The stages of growth and development are important milestones that should be taken seriously. As a parent or teacher, these milestones help you understand your child better and respond to their needs promptly. Possessing such knowledge is essential in ensuring that your child grows into a healthy, productive and creative individuals.
The questions are:
- Should I expose my child to play time and what is the recommended duration?
- What should I know about my baby’s vision?
- What is tummy time and why is it important to my child?
- How can I make diaper changes a fun activity?
- How can I make sure that my baby sleeps safely?
- Common parenting mistakes you should avoid
1. Should I Expose My Child To Play Time and What Is The Recommended Duration?
Play time is beneficial to your child in many ways. Apart from promoting healthy growth and development, play sessions stimulate your child’s critical and creative thinking skills. This is because each play session empowers your child with problem solving skills, resilience to overcome challenges, flexibility, and adaptability.
Using play to help your child to meet milestones
Up to 6 months of age, it is crucial to introduce your child to brightly colored objects. Not only does this strategy improve their vision but also stimulates interest in unfamiliar objects. As they grow older, cooing and babbling will become a norm, so don’t hesitate to respond in turn. This will help your child to understand that you are in sync with their current needs.
When it comes to introducing games, let your imagination roam but within the confines of safety. Common games to consider include peek-a-boo and exhibiting various facial expressions associated with happiness, hunger or sadness to encourage imitation.
Between 1-3 years, you can give your child toys and objects they have developed an interest in. Objects such as crayons and markers are ideal especially when they provide an opportunity to practice scribbling.
More importantly, help your child explore various movements such as jumping, standing on one leg, walking and much more. These movements should also extend to make-believe situations such as pretending to drink out of empty cups.
Between 4-6 years, play sessions are often advanced compared to the first six months. During this stage, it is advisable to introduce your child to reality roles such as house chores and professions such as medicine.
Introducing your child to reality roles such as dish washing or house cleaning empowers them to exercise hygiene and the responsibility to handle various home-related tasks. These life skills will later on simplify their workload as they progress into adulthood.
Social interaction is paramount at this stage, and as a parent you need to schedule time for your child to interact with their peers. Alternatively, ensure that screen time with internet-enabled devices is limited to foster adequate games and sports.
2. What Should I Know about My Baby’s Vision?
Visual development plays an important role in your child’s growth. During the first year, your child will look at you a lot, so maintaining eye contact is vital to nurturing affection. During this stage, your child’s eye focus usually spans 15 inches to maintain eye contact with you. However, do note that their vision typically wanders when they are learning about new objects in their environment.
By the 7th month, your child’s vision is fully mature and they can make fast movements with their eyes. As your child grows older, they develop an interest in toys with complex shapes and use their vision to explore their immediate surroundings. As a rule, strive to name objects that your child identifies objects around them.
If your child exhibits worrying symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact a doctor for prompt evaluation.
3. What Is Tummy Time and Why Is It Important To My Child?
Tummy time refers to the period that your child spends on their tummy when they are awake. According to pediatricians, tummy time plays a crucial role in your child’s development. It helps in the development of the neck, back, and shoulder muscles.
More importantly, tummy time helps in preventing early motor delays and illnesses such as flat head syndrome. Tummy time isn’t restricted to a specific duration. It can begin as early as three months.
3. How Can I Make Diaper Changes A Fun Activity?
It is quite common for children to cry or create a fuss during diaper changes. But the diaper changing process doesn’t have to be a difficult for you. Instead, you can make the diaper changing experience a fun and engaging activity by adopting this set of recommended guidelines.
Singing is widely considered to be an ideal solution when changing diapers so be prepared to explore your vocal skills. You can stick to favorite songs such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Row Row Your Boat” to coax your child into a calm state. This makes it easier for your child to maintain eye contact with you.
