Foster Care - Training - Infant Development - The First Year
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- Just after baby is born, her wobbly head may look too large and may even be lopsided from the pressures of delivery. The soft spot (or there can be two soft spots) on her head will gradually fill in as the skull grows. The soft spot will not fully close until she is about 12 to 15 months old.
- The baby's ears and back may be furry. This will disappear in a few months.
- Her skin is loose and wrinkled. Her eyelids are puffy. She sees simple patterns, follows slow moving objects and likes to look at faces. She sees best at a distance of 8 to 10 inches.
- Dry or peeling skin is normal for infants and it will eventually soften. This condition will not benefit from lotion.
- Newborn rash appears as small pimples on the newborn's arms, stomach and chest. The rash will disappear after a few days without treatment.
- Mottled skin-it may appear pink and white. This is very common and does not need treatment.
Your new baby has automatic reflexes, especially the hand to mouth reflex. Her grasp is surprisingly strong. She'll learn to control the use of her hands in the months to come. Speech development -The only language your newborn knows is crying. At birth, babies cry without tears. From the beginning, parents should talk to their babies, as it is a great source of comfort.
A newborn likes soft-high pitched voices and will quiet down when she hears them. Gentle touching, holding, and rocking will quiet her down when she cries. She is sensitive to other's feelings-if the caregiver is tense; she can sense it and may become irritable.
- Baby sleeps a lot, but not through the night until she is about 3 months old, or approximately 12 pounds. She sleeps about 80% of the day, taking 5-6 naps.
- She cries a lot in the first month, but eventually begins cooing and gurgling.
- Her diet is composed of breast milk or formula, with 7-8 feedings per day average.
- At two to three months, she may only have one night feeding. She is awake as much as 10 hrs a day. She sleeps as long as ten hours a night.
- She enjoys a bath.
- She may begin showing a preference for her left or right side.
- She can use her eyes to follow you several feet across the room.
- You can pull her slowly by her hands to sit up.
- When she is on her stomach, she can lift her head.
- Motions are smoother.
- She uses her entire body to hit at toys over her crib.
She sucks her fingers and will circle one hand around the other. Hand grasps are becoming voluntary. She begins to glance at her hands, which will later lead to deliberately reaching for objects.
She has a particular cry that will get your attention. She is likely to gurgle and coo when you talk to her.
She will begin to let you know when she wants to be fed. She smiles at pleasant situations and turns to familiar voices. Now when she is fussing, you can distract her. She is becoming more interested in things outside herself.
Three to Four Months
- When you pick her up, she feels less floppy.
- She sits with slight support.
- Her body control is changing from involuntary to voluntary.
- When you prop her up, she can keep her head steady and she looks around in various directions.
- She may be starting to teethe.
She watches her fingers and plays with them. She looks at each hand separately, grabs one hand with the other, and then pulls them apart. She reaches for her toys. Speech development -She still cries, but now will also laugh out loud. She coos, gurgles, and chuckles when she is happy. She can say “ooh” and “aah”. She sometimes has one voice for her mother and one for her father. Social development -She loves to be played with and pulled to sit. She fusses until you come to her to be picked up. She can tell the difference between the family members and will choose some toys over others. She may become anxious when she sees strangers.
- She can be attentive for up to ¾ of an hour at a time.
- Her patterns of eating and sleeping become regulated.
- Usually, she has one night feeding, 2 naps per day.
- She sleeps up to 10 hours at night.
- She can play with a rattle.
Four to Six Months
- Her legs have a degree of muscular strength, when held upright on a flat surface; she can support her own weight.
- She sits supported 10-15 minutes, head erect and steady, back firm.
- She begins babbling, her voice quality is normalizing.
- She imitates several tones.
- She begins reacting to tickling.
- She can identify her mother's voice from others.
- She sees colors, can see things clearly at a distance.
- Has a memory span of 5-7 seconds.
- Likes looking at faces and herself in the mirror.
- She may be ready for solid food.
- She likes to grab things.
Seven to Nine Months
- Your baby can sit up by herself for a short period of time.
- She is beginning to crawl.
- With the help of furniture, she can pull herself up to a stand.
She likes to pick things up and drop them, then pick them up again. She tries to use her thumb and forefingers together. She likes to feed herself with her fingers. Speech development -She imitates sounds. She talks to herself in the mirror and smiles at herself. Her vocabulary is growing to include vowel sounds. She is learning words like “no”, “bye-bye”, and “peek-a-boo”. Social development -She may be becoming attached to a particular toy. She enjoys the company of other family members. Bath time is very important for parent/infant bonding. She likes to dress herself.
- She begins getting teeth.
- She develops a fear of strangers.
- She responds to her name.
- She may grow bored of the same stimulation and may remember a game from a previous day.
- She is sensitive to others moods. She will cry if they cry.
- She holds a bottle and can drink from a cup.
- She understands and obeys words and commands-ex; “give it to me please”.
- She searches for hidden objects if she sees them hidden.
- She begins to show moods, looks hurt, sad, happy, uncomfortable, and angry.
- Will show preferences.
- Likes music.
- Identifies parts of the body.
Ten to Twelve Months
- If she's still crawling, she changes from a crawl to a tottering walk with her legs wide apart.
- She likes to climb into your lap.
- She is able to easily climb furniture and stairs, but is not able to get back down.
She's untying her shoes and helping wash herself. She likes to put her spoon into her cup-fitting an object into another helps her understand the concept of bigger and smaller. She can play a simple game of ball.
Her vocabulary is growing. She can tell you what she wants. It is very important that you practice vocabulary with her-read her books and repeat the same words to her. She is learning a great deal at a time, which is a strain on her, so you may see an occasional temper tantrum. You will want to comfort her.
- Holds crayons, makes marks.
- Associates properties with things - ex; meow with cats.
- Turns pages in a book, not necessarily one at a time. Looks at pictures in a book with interest.
- Has established a strong relationship with the primary caregiver.
- Obeys commands, seeks approval.
- Is not always cooperative, establishes the meaning of “no”.
- May tease and test parental limits.
- Withdraws from strangers.
- Walks when supported. Can pull herself up to a standing position.
- Climbs easily. May climb out of her crib or playpen.
- Babbles in short sentences.
- Can find hidden toys.
- Remembers events for a longer and longer time.
- Develops a sense of humor.
- Gives affection to humans, pets, and toys.
- May begin resisting new foods, napping.
- May have tantrums.
- Is full of “no's”.
- Wants things her way and wants to do things herself.