Newborn Development: Month 7
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By the seventh month, your baby will go through a number changes. Learn more about these changes this video on Newborn Development - Month 7.
Transcript: Did you tell your infant NOT to pull the dog's tail? Then you can bet your baby will try it out now....
Did you tell your infant NOT to pull the dog's tail? Then you can bet your baby will try it out now. Welcome to the willful seventh month! One milestone you'd be FINE with your baby skipping is this testing of your authority! Unfortunately, it's inevitable that your baby will push the envelope a bit. If your little one's behaving badly though, don't get TOO upset; your baby is not really being headstrong-just genuinely curious. The best way you can correct bad behavior is by offering a firm "no," before moving away from the upset. And just because your baby tests your limits doesn't mean your little one doesn't adore you. In fact, it's normal for your infant to experience plenty of separation anxiety this month. If your baby has a hard time with departures, it can help to create a ritual to follow every time you leave, like a cuddle in the rocker followed by big kisses. Because many babies who sleep alone also experience separation anxiety at night, a comforting bedtime ritual is also beneficial. Meanwhile, when awake, your baby is likely becoming more aware of moving that little body through space. Your baby may now be able to stand with your assistance, and will almost certainly bear weight on those little legs while holding on to you. Your little acrobat may even pull himself upright from his tummy to a sitting position. And don't be surprised if your baby's previously blue eyes turn a fetching shade of brown this month! Although many infants are born with light eyes, pigment increases during the second half of year one, which is why their eyes often darken. So be sure your baby is ready for lots and lots of close-ups as you document this fascinating process!More »
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The ninth month of your baby’s life will be exciting and full of surprises. Watch this video to learn more about Newborn Development - Month 9.
Transcript: Your babbling baby may make no sense to you, but ACT as if you understand. After all, you're your little...
Your babbling baby may make no sense to you, but ACT as if you understand. After all, you're your little one is trying to communicate. Most babies jabber so much because their capacity to understand language far outweighs their ability to use it. Just keep talking to your baby in specific, short phrases, and remember to watch your tone, which your baby ABSOLUTELY understands. You should also encourage your baby's individual personality, which is really starting to show now. Personable or shy, moody or sunny, passionate or calm, your infant is really becoming a "person" at last. And while you're proud of this independence, you may find it less than thrilling when you want your baby to do something your little one is not inclined to do. Your baby's independent streak MAY cause some resistance when your are trying put your little one down for a morning nap, which you CAN encourage-as long as your baby can last to lunchtime without fussing. If your baby tries to blow off sleep at night, however, you'll obviously need to put your foot down. This is where a bedtime ritual can be ENORMOUSLY helpful, as it eases your baby into sleep mode slowly. Also, make sure you actually LEAVE your baby when you say "night-night"-and try not to return until he or she is asleep. During waking hours, though, your baby will love to play with you! Your infant will learn language, social, and coordination skills from his favorite activities, like peek-a-boo, "sooo big" and pass the ball. And another fun new play game that often gets discovered this month is how to put things in an object and then remove them. Give your baby some infant appropriate blocks and a bucket for this purpose and let your little one go to town!More »
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A baby’s ability to speak develops as they grow. Get tips on how to promote their verbal skills by watching this video on Newborn Development - Month 11.
Transcript: Your little chatterbox has more to say than ever, although it's unlikely that it will make an iota of...
Your little chatterbox has more to say than ever, although it's unlikely that it will make an iota of sense to you! As your baby's brain continues to develop, so does the ability to speak and understand language, which is why your baby is gabbing up a storm. To encourage your infant's interest in language, resist the urge to use baby talk. If your baby asks for a "ba," correct him by saying "bottle." "Introduce colors and numbers by telling your baby he is wearing "two blue socks," or is wearing one red tee-shirt with three monkeys on it. Teach your baby that language is a two way street by "conversing" with her. Be an avid listener to hier gibberish, and then respond as if you understand. Give simple instructions, like "Pick up the cup," and see if your child responds. Many eleven-month-olds will! Also try offering your baby very simple choices, like whether she'd like Cheerios or cheese. Make sure she can see both options as you pose the question. During this crucial stage of language development, it's a good idea to begin phasing out your little one's binky, or pacifier. It can be hard to separate your infant from this security sucking object, but if your baby keeps it in his or her mouth all the time, it can hinder language development according to recent research. In other big news this month, your infant may take those first real steps towards independence! To encourage baby steps, kneel in front of your child with hands out, or hold your little one's hands and walk your baby slowly toward you. Most infants will take their first solo steps by the end of their first year, but if yours does not, don't panic. Some perfectly normal children don't walk independently until their 16th or 17th month, and that's OK, too!More »
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Parents instinctively know that babies need lots of hugs, cuddling, and love to grow. Discover other ways to stimulate your baby's brain by learning more about infant and toddler development.
