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Predict Your Baby’s Future! – Find out Now – Take the quiz!

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When Do Babies Smile

Many babies begin to smile in the first month after they are born. Once babies are born, their smile is a reflex, mostly when they are content or they are passing gas. However, as time goes on and they begin to interact with you and others, they begin to smile intentionally to show their happiness or delight in response to stimuli. This is why smiling in babies more often is noted as between a month and a half to three months of age; more parents are looking for the baby to smile out of happiness, rather than as a reflex.

When Do Babies Smile?

When Your Baby Smiles: An Introductory Overview

There is nothing like seeing your child smile for the first time. The magic of the moment is something that will stay inside of your heart forever. It is also a social development skill that demonstrates happiness and an awareness of life that produces happiness. That is part of the reason that many parents are more than excited to see their baby’s first smile.

However, when a baby smiles, especially a newborn baby, it does not immediately correspond to the state of his or her happiness. It could easily mean that the baby is relaxed or falling asleep, rather than happy. The baby’s smile is considered a reflex early on, but as your baby grows and begins to recognize social cues, her ability to smile goes from involuntary to a specific response to the appropriate stimulus. There are several key factors that smiling demonstrates, all of which are good signs for your baby’s developmental journey as a whole. Smiling’s benefits include a variety of social, emotional, and physical development.

Since smiling is one of the first milestones, and it happens relatively quickly after birth, many parents see it as a good sign. Early days for new parents especially are fraught with concerns over diapers, breastfeeding and bottles, safety issues, and new and interrupted routines. Smiles from our darling children seem to cast light onto some of the shadows of parenthood. In the event that your baby does not reach the milestone for smiling before the end of the fourth month, there are very few instances where the cause for concern goes to the extremes.

When Do Babies Smile?

The Signs and Benefits of a Baby Smiling

When your baby begins to smile, right after you have given birth, you will find it more of a reflex. There are several potential causes behind their smiles at this point. However, once your baby gives you an intention smile, given of his or her own volition, it is a sign that your baby has developed in a number of significant ways; this includes showing you, as the parent, that your baby’s skills have increased on a social, emotional, physical, and visual basis.

Smiling is a social conditioning to show pleasure. In smiling back of his or her own choice, your baby has demonstrated that he or she knows when to smile. Can you imagine babies smiling when they are mad? I have never seen that  happen. Parents during the first few weeks of their baby’s life will be smiling down at their baby. The baby’s visual development has increased enough to where he has been able to see you smiling enough that he has observed both when you are smiling, and why you are smiling. He mimics you as a result. Some parents will lean in really close to the baby’s face so he or she is able to see the parent’s face clearly. This is one way that babies may learn to smile faster. Their eyes have to focus in on objects that are nearby in order to see them clearly at first. As they grow, they are better able to see things, especially familiar things, such as a mother’s face, from further away. The eyes are also helpful in allowing the parent to see the difference between a smile that is a reflex and a smile that is genuinely given in response; the eyes will reflect their cogitative state. When babies smile as a reflex, it is often with their eyes closed, as many are drifting off to sleep or they are tooting gas involuntarily. By looking into a baby’s eyes, you will be able to see their happiness, which will likely influence your own.

Because of this emotional connection, seeing your child smile for the first time will allow you to see that he has grown mentally as well. Emotional development will aid in the baby’s ability to connect to other people emotionally, greatly benefiting them in the long run.

Coupled with the benefits is just seeing the physical reaction, too. Physical development, including the muscles in the baby’s face that are required for smiling, is always something to be excited about in babies.

The last benefit of seeing a child smile of their own intention is to see that they have developed a sense of sociality. No matter where people go, they will always need to be able to communicate with other people in order to survive and be happy. A baby, seeing her mother or father smile down at her, will be able to pick up on the affection and pleasure behind the movement. In reciprocating this act, she is further able to respond to their message.

When Do Babies Start Smileing

Encouraging Your Baby to Smile

If you see a newborn baby smiling, chances are the baby is smiling not because he is happy. It is more than likely that the baby is smiling because he is gassy, he is urinating, or he is comfortable. It is easy to begin encouraging your baby to smile, and it is easy to keep trying to get him to smile as time goes on, too.

During the first month and a half to three months, there are many things that you can do to try to get your son or daughter to smile. Talking to a baby, cooing over her, and smiling frequently at her will encourage her to smile back. Once she does it, she will be further encouraged to smile based on your response. Likely, as any happy parent will tell you, you will be amazed and happy, and in showing your response to her response, you will continue to stroke that impulse to smile when she sees you.

There are other ways to get your baby to smile. I had a friend whose one daughter would “encourage” her baby sister to smile by using her thumbs to push her mouth into a smile-like position. Even though the younger sister would not smile as a result, the adults thought it was pretty humorous, as did her older sister. Many times, parents will tickle their baby, trying to get them to smile and eventually to laugh. There are other things you can do to help get your baby to smile; singing a favorite lullaby, making faces, using a toy to play with him, and reading to him can also help your baby smile. The best thing to do is to do your best in finding out what makes him happy. Once you have that figured out, getting him to smile is no problem. That is why many babies will smile up at their moms and dads; their parents make them happy, even when they are just looking at them.

When Do Babies Smile?

Things to Watch

A delay in smiling is nothing to be concerned about in itself. This is true for all the baby’s milestones. It is only when a child exhibits more than one delay, or specific delays together, when there is a significant concern. Many parents, failing to see their child smiling, will be concerned for its health. When a child has not smiled on his or her own, prompted by social cues, this is one of the signs that your baby might be on the autism spectrum. However, a delay like this is something that must be taken into consideration from a broad perspective. A delay in smiling could indicate a more serious temperament or personality; the desire to smile is not there. It also could be a sign that the baby had not made the connection between happiness and smiling, but rather sees something else as a way to express his or her happiness; some babies, for example, will gurgle instead of smile.

Another benefit of going to the doctor to ask questions if you are concerned with the delay in smiling is that your doctor will likely be able to give you good resources. Many parents are concerned if their baby does not smile within the first month, and because of the various check-ups with doctors, it can be hard to know when exactly a baby smiles on average. Doctors should be able to hand out a good pamphlet or chart to show the approximation of several milestones. Being aware of realistic expectations is the first step to preventing a new parent from being worried. I know this from firsthand experience. When your baby sees other babies at daycare, it is hard to get a good estimate of where exactly your child fits in his or her development. Because of this, it is easy to assume your child is way ahead of everyone else, or to wonder if she is lagging behind.

In the event that you do have a concern about your baby’s delay in smiling, it is best to see your family doctor or a pediatrician. If there are other concerns about your child’s health or mental well-being, your doctor is the best person to be able to point you in the right direction. Finding answers on the Internet can be tricky at best and misleading at worst; having a good relationship with a doctor can really help, especially for things such as this.

When Do Babies Smile?

 Conclusion

Who doesn’t love to see a baby smiling? Baby smiles are one of the things that makes parenting seem easier. All parents love the comfort of knowing that their child enjoys them, and that is why many parents begin to look for smiles early on. Smiling on a voluntary level should happen between the first six to twelve weeks, or the first month and a half to the third month.

Smiling easily shows parents that their baby, besides being adorably cute, is developing his social skills, working on her emotional development, and gaining insight into the world around them. Parents should know that there is a large variety of ways to make their babies smile, and eventually laugh. During the first months that they have together, it is highly likely a parent will be able to find and tap into a way to make their baby smile happily. However, it should be noted that there are things you can do if you are concerned about your baby’s development, including going to the doctor or getting support from your group of mommy and daddy friends. You will find that many concerns about delayed development will often show more than one sign; however, a close relationship with your doctor has many benefits.

