Parenting Your Child During Their First Year Of Life

Parenting Your Child During Their First Year Of Life

The first year of your child’s life is crucial to their development.  Your child bonds with you and your family the most during this time.

  • Spend time cuddling chest to chest with your infant
  • Talk and sing to your baby
  • Make eye contact and use facial expressions when communicating with your child
  • Limit TV time
  • Limit cell phone use when spending time together

Minimize the use of containers as a positioning device.   There is a purpose for some positioning devices like strollers for an outing or car seats for safety in a car.  But when not out and about consider lying your baby on a blanket on the floor or the grass if outside.  Even more importantly is to place an infant on their belly as often as possible.  Your newborn loves to lie on their belly – chest to chest – over your heart.  They have heard a heart beating from inside mom’s body for 9 months.  This is a comforting sound. Containers often place a child in a position they are not developmentally ready for which can lead to abnormal patterns of movement in the future.  Containers also restrict movement.

Parents often put infants in swings when the baby does not have the head support to hold its own head upright.

Exersaucers are also used before a child is ready.  This encourages a child to stand on his/her toes to reach a grounded surface and can lead to toe walking later in their first year.

Tummy time has many benefits:

  • Promotes rounded head shape as lying on the back puts pressure and flattens the head
  • Challenges neck and back muscles that will eventually provide the stability needed for movement
  • Matures the sensory system
  • Encourages weightbearing through the arms to push up

Do not rush your child to walk.  Crawling is a very important skill and you want your child to spend time doing it.

  • The weightbearing in the hands when crawling stretches the small hand muscles and prepares them for use for upcoming fine motor development.
  • The weight on straight arms when crawling helps to increase arm strength and stretch muscles to prepare them for use
  • Neck and back strength will improve with crawling
  • Sensory development

Do not wait for your child to grow out of it but get educated on how to help them to achieve developmental milestones now.

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