First time parents have lots of anxiety and concern about the actions of the child. Even a small deviation from normal would be a cause of worry. It’s better to be in touch with a pediatrician to avoid all these unnecessary tensions and to know the normal development of the child. This way even if there is a problem it could be rectified at the earliest and also contribute towards normal development. It may not be possible to reach out the pediatrician always. Therefore, establishing contact with a Nurse would be the alternative option. Nurse would be able to decide whether the matter needs to reported to the doctor or not as they trained to work with patients as carers, educators and advocates.
First three months, the child will sleep most part of the day with breaks in between for feeding. The only way they express their need for food, changing of nappy or cuddles is by crying. When the baby cries, the immediate reaction is to feed, then nappy change and cuddles. If the tears flow doesn’t stop, then the child must be taken to the doctor. Many believe holding a little baby too much will not good. But this is not true, babies like the bodily contact and warmth of their parents. While feeding, gentle caress and sweet talks will make the child happy. Sucking and rooting important reflexes. The child would make sounds often and could be given pacifiers when not feeding. Rooting reflex is turning the head when stoked on the neck.
Another important one is palmer grasp. In fact will try to hold anything placed in their hand. Also they would follow objects with their eyes. They could be encouraged to carry on this through brightly colored cradle gym.
Until three, the baby’s neck will not have enough strength to support the head. The baby could be placed on stomach at times to strengthen the muscles. Care should be taken to support the neck and head while handling the baby.
Between 4 to 8 months the child should be able to do the following:
- Sleep longer hours at night and stay wake for a longer period during day without crying
- Sit with support – encourage them to sit up placing brightly colored objects near them
- Support the head with wobbling
- Grasp objects with both hands
- Transfer objects from one hand to another.
- Try to things in their mouth – They could be given their bottles and finger foods to play with. Eating finger food also helps to learn chewing and stimulates gums
- Recognize family members
- Respond to sound and move their eyes in the direction of sound
- Begin babbling
- On stimulation laugh loudly
If babies don’t cry or laugh then it should be reported to doctor.
Between 9 to 12 months the child should be able to do the following:
- Should begin to crawl
- Try to stand up
- Drink from cup with help
- Hold spoon and feed with fingers
- Longer spells of undisturbed sleep in the night
- Long one or two naps in the day
- Respond to simple commands like no and yes , stand up , sit down
- Speak a few words like mama , dada etc
- Place objects in containers
- Sometimes get cranky while trying to avoid sleep and get tired
From now on the child gets busy exploring and discovering the world around them. All the breakable objects, sharp ones and small objects should be kept away from the reach of the child. The child could begin to use a walker and feed sitting on the high chair. The child could be given simple games to play like putting things in and out of the container.
Early years of the life of a baby may be very demanding on the parents but they are moments will never have a rerun. Therefore, it’s good to keep cool and comply with their demands and enjoy the parenthood. There may be many types of fallout but none can be always perfect. Whenever in doubt, read up on the topic, consult a doctor.