and language delays may be due to a: central nervous system disorder, like cerebral palsy, or to oral-motor problems, which refer to difficulties using the tongue, jaw, and lips. Depending on the diagnosis, your child may need speech therapy, a hearing aid, or other treatments. Remember: YOU are the best judge of your child's progress! If you're concerned about language or speech development, trust your instincts and get help. Early intervention will frequently get your child back on the proper developmental track!More »
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Infants and toddlers love to imitate their parents, whether it's making a funny face or trying to copy them as they do chores. These behaviors encourage a child's mental development. Give your baby's brain a boost by playing these games to encourage imitation development.
Transcript: Newborns and toddlers alike love playing copycat games! During the first two months of your newborn's...
Newborns and toddlers alike love playing copycat games! During the first two months of your newborn's life, your face will be her whole world! That's because a baby of this age can't focus on anything farther than eight to 16-inches away from her eyes, which is just far enough to make out the features of the person holding her! Capitalize on this interest by making funny faces with your baby. Smile wide, wink your eyes, stick out your tongue, raise your eyebrows, or whatever it is that makes your infant giggle. Or try slowly moving your head back and forth with your eyes locked on your baby's. Don't be surprised if she tries to imitate your silly faces, which is a skill even very young babies can master! This simple activity helps vision and hearing develop. And it teaches your baby social skills regarding both giving AND receiving attention. Fast-forward 12 months to your baby's first birthday. Now, you can play a whole new imitation game with her! Toddlers of this age love to mimic the "grown-up" chores that you do, from raking the lawn to sweeping the floor. Make the experience more fun by buying some child-sized implements, like a broom, shopping cart, rake, or toolbox. The next time you have a task to tackle, encourage your little one to "help" you with her own tools. Of course, she won't be the most coordinated sweeper or shopper now, but that's not the point. Instead, it's all about your infant exploring her mental and physical capabilities. Mimicking your actions also stimulates both her fine and gross motor skills. And the activity makes your child feel like an important part of the family, an emotional experience that's invaluable to her! Get even more out of this activity by encouraging your toddler to imitate an older sibling's actions. This makes your BIG kid feel important and capable, too, which is a winning combination for you, Super Parent!More »
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Baby motor skill development comes gradually over time. Use these tips to help your baby develop his fine motor skills, such as stacking blocks, and gross motor skills, like crawling.
Transcript: The best thing about teaching your baby basic motor skills? You can disguise those lessons as play! By...
The best thing about teaching your baby basic motor skills? You can disguise those lessons as play! By the time your baby reaches six months, your little one should probably have no problem rolling over and sitting up on unaided. One game that infants of this age love involves meticulously stacking objects. To play with your infant, gather objects of similar sizes that can be easily layered on top of one another. Building blocks, cereal boxes, and plastic cups are all great for this activity. Depending on your infant's age, he may need some help creating his stacked structure, although he'll have NO problem knocking it down unassisted! This simple stacking game allows your baby to develop gross motor skills, which involve the biggest muscles, like his arms. The activity ALSO helps encourage FINE motor skills, which engage small muscles, like the fingers. Additionally, stacking and destroying help your baby learn all about cause and effect. Soon your eight-month-old will be ready for yet another educational activity: filling and emptying containers. To encourage this, offer plastic Tupperware in various sizes, several spoons or shovels, and a variety of things to pour. Some good choices include oatmeal, seashells, sand, and O-shaped cereal. Get your baby started by pouring seashells into one container, or scooping up oatmeal with a shovel. Keep in mind that this activity can get messy, so consider putting a plastic tablecloth on the floor! Filling containers is a huge boost to your baby's fine motor skills and his hand-eye coordination. In the coming months, your baby will learn to crawl, cruise, or even walk, offering you even more opportunities to help gross motor skills develop. A great way to do so is by creating a baby-friendly obstacle course in your living room. Set up a series of barriers, like stuffed animals, books, and even a chair, around the room. Then, take your baby's hand or crawl with him, guiding him over, around, and under those objects. Aside from gross motor skills, this game helps your baby develop balance, coordination, and lower body strength. When playing ANY game with your infant, remember that your little one will pick up activities at his own pace. Be patient during the process, and allow yourself to enjoy the games as much as your baby will!More »
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Your baby's physical development should follow fairly predictable patterns. If he's missing developmental milestones, make an appointment with his pediatrician to rule out autism, cerebral palsy and other serious conditions.
Transcript: The best way to spot a potential problem with your child's physical development is to be aware of what's...