As parents, we all look for a sign we are on the right track, and our best efforts (and even sometimes our less than spectacular ones) are bearing fruit. We want to see that our babies loves us just as much as we love them. We definitely live to see them smile.

When did your baby started to smile? was there any delay in you baby smiling patterns? how cute was he of she? let us know in the comments below.

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A Baby Crying: What Should You Do Differently?

I haven’t met a mother yet who wasn’t at one point completely frazzled from trying to figure out how to get her baby to stop crying.  Motherhood is a like a special travel destination, one that has been on the travel books for years before the planning even begins. Your child is a soft, warm bundle of breath and joy, full of fanfare and music–music the baby can’t really read yet. So it is natural, as children and their parents never see eye to eye on taste in music, that the baby’s crying/singing will eventually grate your nerves.

A Baby’s Cries: What Should You Do Differently?

I haven’t met a mother yet who wasn’t at one point completely frazzled from trying to figure out how to get her baby to stop crying.  Motherhood is a like a special travel destination, one that has been on the travel books for years before the planning even begins. Your child is a soft, warm bundle of breath and joy, full of fanfare and music–music the baby can’t really read yet. So it is natural, as children and their parents never see eye to eye on taste in music, that the baby’s crying/singing will eventually grate your nerves.

So many people have different methods and swear by certain actions on how to get a baby or toddler to stop crying. As a mother, I’ve found some things will work for my kids and others won’t, and sometimes they will but not all the time. What you need to do differently, in order to get a baby to stop crying, is to start with your own attitude. You can’t take care of the baby if you are having a hard time controlling yourself. Mothers are hypersensitive, likely somewhat sleep-deprived, and emotionally struggling to feel confident, beautiful, and lovable. A baby crying can easily upset any calm façade a mother will employ.

I think a lot of mothers skip this step, because it was one I had to learn on my own (once you get pregnant, everyone you know tells you what to do and even strangers feel compelled to give you advice.) Since learning it, I cannot express the importance of it enough. Once you’ve given yourself a moment to breathe, think properly, and plan ahead, you can more easily assimilate yourself into the kind of mother your baby or toddler needs in order to stop crying.

I think it is especially frightening when the crying baby is a newborn. When the baby comes, it is just so small and fragile. You feel so big and strong and scary. All the hormones are leaving your body, but they still want to scare you and sadden you as much as possible on the way out, and a newborn baby crying will send your body into “alert mode” at the least provocation. I remember when I had my daughter, I heard her crying and, in addition to the rush of milk running down my front, I also had adrenaline spiking my blood. Even now, about six months later, when she cries, I still feel a slight hesitation, like I’ve done something wrong by letting her cry in the first place. That’s where I have to check my own attitude, make my plans, and set about following the path I’ve focused my mind on pursuing. I’ve found it is important to do this, because if you don’t have a plan for how to handle yourself while you are trying to get your child to stop crying, it can easy escalate into you crying. Mentally prepping yourself can really help out when it comes to dealing with your emotions, especially if you get increasingly frustrated by your child’s crying.

One of the first things I learned as a new mother with my son, who is a toddler now, was to listen for the different types of sounds the baby makes when she cries. A baby will quickly learn to differentiate his or her cries to match what they want. I was relieved to find this out, because that meant I could figure out what my baby wanted, and I could probably learn to do it quickly enough I could get my baby to stop crying in a matter of mere minutes.

Another thing I learned pretty quickly is how disappointing my own expectations were in preparing me for motherhood; while I still like to try to learn new tricks, I’ve found trial and error will work better, more often than not. Still, I have my checklist, and I start with the innate needs, and work out to the most frivolous needs.

Everybody needs food. When my baby cries, the first thing I check for is if she is hungry. Food has a funny way of making all of us happy. Whether you breastfeed or bottlefeed (either way, both have their perks), getting some food into the baby is a great way to see if they are hungry. You can also feel their stomach to see if their tummy is ‘empty’ by taking two fingers and gently massaging the stomach area in a circular motion. If the stomach area feels harder as you gently push downward, it means the stomach is full (This also helps let you know if the baby has a bowel movement coming.) If it is softer and more pliant, your baby’s stomach is empty.

A Baby’s Cries: What Should You Do Differently?

The next thing is sleep. Babies aren’t always so willing to just go to sleep of course, so they have to be tricked into going to sleep. Depending on your baby, that could mean a lot of things. For my son, when we got his sonogram, we saw that he had his hand in his mouth, so if he had trouble sleeping, I got him a pacifier. For my daughter, she would go to sleep when I was walking, so I usually hand her off to my husband to cradle her and walk her around until she relaxes enough to sleep.

I think this is where most parents use Google for ideas, when they are stuck wondering how to get a baby to stop crying and go to sleep. Both my husband’s parents and my own said a great way to get babies to go to sleep was to put them in the car seat and go for a drive. When I am out running errands now, I can see this is true; my baby girl, whether she is crying or not, will eventually stop crying and go to sleep if I am driving around. Rocking is always a favorite; walking them around is a similar one. I’ve tried singing and swaying at different volumes and speeds; I’ve often handed the babies off to their daddy, because he’s got stronger arms and doesn’t smell like breastmilk, and he’ll put them to sleep. I’ve used pacifiers and blankets and teddy bears. I’ve lain down next to them, and I’ve let them lay on me as I cuddle with them. I’ve elevated beds and used a bed massager. I have also turned on music and twinkling lights, and most of my electric bill after my son was born was for his swing. All of these are great tricks to see if you can get them to work; very few of these on my list have consistently worked in putting my kids to sleep. More often than not, the kids have just wanted me around; those are the methods which have worked the best for me.

I was a lucky mom in this area; my daughter’s sleeping habits have not changed much since she was a newborn to when she was an infant.

If it is not food or sleep, I go onto the next critical need for babies: excrement. Behold, the diaper. Sometimes I can smell it first, and it slaps my nose around to make sure I jump ahead on the checklist. But if I can’t smell it, checking the diaper is usually third on my list. Change diaper, check temperament, and see if crying will stop. That’s step three.

baby crying

From newborn to infant, food, sleep, and diapers pretty much top the list. But there are more specific cries that happen as time goes on. My daughter will cry for me, or she will cry for my husband now. She will cry if she wants to move, or if she is bored. She will also cry if she can’t reach something, since she is beginning to try crawling and she isn’t entirely enchanted with the idea. Noticing this is a complement to the first rule. Check yourself first, and then check your baby. As a mother, you know what your baby needs better than anyone else (usually) and if you don’t know what they need, you’re the one with the most incentive in the world to learn, and you are willing to do so.

This skill, this inborn idea of wanting to meet our kids’ needs, can be subtle. But I really see it now, with two kids. When my daughter cries, I know what she wants, and when my son cried when he was her age, I knew what he wanted. They aren’t so different, but they are different enough I easily know the differences. If you know your child, after so much time, what they want when they are crying becomes second nature to you.

My son is just over a year and a half older than my daughter. When my son is crying, and I have a crying toddler on my hands rather than a crying baby, I have to approach the situation differently.  After all, my son is pretty good about not crying for food anymore, which he really shouldn’t anyway since he is more than capable of getting his own food on his own (I woke up one morning after buying a bunch of bananas the previous night to see he’d pulled at least two of them out of their peels when I wasn’t looking), but when he is tired, he starts to get more grumpy and more likely to cry. Since he is two, he has figured out he doesn’t like to sleep at naptime, so naptime is a battlefield imperative. I live for the days when I am driving to Grandma’s house and he falls asleep in the car.

