Sunday, 25 May 2014

Experimenting Babies Early Stages

From helpless newborn to active toddler: It takes just 12 short months for your baby to undergo this incredible transformation. Babies grow and change at an astounding pace, and every month brings new and exciting developments.

New moms and dads often wonder what to expect next and how to know if their baby’s development is on target. Instead of focusing too much on developmental milestones, however, it’s important to remember that babies all develop at their own pace. There’s a fairly wide “window” for when it is normal for a baby to reach a particular developmental stage.

“If your baby reaches one milestone sooner, she may reach another one later, because she’s so busy perfecting the other skill,” says Jennifer Shu, MD, pediatrician and co-author of Heading Home with Your Newborn.

Some babies may say their first word at eight months, while others don’t talk until a little after the one-year mark. And walking may start anytime between nine and 18 months.

Keeping those kinds of variations in mind, here’s what your baby may be doing during each three-month stage of the first year.

Baby Development: One to Three Months

During this first development stage, babies’ bodies and brains are learning to live in the outside world. Between birth and three months, your baby may start to:

Smile. Early on, it will be just to herself. But within three months, she’ll be smiling in response to your smiles and trying to get you to smile back at her.
Raise her head and chest when on her tummy.
Track objects with her eyes and gradually decrease eye crossing.
Open and shut her hands and bring hands to her mouth.
Grip objects in her hands.
Take swipes at or reach for dangling objects, though she usually won’t be able to get them yet.
Baby Development: Four to Six Months

During these months, babies are really learning to reach out and manipulate the world around them. They’re mastering the use of those amazing tools, their hands. And they’re discovering their voices. From 4 to 6 months old, your baby will probably:

Roll over from front to back or back to front. Front-to-back usually comes first.
Babble, making sounds that can sound like real language.
Reach out for and grab objects (watch out for your hair), and manipulate toys and other objects with her hands.
Sit up with support and have great head control.

Baby Development: Seven to Nine Months

During the second half of this year, your little one becomes a baby on the go. After learning that he can get somewhere by rolling over, he’ll spend the next few months figuring out how to move forward or backward. If you haven’t baby-proofed yet, better get on it!

During this time period, your baby may:
Start to crawl. This can include scooting (propelling around on his bottom) or “army crawling” (dragging himself on his tummy by arms and legs), as well as standard crawling on hands and knees. Some babies never crawl, moving directly to from scooting to walking.

Sit without support.
Respond to familiar words like his name. He may also respond to “No” by briefly stopping and looking at you, and may start babbling "Mama" and "Dada."
Clap and play games such as patty-cake and peekaboo.
Learn to pull up to a standing position
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Your baby is born with some amazing abilities - he is not just a little sponge waiting to soak up experiences. From the moment he is born, his ability to snuggle into your neck, grip your finger tightly and look into your eyes will have you falling in love.


Your baby is born with some amazing abilities - he is not just a little sponge waiting to soak up experiences. From the moment he is born, his ability to snuggle into your neck, grip your finger tightly and look into your eyes will have you falling in love.

Healthy newborns are perfectly attuned to their own needs. Though their eyes are not yet able to focus on things that are far away, baby can focus perfectly well on your face when you hold him in your arms - the distance from your nipple to your eyes!

Your newborn can also hear. From around 28 weeks of your pregnancy your newborn has been able to listen, hearing both the sounds of his mother's body and noises from the outside world. Studies have found that newborns react more strongly to the higher pitch of a female voice, than to a deeper male voice. Newborn babies are soothed by the sound of their mother's voice chattering and cooing to them - and they can be upset when that voice becomes sad or angry. Interestingly, many dads find they raise the pitch of their voice when talking to their newborn.

Baby's nose is also a sensitive organ and a newborn can tell the difference between the smell of his own mother's breasts and that of another person. This is combined with a well developed sense of taste (babies have more taste buds than adults) which is finely tuned towards the sweet, milky taste of breast milk. Newborn babies are also born with a number of reflexes, some of which are vital for survival. These include the rooting reflex which enables baby to find his mother's nipple when his cheek is placed nearby; the sucking reflex; the swallowing reflex and the gagging reflex that prevents him from taking too much liquid. He is also able to cough up the mucus that has filled his lungs for the last nine months. When a baby is put down on his tummy he will automatically turn his head; he won't just lie with his head down. This is known as the labyrinthine reflex.


Eyes, noses and belly buttons
Snuffly noses, gummy eyes and that yucky cord stump are common worries for new parents. Newborn babies will make plenty of snotty sounds as they learn to cope with the mucus in their bodies and the milk going through their digestive system. A newborn baby's nose produces a good deal of mucus and it can make even more when milk goes down the wrong way - which it sometimes does. If your baby has a cold she is also likely to have a temperature and she may also cough a great deal. If you are in any doubt about your baby's health talk to your doctor.

Little eyes can also discharge mucus which gums the eyelids together. This is mostly caused by a blocked tear duct - your doctor or nurse will be able to show you how to clear it with a gentle massage.

Baby's umbilical cord stump is very tough and does not have any nerve fibres. It needs to be cleaned regularly. When you are in the hospital you may be advised to use methylated spirits because it reduces the chance that foreign germs will cause problems - at home you may find that warm water is enough. It is necessary to clean around the base of the cord stump until it drops off - which it will usually do sometime in the first week. If there is any redness or it gets smelly ask your nurse or doctor for advice.

What is posse-ting?
Bringing up milk in small quantities is the dictionary definition of those little 'sick-ups' called posseting in Australia and 'spitting up' in the USA. Many newborns decorate the shoulders of unsuspecting carers with little blobs of milk. You can tell the experienced parents because they have a nappy or small towel draped over the shoulder and may have taken added precautions by wearing light-coloured or patterned clothing! According to British child care author Dr Miriam Stoppard, babies posset because they have been overfed; according to American Dr William Sears, babies spit-up because 'they are babies'. Not very helpful, but he also attributes it to gulping milk and to the air which spurts up when the baby's stomach contracts. The important thing to know is that it is perfectly normal and that baby will have outgrown it by the second half of his first year. In the meantime, find yourself a few cloth nappies and don't jostle baby too much after a feed.


How newborns sleep
Whoever coined the phrase 'sleeping like a baby' did parents a big disservice. Newborn babies are not able to snuggle down for a peaceful night's sleep - this will not happen for some time.
A newborn's sleep is naturally more restless than an adults, she will make faces and move about.  In the early days she will sleep in the same position she was in when she was in the womb; over the following weeks she will gradually 'open out'. Also unlike adults, newborn babies are able, and generally prefer, to sleep in a noisy environment.
The best place for baby to sleep is somewhere safe that suits you both.

Sleep guide
- Newborn babies will sleep for between 14 and 20 hours in a 24 hour period.
- Sleep will usually be in short periods of between one and three hours.

- Newborn babies cannot tell the difference between night and day.