The best way to spot a potential problem with your child's physical development is to be aware of what's typical in children the same age. The development of your child's physical skills is usually measured in two parts. One, gross motor skills refer to using the large muscles in the body. Rolling over and walking are examples of gross motor skills. Fine motor skills, meanwhile, are movements of smaller muscles, like the hands. Holding objects and stacking blocks are both considered fine motor skills. Most children develop both forms of physical skills in predictable patterns. To monitor YOUR baby's development, be aware of the developmental milestones your child should be hitting. By just two months of age, your baby should pick her head up when you lift her from a back-lying position. When you hold your baby, she should rest comfortably, and should NOT feel stiff or floppy. At three to four months, your infant should be reaching for objects. Your little one should also be capable of raising her head and chest when lying on her stomach. And a four month old should push down on her feet when supported in a standing position. By the time your baby is six months old, your little one ought to be able to sit with help. And should also be able to roll from stomach to back and back to stomach. By your baby's eighth month, your infant should be comfortable sitting on her own, WITHOUT support. By 10 months, most babies have mastered crawling, and by one year, your infant should be moving independently, either by crawling, cruising, creeping or walking. Walking is a skill that takes some kids a bit more time than others, many perfectly normal children don't walk until they're 16 or 17 months old. By 18 months, however, your child should be walking. If your baby isn't developing in a way that seems normal to you, it's important to call the pediatrician. If the pediatrician suspects a gross motor delay, the doctor may refer you to a child physical therapist. If a fine motor delay is the problem, an occupational therapist may be called upon to help. While it IS possible that a developmental delay is due to a problem like cerebral palsy, mental retardation or autism 97% of the time, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics or AAP, a delay is NOT related to a severe disability. Remember that you know your child better than anyone! If YOU suspect there is a problem, take steps to get help.More »
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Are you wondering when your baby will say her first word? Baby’s developmental milestones are an exciting experience for parents. Watch this video to learn about them.
Transcript: From giving birt h to dirty diapers to 3 AM feedings, you probably feel pretty exhausted by your new...
From giving birt h to dirty diapers to 3 AM feedings, you probably feel pretty exhausted by your new arrival. Luckily, as your child develops, you'll have PLENTY of rewarding "firsts" to document and delight in! For starters, while you've seen plenty of tears, and maybe even a gassy grin or two, you can expect to be rewarded with a big toothless smile by your baby's second month. And that happy grin will be followed about two months later by your little one's first real laugh. Another milestone you've probably been praying for since birth is your baby's first full night's sleep. Thankfully, by the time your little one hits five months, your baby will likely be able to snooze for up to 8 hours straight (a full night for a baby). Right around the time that your baby is learning to sleep all night, that first tooth will probably start coming in! Most infants display at least one pearly white between four and seven months. And while your baby spends those first months propped in whatever position you put him in, your little one will probably be able to sit up with support around five months. Fast forward eight weeks, and your seven month old will likely be able to sit unassisted! Not content to stay still, however, your baby will probably begin to crawl around month 8 or 9. Crawling isn't a necessary milestone, however, and some babies skip it. So don't worry if YOUR little one goes directly from creeping to walking. And speaking of walking, most babies start by standing upright around their nine-month mark. Shortly after, you'll notice your baby "cruising," which means he or she will walk while holding on to furniture. Once your little one has cruising down, expect to see those first independent steps soon after, usually around your baby's first birthday. You've probably been most excited about that walking milestone, but there's more to come! Also around the one-year mark, your baby is likely to begin saying real words, including the ever-awaited "mama" and "dada." If you're looking for sentences, however, you'll have to wait until your toddler is 18 to 24 months, at which point your little one will begin employing clipped phrases, like "Go park." Around the same time, you MAY be able to teach your toddler another vital skill: Using the potty! But keep in mind that, while some infants are ready for toilet training at 18 to 24 months, others don't quit diapers until they're closer to three and a half. Whatever your baby's timetable, however, remember that every child is different, and will hit milestones at his or her own pace.More »
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By six weeks old your baby is changing every day. Watch this video for the details on newborn development week 6.
Transcript: Head's up! Your baby is probably getting the hang of using those neck muscles during this, your newborn's...
Head's up! Your baby is probably getting the hang of using those neck muscles during this, your newborn's sixth week. As your baby's neck muscles get stronger, your little one will probably lift up his head for brief periods, or turn it from side to side. You can encourage this by placing your infant on his tummy when he's awake, and by standing just outside of little one's line of vision. When your newborn isn't busy using those neck muscles to lift her head, your baby may be working on getting a grip-on absolutely anything within reach! As your little one discovers the existence of his or her fingers, your baby will be fascinated at how they work to grab things, like YOUR fingers or a toy you hold out to your infant. Another exciting development this week is your newborn's newfound interest in longer stretches of sleep. If you're lucky, your baby may begin sleeping up to four hours at a time during the night. This period in your newborn's development is crucial to helping establish a nighttime/sleeptime routine. Most experts recommend reinforcing this sleep schedule by putting your baby to bed when your little one is sleepy, but NOT YET asleep. You can also encourage nighttime sleeping by creating a soothing bedtime ritual. Try reading a story, massaging your baby, or rocking and singing to your newborn. And remember: As you enjoy your OWN longer periods of sleep, continue to enjoy those waking hours with your rapidly developing baby!More »
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Playing games can be both entertaining and a learning experience for your baby. Check out our video to learn various baby games.