But when he wakes up in the middle of the night, things have to happen differently. He sleeps in his own big boy bed in his own room, so when he wakes up at night, he’ll often cry because I am not there with him. I was never a light sleeper until I had kids. I’ve found if I wake up right as he begins to cry, I’ll have a much easier time putting him back down. This usually translates into me getting him some teething tablets (I use the homeopathic ones for him and his sister), re-tucking him in his covers with his favorite blanket, and sitting with him for a moment to make sure his sleep resumes. If he has been crying longer by the time I’ve reached him, he will need much more before he goes back to sleep. When he cries like this, it is always louder and more emotionally charging for me; I feel like he woke up from a nightmare, so I will pick him up, rock him on my lap, cuddle up with him and snuggle until he falls back asleep, or pulling him into my bed so he won’t cry anymore.

In the event you have done all you can, and your baby is still crying, you need to revert back to the first item on our checklist here. You need to take care of yourself. I know plenty of mothers who have had all sorts of trouble with crying babies, but we had to learn, at that point, to take a moment for ourselves. Step out of the room, take a bathroom break (I always liked doing this one because it felt less like I was avoiding my kids when they were crying), and try to keep calm. When you are tired, stressed, and emotionally frazzled, you need to recollect yourself. So many parents will say that giving birth was the easy part, and I will only argue with them there if a guy said it.

Conclusion

Your baby will have beautiful eyes, regardless of their color. While many parents long for a specific color or shade, your child will easily wear his or her eyes and make them fit his or her own style. From nine months to a year after they are born, our babies have a lot of changing that is going on inside of them and around them. During this time, we can eagerly wait for those changes and record them as they grow, and this includes the changing of the irises to their final colors. Some babies may require more time for their eyes to finish changing—with some changing after two or even three years—but it is not likely that the main colors of their eyes will change after the one-year mark. The best way to guess your baby’s final colors is to take a good look at the biological make-up of the grandparents from both parents, and then to compare them to the parents and others in the family tree. If you are not sure of the health or state of your baby’s eyes, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with your baby’s regular doctor. Your baby’s pediatrician can easily check for other areas of concern that might be affecting the baby’s eyes, such as jaundice, and have your doctor recommend an eye doctor or specialist depending on what they find.

Please write your thoughts and comments in the comments section below.

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When Do Babies Eyes Change Color?

Eyes come in a myriad of different colors, all ranging from blue to green, to brown and black, and every shade in between. It is with good reason that it has been said that the eyes are said to be the window to the soul. When it comes to babies, many parents look for the day when the color of the eyes is fully known. Many babies are commonly born with blue eyes, and their iris colors will change over the first year of their lives. The final changes will be around six to nine months of age, but there are some babies whose eyes do not change until well after the one-year mark. This is largely due to the many changes that take place at the time of birth, and the ones which will continue to change as the baby grows older. Genetics of the biological parents will play the most influence over the final color of your baby’s eyes.

When Do Babies Eyes Change Color

Your Baby’s Eyes: A Brief Overview of Anatomy

The colored part of the eye is known as the iris, and its color relies on three genetic markers. While science is developing fast, not all is known about all of these genes, so it is still impossible to predict your baby’s eyes until he or she is out of the womb. As the baby grows, the muscles strengthen, including the muscle which dilates the pupil, the black part in the middle of the eye. As the baby’s muscles develop, this muscle will pull the iris as the pupils dilate, and it will contract the iris when the eye is relaxed or in darker atmospheres. This is part of the reason that even as a child and an adult, people’s eyes can change shades; as the iris is contracted or expanded, the color can change depending on the emotional response. The white part of the eye, the sclera, is may also have a blueish tint when the baby is born, but this will go away as the baby gets more time out of the womb.

 Changing Colors in the Eye: An Introductory Overview

When a baby is born, the baby’s body is still going through a lot of changes as they exit the womb to a world where they are independent of their mother’s body. One of the more significant changes can be seen in the changing colors of the baby’s eyes. Babies are often born with bluer eyes when they are born, and this is largely due to the absence of melanin in their bodies. Melanin is a pigment that is present in many parts of the human body, and can determine colors in hair, skin, and the eyes. It is made in the baby’s body once the child is exposed to light. The melanin is the only pigment that is present in the eye, so everyone has a blue base, but the top color will change if there is more melanin produced as the baby ages, darkening the final color until it gets to the darkest shade of brown. Once the baby exits the womb and is able to develop the melanin on its own, the baby’s eyes will gradually change from a blueish color. Of course, should the genetics of the parents point to blue eyes, it is entirely possible that the child’s eyes will not change from blue, and in many cases, even then, the blue will either get lighter or darker.

Genetics are the biggest factor in determining what color your baby’s eyes are when they finish changing. It is by looking to the biological parents of the babies that the best guess will be established, until the baby’s eyes finally stop changing. Many people will cite that mutations for the eye color can change, and while that is true, there are no less than three genetic markers for eye color, and the change of the mutation happening to all of the genes is very, very slim. However, it is also important to keep in mind that because of the various genes that will code for eye color, there is a possibility the grandparents and previous generations will also have an influence on the final color of your baby’s eyes. Sometimes, specific genes can skip a generation, including eye color. If there is a grandparent who has blue eyes, and both parents have brown eyes, it is still possible that the baby will have blue eyes.

baby crawling on belly

Just like the rest of the baby’s body, the eye’s melanin production can take some time to work out and level off. This is part of the reason that it takes a longer time for the eyes to settle; while the color is generally set by the end of nine months, some parents have noted changes later than one year, but they are smaller changes by that time; it is extremely unlikely that the base color will change from blue to brown, and then go back to blue, for example.

Because of the differences in color and genetics, it may take a different amount of time for babies’ eyes to fully change. Sometimes it does not take long at all; My own children fall into this category, since both of them have blue eyes. However, while they both have blue eyes, my son’s blue eyes are darker blue, while my daughter’s eyes are lighter blue. They were both born with blue eyes, but my son’s became darker while my daughter’s faded into a lighter blue. I have a friend who has dark brown eyes; her baby was late, so when her daughter was born, she had dark blue eyes, but it didn’t take long before her daughter’s eyes were as dark as her mother’s eyes. However, it can take between nine months to a year before parents see a consistent shade of color shining back at them. This is more common with darker eyes, because of the pigmentation and its patterning; it is also more frequently seen in hazel eyes, where the pigmentation is more scattered and the gene marker which codes for the color is less understood as the others.

The possibility of changing colors after nine months is very rare, though not unheard of. Some children have been observed with changing eye color up until the age of six. Once more, in determining how long it will take for your child’s eyes to settle into their final color, genetics will play a significant role; however, each child is different, so it is best to keep track of it and to be on the lookout for signs of trouble.

What to Expect

When your baby is born, there will likely be a blueish tint to the eyes, if they are not completely blue already. Many children who end up with brown eyes have dark blue eyes at birth, or a blueish shade to them, though some babies can be born with dark eyes that look black. As the baby grows from an infant into a toddler, the color change will become more permanent. As your baby’s body develops and their systems are more regulated—think about how they eat, sleep, and poop on more regular schedules as they grow, compared to when they are first born—their eye color will have enough melanin produced in the eye that guessing the final color will be easier.

The baby has a significant growth spurt around six months of age, as its body gets ready to begin to move around more. This is around the time where the melanin build up has accumulated enough where you should see some difference in your baby’s eyes since he was born. As the melanin has developed and been stored, the baby’s eyes will have changed along with it. It only take a little for the melanin to change the blue to green, green to hazel, and hazel to brown or even black. The more melanin that the body is told to produce by the genes, the more it is likely it will take longer for your baby’s eyes to change, though that is not necessarily the case. More babies with dark eyes at birth have been reported with changes up to three years after birth, but once more, this is not necessarily the case.

