Early Learning Activities for Toddlers
Watching your baby grow and develop is fun and exciting. Your baby will learn how to control their body and can quickly learn how to eat on their own, walk and talk. Of course, you always need to be concerned with your baby's health development. All babies grow and develop differently, but they should stay around the average time as other children.
Baby Development at 0-3 Months
A newborn is in a critical stage, especially if they were born with complications or they were premature. A lot of things will happen to your baby during their newborn stage. The newborn stage is considered the first 2-3 months of life. Your baby will depend upon you for everything. You will be changing 8-10 diapers a day and it may feel like all you do is hold them and feed them. Their health development will be important to watch because you need to keep them free from exposure to harmful things. During the winter months, your baby is at risk for RSV, pneumonia, and croup. Make sure everyone washes their hands before they touch them and avoid taking them to crowded areas or places without proper ventilation.
Their body will be growing and developing rapidly. You will need to support their neck, as it will be a little wobbly. Their weak neck muscles will be unable to support the head on its own for a week or more. After 6 weeks or longer, your baby should be able to lay on their stomach and lift their head off the ground. Your newborn will not be able to roll over for a few months, so you must always place them on their back to sleep. They may not be able to roll over, but they can turn from side to side within a few months. Most newborns will grasp objects on their own around 2 months and they can hold onto it tightly.
Your baby will be sensitive to loud noises and they can even wake up from noises. Newborn babies quickly learn how to recognize the sound of their parent's voices. Your voice is soothing and comforting to them so you must spend time talking, reading, and singing to your baby. To make sure your baby is hearing properly, snap your fingers away from them and close to their ear, if they blink or turn their head, they are responding to the noise.
Newborns can only focus on objects that are 6-12 inches from their face. They will examine your face when you are feeding them and will learn how to smile from you. After a few weeks, newborn babies can examine various colors, shapes, sizes, and designs. Turn on lights and see how your baby responds to them. You can also check their eyesight by shining a light into their eye to see how their pupils respond.
Your baby's health development needs to be checked by your doctor every 2 months. If your baby is a little behind others, there is no reason to be concerned. Your doctor will give you a list of the different things your baby will be developing during the next 3-4 months. If your baby has not been able to lift their head or is unable to control their head, you need to speak with your doctor immediately. Your baby should respond to lights and noises, if they do not, speak to your doctor. Your doctor will also give you a growth chart to show you the healthy development of your baby, your baby's weight should fit somewhere in this chart, if your baby is not gaining weight, your doctor may recommend a different formula or supplementing formula with breast milk.
Infants Development at 3-12 months
During this next stage of life, your baby's health development is rapid. They will become more alert and mobile and can even begin speaking a few words. The newborn days of late night feedings and inconsolable crying should be at an end and you should start feeling better from getting a full night's sleep again. Your baby will quickly become interested in everything around them. Their motor skills are developing quickly and they will move and kick their legs a lot. Your baby will learn how to rock on their stomach and roll over. Eventually, rolling over will help them learn how to push up onto their hands and knees and they will be able to sit up on their own. Once they have this mastered, they will start to scoot and eventually they will be able to crawl. If your baby is not sitting up on their own, speak with your doctor about their muscular development. There may be some other activities you can do with your baby to help them learn how to sit on their own.
Infants will be able to grasp things on their own. They will enjoy things that make noise so purchase some rattles and other objects. Babies also like lights, several toys make noise and they have lights that coordinate with the noises they hear. Your baby will be able to transfer objects from one hand to another and they can hold things, like juice cups and bottles.
Infant's vision will be fully developed by 6 months. They will be able to identify familiar faces and they will concentrate on their favorite toys. Infants are fascinated with their own feet and toes and they will try to put them in their mouth. Their mouth is the most sensitive place in their body and they use it to help learn about the texture and taste of objects. Check your baby's vision by rolling a ball across the floor and see if they follow it. You can also turn on bright lights to see how they react to them.
Your baby will also recognize their name and they will turn their head when you call their name. Always check their hearing by making noises and watch your child respond to them. Initially infants will learn how to babble, squeal, giggle, and gurgle. Talk to your baby often and respond to them when they make noise. This will start to lay the foundation for their language skills.
It is normal for baby's to become clingy to their parents by about 6 months of age. They may become nervous around strangers and they will suffer from separation anxiety. Help them warm up to other people by taking them around those individuals often. Stay in the room and re-assure your child that you are still there and it is ok for them to be with these people.
Your baby's health development is important during this stage because they are prone to common colds that may lead to ear infections. Never give your baby over-the-counter cold medications because they produce no effect and it is easy to over-dose your child. Always keep their room humid because they can dry out quickly. If your baby has been suffering from a cold longer than 10 days, seek medical attention. Common colds can lead to pneumonia and other serious illnesses. If your baby has an ear infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection before the baby loses hearing.
Your baby will start to develop teeth and this may cause them to be a little irritable and fussy. Give them a wet washcloth, frozen fruit in mesh holders, or teething rings to soothe their gums. Generally the first tooth to develop is in the lower jaw. Your baby will drool more than normal