THE FIRST 1000 DAYS
Early Months - What Matters?
Your baby's first few months of life are crucial in terms of growth and development. These months are crucial in the sense that they will set the tone for your baby's life. You play a significant role in helping this. The reason being, your child has go hand in hand with progress to grow and develop. Your baby is helpless at first. But they are taking in the world through their senses. They are seeing, tasting, and smelling new things and hearing strange sounds. To be able to thrive, your baby will require essential nutrients; breastmilk provides these nutrients. Your baby begins to grow physically. Around the four to six-month mark, your baby should be able to hold their head on their own. It is one of the developmental movements that your baby acquires; such a skill/movement help in the future when your baby attempts to stand and walk. Once your baby can hold up their head, you supplement their diet with solid foods. Pureed fruits and vegetables can be introduced first. Foods that rich in nutrients should be provided to your baby.
Around the same time, your baby begins to crawl, another developmental movement which helps in the complex action of walking. Around 3-6 months, your baby begins to play around with speech sounds, which then progresses into babbling. Talking to your baby with exaggerated vowel sounds helps them identify the distinctive sounds in language. It is the first few months that your baby forms their first relationship with you, the parent. This relationship is built on trust and care.
Your baby's sleep patterns take a while to settle down. At six weeks, they begin to learn the rhythm of day and night. They do not sleep through the night until they are three months old; this varies from one baby to another. Your baby may wake up at least once at night. You can inculcate good sleeping habits by establishing a bedtime routine.
Your baby learns of the world around them. They learn that by shaking the rattle, a sound is heard. They learn that objects that are out of sight still exist. Your baby may engage in exploratory behavior to learn more about the world around them. Playing is an excellent way for your child to learn; toys can enhance the learning experience. Essentially, a fair amount of learning is taking place for your baby. Everything that they learn at this stage sets the foundation for their functioning as they grow older.
This article focuses primarily on the first few months of your baby's life. Soon, your baby will pick up more sounds and gestures and then progress to words and phrases. Your baby's sleeping pattern will settle down, and they may sleep for 8- 10 hours. They will be able to walk. Your baby will soon engage in more sophisticated play like pretend play. With a healthy diet, your baby's height and weight will increase. It is becoming increasingly evident that it is the little things that matter in the first few months of a baby's life. These 'little things' can vary from the kind of solid foods that you feed your baby to the toys and opportunities given to them to explore. Your baby will soon pick up motor skills, language, and communication skills and grow physically to be able to function effectively in this world. However, your baby is not alone; they have you to help them with these processes.
Hargrove, T. (2013). Developmental Movements: Part One. Retrieved from https://www.bettermovement.org/blog/2013/developmental-movements-part-one
Karpinske, S. (2020). A Superfood List for Babies and Toddlers. Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/recipes/a-superfood-list-for-babies-and-toddlers/
Sleep patterns for babies. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/sleep- patterns-for-babies