The milestone marker for your baby’s eyes to settle into their final color sets the expectation that their eyes will finish changing around nine months. Whether blue-eyed or dark-eyed, it is likely that the baby’s eyes will begin to slow down and settle into their final color around this time, though it can easily take longer than that.

When to Consult Your Baby’s Doctor

Eyes are one of the easier ways to see if there is anything wrong with a baby. If the baby’s eyes look milky white at some point, or if the baby’s eyes develop into two different colors, it is important to consult your doctor. In general, if you are not sure your baby’s eyes are developing in a normal manner, then you can schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor, or you can request information on an eye doctor. Many children will go to the eye doctor when they are toddlers, so if you want to go early because you are not sure of a possible issue, try to find a doctor that you will be able to work with in the long term.

Any eye color in the irises can change later on in life, due to some diseases or other issues, including aging. That’s another good reason to make sure you have a good eye doctor available to your child, and why getting your baby a check-up can only help you in the long run. After your baby is born, one change that the sclera, the white part of the eye, may show is a yellowish tint; this can hint at jaundice. Most pediatricians will immediately recognize this as a build-up of bilirubin, and that has to be treated differently than an eye doctor would be able to treat it.

Another issue that comes up sometimes with baby’s eyes is with the camera flash. More cameras are able to pick up tumors on the back of the baby’s eyes. This is seen in pictures where the one eye is glowing white, and it consistently shows up as a bright spot on the child’s eye in pictures taken with a digital camera. This could be a sign of tumors or cancer, so it is important to get to a doctor that will be able to carefully examine your baby’s eyes for any inconsistencies.

When Do Babies Eyes Change Color?

 Conclusion

Your baby will have beautiful eyes, regardless of their color. While many parents long for a specific color or shade, your child will easily wear his or her eyes and make them fit his or her own style. From nine months to a year after they are born, our babies have a lot of changing that is going on inside of them and around them. During this time, we can eagerly wait for those changes and record them as they grow, and this includes the changing of the irises to their final colors. Some babies may require more time for their eyes to finish changing—with some changing after two or even three years—but it is not likely that the main colors of their eyes will change after the one-year mark. The best way to guess your baby’s final colors is to take a good look at the biological make-up of the grandparents from both parents, and then to compare them to the parents and others in the family tree. If you are not sure of the health or state of your baby’s eyes, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with your baby’s regular doctor. Your baby’s pediatrician can easily check for other areas of concern that might be affecting the baby’s eyes, such as jaundice, and have your doctor recommend an eye doctor or specialist depending on what they find.

Please write your thoughts and comments on this article in the comments section below.

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How to cradle a baby and Why cradling is so important for your baby

baby cradling

Cradling in particular is a position in which you hold your baby in a way that supports him or her from head to toe… Cradling a baby has many benefits and potentially long lasting results, which range from affecting baby development in a positive manner, to assisting in feeding, and so much more. You can think of cradling as similar to being told to sit up straight or to have good posture – it’s something that we know we should do, but sometimes need a reminder to do, as well. Sometimes new parents do not realize the benefits of holding their baby in a particular way, or may try something a limited number of times and give up on it, instead of developing a consistent pattern. Cradling may sometimes be one of those things, but after you realize all of the reasons to be intentional about cradling, you will be better able to implement – and enjoy – carrying your child in this position into your daily activities.

How to cradle a baby & Why cradling is so important for your baby

What Cradling Is

Holding a baby is a wonderful, beautiful thing! Cradling in particular is a position in which you hold your baby in a way that supports him or her from head to toe. Personally, I found this to be a natural way to hold a resting newborn. Cradling isn’t just for newborns, though – it is an important activity throughout a baby’s first few years.

Cradling a baby has many benefits and potentially long lasting results, which range from affecting baby development in a positive manner, to assisting in feeding, and so much more. You can think of cradling as similar to being told to sit up straight or to have good posture – it’s something that we know we should do, but sometimes need a reminder to do, as well. Sometimes new parents do not realize the benefits of holding their baby in a particular way, or may try something a limited number of times and give up on it, instead of developing a consistent pattern. Cradling may sometimes be one of those things, but after you realize all of the reasons to be intentional about cradling, you will be better able to implement – and enjoy – carrying your child in this position into your daily activities.

What Cradling Does

Cradling is thought to aid in a newborn’s development by creating for them a sense of security. The physical benefits are seen in motor skills development, as the arms are free – yet the body is secure. A baby who spends time in the cradling position can, then, play with her hands, and reach for her parent’s face. Along the same lines, there are benefits in social and language development, as it is an easy position in which the infant can see the parent’s face and interact. Cradling a baby can be used as a calming method, and for some babies, this can aid in, and often does result in, falling asleep. This is because the baby is able to relax in this full body, supportive position.

Cradle Hold Vs. Cross Cradle Hold

Perhaps you are wondering how to cradle a baby correctly. It sounds basic, and really, it is. The cradle hold and the cross cradle hold are similar, but each makes use of the caretaker’s arms slightly differently. One similarity is that both positions require both arms to be engaged.

The cradle hold involves the baby’s head resting in the crook of your arm, with that same arm’s forearm and hand supporting her back as far down as possible, and then the other arm supports the baby’s bottom. This arm also will support the baby’s knees and legs. The baby is parallel to the ground in this position, but, as you will feel, his back will slightly curve.

Similarly, the cross cradle hold uses the arm opposite of the baby’s head to hold his or her neck, supporting and controlling the head, as well. Then, the arm that is closer to the baby’s head crosses over and is used to support his or her bottom. This may provide an extra secure feeling for some babies.

The goal, of course, for both positions is a fully supported feeling for the baby. This physical support enables a baby to relax, and encourages positive emotions to be experienced and associated with being held.

Tips for Cradling

Cradling doesn’t necessarily have an optimal age limit; this position can be comforting for as long as you naturally hold your child. This extends through the toddler ages. Some babies may become so active that they cannot be cradled for quite as long or often, but the benefits of having done so, or even attempting to keep doing so, may remain.

Holding your baby’s outer elbow in the cradling position enhances the experience, as his or her arm is not dangling to the side. (The arm closest to you will be pressed upon by your body, so that it is not dangling, either.) Holding the arm at the elbow still allows for some movement, and you may observe your baby calmly exploring her hands, which may rest closely together in this position.

Cradling can be a great relief to an overstimulated infant, whether the overstimulation is due to a crowd, too many toys with sounds and lights, other (perhaps older) children playing, or even a family pet that is excessively engaged at the time. It allows the baby to focus on just one face, and perhaps just that person’s voice if he or she is using it to soothe the child while in the cradle hold. Talking to, singing to, and moving with your baby while you hold her in this position can add to the overall experience.

Much to our overly connected chagrin, cradling isn’t being done properly if you are holding a phone, the remote, or trying to work on something else; it is about focusing on your baby, and since your baby is focusing on you, he will notice the difference if you are distracted or disengaged, especially as he becomes older. Cradling doesn’t need to be done every moment – and neither does your phone need to be checked every moment, despite that flashing light or notification sound – and the importance of a few moments of pause with your baby should outweigh any incoming emails or text messages.

