Having a newborn baby is an exciting time, and you will probably have loads of hopes and dreams about their future. Every stage of your child’s development is going to be full of joy as well as worry.
As they start growing and developing, you are likely to find yourself questioning how well they are getting on and how they compare to other kids their own age, which often leads to the parents worrying about the well-being of their new baby. Worry is part and parcel of being a parent, but hopefully, this guide will put your mind at ease a little and enable you to enjoy your child’s development to its fullest.
Very Important: Every Baby Is Unique
One of the first things you will probably notice when you first have a child is that everyone has an opinion on what you and your baby are doing. While this is usually coming from a good place, it is important to understand that each baby is different and will develop at their own pace.
The guidelines you will find on this subject should be used as just that. They offer suggestions about what is possible at a particular stage of development. However, some babies develop faster while others develop slower; so, our advice is to enjoy the ride and every little step your little one takes into childhood and beyond.
But Don’t Forget the Bigger Picture
As your baby will be unable to tell you that they are not feeling well, it is vital to pay attention to their behavior, as it may indicate there is a problem that warrants further investigation.
After your baby is born and for the first few years, you will regularly visit your pediatrician for checkups. During the checkups, you should mention if you have noticed any changes in their behavior or the way they are interacting. For example, if your baby isn’t reacting to loud noises by two-months, then they may have a problem with their ears.
The CDC has a useful list of milestones and behaviors which might be useful. You can discuss any concerns with your doctor, who will be able to advise you accordingly. In many cases, there is nothing to worry about, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Things You Can Do to Help
From the moment your child is born, it is essential that you spend as much time with them as possible. Being close will comfort your little one, which will help their emotional development and their social skills later on.
Play time is an essential part of a kid’s early life, and you should take as much time as possible to let your little one interact with new objects and environments. Kids are naturally inquisitive, and this should be encouraged but obviously monitored, as kids like playing with everything!
Keeping your child active has many benefits and gets them into good habits at a young age. Playing games and encouraging active learning will enrich their development and also make them feel good about themselves and their environment.
Patience, Patience, Patience
The old saying, ‘patience is a virtue’ is something that you need to memorize when you start your journey as a parent. It is very tempting to rush your child and put pressure on them if they are not where they ‘should be.’ Unfortunately, this pressure can make your kid feel stressed and damage their self-esteem.
In the early years, it is better to aid and facilitate your child’s development by spending time with them inside and outside. Make any actives as much fun as possible, as kids respond really well when they think they are playing a game. This approach is particularly useful when you start focusing on their motor skills.
Things like holding a pen or cutting food can be a source of frustration for both kid and parent alike. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, try to remain patient with the little one and try many different approaches. Trial and error is a significant part of being a parent, so take the time to change things up if things are not working.