The first two years of your child’s life are filled with wonderful milestones. Your child is learning and growing, and she will continue to learn to do so many things. Of course, each child develops at different levels. Just because your child is not progressing as quickly as someone else’s child doesn’t mean that there is a problem. If you have any questions about your child’s health and development, however, you should always consult your pediatrician.
One of the first milestones your child will reach will be simply lifting her head and chest. She may begin doing this not long after she is born. How can you help her? Place a mirror on the blanket in front of her. Babies love to look at faces, even their own! Newborns love objects that are colored in black, white, and red.
Place toys decorated in these colors a few inches away from her. A newborn can’t focus on objects that are much farther than six inches away, so place the objects in her line of vision.
Encourage her to reach for objects by placing colorful mobiles in her crib. You can also purchase activity gyms. These arched gyms typically have colorful toys that dangle over your child. Some of them make music.
Once your baby reaches four to six months of age, she may begin reaching out for objects. You can help her by holding colorful objects close enough for her to reach towards. She may begin reaching with her fist closed, but as she becomes more adept at using her arms and hands, she will learn to open her hand and hit at the object. You can introduce different textures of material by placing different objects into your child’s hands.
When your baby is five to seven months of age, she may be able to sit up with assistance. You can help her develop her stomach and back muscles by sitting her up and supporting her. You can hold her up or place pillows around her to prop her up. Give her colorful toys to look at.
Some children never crawl. Many simply scoot, roll, or creep across the floor. Others become interested only in pulling up and walking. You can encourage your child to begin crawling or creeping by placing a few toys a few inches out of his reach. His desire for those toys may entice him to get moving!
Once your child shows an interest in walking, he may never slow down. Most pediatricians discourage the use of walkers. They can inhibit walking skills, and they can be potentially dangerous. Instead, encourage your child to walk by placing him close to a couch or other sturdy piece of furniture. He can practice cruising along with the furniture or holding onto your hand until his legs muscles become strong enough to hold him up without assistance.
Your child’s first words will be a cause for celebration. By the time your child is eighteen months old, she will probably be uttering a few words if not short sentences. You can help your child develop her communication skills by talking to her. Talk to her about what you and she are doing. Point to different objects and name them.
Talk about the different parts of her body, and ask her questions such as, Where is your nose? It is important to read to your child, and you can begin reading to her when she is a newborn. Some mothers even read to their children before they are even born! As you read to your child, point to the colorful pictures in the book. Some books have textured objects on each page. Encourage your child to touch these objects. Ask her simple questions such as, Do you see the red ball?
Of course, your child will eventually reach each milestone on her own, but you can do some things to encourage her to develop her new skills.
If you aren’t sure about your child’s development, or you just want to get some more information concerning your child’s growth, you can always contact her pediatrician. In the meantime, continue to enjoy watching your child grow and discover new things.If you aren’t sure