Facts About Cradling

  • Cradling doesn’t take any extra equipment, money, or time to set up! It’s just about you and your baby.
  • The cradle hold is natural, and mimics the position and form a baby has in the womb.
  • Cradling supports the baby’s entire spine when done properly.
  • A baby who is fully supported along her whole back and body feels safe and secure.
  • A baby can enjoy being cradled by any parent or caretaker, not just a breastfeeding mother.
  • You can cradle a baby anytime, anywhere.
  • Your baby may come to look forward to being cradled.
  • You are creating a good habit of taking the time to spend actual face time with your little one when you cradle him.
  • Cradling your baby often does not spoil your baby.
  • Cradling just may become one of your favorite memories with your little one!

Common Tendencies in Women and Cradling

Another interesting fact is: most women cradle to the left. While speculations in the past have attributed this to most women being right handed, so this position would be freeing the dominant hand – the study by Victoria Bourne and Dr Brenda Todd attributes this instead to the way the human brain processes information, specifically that of emotional behaviors. According to this study, that information goes to the right side of the brain, which is known to be connected most directly with the left side of the body. This connection explains why even most left-handed women hold their babies on the left – to observe their facial expressions and in turn, their constantly changing wants and needs – despite the potential loss of productivity that would occur from occupying their dominant side.

This also explains the studies from England and Switzerland which attempted to link how a mother holds her child and her emotional health; the studies linked stressed out, depressed women, or those on the verge of depression, to being most likely to hold their babies in the crook of their right arms, as opposed to the seemingly more natural way of holding babies in their left arms. This would seem to imply there is a disassociation or lack of a proper connection between a woman and her baby’s needs and emotional responses during a time of great stress or depression. This is extremely important, as this stress and disconnection could be mirrored in a baby’s emotional development if left uncared for.

Nursing and Cradling

The cradle hold, as well as the cross cradle hold, can also be used during breastfeeding, although it will look a little different. Instead of the baby being held parallel to the ground, the baby is held facing the mother’s body. When nursing with a cover, the cradle hold was the easiest and most effective position for me; it gave my baby the ability to focus, and relaxed her even if we were in a loud environment, such as a restaurant or another public place. It also allows for a baby to easily fall asleep at the end of a nursing session, which was often the case with my little one.

The cross cradle hold actually gives you more control over your infant’s head, which can be more useful when guiding an especially young, or fussy baby during feedings. I found the cross cradle technique to be harder the longer – and more active – my baby became. Even so, it was great in the beginning when we were working on her latch. If your baby has a lot of head control early on, you may find her fighting the cross cradle hold in an attempt to independently direct her head. If she can latch well, switching to the cradle hold may be more comfortable.

While there are several other great nursing positions, including those that are even taught in hospitals and by lactation consultants, these two positions more so ensure that the baby stays in proper alignment and is at an optimal angle for feeding. As mentioned above, in both of these nursing positions, the baby should face the mother’s stomach, with his shoulders aligned with his hips, as well as his head, and knees, which will be slightly bent. Your baby may try to press his feet against something nearby, completing the alignment through the rest of his legs.

Baby Development

As you can see, holding a baby in a cradle hold has numerous potential benefits and a whole range of usefulness. From the most awkward new father, to the breastfeeding mother, to the most experienced grandmother, there is no one who cannot cradle a baby if they try. Cradling a baby before sleep, or simply holding a baby in the cradle or cross cradle hold, is definitely something that should be considered and consistently used in the raising of a calm, secure feeling child. While every baby hits newborn milestones at different slightly different ages, it is wise and natural to want to do everything possible to encourage proper baby development, including regularly making use of the cradling technique.

If you are unsure about how to cradle a baby properly during nursing, seeking a lactation consultant or nurse who works with infants is a great option. Often there are a certain number of times you can see a consultant for free – check your insurance policy. This will allow you to feel confident about how to cradle your baby properly. You may also receive advice about particular milestones from your health care provider if you are concerned about motor skills, social skills, and language development, among other baby development issues.

Conclusion

Creating an environment where a baby is assured he has your focused attention, can focus his attention on you, and does not feel bombarded by all of the other potential stimuli he will eventually become used to, will ensure he can learn and grow in his own way, and at his own pace. Encouraging your baby to periodically relax throughout the day, and at nursing sessions if applicable (which can be quite stressful at first for new moms), will encourage less stress and anxiety for your child as he becomes older, potentially even on through adulthood. As you teach your baby about the world, you will want him to feel safe and secure when he is close to you, and cradling allows him to do so.

What do you think about the cradling positions? Did you use cradling as a source for relaxation? Did cradling give your baby a calm and secure feeling? Let us know in the comments below.

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When Do Babies Roll Over? The Complete Parents Guide

Babies learn to roll over when they are around five months old. They can do this as early as four months from their tummies to their backs, and as late as six months on average. At six months, the child’s muscles and coordination will likely have improved enough that the baby is able to roll from back to tummy, as well as from his or her tummy to the back. Parents can often determine if their child is ready to roll over based on the baby’s ability to hold his head up and play on his back or tummy for several minutes.

When Do Babies Roll Over? The Complete Parents Guide.

Rolling Over: An Introductory Overview

Rolling over is an action that requires more muscular coordination and more strength than many of the movements that several early milestones. For a baby to choose to roll over intentionally, he also has to have enough confidence and intentionality to make the necessary maneuvers. Many times, as the baby nears the age of 5 months, you will be able to identify several signs that the baby is ready to roll over, including growing muscle strength and an increasing interest in fun activities. You may also see several opportunities to help your baby learn to move on his or her own, and you will begin to recognize any potential barriers to reaching this milestone.

With this particular action, most of the requirements will be on a physical level. If your baby can lift his head, if your baby can begin to look side to side while on her forearms, your baby is nearing the time when rolling over is coming. If you think of the baby’s body and its many muscles, there are a lot of different muscles groups which will need to be strong before rolling over is possible. Since the baby’s birth, he has been learning to use different muscles. By four months, he is able to have more control over his body and the movements. Because rolling over requires momentum, especially in considering moving from the back to the tummy, this factor will also be critical.

Rolling over usually starts from the babies’ moving from their tummies to their backs. By the time that the babies can roll from their backs to their tummies, they have much more motor control over their body and much more confidence in their ability to make decisions.

While the average time for babies to roll over is from four months to six months, some babies will roll over as early as three months. You can see this more often in babies who were born past their original due date. The same is true of later rollers; more often, preemie babies will usually roll over a bit later as they develop more skills and their bodies grow more. It is also important to acknowledge that some babies do not roll over at all. This milestone can be skipped over. Never fear, though—skipping this milestone alone is not any indicator for worry.

When Do Babies Roll Over? The Complete Parents Guide.

Signs Your Baby is Ready to Roll Over

It is not unusual for a baby to accidentally roll over, as opposed to intentionally rolling over. Sometimes, depending on how it happens, rolling over can be more of an instinct than intention. Because of this, it can be hard to see the signs of when your baby is ready to try this on his or her own. Babies will begin to move more and more as they grow. Between new parents and growth, some babies roll over at three weeks! (see YouTube video below). This is likely due to parental guidance or even a mistake; I know of parents who struggled with changing diapers and ended up with kids rolling over as a result.

Once your baby comes close to the fourth month, you can see if your baby is ready to roll over. One of the ways is to encourage them using a toy or their bottle. When it comes to rolling over, there is usually a reason that they want to do it. Using a toy, parents can often lure babies into following the toy with their arms and eyes enough to create incentive in rolling over. The same thing works with a bottle, if your baby is uses a bottle. Seeing the object they want, they will follow it with their eyes and reach for it with their hands. Once they realize they need to move for it, that is why they will use their muscles to twist enough to the point where they will roll over. Understanding your child’s desires and wants will help you find a good incentive for them.

