Baby Development Month-by-Month Complete Guide To Feeding, And Care
Baby Development Month by Month, especially the firstborn, in a family, is not just a new stage, but a real test in the life of parents. It is simply impossible to foresee everything in advance, since pregnancy, childbirth, and the babies themselves are individual, react to everything in their own way, and have their own developmental characteristics. However, to know what happens to the baby from month to month in terms of acquiring new skills, to be aware of the rules of breastfeeding, formula selection, and introduction of complementary foods, to be able to properly observe the hygiene of the baby and conduct age-appropriate developmental activities with him is necessary for every parent.
Babies Up To A Year
In the first year of his life, a child masters a lot of skills, and this period is characterized by the highest rate of development throughout a person’s life. Leaving the familiar world of the mother’s womb, the baby discovers a world full of completely new experiences, and it is these impressions that will determine the development of the child. From month to month, parents observe how the child changes, and how he gradually adapts to the surrounding reality.
There are certain patterns of development in children in the first year of life. Therefore, for parents who are worried about whether the development of their child corresponds to age norms, it is easier to rely on these averages. However, it is important to understand that all children are individual, and some deviations in the pace of development do not mean that the baby is lagging behind in development as a whole.
Mom And Baby
Mom is the person with whom the main physical and emotional interaction of the child takes place in infancy. At the age of up to a year, the baby is in complete symbiosis with the mother, and it is important that there is not only physical care for the babies (feeding, hygiene procedures, etc.) but also emotional contact.
Mom for a child during this period is the main source of a sense of security, and the baby himself is extremely sensitive to her psychological state. Therefore, in cases where the mother is irritated, in a state of stress, or increased aggression, the child will also behave restlessly. But the benevolence and balance of the mother lay in the baby the foundations of trust in the world.
What Happens To The Baby In The First Month Of Life
The first month of the baby is usually called the adaptive period since at this moment he really gets used to the new conditions. In the first week of life, the baby is absolutely helpless and needs care, which includes feeding, bathing, and other hygiene procedures, walking on the street, and, of course, emotional contact with parents.
During the first month, the baby noticeably changes: its skull bones become stronger, the digestive system adapts to new nutritional conditions, and vision begins to be more focused.
Postpartum depression is a type of depression that often visits new mothers due to many factors that are common to the period after the birth of a child. The presence of this problem can be said in the case when the symptoms of a woman are persistent and do not leave her for two weeks or more.
The Main Signs Of Postpartum Depression Are:
- Increased and unjustified anxiety, mainly for the child, his condition, and his future.
- Depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, and lack of support.
- Sleep disorders can be expressed both in the form of insomnia and in the fact that a woman constantly wants to sleep.
- Appetite disorders: lack of desire to eat or, conversely, a significant increase in the amount of food consumed.
- General weakness, lethargy, apathy, constant desire to cry.
Postpartum depression is an abnormal condition for the psyche and, in especially severe cases, can lead to suicide. In addition, the negative mood of the mother is not reflected in the best way on the child, who also becomes nervous and restless. Therefore, relatives of a young mother should support her, and in difficult situations, it makes sense to visit a psychologist who will help to cope with the problem.
Causes of postpartum depression
There can be many reasons for postpartum depression. Most often, this condition is caused by a combination of factors. The most common are listed below.
Changes in hormonal levels after childbirth are one of the most common causes that can lead to mood swings, tearfulness, and in some cases depression. And this is no coincidence. For example, during pregnancy, the hormone progesterone was actively produced in the body of a woman. Among other extremely beneficial properties, it acts as a natural sedative for 9 months. From the point of view of evolution, this mechanism made it possible to increase the chances of successfully bearing a baby. Since nervous tension leads to the production of adrenaline, and this, in turn, can provoke the tone of the uterus and its contraction.
But immediately after the birth of a baby, the amount of progesterone in a woman’s body drops sharply. And the action of the natural sedative ends. This is one of the reasons why a woman is easily upset for any reason in the first months after the birth of a baby. It will take the body more than one month to recover.
Lack Of Enough Sleep
In the first few months, many new mothers do not have the opportunity to sleep well. The total duration of sleep for an adult should be from 7 to 9-10 hours a day. We are talking about uninterrupted sleep when the body can fully recover.
In the first months, the baby needs feeding every 3 hours, including at night. In addition, in the second and third months of life, many children suffer from colic. As a result, most of the night they can not sleep, and along with the kids, their mothers do not sleep either.
All this leads to the fact that sleep in a woman’s life can be significantly reduced. And this, in turn, can lead to apathy, irritability, fatigue, and nervousness.
Lack Of Achievements And Completed Cases
In the first months, the duties of a young mother are rather monotonous: feeding, changing diapers, putting to bed, cooking food, tidying up the apartment, and so on in a circle. Our brain is designed as follows: when we complete a task or achieve a goal, it produces dopamine. Hormone encouragement. Thanks to him, a person feels joy and satisfaction. In addition, an additional incentive is the approval and recognition of others: colleagues, bosses, relatives, or friends.
At the very beginning of motherhood, you have to solve extremely monotonous tasks (washing dishes or changing a baby’s diaper), which do not lead to the production of dopamine in such quantities as with a successfully closed long-awaited deal or a well-conducted presentation. As a result, a situation occurs when a woman constantly does something (and caring for babies requires every minute action), but does not receive a reward for this (even from her own brain). In addition, encouragement from friends or colleagues will not come in this case either, it is unlikely that the mother will often be praised for putting the child to bed. Mom’s work is hard to see. As a result – apathy, deterioration in mood, poor health, and accumulated fatigue.
