Growth & Development: Newborn to 12 Months
Helping Your Child Grow & Develop
Feeding your baby
Toy Dangers
Bathing your Baby
Dealing with a Diaper Rash
Your Baby's Teeth
Method to Measure Child's Temperature

Growth & Development: Newborn to 12 Months

A child's first year of life is an amazing period of growth and development. During the first year, your baby will grow rapidly. By the end of the first year, your baby will have tripled their birth weight.

Babies will reach a number of important developmental milestones during the first year:
• tracking a moving object with their eyes: around 2 months
• cooing: around 2 to 4 months
• raising head while lying on tummy: 3 to 4 months
• grabbing at objects: 3 to 5 months
• rolling over: around 4 to 6 months
• developing colour vision: around 4 to 6 months
• sitting alone without support: around 5 to 6 months
• starting solid foods: around 6 months
• pulling up: around 6 to 9 months
• crawling: around 6 to 9 months
• laughing, babbling, and making "raspberry" sounds: around 6 to 9 months
• imitating sounds (perhaps saying "Mama" and "Dada" without knowing what they mean): around 9 to 12
• trying to walk or taking their first steps: around 9 to 12 months (may be later)
• understanding several words: around 12 months

Helping Your Child Grow & Develop

1- The first year is your chance to get to know your baby. You will learn about their personality, the activities they enjoy, and the way they react to different situations. It's also a time where your baby will learn to know and trust you.
2- Here are a few tips on making the first year a safe and happy one:
3- Let your baby explore their world, but take steps to keep them safe. There are a few safety "musts" during the first year:
4- Until your baby can roll over on their own, put them to sleep on their back.
5- Keep small objects away from your baby because your baby may choke on them.
6- Once your baby can move around, baby-proof your home. Plug outlet covers, lock drawers and toilets etc.
7- Don't leave your baby alone with other children or pets.
8- Talk, read, and sing to your baby: Even if it seems like they're not listening, their sharp little brain is taking everythingin. Tell your baby what you are doing, and label objects, actions, and feelings.
9- Give your baby lots of love and attention. A baby who feels loved and secure will form a strong bond with their parents and feel more secure to explore the world around them.
10- Finally, keep in mind that every child develops at their own pace. The timeframes listed here are just averages, your child may reach these milestones earlier or later.

Feeding your baby

Nutrition for newborns

Nutrition is vital to your baby's development, especially during the first year of life. Health professionals emphasize the nutritional advantages of breast-feeding infants, especially for the first 6 to 12 months. Breast milk is tailor-made for a baby's digestive system and is rich in antibodies, which help to ward off bacteria and viruses. And over the course of a baby's development, the breast milk will alter its composition to suit the baby's nutritional needs.
Once the baby starts eating solid foods, at around 6 months, continue breast-feeding as well.
However, while breast milk is considered the best option for a baby's health, not all mothers can - or want to - feed their child in this way. The other option is iron-fortified formula.
But while formulas are aimed at mirroring breast milk in terms of composition and nutritional advantages for babies, they are not identical to breast milk. If you choose a formula, be sure that it is fortified with iron and contains necessary vitamins and minerals. It is generally recommend that you do not give cow's milk to infants 12 months old or younger. For babies, cow's milk is difficult to digest and does not provide enough nutrition.

Breastfeeding for longer may lessen weight troubles

Nursing mothers who breastfeed for longer amounts of time may be helping their babies avoid weight troubles later in life, according to research.
"One month of breastfeeding was associated with a 4% decrease in risk (of being overweight)," concludes Dr. Thomas Harder and colleagues in the study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. "These findings strongly support a dose-dependent association between longer duration of breastfeeding and decrease in (the) risk of (being) overweight."
Scientific evidence has shown that breast milk contains all the essential nutrients and elements needed to nurture the healthy growth of a baby for the first six months of life. However, additional vitamin D supplementation is usually recommended by doctors for babies who are exclusively breastfed.