Offering an incentive by using a toy can help a child roll over in both directions, from their tummy to their backs, and from their backs to their tummies. Going from the tummy to the back requires different muscles, and because of this, it is likely this will happen this way first. The neck muscles have to be strong enough to hold up the head and turn; the back muscles have to be flexible enough and strong enough to roll with the force of the movement. When the baby is going from the back to the tummy, the neck muscles have to be strong enough to lift the head up off the ground or surface, and then the back muscles have to be strong enough to force the body to twist around. Once more, you can use incentive either way, but it is important to recognize that different muscle groups will need to be exercised accordingly.

Things to Watch

While your baby is growing and moving around, it can be tempting to try to push the babies. Many first-time parents will be enthusiastic about getting their children to their milestones, and overlook the importance of quality over speed. I know of several parent groups where it is hard not to try to “one-up” each other with our kids’ accomplishments. With rolling over, there are some concerns that one should watch for, in order to keep your child safe in addition to adventurous.

One common concern for parents when it comes to rolling over is the idea of the baby rolling over onto his tummy and finding it hard to breathe. If a baby is not strong enough to hold his head up from the mattress or the floor, it is best not to push rolling over. Several parents find the idea of their baby accidentally getting smothered sobering enough to proceed with caution when it comes to rolling over. However, being overly cautious can be just as troublesome for the child. Finding a good balance can be hard and require careful calculation and even bravery, but it is possible and necessary.

When it comes to sleeping, if you are concerned about your baby rolling over during while he sleeps, there are several ways to help relief your worry. First, you can make sure your baby is strong enough to push his upper body off the ground with his hands and forearms. If he can do this, there is little chance to worry that he will suffocate during sleep, even if he is a belly sleeper by preference. Second, you can see about getting an inclined pillow to put under his mattress. It is harder for a baby to roll over when she is sleeping on an incline. A slight incline is all you need; there are several options out there for parents. Third, another idea for this is to allow your baby to sleep in a rocker or bouncy seat. I had a rocker for my son and daughter where it could recline and allow them to sleep. I have seen several of my friends with ones that have attachments for playtime and a vibrating massage option; the nice thing about this option is that there is usually more than one benefit in using it. I had a friend who had a baby boy with a very sensitive stomach; at night, he would often burp up because of the gas in his stomach. Because of that, using a car seat and then a rocker helped with his gas and allowed him to sleep much more peacefully.

Another concern some parents voice is about danger. Babies are unable to see all the way around themselves, so they can sometimes end up rolling over and hitting different objects. To prevent this, you can easily put the child on the floor or a level surface. You can even use a blanket or a clean rug. A rug will likely have a bit more traction, so it will not move around the floor. Using a blanket or a rug can also help you estimate how much space a baby will need. You can also easily keep toys or potentially painful objects off the designated space. This will ensure that as your baby rolls over, or practices tummy time, she is safe from anything that will cause her undue surprise or pain.

In the event that something does happen while your baby rolls over, this is the perfect time for you to snuggle with your baby. My kids would often practice rolling over in my lap. I was there to help them and comfort them at the same time. It is important to keep in mind that accidents do happen from time to time, but they are not reasons to stop.

When Do Babies Roll Over? The Complete Parents Guide.

Resources to Help

When it comes to rolling over, there are many things that a parent can do to help. In order to help roll over, there is a physical side of development, and there is a mental preparation side.

Tummy time is a great way to encourage the physical as well as the mental. When I was a new parent, I marveled at how well my husband would help our kids with tummy time. He would get down on a blanket with them and move their arms around to help them lift up their upper bodies, and then show them how, in slow motion, to do different movements. For rolling over, he always made sure to get them to laugh. This encouraged them to see it as a fun activity, something that they wanted to do, and it would also encourage them to try it on their own, just for fun. This kind of preparation worked well to help my children mentally prepare for the moments when they would roll over of their own volition.

In addition to tummy time, it can help to massage your children’s muscles. Giving them a back rub can help open up the blood vessels, and that in turn would encourage the body to relax and repair any growing muscles. Along with this is making sure that the babies receive a healthy amount of feeding time. Because rolling over deals with muscle development, getting enough sleep and nutrition plays a larger role than it may seem. With babies, these things are often complementary when it comes to meeting milestones, and that includes rolling over.

Baby rolled over at 3 weeks – WHAT NOT TO DO!!!

Please DO NOT do this at home. This is why YouTube is not a great resource for you.

Conclusion

Watching a baby roll over, especially for the first time, often inspires a smile. The baby is often surprised, and the parents are pleased and proud, as well as amused. By understanding that rolling over can only happen when your baby has had enough time and care to develop the muscles he or she needs, the incentives to practice and continually challenge him or herself, and the love and support of parental care, rolling over will be one milestone that is easy to overcome. There are several signs to watch for, concerns and cares to plan for, and methods to try during the process of learning. While it takes an average of four months to get ready, and an average of seven months to see your baby roll over both directions, your baby is unique and will grow in his or her own way. Rolling over, especially rolling over in both ways, from back to belly and belly to back, takes time, practice, and love.

When Did your baby started rolling over? Did he or she rolled soon or did they take their time? We will love to know! Share your thoughts with moms just like you in the comments below.

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When Do Babies Start Teething, and How Do You Know?

When Do Babies Start Teething

Babies will usually start teething around six months. Teething can occur early, starting around three months, and it can start as late as ten months. Around six months, parents will be able to see little bumps in the front of the gums; this is the most prominent sign of teething. Other signs of teething include runny noses, fussiness, and trouble sleeping. While parents often do see early signs of teething around this time, it might be many months before the teeth even push through the gums.

When Do Babies Start Teething, and How Do You Know?

Teething: An Introductory Overview

Parents love to watch for signs that their children is growing up. Starting from the beginning, they mark off baby milestones with pride, sweat, and tears. When it comes to teething, parents are especially observant for a number of reasons. Teething, even in its preliminary stages, can affect a child in terms of diet, temperament, attitude, and health.

With teeth, children are able to chew more foods, affecting a baby’s diet and feeding routines. A breast-feeding mother might face more challenges when it comes to feeding her baby due to the oncoming arrival of teeth. The pain of teething can also lead to a desire to gum and chew onto different objects in addition to new foods.

Teething pains will also affect the child’s temperament. The dulling ache of teething, constant during the day and possibly giving the baby trouble while he or she eats, can cause the child to avoid eating or sleeping. As any parent will be able to tell you, this can lead to other problems. More fussiness, discomfort, and crying can result from this pain. If a baby has siblings, it can also lead to tension between the parties.

Finally, teething can also have an impact on a baby’s health. While colds are standard in the growing up experience, teething can lead to more runny noses because of the movement of the teeth. It is important to make sure to practice good teeth hygiene while babies are teething; the good news with this is that practicing healthy teeth habits now will get the baby used to them. In the future, it will encourage the child to undertake his or her own teeth care.

baby teething

When Do Babies Start Teething, and How Do You Know?

Signs of Teething

When do baby get teeth? When do babies start teething, and how do you know? The results can vary according to the child, but it all starts with the signs.

Teething is a process, one that happens over the course of several months. The first signs of teething are the most prominent; there are hardened edges in the baby’s gums, right at the front, usually on the bottom gums, although the top front incisors can also be among the first to show. While teeth usually start to show around the six month mark, teeth can appear earlier—to the point where some babies are born with teeth—as well as later. Some children do not have teeth until closer to their first birthdays.