Change Of Social Roles, Change Of Social Circle
One of the main factors in the deterioration of well-being, many young mothers consider the lack or significant reduction in communication with other people. Today, women’s social opportunities are enormous. By the age of 20-30, when the first child appears, a woman manages to do a lot: get an education, start or build a career, acquire a certain number of friends, and take an important place in her environment.
But with the birth of a child, for some time, most of the existing social contacts are interrupted. There is no way to go out with friends at any time, the woman leaves work and someone else takes her place. For a while, a woman’s life begins to revolve around her child, which, despite her great love for the baby, is not always easy for her.
Fear For The Baby
Many mothers feel they are not ready to take care of their babies. They worry that they do not know how to behave properly, how to make sure that he is healthy, how to feed him, dress him, and develop him. There may be a lot of questions. There is only one result – excessive nervous strain leads to depressive disorders.
Lack Of Personal Space
The need to devote a certain amount of time to yourself is a normal phenomenon for the human psyche. The baby was in the womb throughout the pregnancy. With the birth of a child, the conditions in which a woman lives change dramatically, and she feels that her personal space now belongs undividedly to the child. That is, it does not actually exist. Gradually, this situation becomes a source of accumulated irritation and tension and can lead to postpartum depression.
How To Deal With Postpartum Depression Baby Development Month by Month?
Before looking for an answer to the question of how to cope with postpartum depression, it is worth finding its causes. In this case, it is not worth waiting until it passes by itself, since this condition is not just a bad mood. Baby Development Month by Month After analyzing the situation and the conditions in which the woman is located, it is possible to identify what caused depression after childbirth, and on the basis of these data, eliminate the cause.
Get Enough Sleep
Of course, writing such a phrase is easier than doing it. However, if the duration of sleep is very short (less than 5 hours a day), then you should ask for help from your husband or relatives. Someone can be sent to walk with the baby and sleep at this time. Or more often arrange a joint dream with a child. This is not only good for him but also allows mom to relax a bit.
Personal Time And Personal Space
Every woman should have at least some time for herself. At least 1-2 hours a day or half a day off. Time for yourself implies that a woman leaves the house, meets with friends, walks in the park, and not stands in the kitchen or clean the floor of the house (unless cooking and cleaning are a distraction).
The issue of personal space is worth discussing with your husband, even if he is not the first to raise this topic. Some men think that the decree is a kind of rest for a woman, and she does not get tired. Literally 2 hours that a man will spend one on one with the baby will help change his views and better understand his wife.
In addition, it is useful for a young dad to spend some time alone with a child from birth. So he learns to care for him, communicate better and thus form a closer emotional connection.
Sometimes in the first months after the birth of a child, a woman experiences emotions that she finds difficult to admit even to herself. And even more so, she cannot discuss them with her friends or her husband. For example, she does not feel joy from communicating with the baby, or she gets so tired that sometimes the baby annoys her very much. A woman is ashamed of such feelings and tries to hide them as deeply as possible. And this is another reason for progressive depression.
If sleep, walks in the fresh air, and independent attempts to understand oneself do not bring the proper result, it is worth consulting with a specialist. The issues of postpartum depression are now well studied and no matter what the woman says, it is unlikely that she is the first to face such a problem. Psychotherapists have accumulated a wealth of experience in dealing with such issues. And by joint efforts, a young mother and a specialist will be able to quickly find a way out of this situation. Do not neglect the possibilities that modern medicine has.
Dad And Baby
The body of a man and a woman reacts differently to the appearance of a baby. A woman carries him for 9 months, from 4-5 months of the pregnancy she regularly felt him moving, and she could constantly stroke him. The mother’s attachment is formed much faster. When the pregnancy is over, the baby is born, and oxytocin is actively produced in the body of a young mother, especially if she is breastfeeding. Oxytocin is also called the attachment hormone. Including it forms the mother’s attachment to the baby.
Not so with the male body. Oxytocin is not produced in such quantities, and for 9 months it was quite free.
Attachment in men is formed differently. To do this, he, among other things, needs to be taken care of. In this case, take care of mom and baby. But when a child appears, some mothers fence off the father from him. Moms are afraid to leave them alone, they constantly control dad’s actions, they criticize, and they prefer to do everything themselves because the man will turn out worse or he will not cope.
As a result, some men gradually stop trying to actively take care of the newborn, leaving the role of the breadwinner to themselves, and the care of the baby is given into the hands of the mother.
Therefore, you should not deprive Dad of the opportunity to actively take care of him from the first days of life. You can leave dad alone with the baby for an hour or two, having previously (if necessary) told him how to care for the child during this period. You can bathe the child together – it’s really inconvenient to do it alone. Or send Dad for a walk with a stroller. Baby Development Month by Month The most important thing is that the father is actively involved in the life of the baby from birth.
Baby Development From 1 To 4 Weeks
The first month is an adaptation period when the child adapts to a new environment for him. The weight of a newly born baby is from 3 to 3.7 kg, and the children are about 50 cm tall, but this is a very individual indicator, so the baby at birth can be much larger and somewhat smaller. He is actively gaining weight, so by the fourth week, the baby already weighs 3.6 – 4.5 kilograms. Growth also does not stand still – an increase of 1 to 4 cm is possible.