Nutrition for you and your baby

Now that you and your partner are preparing for your baby, it is an important time for you to eat properly to ensure that both mother and baby are healthy. We may have heard for years that pregnant mothers can eat for two.
The reality is that in order to stay in a healthy weight-gain range, pregnant mothers should only add an additional 300 calories - hardly the calories allowed for another person.
• Carbohydrates offer great sources of energy and are found in whole grains, fruits, and dark leafy vegetables.
• Protein is great for producing extra blood that is needed for the baby's development.
• Fats in fish help the baby's vision and brain development and improve the mother's immunity, blood clotting, and blood pressure.
• Prenatal nutritional supplements with folic acid helps the baby's bones develop and prevents amnesia and premture delivery.
• Iron is important in the development of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues vital for healthy baby development.
• Calcium helps build your body's teeth and bones and helps you maintain the levels in the mother's body.
• Pregnant women need lots of water and fluids to cool the baby, move waste though their body, prevent constipation .
• Avoid soft cheeses that harbor bad bacteria and may cause stillbirth, premature birth, or infections to the newborn.

Toy Dangers

As you head out to the stores or go online to pick out toys for all the good girls and boys on your list, safety may be on your mind. Keep this guide close at hand as you shop, so you know the warnings to watch for, the dangers that the packages might not reveal, and the not-so-obvious hazards of some children's toys. • Surprising choking hazards: Watch for hidden choking hazards: small parts that might be untied and removed; poorly attached eyes and noses on stuffed animals; buttons that could be detached from a doll's clothing etc.
• Magnets: When magnets are small enough to be swallowed, they become more than just a choking hazard. If a child swallows more than one magnet, this can cause blockage, and the results can be fatal.
• Aspiration: Another unexpected risk is doll hair or plush toy fur. If it is pulled out or falls out, the hair or fur from toys can get into the mouth and be breathed back into the lungs causing choking and air constriction.
• Makeup kits: Makeup kits with eye shadows, nail polishes, and lip glosses can pose allergen risks or contain potentially toxic chemicals.
• Electricity and batteries: Batteries may leak, and electrical toys could cause shock or fire. Battery- and electrically-operated toys should be used only by older children and always with an adult's supervision.

Bathing your Baby

Keeping your baby clean is vital to their health. That's why it's important for you to bathe them regularly and in the proper manner.
If your baby isn't crawling yet, it's advisable to give them a bath 2 or 3 times a week, generally at a time when they are calm and not after they've eaten. You should, however, clean their hands, neck, face, and bottom every day.
Because babies have sensitive skin, bathe them in water that is warm and definitely not hot. You should normally put no more than 5 cm (2 inches) of water in the tub when bathing an infant & never leave your baby alone in water!
Mild soap should be applied to the baby's skin only once or twice a week and shampooing should also be done once or twice a week.
Only wash the outside of the baby's ear and do not put anything inside the ear, like a Q-tip.
When you're done washing your baby, use a soft towel to dry them.

Your Baby's Teeth

The sensations a baby experiences during teething likely aren't very pleasant. So crying and irritability are fairly common for a teething baby.
One tool to soothe a teether is a teething ring. Ideally, it should be kept cool.
Tooth development occurs at varying rates, but in general, babies have about 12 teeth by a year and a half, and all their pearly whites are usually in place by the age of 3.
Dentists encourage parents to care for the baby's teeth as soon as they form. You can use a wash cloth or wet gauze to clean the teeth, and once the spaces between the teeth provide enough room for a toothbrush, the baby should be ready for brushing. However, brushing with toothpaste is not advisable until the child is at an age where they won't swallow the toothpaste.

Methods to Measure Child's Temperature

Taking a rectal (in the bottom) temperature is the most accurate way of measuring your child's temperature. However, you may find this hard to do, especially with an older toddler or child. Taking an armpit temperature can also be used for children – it isn't as reliable as a rectal temperature but can give you an idea about whether or not your child has a fever. If your child is over 5 years old, taking an oral temperature is a reliable method. Be sure your child is able to keep her or his mouth closed and tongue held down for about 3 minutes to get a good reading.

Ear thermometers are not commonly used because they are more expensive and are less accurate than rectal measurements, but they can be used for children older than 2 years of age when a rectal temperature is not practical or poss-ible.