It is important to keep in mind that every child, even if this is your second or third or sixth, is different, and they will experience teething differently. But standards and milestones are still helpful, as is knowing your own family characteristics. In having my own kids, I have noticed that some of our families’ heritages seemed to have influenced this: I did not get teeth until closer to my first birthday, and my husband did not get his until around nine months. If you are concerned about your child’s teething progress, or lack thereof, check with your own family history. Knowing how your families have experienced progress with baby milestones can give you an idea of what to expect—as well as a standard for what is unexpected or troubling—for your baby.

While little bumps under the gums are among the first signs of teething, the teeth themselves will not come above the gums for some time. The gums can look swollen as the teeth come in. That’s why some of the other first signs of teething include drooling, irritability, runny noses, and sometimes light fevers and diarrhea. It can seem like the child gets sick more often, but this is largely due to the likeliness of getting more germs in the nasal cavity. In cases like this, it is best to wait for a day or two to see if the symptoms subside on their own.

Other signs include feeding disruptions. I know a lot of my mommy friends have had issues with breastfeeding while the child is teething. Some children will not experience any difference in their feeding habits one their teeth begin to come in, but others will. Moms who struggle with breastfeeding during this time might want to try a nipple shield and invest in some quality nipple cream. Having a child bite you while you are feeding can disrupt a mother’s concentration and make it hard for her to continue.

After my son was born, and I was a new mother, I struggled with breastfeeding. When his teeth started to come in, I began to switch to formula more because it was uncomfortable. I had better luck with my daughter, and I made the choice to use the nipple shield when she began to teeth. It made it much better and I was able to breastfeed longer.

It is possible that a baby will not want to feed as much because of the pain in her mouth. She might rub her face or her chin because of teething pain while she does eat, to help combat the pain. This is where it might be best to try a little medicine, about an hour before feedings. That way, the medicine will kick in before she eats, and the pain will lessen enough where she can get a good amount of milk.

When teeth do begin to pop up from below the surface of your baby’s gums, it is a good idea to start brushing teeth. For infants, babies under a year old, there are small, finger-sized toothbrushes a parent can wear over his or her finger. Massaging the gums back and forth, these finger brushes can help clean the gums while helping some of the pain of teething to go away. In addition to this, it helps you set a time where your child can get used to brushing his teeth. This is a habit that science has shown has many benefits, and it will affect the health of your child later on as he grows up, too. This prepares a good habit for him to grow into.

Resources to Help Teething Babies

When your baby exhibits the telltale signs of teething, there are several resources that can help you as a parent, both in understanding teething and handling with the results of teething. Many resources are available through a doctor or medical establishment, while others are available at the store or online.

Often, a pediatrician will be able to provide you with a teething chart, one that will give insight on the process of teething. A doctor can also make recommendations for medications or offer information on how to comfort your child. I had to use some medication when it was especially bad at night, in order to help my son get to sleep.

Other moms will swear by the homeopathic route. When my kids were teething, one of the best things I bought was at the store on my own—the homeopathic teething tablets. I have had friends suggest essential oils and others recommend different types of chewing sticks. One family member suggested that I buy amber necklaces for kids. The amber releases a radiation into the child’s skin and allows the teething pain to dull as a result.

Medicinal and homeopathic traditions do offer a wide range of options in caring for your child when he or she is teething. In addition to this, there are plenty of options when it comes to practical approaches. Several parents will get teething rings, both of a rubbery material and the kind that you can put in the freezer, so when it is cool enough you can give it to your baby to chew on. There are even mommy necklaces now that you can wear while holding or feeding your child that will give them something to chew and hold.

When it comes to cleaning the baby’s teeth, finger brushes are great. You might have an instance where the baby can bit your finger, but getting the safe baby toothpaste and the baby toothbrush will prepare your baby for taking care of himself or herself later on. I know as my son grew older, we were able to get kid toothbrushes. We are still using the training toothpaste, as my daughter is starting to brush her teeth regularly as well. For this one, I have often thought of the old adage: “Begin as you mean to go on.” It helps center me and direct my focus when I am training my kids on how to be responsible for themselves.

Ultimately, the best things you can do as a parent is to try to come at it with a positive attitude. Teething can be rough, but it will not last forever. Babies are very sensitive to their surroundings, and that includes when someone is feeling stressed. Mothers, especially those who struggle with post-partum or breastfeeding, can experience a lot of stress. The best thing to do is relax as much as you can, and acknowledge the loving sacrifices you have made as a parent so far. I know of several parents who have had major life adjustments when their babies came along. It is not as easy a change as it seems in books or films.

When Do Babies Start Teething, and How Do You Know?

Exceptions to Standard Teething Expectations

There are a couple of expectations which do occur with babies and teething from time to time. There is the occasion where babies are born with teeth, and there are some babies who do not teeth until they are over one year of age. In both these cases, asking your doctor or pediatrician will aid you in handling the situation when it does come.

When babies have teeth early, it will more likely upset the feeding process. Moms with tender nipples may experience more discomfort and struggle to be able to work with a child who is prone to biting. For this, it is often recommended that the mother use a pump in order to help build up her own milk reserves and have a supple on hand if she needs to use a bottle rather than breastfeed. In the event that the mother’s nipples become too sore or cracked, formula is also able to be implemented here.

Babies who teeth late, while it is not considered ideal, do have a distinct advantage over those who experience early teething. It has been seen that the longer it takes for the teeth to come in, the higher the chance that the child will have healthy teeth. In an age where sugar is often in a large variety of foods, even baby foods, babies with early teething need to make sure they are getting their teeth brushed and cleaned with safe toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Babies Start Teething

Conclusion

All babies will get their teeth to come in. It is coming, so the best parents know that being prepared and reacting appropriately is key. If your baby does not have all his teeth by the time he is six months old, it is okay to check in with your doctor. If your baby’s teeth come earlier, maybe around three months instead of six, be on the lookout for the signs and side effects that it can have, and adjust as needed. Being a parent means being prepared, so it is not just a matter of principle, it is a matter of love.

When Did your baby started teething? and how did you deal and helped your baby? We will love to know! Share your thoughts with moms just like you in the comments below.

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Why You Should Let Your Baby Get Messy While Eating

Why You Should Let Your Baby Get Messy While Eating v.1

Milestones are a great way to monitor your baby’s progression, incorporate ways to improve their age-appropriate skills into every day play, and feel prepared for each new stage as your baby reaches it. While it is easy to compare in a competitive manner with others about whose baby has reached a certain milestone earliest, it’s better to just enjoy each individual child’s pace, and not become anxious or possibly make others worried about how quickly each milestone is reached

Why You Should Let Your Baby Get Messy While Eating

Your baby has reached an important milestone and is ready to begin their first forays into the world of food and it’s going to get messy! While many parents wish that feeding their baby was not quite the messy ordeal, that mess also serves a purpose. While this may mean a little more cleanup is involved for parents, letting your baby make a mess is part of the learning experience and is a natural part of your baby development.

We see the funny videos all the time; an adorable baby sitting in its highchair plastered in strained carrots. Their hair is slick, there are carrots up their nostrils, and the only thing that managed to escape a smearing was their eyeballs…well, sometimes. The highchair is stained orange, the floor has chunks of peas on it, and even the family dog managed to get caught up in the mess. The battle with food has begun.

Let Your Baby Get Messy While Eating v.3

Chewing Skills

Babies are born with the natural reflex action which enables them to suck on breast or bottle. The same can’t be said for chewing. Babies have to learn how to chew and handle food in their mouths. Your baby is ready for solids when tongue thrusting has stopped. This action is part of the natural sucking reflex which helps babies to get their milk but it has the habit of pushing food back out of baby’s mouth. When this reflex has stopped, your baby is ready to try their first foods.