By the end of the first month, the baby focuses his eyes much better, he can keep them on the face of an adult who has approached him or on a static object.
He also demonstrates reactions to sounds, but these reactions are still few: loud and sharp sounds make him frightened and cry, and noise sources such as bells and rattles attract the attention of the baby, and he listens to them. Already during this period, communication between the child and the adult is very important: the more often you talk with the baby, the sooner he will begin to respond to you with cooing. In response to the actions of the parents, which cause pleasant emotions in the child, he begins to smile.
Activity increases and the child already has more opportunities to interact with the world. The monthly baby grows intensively and by the end of this month its weight has increased to 4.4 – 5.3 kg and its height is 55-59 cm. The movements of the child become more and more accurate, and he is already able to raise his head if put on his stomach. When communicating with an adult, the child manifests a revival complex, which includes fixing the gaze on the adult, smiling, animated movements of the arms and legs, as well as vocalization.
By the third month, a healthy baby grows by about 3 centimeters, and its weight increases by an average of 700-800 grams and amounts to 5.2-6.2 kg. He already sleeps much less and actively demands that adults pay attention to him when he is awake. The world around them is becoming more and more interesting, while from simple observation the child is already moving to research: he grabs and pulls toys that are within his reach into his mouth, easily finds a source of light and sound, and turns his head towards him. If one of the adults is such a source, the baby is trying with all his might to attract him. Smiling and cooing – the main way to express positive emotions at this time – begin to appear more often.
Plus 2 cm height and an additional 700 grams on the scales. Growth is now 60-62 cm, and weight is about 5.8-6.5 kg. However, it is important for parents to remember that these are averages. In each case, they may differ. When assessing the condition of the baby, it is important to consider a number of factors:
- the dynamics of changes in height and weight (increases in height and weight should be smooth, not abrupt)
the volume of the head and chest, an increase in this indicator
- general health
- physical development
- emotional sphere
Therefore, if the baby has added 400-500 grams, and not 800, but at the same time everything is in order for other indicators, then there is no reason for concern.
By the end of the fourth month, the child holds his head much better, when turning him on his stomach, he tries to lean on his hands. He can roll over by himself, and in the position on his stomach, he makes swimming movements. It is already becoming obvious that of all the baby prefers his mother – after all, he smiles at her more often, it is she who waves his arms most actively and tries to pronounce syllables.
Each baby toy is subjected to more thorough research: so far, all actions are manipulations, that is, the child explores what will happen if you grab a toy, shake it, move it, or chew it. At this age, you may notice that the child already has preferred toys. Show him a mirror – in 3-4 months, his reflection will cause him a lot of emotions.
The height of the child increases to 62-64 cm, and the weight is up to 6.3-7.2 kg. He holds his head confidently, and some children are already trying to sit up. Do not rush things and plant a child if he himself has not yet made such attempts. This is especially true for little girls.
The child can independently roll over, try to get up, sway and bend. He likes to play very much, including such a simple games as “cuckoo” or listening to nursery rhymes. If a child is playing with a toy and an adult wants to take it away, you can see how the baby gets angry and resists it. Consonants appear in the arsenal of his sounds.
An important indicator of the improvement of the child’s nervous system is his attention to the person’s face, both to his relatives, whom he sees life, and to the images in the pictures. Communication during this period is also important for the baby. Therefore, he can be capricious, even when dry and full.
The height of the child is 65 centimeters or more, the weight has almost crept up to 7-8 kilograms. The physical development of the baby continues, and by six months he may well try to crawl on his stomach, especially if he is interested in a toy placed a couple of tens of centimeters away. He can sit for some time on his own, get on all fours, and in this position, as it were, sway (this is very important, as it prepares the baby for crawling). Actions with objects become more accurate, and many children can already hold a cup, mug, or bottle by the handle.
The child knows his name, enjoys melodic music, and tries to reproduce the sounds and syllables that he hears from an adult. The emotional spectrum of the child expands, and it is characterized by sudden changes in mood. Last but not least, the baby is influenced by which of the adults he communicates with. He has selectivity in communication, and he decides for himself which of the people he will gladly go into the arms of, and who will be capricious.
The kid has almost grown to 70 cm and gained another 400-600 grams in weight, so now he weighs 7.3-8.4 kg. His activity is growing, he is already sitting, straightening his back, and can crawl (at the same time, some babies crawl backward, but this is also the norm). When a child crawls, any object encountered is examined from all sides, including taste. Bathing and playing in the water are one of the favorite activities of the child at this age.
Finger games will be useful – they stimulate the development of fine motor skills, and besides, children really like them. Another interesting entertainment is the study of others and yourself.
Plus two centimeters and an increase in weight of about 400-500 grams. A lot in terms of weight depends on how great the child’s physical activity is during this period, as well as on complementary foods that are introduced into the baby’s menu. The characters of children are different, and it is quite possible that a fidget who does not eat very much will show less weight gain than a child who is more passive but loves to eat a lot. 6-8 months is the time when most children actively introduce to different types of complementary foods.
The child has a clear distinction between adults on the principle of “friend or foe”, and if a stranger tries to take the baby in his arms, he will cry. The child plays mainly while sitting, crawling, or trying to get up. The fact that the baby is crawling should be a reason for adults not to leave him unattended on something high like a sofa – he does not yet understand that if he falls off the edge, it will hurt.
