Category Archives: Development

worried about baby milestones?

Worried About Baby Milestones?

 The aim of milestone posts and web pages is to help you to understand what age you can expect your little boy or little girl achieve these ‘goals’ and to get an idea of how you can help him along his or her way! As parents we always want our babies to achieve their milestones at the right time, or even better, just before they are supposed to! And of course we worry about these milestones. There is nothing wrong with encouraging your little one to achieve these milestones and nothing can beat the moment when you witness him do something for the very first time!

What if my child doesn’t achieve these milestones?

Please remember that every child is an individual and what we are looking at here is the average. The average means that some will achieve these earlier and some will achieve them a little later. If your child is later than average at crawling, it does not mean he will be a late walker and at the same time, if your child is later than average when it comes to talking, it does not mean he won’t have a rich vocabulary by 3 years old. We all enjoy helping our baby to achieve their milestones and the development posts on this site are exactly about that; helping you to feel confident that you are doing something positive and pro active to encourage development, if you are concerned about your baby’s development you should always speak to your health visitor or GP…

Will my pre-mature baby achieve milestones on time?

A pre-mature baby’s development and milestones will be checked against her corrected age. For example, if your child was born 7 weeks early and she is now 27 weeks old, your GP or health visitor will be looking to see that your child has achieved or is close to achieving the milestones set for a 20 week old. If your baby was 9 weeks early, then the milestones would be checked for an 18 week old. This calculation is usually taken into account until your child is approximately 2 years old, although this is not a hard and fast rule. Most pre-mature babies meet their developmental milestones on or around their corrected age.

Where can I find a baby milestones chart?

milestones chart are a good resource

Milestones charts allow you to quickly view the expected progress and developmental stages of an average child from birth up to approximately 4 or  5 years old. They are usually split into 5 key categories: Social, Self-help, Gross motor, Fine motor and Language skills.  Above is a quick reference babymilestone chart for you.

How to make your baby laugh

If you are looking for some new and imaginative ways to make your baby laugh then this post will not disappoint. Included in this list are a ome classics such as peek-a-boo but also some new suggestions you may want to try out. Let us know what you think. And have fun.

  • Feathers. For the baby who doesn’t like beingaggressively tickled, a feather can do the trick. (Freeze the feather overnight first to kill anything that might be living in it. Ugh, or maybe skip the feather and tickle her with a cotton ball.)
  • Peek-a-boo. Your giant, amazing face popping out from behind almost anything will get a laugh, once Baby catches on to what’s happening. Warning: once they get the joke, they will want you to do this 10,000 times in a row.
  • Other babies. The first time my son met another child his age he almost died of delight. If you don’t have a playmate handy, babies also love pictures of other babies faces. Mrs. Mustard’s Baby Faces book was the go-to cheerer-upper in our house that first year.
  • Get weird. Sometimes, you have to veer off the tried-and-true paths to find what your particular baby finds funny. For us, we found that lightly pounding on our son’s sternum made him laugh so hard his face turned red. He still loves it, and he’s 10. I have no explanation for this.
  • Puppies! There is little more heart-burstingly adorable than a laughing baby being swarmed by puppies. If you don’t have access to a basketful of eight-week-old Golden Labs, however, any friendly family pet can do the trick. Keep Baby’s arms and legs covered (scratches aren’t funny) and supervise.
  • Eat some raspberries. And by that I mean cover your baby in raspberries (a.k.a. zerbits, belly bubbles, or plain old fart sounds), eat up his face with kisses, nibble his toes, and go ahead and gobble him up.
  • Just do what you do. Some things strike certain people as being funny, and babies are no exception. Maybe your baby liked the way your pants fell off when you sneezed; or maybe the cat tried to jump from the couch to the TV and missed. YouTube is full of serendipitous moments like that where babies are laughing their heads off. Cherish them, for they are impossible to recreate.
  • This post was courtesy of the stir bloggers

    When can I take my baby swimming?

    The simple answer to this question is: as soon as you want to. You may have heard or been told you have to wait until after your child has been vaccinated, some leisure centres may still use this guidance but the advice dates back to when the vaccinations were first introduced (as polio was very common).

    The Department of Health has since stated you can take your baby swimming from a very young age and there is no need to wait until he/she has been vaccinated. There have been no cases of natural polio infection in the UK since 1984 and the vaccinations that contained a live virus (which in very extreme and rare cases were thought to have caused polio) were stopped in 2004.

    Most baby swimming lessons start from around 6 weeks old, the idea of these lessons is generally to help you to be confident in the water with your baby. If your baby feels safe, he will be happy in the water from any age, as long as the introduction to water and swimming is an enjoyable experience. There is no rush to take your child swimming for the first time. Experts at the ASA and many paediatricians recommend babies start swimming at around six months old. There are other ways of introducing your child to water and increasing water confidence before his first swimming experience; during bath time ensure you keep it relatively short so he doesn’t get too cold and smile and keep eye contact, keep it playful and fun and encourage him to splash.