Transcript: You want the very best for your baby, and the good news is that giving your little one a great head start...
You want the very best for your baby, and the good news is that giving your little one a great head start is surprisingly simple! Just as your baby's physical needs are fairly straightforward, your little one's emotional and mental ones are as well. In fact, your infant's biggest want is one you already supply effortlessly-love. Studies have repeatedly shown that attention and affection in infancy have a DIRECT result over mental and physical development later in life. Show your baby how much he or she means to you by cuddling, touching and playing with your infant as much as you can. Most childhood experts agree that it's virtually impossible to spoil a child younger than six months, so shower your baby with affection by answering newborn cries immediately. All of this love and bonding allow your baby to feel secure in your mutual relationship, in turn encouraging your infant to explore his world. In addition to your love, talking and reading to your baby will help your little one thrive. That's because children who are consistently spoken and read to have the best vocabularies, and higher IQs. So make "conversing" with your baby a normal part of your days, by narrating your actions or reading bedtime stories. To further encourage your child's development, stimulate your baby's senses whenever you can. This can be as simple as regularly introducing your infant to new people, taking your baby for walks and outings, and playing with your little one often. Expose your child to structured play, like stacking rings and building blocks. But also give your baby the tools-like an open, childproofed space-to play on his own. Similarly, encourage small challenges for your baby. If your little one wants to stack rings, for example, let her try before you help. Allowing babies to figure things out on their own fosters both confidence AND a bigger brain. Finally, remember that one of the best things you can do to nurture your baby is to nurture yourself. Take regular time for YOU-whether that means soaking in a bubble bath or enjoying a date night with your partner. Your baby will thank you for returning.More »
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Entertaining your baby -- playing games like peek-a-boo -- is fun for baby and parent alike. But it also helps your infant to develop mentally and physically. Discover more ways to keep your baby engaged and active.
Transcript: In the days since your newborn arrived, you've become an expert in baby bottles, baby crying, baby napping...
In the days since your newborn arrived, you've become an expert in baby bottles, baby crying, baby napping and baby pooping. But what do you know about baby playing? Playing a variety of simple games with your baby is a vital part of your infant's early development. Playing together is also an important bonding activity for the two-or the three!-of you. In your baby's first three months, the games you play together should be incredibly simple. Try putting on some music, and dancing with your little one around the room... or sing repetitive songs, like "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Rockabye Baby." Most newborn babies also love to look at unique or colorful objects, so another fun activity is holding various items in front of your infant's eyes. Between your infant's fourth and six months, your baby will learn to roll over, reach for things, and maybe even sit up. Take advantage of this newfound maturity by playing more active games. Try hoisting your baby into the air, and flying your infant around the house. Babies of this age also benefit from spending playtime on their tummy, which helps them push up and eventually learn to crawl. As your baby's body continues to mature, so does your little one's brain. By the seventh month or so, your infant will understand that something you hide from sight is NOT gone forever. In other words, this is the age when peek-a-boo games will be a big hit with your baby! During the end of your infant's first year, your baby will be even more mobile and games will become more interactive. Encourage your baby's newfound crawling or even walking ability by putting favorite toys a distance away and asking your little one to go get them. Your baby will also enjoy arranging and rearranging items, as with stacking blocks or plastic rings. Remember that whatever game you're playing, a baby that's smiling, laughing or watching intently is engaged. If your little one starts to fuss, looks away, or cries, it may be time to switch up the activity to something that's more fun for everyone!More »
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You may see your little one bottom shuffling and crawling around the eighth month. See what else is in store for you by watching this video on Newborn Development - Month 8.
Transcript: Get ready for MORE baby proofing! Your infant will start crawling this month, and will have those little...