Strong emotional attachment to parents, especially mother. Able to consciously call them, respond to a simple request, or, using his verbal means, ask his parents about something.
The child’s weight is 8-9 kilograms and height -70-72 cm. As a rule, baby boys at this age are slightly larger than girls, but in any case, everything is determined by genetics.
The motor skills of the child’s hands have already been developed to the extent that he can already leaf through cardboard books, grab various small objects with his fingers, interact with paper and plasticine, and play “palmiers” with his parents. The kid can sit down himself, try to bounce next to the support, and crawl in any direction. It can show, at the request of an adult, where the ears, hands, and other parts of the body are on oneself, the interlocutor, or the toy. If he is praised for the successful completion of the task, he will be very happy.
By this age, children are well aware of the relationship “I cry – my mother comes to the rescue,” so they can sometimes use crying as a means of manipulating their parents or getting their attention.
The intensity of growth and weight gain decreases so that by 10 months the child will grow only a centimeter and add 300-400 grams. The baby wants to move and explore the world so much that it becomes more difficult to put him to bed; the most active children begin to walk by the end of the period, but most children continue to use their crawling skills to move or walk with support.
He likes to repeat after adults, and explore the surrounding space, while small objects become much more interesting to him than large ones. Many toys are already used not as part of manipulative actions, but for their intended purpose: cubes are used to build simple structures, and mother and baby can put small objects together in a bucket or box.
The height of the baby is from 72 to 73 cm, weight – is 9-10 kg. The kid is already much more active physically, knows how to sit down on his own, walk with support or along the wall, stand without support, can use a cup to drink and use a spoon, roll a ball, and pick up something small from the floor. Some can pronounce simple words, try to learn new ones, and like to interact with different new objects and people. The child likes other children, and in most cases, he actively makes contact with them.
By 10-11 months, the development of two children of the same age can differ significantly. Some are already trying to get up, while others are barely crawling. Someone easily goes into the arms of new people, while others prefer to stay only with their mother. Someone manages to lay down a pyramid, and someone prefers only to destroy the built turrets and cannot sit still even for a couple of minutes.
The older the child gets, the more differences there will be. And it is important for mom to understand this. There are no two identical children. Toddlers do not always fit into the standards set by adults. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the dynamics of development, to compare the baby not with a neighbor’s boy or a friend’s child, but with his own development a month or two ago. An integrated approach to assessing the development of the baby will help the mother save her own nerves and not demand from the child actions for which he is not yet ready.
Another centimeter of growth, an increase in weight of about 300 grams. Comparing a child approaching a year old with the helpless being that he was immediately after birth, it becomes clear how far a year has gone by. The kid is already able to stand and walk by himself, use a spoon and a cup, and has many opportunities for learning about the world around him. Uses a few words to communicate, and understands a number of requests from adults.
The first birthday of a baby is a significant milestone both for him and for his parents, who all this year have watched their child grow day by day, and develop mentally and physically. There are certain age norms, which are averages for children aged 1 year. It is these norms that parents need to focus on, but it is important to remember that each child is an individual – as is the pace of his development.
The Physical Development Of The Baby
By the age of one year, the child significantly increases in height and weight. Usually, boys at this age are somewhat larger than girls, so the limits of the norm for both are somewhat different. The following indicators of the physical development of the baby are recognized as average:
- Height: boys 72-79.7 cm, girls 71.4-78 cm.
- Weight: boys 8.9-11.6 kg, girls 8.5-10.8 kg
- Head circumference: boys 45.3-48.6 cm, girls 44.2-47.3 cm
- Chest circumference: boys 46.1-52.5 cm, girls 46.3-51.4 cm.
Much depends not only on the gender of the baby but also on the genetically incorporated physique. Already at this age, it is clear which of the children of the same age is larger and more massive, and who has a thinner and more elegant body constitution.
The mental development of the baby
At 12 months, a baby is no longer a one-month-old baby. He distinguishes with whom and how in the family one can behave. So far, he can only play with other children next to him, and not together – and even then sometimes he cannot do without conflicts. He fulfills simple requests, and in games, he tries to establish his own rules. In the baby’s dictionary by this moment there may be 2-10 simple words that he uses to ask adults or to describe his emotions and objects of the surrounding reality.
In a year, many are faced with such a phenomenon as the crisis of the first year of life, which develops against the background of the fact that the child gradually begins to realize himself as a person separate from his parents. He has already accumulated enough skills to explore the world on his own, and in this regard, the prohibitions of adults can be perceived as annoying obstacles.
Mom and baby sometimes cannot find a common language, as the baby suddenly becomes stubborn, and touchy, and often refuses help even in cases where it is difficult for him to perform some action. This does not mean that the child is spoiled – just that this is a normal age stage that will require a little more patience from parents than before.
The main skill that a child masters by the age of one are walking. There are different options for the norm in this case: a baby at 1 year old can walk on his own, or for the time being, he can lean on the hand of an adult or use other supports in order to help himself keep his balance. However, along with walking, he can continue to crawl. All children squat and sit down without outside support at this age. The child can crawl up the stairs, climb onto sofas and chairs, and return back to the floor.
Confidently manipulates objects, and can grab several objects with one hand. At the request, he passes objects to an adult, and performs elementary actions with objects according to their purpose: he collects a pyramid, builds simple towers from cubes, and rolls a car. Continues to learn different gestures based on what adults show him. It is the example of parents that is the main driving force in mastering new skills and actions with objects.