Describe Your Child’s Sensory Experience When Changing The Diapers
Contrary to common belief, your child is responsive to their surrounding and narrating the entire diaper changing process be highly beneficial. From picking a new diaper to putting it on, consider informing your child that the process will be over soon. They might feel cold for a few seconds but reassure them that they have nothing to worry about. Asking questions such as how it feels is crucial in helping build a connection with you. In return, it will boost your child’s language development.
Giving them a toy to play with is an ideal distraction to help keep them calm. In return, you can complete the diaper changing process with ease.
Baby creams are slowly gaining momentum in today’s world. As a parent, it is critical to consider using various baby creams that exude different pleasant smells to create a new sensory experience. However, consult a pediatrician to ensure that your child isn’t prone to allergic reactions with such products.
How Can I Make Sure That My Baby Sleeps Safely?
Safe sleeping is paramount to your child’s growth and development. It demands taking the necessary steps to factor in various considerations designed to safeguard their safety.
Your child should sleep alone at all times regardless of your preferences. Your child is best protected when they sleep in your bedroom but not on the same bed. You can position your child’s crib next to your bed to promote bonding and to maintain physical contact. Loose beddings and toys should be kept at bay to avoid the risk of suffocation.
Your child should be placed on their tummy to play and their back to sleep. However, ensure that the room is smoke-free and free from adverse heat changes. Switching sleeping directions by placing your child’s head on the left or right side of the crib on alternating days is essential to ensure optimal physical growth and development.
Common Parenting Mistakes You Should Avoid
Excessive use of positive reinforcement
Too much positive reinforcement on your child can yield more harm than good. By over-praising your child, you subconsciously instill content in them meaning that they are less likely to live up to their optimal potential. For instance, using evaluative phrases such as “you are smart” can create a comfort zone which might make them too complacent to make any progress.
For instance, your child might be achieving above average score in their academics. While this grade score is commendable, it is highly advisable to encourage them to improve on their less impressive subjects.
The constant motivation creates room for improvement through which they should seek assistance to better understand concepts deemed weak to their understanding. They can enlist the assistance of their teachers or their better performing classmates.
Ignoring your child’s feelings
Healthy growth and development is intertwined with productive emotional connection. Using offensive words such as” Babies or Boys don’t cry” isn’t just detrimental to healthy growth, it also cultivates anxiety and distrust. This form of emotional neglect can later on contribute to your child’s low confidence and self-esteem.
it is understandable to want to protect your child from various challenges. As admirable as it might be, it also robs them of invaluable opportunities to learn from their mistakes.
Disappointment and frustration are common feelings experienced in life and over-protecting your children doesn’t equip them for the real world challenges experienced daily. As such, you run the risk of raising a child that is dependent on you and isn’t prepared to tackle the tribulations of adult life.
As a parent, it is advisable to teach your child that adversity is a norm in life and they must learn to use it as an opportunity to thrive and achieve set goals.
Competitive parenting is considered to be a double-edged sword. It can make or break your child’s confidence. Depending on your child’s confidence and motivation, competitive parenting may propel them to academic excellence or crush them to failure. The ideal parenting style revolves around identifying a middle ground to encourage high expectations and assisting with developing a growth mindset.
Raising your child into adulthood isn’t an easy process. It entails identifying and navigating various challenges that will define their character. As a parent, it is imperative to exercise vigilance during each development stage and implementing ideal solutions designed to ensure optimal growth and development.
When can I start feeding my child solid foods? Seasoned Pediatrics recommend that you feed your child solid foods upon reaching 6 months old. These foods should be thick and soft enough to encourage easy swallowing and digestion. You can consider introducing mashed fruits and porridge.
My child exhibits slow progress in learning new milestones. What can I do to rectify this situation? Slow learning is often experienced between the 1-3 years stage when your child fails to communicate or exhibit various movements such as walking or jumping. Once these habits have been identified, it is advisable to expose your child to peers known to entice play. The frequent exposure to their age mates will motivate your child to communicate and learn new movements such as walking since their peers will be participating in similar behavior.