Get ready for MORE baby proofing! Your infant will start crawling this month, and will have those little hands into more things than ever! While most eight-month-olds can crawl, every baby will have his or her own preferred method of getting around. Some babies creep, or push themselves around on their bellies...while others may navigate with both hands and feet, bottom pointed upward. Some babies even "bottom shuffle," moving around on their behinds with a hand in back and a foot in front. Whatever your baby's movement method of choice, you can bet your infant will be into absolutely EVERYTHING, which is why you should baby proof! Pad sharp corners, cover electrical outlets, install toilet seat locks move drapery cords out of reach, and put safety gates at the stairs. This is especially important if your baby is pulling himself upright into a standing position - while holding something for support, of course. Babies at this age may even take a few steps, although some infants don't walk until they are into their second year. As your infant uses that newfound mobility to charge into situations, you may be surprised to find that your baby gets scared or withdrawn. Help your little one adjust by cuddling and talking to your baby softly, allowing your infant to approach new people or places at his or her own pace. You may find that your baby latches on to a blanket, pacifier, or stuffed animal for security at this time. In fact, you baby probably gets a particular kick out of dropping things, waiting for you to pick them up, and then dropping them again. Indulge your little one's humor when you can. After all, someday your little baby will be your big child, and may not be as eager to play!More »
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By the time your baby is ten months old, he or she will begin to crawl and move around. Learn more about Newborn Development - Month 10, in this video.
Transcript: It wasn't long ago when your baby was content to lie on that tummy and watch the world go by. But now,...
It wasn't long ago when your baby was content to lie on that tummy and watch the world go by. But now, your little one is up and eager to chase after everything! By now, your little one is a crawling expert, using those hands and knees to go everywhere, perhaps even up the stairs. Many ten-month-olds can also walk while holding on to furniture, and some can even stand unaided. In fact, a few babies take several hesitant steps now, although others don't walk until well into their second year. Whatever your little one's preferred method of movement, most doctors recommended leaving those mobile feet bare for now. Little feet develop best without restrictive shoes, as being bare helps build arches and strengthen ankles. In addition to your baby's new movement abilities, those fingers and hands are more agile than ever. You've probably noticed that your little one uses her thumb and forefinger to pick up small objects without having to rest her wrist on the table. Although this pincer grasp allows your baby to pick up toys, it also makes it easy to grab non-edible things from the floor as well, so be watchful! Additionally, your baby's language comprehension continues to expand, as grunts and gurgles become your little one 's mode of expression. Most ten-month-olds don't say real words, but you may have noticed some "mama" and "dadas in your baby's new speech repertoire. While your little one probably doesn't know what those words mean, if you repeatedly name objects your baby points at, it won't be long before you are greeted by the right word! You'll also want to continue to "converse" with your baby, responding to babbling as if you understand. These exercises will help your little one get a jumpstart on adult speech patterns, and your baby will thank you-with words!-before you know it.More »
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Getting the whole family ready for a new baby can take some advance planning. Check out these tips on preparing children for a new baby.
Transcript: Helping your older child adjust to a new baby in your family takes a little finesse and a lot of love....
Helping your older child adjust to a new baby in your family takes a little finesse and a lot of love. In the weeks following the birth of your newborn, try to involve your oldest in the new daily routine as much as possible. Make a point to ask for your child's opinion: "Do you think the baby wants to wear a red shirt or a blue shirt?" If he wants to "help," allow him to fetch diapers, hold the baby , tell a story, or any other age-appropriate task. Even if the "helping" actually slows you down, it's an important way for the big brother or sister to feel useful and special. Then again, if your child just doesn't seem interested in his new sibling, don't force the issue... as the bonding process can take some time. Even more common than disinterest are feelings of anger, sadness, or even resentment toward the new baby. Know that this can happen EVEN if your oldest was excited about the PROSPECT of a new baby brother or sister. And your child may express these emotions in a variety of ways. It is common for a toddler or preschool-aged child to regress and act like a baby. Regression may include forgetting potty training skills, using baby talk, asking for a bottle, or trying to use the baby's things. Indulge this short-lived stage with good-natured humor and love, while reminding your child of all the things "big kids" can do, that babies can't. If your child is a bit older, however... he may misbehave, throw temper tantrums, or refuse to eat, all in an effort to engage your attention. While you should make it clear that such behavior is unacceptable... you can and SHOULD make a point to talk to your child about his feelings. Explain that it's OK to feel sad or angry, and ask him to tell you about these emotions. Encourage your child to talk with you about these feelings by asking very specific and pointed questions, rather than open-ended ones. Above all, it's vital that you reserve a chunk of time daily to spend with JUST your older child, no baby allowed! Even an extra bedtime story, a private snuggle, or a trip to the grocery store count. This one-on-one time is the best way to remind your child that he is just as important to you as he has ALWAYS been!More »
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Encouraging baby to sit up should only be done when you can tell he's ready for it. Watch this video to find out more.