Transcript: You may have played these baby games with your OWN parents, but these oldies are STILL goodies! Playing...
You may have played these baby games with your OWN parents, but these oldies are STILL goodies! Playing with your baby is the best way to stimulate her mental and physical development. Plus, the bonding that comes from intimate play is fabulous for both of you! One of the ultimate classic baby games is peek-a-boo. To play with your baby, hide your face behind a book, a menu, or your hands. Then, uncover your face and say, "Peek-a-boo! I see you!" Another favorite? Ask your baby how big she is. Help her spread her arms out wide while you give the answer: "Soooo big!" Of course, no crash course in classic baby games would be complete without singsong activities. A timeless example is "Pop Goes the Weasel," where you'll sing: "All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought 'twas all in fun...POP goes the weasel!" Hold your infant in your lap while you sing, gently lifting your knees to "pop" your baby in the air at the appropriate point. As you continue to play this game, you'll find your baby anticipating the "pop" action and trying to do it on her own. Or you could engage your infant with a rousing chorus of "This Little Piggy Went to Market." To do it, take her teeny toes or fingers in hand, gently tweaking each of them as you chant: "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!" Remember not to forget the obligatory tickle during the "wee wee wee!" All of these funny games stimulate your baby's gross motor skills and visual tracking. And let's not forget the way they tickle her funny bone and promote social development. All in all, it pays to play those classic baby games!More »
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Two months as a parent and you're still dreaming of sleep? That's not uncommon. Watch this video for more about newborn development week 8.
Transcript: You've been enjoying, but maybe on some sleepless nights - bemoaning - that beautiful baby you've had...
You've been enjoying, but maybe on some sleepless nights - bemoaning - that beautiful baby you've had for two full months now! If you could see inside your infant's head this week, you'd see a very busy little brain at work. Your baby's grey brain matter is growing at a rapid rate now, and will expand up to five centimeters by the end of next month. That means that your little one will start tackling life skills, like hand-eye coordination and object recognition. This rapid brain growth will mean that your little one is much more aware of the surrounding environment - and you! - Than ever before. In fact, by your baby's eighth week, when your little one hears your voice or sees your face, your baby will definitely know who you are, and may reward your presence with a huge grin. And forget the tight little fists of the past, as your baby's hands should be fully opened now. Your newborn will continue to use them to latch onto things within grasp of those exploring fingers, and to bat at objects that are just out of the grab-zone. While all of these developments are super exciting, don't get so caught up that you forget to make your baby's appointment for a two-month checkup. At this doctor's visit, your baby will be weighed, measured and evaluated for developmental factors. This may also be the first time your little one receives multiple vaccinations at once, an event that can be harder for mom than it is for baby! Hang in there, though - your baby most likely won't need to head back to the pediatrician for another two months!More »
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As your baby reaches three weeks of age, you're probably understanding each other a bit better. Learn what to expect from newborn development week 3 as your baby continues to grow.
Transcript: Have you seen the Sex and the City episode where Miranda is changing her baby and his belly button falls...
Have you seen the Sex and the City episode where Miranda is changing her baby and his belly button falls off? ...Well, WELCOME to week three! Of course, in reality, your baby's belly button is firmly attached. But the umbilical cord stump ISN'T, and it will usually fall off at some point 10 days after your baby is born. Once this happens, you'll be able to see if your baby has an "innie" or an "outie" bellybutton - and you'll also be able to start tub baths. Other than the bellybutton's debut, your baby's third week will STILL focus mainly around eating and sleeping. And while your baby is becoming an old pro at both, you'll likely notice an ADDITIONAL skill, and that's crying. Because your baby doesn't have another way to communicate yet, this is how your newborn tells you that he or she is hungry, sleepy, sick, dirty, uncomfortable, or just in need of some cuddling. Most parents learn pretty quickly how to respond to their infants' cries, but sometimes comforting a baby isn't that easy. Up to 25% of newborns will experience colic, which is a fancy word for incessant crying that lasts for up to 3 hours, at least 3 days a week. Because doctors don't know exactly what causes colic, no medical treatments are currently available. But several things HAVE been found to help colicky babies. Babies are comforted by gentle motion of all kinds, so invest in a rocker, baby swing, or simple bouncer. Your baby might also find it soothing to be walked around the house in a front pack or sling. And many parents find that a ride in the car - with its movement, noise, and vibration - is the best remedy for colic. It's important to note that what works for one baby, won't necessarily work for another, so experiment and find out! If your infant is otherwise healthy and attended to, colic is generally NOT a cause for concern-and tends to ease by your baby's third month! Whether your baby is colicky or not, make LOTS of time to snuggle, rock, and caress your infant. Your three-week old knows you by now, and there's nothing more comforting to your baby than the sound and feel of YOU!More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-31 | Tags »
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By Newborn Development - Month 3, babies become more aware of their surroundings and environment. Find out more by watching this video.