Only a born baby spends most of the time in a dream, however, as it grows, the amount of sleep decreases, and the periods of active wakefulness, on the contrary, increase. There are certain sleep rates for babies that can serve as a guide for parents organizing a daily routine for their child, but like all other averages, these rates are only approximate and individual differences are possible for each child.
From birth and during the first few weeks, the baby sleeps 17-18 hours a day, and the total duration of sleep for babies up to three months does not differ much and is 15-17 hours. In this case, the duration of the period of wakefulness should not exceed one hour. The child may be too tired, become cranky, and difficult to put to sleep. At the same time, a baby’s sleep usually does not last more than three to four hours, regardless of the time of day.
4-6 months of the first year of life is the period when it is required to establish a sleep schedule for the child and strictly adhere to it. It is best if the child goes to bed at about 8 or a little later in the evening. To make the process of falling asleep easier, come up with a suitable ritual for this time. For example, reading a fairy tale with the nightlight turned on at the same time will very quickly become associated with the baby with the fact that it is time for a night’s sleep. At night, the child usually does not sleep longer than 10-11 hours, the rest of the sleep time falls on 3-4 falling asleep during the day.
During this period, the baby’s sleep is about 15 hours a day, while about 7 of them fall on the period of uninterrupted sleep. In the morning and afternoon hours, two episodes of daytime sleep are possible for one and a half to two hours each, one more daytime sleep occurs in the late afternoon. If a clear sleep schedule has already been established, it is recommended to stick to it – it will be more beneficial for the child and calmer for the parents.
Since the child’s physical activity during this period can lead to excessive arousal, it may be difficult for him to fall asleep. The task of the parent in this case is to calm the child and allow him to fall asleep peacefully.
During this period, the duration of the night’s sleep of the child should be about 10 hours plus two episodes of daytime sleep for one and a half to two hours. It is best if the child is accustomed to falling asleep on his own, while at the same time before going to bed, he will not be very overexcited – this can prevent him from falling asleep normally. A warm bath, reading books, and quiet games before bedtime will help to put the baby to bed easier.
During the day, the child sleeps twice. Although some babies by the age of 1 are already switching to one long daytime sleep.
Any child needs proper care because it helps him grow up healthy and develop in accordance with age norms. Bathing and other hygiene procedures carried out according to certain rules will help with this.
Throughout the first year of life, parents need to follow some rules when caring for a baby. Ensuring cleanliness during this period will relieve many problems, including health.
Children are very fond of swimming, besides, such procedures ensure the well-being of the baby, protect his skin and prevent skin diseases. During the first six months, the baby should be bathed every evening, as this strengthens the immune system and allows the baby to be entertained in a certain way.
Proper bathing should be carried out in a draft-free room in which the air temperature is 24-26 degrees. The temperature of the water in the bath should be as close as possible to normal body temperature, that is, 36-37 degrees. Naturally, the bath must be stable, clean, and not used for other domestic purposes. It is necessary to carry out water procedures at the same time, preferably around 8 pm. The duration of bathing depends on age: if 5 minutes is enough for newborns, then by 4 months this time can be increased to 15 minutes.
You need to bathe the baby using special baby products, thoroughly washing all the folds and not forgetting about the safety of the child. The child’s head should be washed with water every day, but use special soap no more than once a week, otherwise, there is a risk of overdrying the scalp.
After bathing, wrap your baby in a clean, dry towel and pat any wrinkles thoroughly. When excess water is removed from the surface of the skin, the child must be lubricated with special oil in order to ensure comfort and sufficient skin hydration.
Studying any literature about babies, it becomes obvious that in addition to bathing, children require mandatory hygiene procedures. These include:
- Eye care: rinsing with boiled water using cotton swabs, cleansing of secretions.
- Care of the nasal passages: cleansing the nose of mucus and secretions with the help of a turn.
- Cleaning the ears with cotton swabs or discs. In babies, only the outer ear should be cleaned, as careless movement can damage the eardrum.
- Wiping the face with cotton swabs soaked in boiled water. Particular attention should be paid to the forehead, cheeks, and chin area.
All these simple procedures will help to avoid skin diseases and another discomfort for the baby.
Hygiene For Baby Girls
For the health of girls, they need daily care for their genitals. Toddler girls must be washed after each bowel movement and before going to bed during the evening bath. Washing too often with soap can upset the natural balance of the mucous membrane, destroying beneficial bacteria in the genital area and thereby reducing protective functions. Washing with soap or special wet wipes is carried out only from the outside. Do not allow soap or other detergents to enter the vagina. Basically, washing little girls with soap is no more than 3 times a day or less. The rest of the time, use running water.
Hygiene For Baby Boys
Intimate hygiene of baby boys involves caring for the penis and scrotum, which consists in washing the penis and scrotum with clean running water every day when changing a diaper and bathing in the evening. After that, the inguinal folds are treated with powder or a special cream. It is very important for little boys to periodically take air baths, that is, to spend time without a diaper in order to avoid diaper rash.
The following methods should not be used categorically when caring for the genitals of a newborn boy:
- Open the head of the penis, pulling the foreskin. Babies have natural phimosis, that is, the fusion of the foreskin with the head. Over time, this will go away on its own.
- Use soap that can severely irritate the sensitive foreskin.
- Drip baby oil under the foreskin, and climb there with cotton swabs.