Transcript: Sitting upright is a skill you take completely for granted-but it's a fascinating feat for your infant!...
Sitting upright is a skill you take completely for granted-but it's a fascinating feat for your infant! Your baby won't be able to master sitting unassisted until your little one has sufficient neck control to hold that little head upright. Expect this to happen around your baby's fourth month, when rapidly developing neck muscles make it suddenly simple to manage that once seemingly heavy head. Once your baby has mastered this head-raising skill, your infant will begin to do the classic "mini pushup." This cute pose involves your infant propping those arms on the ground and holding his or her chest off the floor at the same time. And by the time your little one is doing these gymnastics, it's only a matter of time until your infant can rest in a full-on sitting position. In the next several months, your baby will master this so well that you can expect your little one to pull into a full sit and to hold it unaided for minutes at a time. Once your infant IS upright, expect your baby to fall in love with seeing the world from this vantage point, as there is SO much more to see and learn from this new perspective! To help your baby learn to sit like a pro, make sure you give your little one plenty of playtime on that tummy. From this tummy-down position, your infant will WANT to lift her head and push up on those arms. Encourage this step by playing with your infant on the floor, using bright toys or pleasant noises to make your little one lift her head. As your baby masters this skill, teach your infant about sitting by propping your little one upright, legs in a wide "V" and arms together between them. As your baby becomes more and more comfortable with this changing perspective, challenge your infant even further by putting interesting objects JUST out of reach. The bend and stretch required will improve strength and small motor skills. Even more importantly, this movement is a precursor to new milestones, like crawling, standing, and walking!More »
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You know the basics of infant care, but do you know how to tap into a baby's emotional needs? Watch this video to learn more about how to raise a happy baby.
Transcript: Believe it or not, how you treat your baby NOW is one of the biggest indicators of whether your little...
Believe it or not, how you treat your baby NOW is one of the biggest indicators of whether your little one grows into a well-adjusted adult! Infants are emotional beings right from birth. In fact, emotions are biologically based, built into our brains, designed in part to help foster connection with others. Right from birth, infants experience several primary emotions. During the first 6 months of life, as the infant makes cognitive gains, these more simple emotions evolve into more sophisticated ones. And with each passing year, your child's emotional repertoire grows. Emotions in infants are expressed by facial reactions, so pay attention to what that little face is telling you. A sensitive parent will learn to pick up on different kinds of cries and facial expressions, and will react appropriately. Reading your baby's non-verbal cues can help you be a more effective parent. Similarly, you will also become adept at decoding variations on a theme, for instance, when a cry means: "I'm tired," versus when another cry means, "I'm hungry." While this is not a foolproof mode of communication, you will learn to read your individual baby's needs by paying close attention. You may also learn when NOT to respond to a cry, which can be the foundation of a key life lesson that your baby can't ALWAYS get what she wants. This helps foster some small steps toward independence, which is key for your child in developing the ability to self-soothe. As your baby gets older and her emotional centers develop further, allowing her to struggle through minor problems is vital. This helps her feel satisfaction at learning a new skill, and also sets the stage for a child who can cope with frustration. So let your infant try to get up on her own after that small tumble, or give your little one the space to pick up a dropped toy on her own. While this may sound counter-intuitive, one of the best ways to make your baby happy is to allow her to feel sad. Letting your child express sadness and anger teaches her that feeling bad is not only OK-it's a normal part of life. As your toddler gets older, encourage this even more by teaching her the words for her emotions. When your child can put her feelings into plain language, she becomes even MORE able to regulate them. Balance is key here: teaching coping skills for negative emotions should go hand-in-hand with fostering and encouraging happy ones. One of the kindest things you can do for your child now is to encourage creative fun, from stacking blocks to playing make-believe. Engage in this play WITH your child as often as possible, as quality time with you is another key to childhood contentment. In the end though, perhaps your baby's biggest barometer of happiness is YOU. Even very young babies can pick up on their parents' moods, so presenting yours with a calm, cheery attitude is one of the best ways to get your little one grinning. If this is hard for you; because you're feeling over-stressed, frequently depressed, or generally unhappy, it's VITAL to get some help for YOU. Seeking your own happiness is-after all- the BEST way to ensure your BABY'S!More »
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It's important for babies to sleep on their backs but they also need some tummy time. Learn about the benefits of tummy time in this video.