Transcript: Your baby's third month ushers in your newborn's first "graduation." Your little one has now made the...
Your baby's third month ushers in your newborn's first "graduation." Your little one has now made the transition from newborn to bona-fide infant! As your baby enters this stage of growth, your infant's budding personality becomes more apparent, and you'll start to notice silly, serious, finicky, or determined traits emerge. As your baby becomes more self-possessed, you may also notice that your little one is starting to favor you above other people. Your infant will show preference for YOUR company by smiling, laughing, and waving those little arms and legs when you're around. On the flipside, though, your infant may act more wary around strangers, or even fuss when new people want to interact with him. When not busy making faces, the baby will continue to eat voraciously, and will grow rapidly as a result. The average three-month-old infant will weigh in at 13 pounds and measure 24 inches, although anything from around 9 to 16 pounds and 15 to 22 inches is normal. Sleeping is still the biggest part of your baby's life., Hopefully your little one is FINALLY beginning to learn that nighttime is the time to sleep. Some lucky moms even find that their three-month-olds will sleep for up to 6 hours at a time. Regardless of how much your baby sleeps, when awake, your baby may surprise you this month by rolling over halfway. Your infant is also probably doing baby "push-ups," or using those arms and shoulders to lift that head high when playing on his front. Encourage these efforts by clapping and telling your baby how proud you are of these new skills. But remember that anything within your baby's reach is fair game. Be sure to watch your little one carefully, however, to make sure that the things being grabbed are infant-appropriate!More »
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You will be surprised to know that babies develop preferences by the seventh week. See how you can promote healthy growth through this video on Newborn Development - Week 7.
Transcript: Whoa, super senses! Your baby is experiencing serious sensory stimulation, and is definitely loving all...
Whoa, super senses! Your baby is experiencing serious sensory stimulation, and is definitely loving all the new sensations! At first, babies see everything in only black and white, and reflexively prefer to look at high-contrast edges and patterns, but they acquire the ability to begin distinguishing colors by the time they are about 7 weeks old. Stimulate your baby's sight by introducing very brightly hued books and toys, and by taking your little one out on frequent walks. Your baby's sense of sound is developing too. Your newborn may start to experiment with making more noises, from coos to squeals. Encourage this by talking back to your baby, perhaps narrating your day aloud or singing. And speaking of song, most babies LOVE music. Find YOUR child's preferences by playing everything from Bach to the Beatles. Your little one will show you what music he or she loves by using brand new facial expressions, like raising eyebrows, furrowing brows, and, of course, smiling! Remember, however, that as important as playtime is, most babies can become over-stimulated very quickly. If your baby is fussing, looking away, tensing up, or arching his back, it's time for a quiet break. Allow your baby the time he or she needs to regroup, and then you can return to playtime a bit later.More »
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Babies change quickly! In newborn development week 2 even the subtle changes are important. Watch our video to know more.
Transcript: Your newborn is only one week old, but your baby already has certain preferences-the biggest one being...
Your newborn is only one week old, but your baby already has certain preferences-the biggest one being looking at you! Your baby was born nearsighted, and even though eyesight is still fuzzy, he or she CAN see you in detail, when you're 8 to 10 inches away. And studies show that newborns prefer human faces to ALL other patterns or objects, so give your baby PLENTY of face time. Help your baby develop those eye muscles by slowly moving your head back and forth, or bringing objects close to him, then moving them away again. And at this point, your baby can even recognize your gestures and faces, so play by raising your eyebrows or smiling. Many one-week olds will even respond in kind. Don't worry if your little one looks at you with crossed eyes-it's often a part of normal development. Although your baby is busy learning, this second week of life will STILL center on sleeping and eating. If your infant is indeed eating enough, he'll pass frequent mustard-yellow or dark stools, and will wet up to about 7 diapers daily. All that eating will also insure that your baby gets back up to her birth weight-or beyond-this week. And while your newborn sleeps, you'll want to keep your baby on his or her back to help reduce the likelihood ofto help reduce the likelihood of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. When your baby's awake though, encourage your newborn to spend time on his tummy, which will help him learn to hold his head up. What a week, huh? Stay tuned for all that's to come in your infant's third one!More »
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