On this page you will find information pertaining to birth, and throughout the first year of life.
Listed according to ages, you will find helpful hints and guielines for various subjects` such as sleeping habits, eating habits, growth, and develpoment.
Please note that all babies are different, and this is only to be used as a guide.
~breast or bottle?~
There are advantages and disadvantages to each way of feeding. Doctors agree that the breast is usually the best, but depending on the situation that's not always the case.
There are numerous advantages to breastfeeding. There is a less risk to the child having ear infections, allergies, pneumonia, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also there is no worry of buying formula, sterilizing, and preparing bottles.
It is also said that the woman bounces back into shape faster while breastfeeding.
However, there are also disadvantages to breastfeeding. You must always be handy for your baby, unless useing breast-pump. Night-time feedings are more often.
There are also medical reasons that can make breastfeeding inadvisabe. The majority of medications should not be taken when breastfeeding. Insufficient Milk Syndrome effects a small percentage of mothers. These women cannot produce enough milk for their child.
Also working mothers may find breastfeeding too much of a hassle.
Bottlefeeding could be a mothers choice because it will give her more freedom, and time. Family members are able to feed the baby.
You can also see exactly how much the baby is consuming.
The disadvantages are the time it takes to sterilize and prepare the bottles, and the cost of formula.
I myself have breastfed, and bottlefed. Only the mother can decide what the right option is.
Regardless of your choice the baby will need to be burped periodically between feedings. There is a couple ways to position your baby to burp. Sitting your child up and patting his/her back, placing the child up so his/her head rests on your shoulder and patting his/her back, and lying the baby face down across your knees and patting his/her back. Burping helps prevent spitting up and belly aches. Please note burping does nt always prevent spitting up. Some spitting up is normal.
At this age your babywill sleep the majority of the time. He/she doesn't know the difference between night and day. This is the age when you should attempt to train your child to sleep continually at night (with the exception of feedings.) To do this try to make night-time feedings as quiet as possible, and as dim as possible.
It is recommended by "The American Academy of Pediatrics" to position your child on his/her back, or at least the side when sleeping. This is to help prevent S.I.D.S. (sudden infant death syndome) It is also important to lay your child on a firm mattress to avoid suffocation.
In every state it is a law that children under the age of four should be in a carseat the entire time they are in a moving vehicle. At this age the child should be in a rear facing carseat
Never leave your child unattended on a surface above floor level. Even if he/she is not rolling over yet.
To help prevent suffocation never leave plastic bags, or small objects near a baby.
Make sure smoke detectors are working, and never carry a baby while smoking or carrying hot objects (such as coffee.)
Also, something very important. Be careful not to shake or jiggle the baby's head to vigorously
This is the age you will begin to notice voluntary movements from your child. By the end of this period he/she will be able to:
Toys that your child might enjoy:
Your baby will stay on the diet of breastmilk or formula. He/she will be consuming more and lasting longer between feedings.
By two months your child will be more alert and active during the day, and will probably skip one night time feeding at night. Some babies will sleep 6-8 hours at night. This is the age you can start to let your baby fall asleep on his/her own in their crib. To do this, lay your child down in the crib when he/she is tired, but still awake. If he/she starts to cry, you may comfort him/her, but try to avoid picking the child back up.
At this age the same applys here as the one before. You may want to be more careful as to where you lay your child, because he/she will be rolling over soon if not already.
At this stage your child will become more coordinated. By the end of this stage you should notice that he/she is able to:
Your child now understands certain things such as:
Now s te time to intrduce solid foods. It is customary to start off with a cereal first. Cereal is the least allergenic food. Doctors usually advise to introduce one food at a time, so you can tell if your child is allergic to any foods.
Most babies this age still need at least two naps a day. Your child will be sleeping through the night. This could mean 7:00 pm - 7:00 am or 10:00 pm - 6:00 am depending on the schedule you and your chlid have adapted.
The only new saftey alert you should be aware of is watching what you give your child to eat. Always make sure foodis mashed, ground, or soft enough for the baby to swallow without chewing.
At this age you will see you child developing rapidly. He/she should be able to:
Now your child should beimitating sounds and begining to form words. You may hear out of the blue the word "dada" or "mama" or perhaps and exclamation like "oh-oh!"
Your child will also probably be useing guestures to communicate, such as shaking head for "no"
He/she will be trying to feed themselves. Athough this is almost always a messy experience, it will get better. This is also a good time to start preparing to ween your child from the bottle to a sippy cup.
Below I've included a sample one day menu for an 8-12 month old. (this was taken from The American Academy of Pediatrics)
Sleeping habits should remain the same as before.
Now is the time to put all medicine and cleanng supplys up and out of your childs reach. And also make sure electrical outlets are blocked off.