Transcript: Time to roll over from lying back-side down! Your baby needs to spend time on that tummy every single...
Time to roll over from lying back-side down! Your baby needs to spend time on that tummy every single day! If you're anything like 70% of parents, you always put your baby to sleep on his or her back. This practice is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and helps to reduce the risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. And while that's a good thing, it DOES mean that your infant is on his or her back much of the time. The problem with that is that your baby's skull is still soft, and too much time lying on the head in this manner can cause your little one's head to flatten or become misshapen. Even more importantly, an overdose of back lying can lead to delays in developmental milestones, including rolling over, crawling, and walking. Spending time on her tummy, however, entices your curious infant to lift her head, to push up on her arms, and to kick her legs. With that in mind, the AAP recommends that babies get about thirty minutes of tummy time EACH day. They suggest starting this experience as soon as you can, and keeping it up through your infant's first year. Unfortunately-if your infant is like most-she'll probably resist tummy time at first. That's because lying belly-side down is not only unfamiliar to your back sleeper, it's also uncomfortable. After all, holding up her head is still a monumental effort, and she may feel abandoned in this different position. To make tummy time more enjoyable for your infant, don't do it when your little one is hungry, tired, or very full. Many parents find that post-nap or after a diaper change are good times. Once your infant is on his or her tummy, keep your little one company and make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Your baby may love it if you lie on your back and place her body on yours, tummy to tummy. Or, your little one may enjoy it when you lie down next to her and sing, talk, or distract her with toys. Younger babies in particular may like being propped up on a rolled towel or nursing pillow. Experiment with various activities and remember that the more fun you make her tummy, the more content your baby will be there!More »
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Babies who start using baby sign language can communicate their needs and may even develop speech skills at an early age. Learn more about baby signing.
Transcript: Does your baby wave bye-bye or blow kisses? Then your little one is already well on the way to expressing...
Does your baby wave bye-bye or blow kisses? Then your little one is already well on the way to expressing thoughts with signs! Sign language isn't only for the hearing impaired, in fact, almost all infants love to learn and use sign language too. A baby's motor skills and the ability to understand words, BOTH develop faster than the ability to actually speak. As a step to speaking language, babies are often able to learn some simple sign language as they progress towards speaking. The idea of teaching simple sign language to infants was put forth in the late 1970s by John Garcia, a childhood development expert. Garcia realized that HEARING babies of DEAF parents learned sign language very easily-and the benefits were huge! Signing babies appeared calmer because they could express their wants and needs more clearly than before. And best of all, children who knew how to sign spoke better by age two, and they even seemed to have higher IQs! That's because signing is used ALONGSIDE normal speech, enhancing the development of language. With so many benefits, it's no wonder that baby signing books and classes are now so popular in the United States. And while these classes can be beneficial, you can also teach your child to sign right at home. Start when your little one seems eager to babble and play with you, usually around her eighth to tenth month. When the time is right, pick a sign! Most experts recommend focusing on a concept your baby is interested in, whether it's "food," or "dog." Some common popular signs include "food" or "eat," where you put your fingers to your lips..."book," where both hands are extended, palms up..."bear," where the arms are crossed across the chest...and "more," where the tips of all fingers touch in front of the chest. Note that some parents prefer to use American Sign Language, as Garcia did, while others choose a simpler version made for babies. Whatever you decide, use the sign EVERY time you say its corresponding word. Always use the same sign, and repeat it often in several sentences. It may take your baby several days or even several weeks to sign back to you, but your infant WILL if you're consistent-and you'll enjoy a closer, more fulfilling, even deeper bond as a result!More »
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