So, as promised, I have devoted a small chunk of time out of my busiest day of the week for you - the reader. Plus, it gives my day more structure (I work best w/structure, blame my OCD) and What To REALLY Expect Wednesday sounds so much better than WTRE Thursday! Plus, yesterday, I said I would be continuing with part 3 of 4 and I don't like going back on my word. The months 7, 8 and 9 have soooo many milestones! These 3 months are exciting ones in your baby's life so I hope y'all enjoy.
*Today's post will be a bit shorter, due to Halloween festivities happening on and off the island tonight.
It's super easy to compare and critique our babies, especially when you have a child that hit every milestone early, did advanced motor skills quickly, etc. You can drive yourself (and the baby) nuts playing that game. Your baby will develop and hit milestones when the timing's right for the baby. Remember, your child has no concept of competition, nor does he/she understand that Nancy's baby started talking in sentences at 8 1/2 months so he/she better do it at 7 months. Babies don't care when they walk, talk or eat by themselves, you shouldn't either!
According to the Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.com), here are a few developmental milestones your baby may have reached by 7 months, most have achieved these personal milestones by 9 months, but all doctors and researchers alike can agree, that babies all develop at their own pace and no two babies develop exactly the same. These are NOT set in stone!!!
- Advanced Motor Skills - By this age, some babies can roll over, sit w/little or no help, scoot, crawl, pull themselves up and even walk along w/assistance!
- Improved Hand/Eye Coordination - Your babe can now probably be transferring objects from hand to mouth, using a raking motion to pull things closer and have improved dexterity.
- Evolving Communication - Your baby's babbling probably has evolved into some words, like "mama", "dada", "cat", "dog", simple words (Ben chose the phrase "What's that?" and repeated it soooo many times, over and over again)! Some have probably started using simple phrases or short sentences! Very exciting stuff!!
- Stranger Anxiety - Most babies become very "stranger wary". Some babies go through the I'm-not-going-with-or-to-anyone-but-my-mom phase (very exhausting, I think we're STILL going through that one)! I was the mom who would sneak off, but research is suggesting that you reassure your child that you love them and that you WILL be back for them. I, personally, think telling them that, then sneaking away does the trick too, but whatever. To each their own.
- Teething - If your baby is still a toothless wonder, chances are there's probably a little speck of white on the bottom of their mouths, just waiting to break through and become a tooth! Get into the habit of cleaning the gums (using a special toothbrush "glove" type-thing and infant toothpaste), that way, when they get their teeth, you don't totally freak them out when you shove a toothbrush into their mouths! That can be scary! Also, make a dentist's appointment when they get a full mouth. I waited WAY TOO LONG and Ben got to spend every week (with the exception of 2) at the dentist's this summer, getting a TON of work done, poor thing!
Your Baby's Development: What YOU Can Do!
The Mayo Clinic also suggests doing the following to promote healthy infant development. As a former Montessori Directress, I have studied the inter workings of the brain and early childhood development (I actually have an Associates' degree in just that - Early Childhood Development), so I consider myself a pretty reliable source in this department. YOU play such an important role in your child's growth and development. Spending time talking, reading, playing and eating with your child not only strengthens the bond between the two of you, but it also helps personal growth and development!
- Safe Exploration Environment - make sure your house/play area is baby-proofed! Babies are prone to slips, tumbles, tips, spills and falls! Make sure all sharp edges have foam or safety edged slipped over them, secure gates in stairways and any area deemed unsafe for play, keep anything small enough to swallow or dangerous items high out of reach and finally, just keep a watchful eye....they're gonna fall, they're gonna get hurt, you'll feel guilty, you'll get over it (pretty soon, you'll get over it almost as quick as you child)!
- Talk, Talk, Talk - verbalize EVERYTHING!!! Talk to your baby about the things your doing, "I'm folding your burp rags now", ask questions, sing songs, basically, talk til you can't talk no more......then start singing!
- Teaching Cause & Effect - teaching your child that he/she has the power to do things and make things happen will only boost self esteem and confidence - even in babies!!
- Play, Sing & Dance - doing physical and vocal activities strengthens bonds, sharpens motor skills
- READ - do I even have to explain this one?
- Encourage Experimentation - little one's curiosity about their world is amazing. Feed off of this energy and give in to the exploration and experimentation of your child's mind. You BOTH will have a ball and your baby will be learning, all at the same time!
To Sum It Up
Dealing with this age group can either be very frustrating and challenging or a blast! Your the one who decides that! Babies at any age are inquisitive and curious by nature, find out what your baby likes or what entertains that curiosity and run with it! Trial and Error, hits and misses....nobody said it would be easy, but nobody said it'd be this rewarding and fulfilling either. Think of it as a learning experience for all parties involved. Have fun, play hard, love harder and don't forget to breath!!
Look for my next post.....I don't have a CLUE what we'll be talkin 'bout next!!
Peace, Love & Light,