    When you take him swimming on your own for the first time, try and do it at a time when the pool is less likely to be busy and your little one isn’t going to be hungry or too tired. Remember to stay calm, be confident, keep good eye contact and smile lots and lots. You will both have a great time. As your child gets older you may then want to consider lessons to improve technique.

    Resources:
    NHS, swimming.org

    How to wean baby off a dummy and when?

    Weaning your little one off a dummy should be done sooner rather than later. Here is all you need to know on the when, why and how to do it without too many (if any) tears.

    What is the best age to start weaning off a dummy?

    It is recommended you begin the weaning process at around 6-8 months; you should start to limit it’s use to only sleep time with a view of completely stopping by around 12 months.

    Why is it important to stop my child using it?

    There is evidence to suggest that overuse of a dummy for a prolonged period can cause problems with speech development. It will also reduce dribbling and sore chins, potentially reduce the risk of ear infections, help your child to develop grown up eating patterns and encourage talking/babbling.

    5 Sensible tips for successful dummy weaning

  • Start off gradually – firstly reduce dummy use to sleep time only, then to night time only.
  • Explain to your child (no matter what age) that the dummy has gone or the dummies are broken.
  • At times when you would have given a dummy, try something else such as a cuddle or a favourite toy.
  • If your child understands, try giving the dummy to someone special such as Father Christmas or the dummy fairies. Sometimes they leave special notes and presents to say thank-you.
  • Don’t have an emergency back up. At some point, your child will cry for his dummy, if you have an emergency dummy you will always be tempted to use it. Once you have made the decision. Stick to it.
  • Praise her and tell everyone what a big girl she is (so she can hear how proud you are).
  • Never cut or damage the dummy and give it back to your child – this is a potential choking hazard.
  • Resources:
    NHS Wolverhampton

    What can my baby see?

    Your babies vision improves drastically within the first 8 months of life. If you have ever wondered what and how far your little one can see and when you can expect improvements, then you should look no further:

    What do newborns see?

    Typically, you will be told your newborn can focus 10-12 inches away, just enough to see Mummy’s face whilst she feeds. Whilst this isn’t wholly inaccurate – it isn’t completely accurate either. When your little one is born, she is capable of fully focusing on any object that is both near or far, however, there are special muscles in our eyes called ciliary muscles which automatically contract or relax to enable your eye to focus properly on any given object; whilst these muscles are developing your newborn is unable to consistently focus with accuracy. By about 2 months of age, these muscles should have developed well enough to improve focus but your little ones brain and retina still need to develop to enable clear, accurate vision; the retina has over 100 million cells in each eye and the part of of the eye responsible for clear vision (called the fovea) takes longer than the lens to mature and work properly. So, even though at 2 months old your baby’s eyes can focus properly, the image projected onto the retina that then falls onto the fovea is still quite blurry. It is said that this blurriness caused by nervous system immaturity’s results in baby’s vision being six times worse than an adults. (If an adult has 20/20 vision, a newborn has 20/120 – if she could read, she could manage the top letter of an eye test). – This obviously means your baby has a rich visual world and more importantly can see your eyes, lips, hair, her own hands, fingers, feet and toes. This is probably why parents are told your baby can focus 10-12 inches away.

    Are black and white toys best?

    Babies are naturally attracted to high contrasting colours and you can’t get much higher than 100% contrast (black and white). The fact is baby’s colour vision is much better than most people seem to think; in the first month of life, newborns can distinguish between two shades of grey that differ by only 5% (5% contrast). By 2 months they can distinguish between two shades of grey with a 0.5% contrast. Your baby will enjoy and be attracted to black and white toys/mats etc but in terms of helping your child’s visual development, they make no difference at all. In fact, giving your child a break from high contrast colours and patterns may be a good idea once in a while to allow her to explore other, more interesting things such as your face and her hands etc.

    When can they see colours?

    Babies colour vision isn’t as rich or as sensitive to colours as an adults as the fovea (again) still needs to develop. It is unlikely that babies will be able to distinguish between similar colour differences such as pastel colours or red and reddish orange for example. It is thought that children as young as 2 weeks old have colour vision that can distinguish between 2 different colours.

    When will my baby recognise my face?

    Being able to see your face and recognising your face are obviously 2 very different things. A tend to look at and pay attention tontine borders of objects such as your hair. At around 2 months of age, this changes and your baby will begin to focus more on your internal features such as your lips, eyes and nose. Around 4 or 5 months, your little one will be able to recognise and distinguish you from every other person in the world.

    Resources: ski.org