Natural nutrition for babies up to a year old is the mother’s breast milk, with which a complete set of nutrients enters the body. However, over time, only breast milk becomes insufficient to meet the needs of the child, and at this moment complementary feeding begins – that is, accustoming the baby to a new food for him, preparing him for the transition to adult nutrition.
Properly organized breastfeeding is the key to the development of a healthy baby. Immediately after childbirth, it is very important that the baby receives the so-called colostrum – this is the food that will best satisfy the needs of the newborn. In addition, the mild laxative effect of colostrum ensures successful bowel cleansing of the original feces called meconium.
In the future, the feeding regimen is gradually getting better, and that is why it is important to feed the baby not on schedule, but on-demand – this will help to create a schedule that is most suitable for this particular child. The most relevant period for breastfeeding is the first 6 months of a child’s life, after which, to ensure good nutrition, babies need to introduce complementary foods. Experts do not agree on how long to continue breastfeeding, but most mothers stop it when the baby is 1 or 1.5 years old. However, some mothers continue to breastfeed until 2-3 years of age.
How To Increase Lactation?
During feeding, almost every woman faces problems with lactation. Most of them can be solved and continue to feed the baby with milk without resorting to the introduction of the mixture. In some cases, the problem is rather far-fetched, and in fact, everything is in order with mom’s milk. In other cases, the milk really becomes less, and then a number of measures are required to increase its quantity. What to do to increase lactation?
- lactation consultant
There can be a huge number of reasons why a mother’s milk becomes less:
- improper attachment of the baby to the breast,
- lactation crisis,
- bad nutrition.
A pediatrician who observes what is happening with the baby, unfortunately, cannot always help with breastfeeding issues. Today, lactation consultants (LFEs) are gaining more and more popularity. Such a specialist can come home, see on the spot how the feeding process is going, examine the breast for milk stagnation or the presence of seals, and tell you what can be changed to increase the amount of milk.
One of the most reliable ways to increase lactation is to breastfeed your baby more often. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was widely believed that newborns needed to be fed on a schedule, not on demand. Every three hours and no more.
But in the first months, lactation is only being established, and not all young mothers can boast of a large amount of milk. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to apply the baby as often as possible. By the next feeding, there will be as much milk in the breast as the baby ate, plus a small supply. The woman’s body is amazing.
A good option to improve lactation is frequent pumping – at least 6 times a day. You can pump with a breast pump or manually. Remember that stressful situations slow down the flow of milk and can make pumping difficult, so choose a quiet time to have the procedure.
Teas To Increase Lactation
Today, pharmacies sell a large number of teas and various supplements, which, according to the inscriptions on the packages, are extremely effective for lactation crises. In fact, the effectiveness of most of these agents has not been proven. Many of them contain herbs that increase the amount of milk. But be careful when choosing such funds.
Folk Remedies To Increase Lactation
Many mothers suffering from a lack of breast milk use proven folk methods that they learn from their mothers and grandmothers. Basically, these are various recipes for vitamin drinks that can be prepared at home from medicinal herbs. For example, a drink made from cumin seeds will help increase lactation, 15 grams of which are poured into a liter of hot water, one peeled and chopped lemon is added, as well as one hundred grams of sugar. Boil the drink for 10 minutes over low heat, strain, cool, and drink three times a day. But when choosing such funds, it is worth consulting with a pediatrician.
Fennel Essential Oil
Back in 2000, practical studies proved that the use of fennel during lactation increases the fat content of milk and increases its amount. Therefore, today fennel essential oil is often used to increase lactation. To use it, take a glass of pure water, add 5 drops of oil, and drink once a day.
Lactation consultants also advise mixing 3-5 drops of essential oil with one teaspoon of vegetable oil and using this as a breast rub.
You can also rub a drop of fennel oil into dried fruits (for example, dried apricots) and eat it.
Not only will fennel oil provide more milk, but it can also help relieve digestive problems, gas, and bloating. However, do not use this oil (or any other) without consulting a pediatrician, as this may adversely affect the child’s condition.
In any case, no matter what remedy you choose (even approved by a doctor), be sure to monitor the baby’s condition (skin, stool, sleep, general condition). If you experience anxiety symptoms, contact a specialist.
Problems With Lactation
97% of women are capable of full lactation, but any of them may experience temporary difficulties. The hormones oxytocin and prolactin are responsible for the production of breast milk. Prolactin is produced at the time when the baby is applied to the breast and promotes the formation of milk, and oxytocin is responsible for the contraction of the muscles around the mammary glands, due to which the milk is literally squeezed out and its stagnation does not occur in the ducts.
When a young mother has problems with lactation and not enough milk, this phenomenon is called hypokalaemia. It can be primary, that is, occur immediately after childbirth, or secondary, when the amount of milk decreases after a while. The reasons for this violation of lactation may be the following:
Primary hypokalaemia: hormonal disorders, postpartum infections, the decreased secretory function of the mammary glands, anomalies in their development, and difficult childbirth.
Secondary hypokalaemia: mastitis, nipple cracks, stress, maternal malnutrition, certain medications, feeding disorders, and low sucking activity of the child.
Most of these problems can be solved with the help of certain medications, the elimination of the root cause of the disease, as well of using various aids.
When Should You Mix?
Many women experience lactation problems. Therefore, if it seemed to you that there was less milk for a couple of days than before, this is not a reason to introduce the mixture. Supplementary nutrition in the form of a mixture is administered when
- problems with lactation remain for a long time,
- the child becomes restless, whiny, and irritable and there is reason to believe that he is not full
- the baby is not gaining weight or is gaining little.
Among pediatricians, there is no consensus on this matter. Some doctors advise introducing the mixture if the child has gained less than 700-800 grams per month (these figures apply only to babies up to six months). Other pediatricians recommend a more comprehensive approach. It is important not only the number of grams added in this particular month but also other indicators:
- general dynamics of development (how much the baby has added in recent months, how the volume of the head and chest has increased, how the baby is growing). There are children who add 300-500 grams per month and at the same time, all their indicators are normal
- babies’ dreams. If the baby does not have enough milk, then he becomes very restless, often wakes up, and sleeps poorly at night. If his sleep is normal and age-appropriate, then perhaps everything is in order with milk.
general health and mood. If the baby is cheerful and active and his development corresponds to his age, then this is also rather a positive sign.
- But if the baby does not sleep well, has become irritable, constantly requires breasts, and does not gain weight, then it is worth consulting with a pediatrician. These signs can indicate a variety of problems, including not enough milk. In this case, it is worth introducing the mixture if the baby is not yet 4-5 months old, or complementary foods if he is older.
Despite the fact that the mother’s breast milk has a high nutritional value for the baby, sooner or later he needs additional nutrition. Therefore, it is necessary to gradually accustom the child to a new food by introducing complementary foods. In order not to harm the health of the child and not bring discomfort to either him or his parents, it is necessary to follow certain recommendations for the introduction of complementary foods.
The Introduction Of Complementary Foods
4-6 months is the age when complementary foods are first introduced into the baby’s diet. If he eats only a mixture, then complementary foods are recommended to be introduced from 4 months. If fully breastfed – from 6 months. These are the general recommendations of the World Health Organization. However, in each case, the decision is made individually. The pediatrician who observes the baby will definitely give his recommendations.
What To Use For Feeding?
Complementary foods usually begin with either vegetable purees or dairy-free cereals. Now the stores sell a fairly large amount of ready-made food for babies up to a year old. On the labels, as a rule, it is written at what age the use of a particular product is recommended. To feed the baby with ready-made purees bought in the store or to make them yourself, each mother decides for herself. There are pros and cons in both cases.
One of the undoubted advantages of ready-made food for kids is saving mothers time. Caring for a baby requires a lot of strength and energy, so store-bought mashed potatoes or porridge can help.
There is also an opinion that products for the production of food for babies are carefully controlled, unlike those vegetables and fruits that fall on the shelves of shops or markets. Food manufacturers support this view, but it is difficult to verify.
Whatever is written on the packaging, the puree can only be stored for a long time if it is subjected to special processing. Therefore, most of the vitamins and nutrients are destroyed.
And one more argument in favor of self-cooked food: few adults themselves eat canned food every day, even if it is of the best quality. We prepare food for ourselves and our guests.
How To Introduce Complementary Foods
Complementary foods begin to be introduced with one teaspoon of the product, gradually increasing the amount to 100 grams. In the first month, monocomponent purees are used, for example, from broccoli or cauliflower. It is important to remember that when cooking in water, vegetables lose a large number of useful properties, so it is better to steam them.
It is worth introducing new products in the morning. In case this experience is unsuccessful, there will be time to calm the baby’s tummy, and he will sleep well at night.
If the introduction of single-component complementary foods goes well, then several proven products can be combined. For example, mash cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, or potatoes, carrots, and regular cabbage.
The same rules are true for cereals. Most often, oatmeal becomes one of the first cereals in a baby’s life for up to a year. It is boiled either in water, or milk is strongly diluted with water. Since the baby cannot yet chew, grind the oatmeal with a blender. You can grind the flakes themselves, or you can cook porridge and then use a blender.
The introduction of porridge begins with one teaspoon and then increases its amount.
Already a month after the start of the introduction of complementary foods, 1-2 feedings can be completely replaced with porridge or mashed potatoes.
Types Of Complementary Foods
- Fruit and vegetable food
Fruit and vegetable purees are the first type of complementary foods that are introduced into a child’s diet. If you do not use ready-made baby food, but cook it yourself, then keep in mind that you can not add salt, sugar, or milk powder to complementary foods. When selecting fruits, vegetables, or purees from them, it is important to adhere to the following rules:
- Cherry, blueberry, and blackcurrant puree are not recommended for children suffering from constipation, as they have a fixing effect. Such babies will benefit from complementary foods made from apricots, plums, and carrots.
- Strawberries and citrus fruits are very likely to be allergens, you should not give them to babies under one year old
- Grape puree contains too much fruit sugar, so it can bring discomfort to the baby, causing fermentation processes in the intestines.
- It is better to use the following vegetables for feeding: potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, cabbage, and broccoli.
- Do not force your baby to eat one or another product. If he doesn’t like it, change it to something else.
- Be sure to monitor your baby’s reaction to complementary foods. Discontinue the product if it causes even mild allergy or discomfort.
Porridges as complementary foods are introduced at 6-7 months. They are given to the child in the morning, one tablespoon, each day increasing the amount by a tablespoon. As a result, milk feeding is completely replaced by cereals, the volume of which needs to be increased to about 120 grams.
To begin with, it is better to introduce cereals from rice, buckwheat, and corn into the child’s diet, as they do not contain gluten, the products of the incomplete breakdown which negatively affects the intestines. Later, you can introduce oatmeal and semolina.
If you buy ready-made cereals, then pay attention to the labeling on the product. As a rule, it indicates the age at which the baby can be fed with one or another product. For children from 4 months, special dairy-free cereals have been developed. From 6 months you can use special cereals with milk.
Cottage cheese is introduced into the child’s diet at about 8 months by adding it to fruit puree for an afternoon snack. First, add half a teaspoon to the puree, gradually bringing its amount to a tablespoon. Keep in mind that cottage cheese is a highly allergenic product, so it is necessary to consult a pediatrician before introducing it.
At 7-8 months, meat is introduced into the baby’s diet. It can be freshly prepared mashed meat or store-bought. If you are preparing meat puree at home, then a few simple tips may come in handy:
- For complementary foods, it is better to use lean meats – veal or turkey
- Boil the meat properly
- Pour the finished meat with the broth in which it was cooked, and use a blender to make a meat puree
- Meat stock can also be used to make baby soups or vegetable purees.
In any case, meat puree is started with 1 teaspoon and then this amount is increased. You can mix meat and vegetable puree.
One-Year-Old Baby Food
When a baby is 1 year old, there are already quite a lot of various foods in his diet, and a mother can easily show imagination in order to offer tasty and varied food. For breakfast, the most relevant are cereals, to which you can add a little butter, as well as a fruit puree and drinks such as tea, juice, or fruit infusion. Omelets are another breakfast option.
Lunch usually includes vegetable soups. As a second course, you can offer vegetable puree in combination with any meat dish.
Afternoon snack is the time for cottage cheese dishes in combination with juice or fruit puree. You can complement this meal with cookies designed for children. But for dinner, you can offer your baby some dish of vegetables and meat or vegetables and cereals, plus juice or fruit puree.
Educational Activities And Games For Kids
In the first months of a child’s life, it is necessary to provide new impressions, and bright toys are the best suited for this, which are best shown to the baby one at a time – so his attention will not be scattered. At this age, children are very attracted to mobiles that are hung over a crib or stroller. These hanging structures sway in the breeze and attract the attention of the baby with their interesting shapes and bright colours.
To provide the baby with a variety of tactile sensations, let him touch objects with a wide variety of textures: soft, smooth, rough, and velvet. You can sew a whole rug from a variety of pieces of fabric – the baby will be happy to get to know him.
During this period, the baby becomes much more active. He begins to roll over on his stomach, actively grab everything with his hands and try to crawl. He is attracted to bright objects. Therefore, for the development of a baby at 4-6 months, the following means are well-suited:
- development mats. Today, a large number of various options for such rugs are sold. Some have arcs on top to which toys are attached. The kid tries to reach for these toys, which helps him develop. There are rugs with built-in musical elements. The kid presses on the details of the rug and plays a melody.
- puzzle mats. At 4-6 months, the baby is increasingly placed on the floor. Including it can be laid out on special puzzle mats. They are bright, so they attract the attention of kids.
- rattles and musical toys. Toddlers up to a year show great interest in musical toys. Their coordination is enough to pick up toys, shake them, and by 5-6 months they are able to purposefully press some buttons to play music or light a light bulb.
- fairy tales and jokes. While the baby does not yet speak, his brain develops daily, forming a vocabulary. Therefore, it is very important that during this period, parents pay great attention to communicating with the baby. Comment on your actions when you dress or undress your baby when you bathe him or cook for him. Many children like fairy tales in poetic form. The poem has a rhythm that attracts kids.
During this period, the baby’s movements are already much more purposeful, therefore, as an educational game, he can safely offer various pyramids. Of course, it is necessary to demonstrate to him what to do with them, because so far the child performs all actions within the framework of imitation of an adult.
The development of fine motor skills is becoming more and more relevant, for which you can use not only toys but also any objects. Different fasteners on clothes, various kitchen jars, spoons, plastic bowls – everything is suitable for a little researcher. Even an ordinary foam sponge for washing dishes can interest a child for a long time.
Try to hide some familiar thing in front of him, and then ask him to find it. When the baby is successful at this task, make the game more difficult by hiding the object at the moment when the child turns away. You can hide on your own, but make sure that the search is fairly simple for the child, otherwise, not finding you, he may be scared.
For babies, educational games during this period should also be aimed at creating the need for crawling, since this is an important stage in development. To stimulate the desire to crawl, try placing interesting toys or objects at a short distance from the child.
Child development stages Month by Month At 10 months, educational toys for babies are, first of all, various toys on wheels, because he already knows perfectly well that they can be rolled, as well as musical toys. A bright ball with a diameter of up to 20 centimeters is well suited, because thanks to ball games, a child will be able to improve coordination, master space, and, in general, stimulate motor activity.
The cubes should also take their place in the baby’s basket, because with them he can develop his creative abilities, learning to build more and more complex structures.
For the development of a child’s hearing, it is already possible to use not only a variety of rattles but also musical toys, as well as various household items that continue to be a subject of active interest.
To stimulate the physical development of the child, often play outdoor games with him. For example, let him repeat elementary gymnastic exercises – you will see how quickly he learns them. However, remember that intellectual development is no less important, so tell your child about the objects and phenomena of the world around him, read books to him, and tell fairy tales.
A 1-year-old baby is behind a unique period of life. The high pace of development and the need to adapt to new conditions of coexistence brings a lot of impressions to both the child and his family. But, no matter how difficult the circumstances may seem, knowledge of certain patterns and principles of a child’s development will provide significant assistance to his parents.
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