At first, manipulating food around baby’s mouth is pretty difficult for them as they are used to liquids only. You may put in a baby spoon’s worth of cereal in their mouth only to end up needing a shower and a housecleaning. This is perfectly normal and your baby will learn how to control their lips and tongue better as you go. You may not wish to laugh too visibly when your baby “eats” raspberries with their mouth as they can learn rather quickly that you think a rice cereal shower is a great time.

If your baby makes weird faces when you introduce a new food, this doesn’t mean they don’t like it. It’s simply a new taste that isn’t what they are used to. Until your baby learns to hold food in their mouth using their lips, you will often see your baby put their fists in their mouth as they try to eat. This allows them to hold the food in and you’re your baby can suck on their fingers and hands to help them to swallow their food. Once your baby has begun to get the hang of eating pureed foods and runny cereals, chunkier foods and finger foods are next to be introduced. Now the fun begins.

Why You Should Let Your Baby Get Messy While Eating

Gross Motor Skills

While your baby is learning to enjoy the taste of new things, they are also learning to use their gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are the larger body movements your baby makes, usually those involving movement of their head, arms, legs, and can include milestones like sitting, crawling, or walking. A few well-cooked peas on your baby’s highchair tray can also help them to work their gross motor skills.  In order to fine tune their fine motor skills later, your baby must first figure out how to get their arm and hand to where the food is. While this skill level is usually quite quickly learned, it is still quite the achievement and can be a little messy. Instead of peas in hand, your baby will often end up being the living and breathing equivalent of a jackhammer. Be prepared to watch the peas fly, get plastered all over the highchair tray, and watch how your baby chew on his hands in his efforts to get at those peas.

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are those thumb and finger movements you make in order to pick up a small object, among other things. Your baby will begin to work on these skills by trying to use their hands as a rake across their feeding surface. You may end up with more food on the floor or on their lap than in their little mouths, but learning is hard work. Continue reading Why You Should Let Your Baby Get Messy While Eating

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Premature Baby Care: How You Can Help with Premature Babies and their Development

Keep it simple, because stress and likely sleep deprivation will affect how you interact with your preemie. Remember to keep your emotions in check, keep as much of a level head as possible, and do the simple things first: check your premature baby for warmth, make sure they don’t eat before they are ready, and when they do, make sure they don’t overeat; keep up with your doctor’s visits, and always have a plan and a back-up plan ready if something concerns you.

Premature Baby Care: How You Can Help with Premature Babies and their Development

Having a baby can be an exciting and terrifying, but mostly terrifying, time. And that’s if they come on time! When babies are born prematurely, there is always an extra helping of worry for the parents to face.

The good news is much of that anxiety can be helped through learning. Most of the distress parents of premature babies face is because of a lack of ready knowledge. To help ebb the tidal wave of fear and uncertainty, here are some things to keep in mind with premature babies and their development.

Attitude is Most Important

Premature babies are born all the time. There is a wealth of information out there on how to help them make it through their birth and all the way through their premature baby milestones. It is not your fault the baby was born early. This is not a punishment. You might have been surprised by your baby’s early arrival, but you can still control how you react to it. You need to make sure you are relaxed (hard to do right after a birth, I know), and you are focused on the task ahead of you. You must be resolved as any parent is; with premature babies, this is not different, but I am bringing it up here because there is a learning curve with a premature baby you likely did not have when your baby was supposed to be an ‘on-time baby.’

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Premature Baby Facts

I had a friend who had a premature baby by seven weeks. It was a really scary and stressful time for her, and all the more so because she had her son, who was two years old, at the time. She told me later on, it was a relief to her that even though her daughter had been born premature, the nurses and doctors both assured her it was possible for her daughter to hit all her milestones and develop normally. Just because a baby is premature, there is no reason that this alone should cause delays. Still, there were some things her health care professionals recommended in order to help her ‘bridge the gap’ between the full term baby and the premature baby standards.

Feeding after Birth

One of the most surprising premature babies facts is in regards to breastfeeding, or feeding in general if you are not breastfeeding. When babies come on time, most of the new moms settle into breastfeeding soon after birth. With premature babies, it is better to wait longer to begin feeding them. When I first heard this, I was surprised and thought it was counter-intuitive. However, as I listened to the explanation for it, it became more logical. Premature babies have delicate gastrointestinal systems. They may not be completely ready to begin processing breastmilk or formula, and if they become distressed, their intestines can experience a wide range of difficulties. Often, nurses will keep the babies hydrated through IVs until the new mom can feed her child.

When my kids were born, even though they were both late, they didn’t need to eat so much, because their bodies were still full of the nutrients they had from the umbilical cord, too. So while it may seem odd to wait to feed the premature babies, it is in their best interest to make sure their bellies can handle digestion.

Keeping Baby Warm

Premature babies struggle to keep warm, even more than full term babies. Hats are especially helpful here, so the heat can stay inside the baby. If it is possible, it can be a really nice thing to hold your baby to your skin and gently massage his or her body. Massaging the body can stimuli the sensory nerves and develop muscles more quickly. This is something that is true with all babies, but premature babies especially, since they are so small.

In addition to keeping the babies close, there are several different ways to keep them warm and stimulated. Some people will gently pat out rhythms on their babies’ bodies, to keep them warm and to help encourage deeper sleep (like a pat-a-cake lullaby) and others will go the “baby torilla wrap” way, wrapping up the babies in a taco-like manner to keep the body heat inside.

The favorite way of new parents to keep their babies warm is to just cradle them. When my son was born, I don’t think I put him down until I had to. He spent the first twenty-four hours of his life next to me, and I eventually realized letting my husband take care of his diapers was an advantage, even if I had to let my son go. When my daughter was born, we were at a different hospital, but I still didn’t want her out of my arms for very long. Since my kids are close in age, I remember holding her and trying very hard not to fall asleep with her in my arms.

Premature Baby Care: How You Can Help with Premature Babies and their Development

Tracking Progress

One of the more critical learning curve points with a premature baby is the need to keep track of the baby’s progress. There are all sorts of milestones for babies, and premature babies development is to be closely monitored. Some of the things especially monitored are growth, weight, milestones, and habits. Seeing your premature baby’s doctor 24-48 hours after leaving the hospital can help familiarize yourself with the premature infant growth chart, the premature milestones, and the week by week development. The pediatrician is largely recognized as the main authority on how well your baby is developing.

I highly encourage you as a parent to find a pediatrician you like. These are the doctors that, ideally, will see your kids for years to come. My husband and I had a rocky relationship with my son’s pediatrician at first – between the long waits in the waiting room, the busybody administrative assistant, the long waits in the exam room, and the five-minute appointment with the actual doctor, we didn’t feel like my son’s pediatrician was paying quite the right amount of attention to him. When my daughter was born, we switched to a different doctor, and we have a much better time with appointments now. This is critical for premature babies, because doctors will want to monitor their progress even more than a baby who was born on time or even late, like mine. My friend who had a premature baby by six weeks told me once she had to take her daughter in every week and call the doctor if anything concerned her about diet, breathing, movement, or diapers. If you are going to be interacting frequently with someone over a very personal topic like children, if you and the pediatrician are going over premature babies and their development week by week, it is best you can agree on priorities and keep it as pleasant as possible.

Premature baby Milestones

Premature Infant Milestones

When babies are born, there are certain milestones to be expected of them around certain ages. Crawling, standing, walking, talking, and playing ball are some of the most well-known milestones, but there are several other activities as well. When a premature baby is born, typically the infant chart is adapted to account for their early weeks. A premature baby’s time is changed based on how early he or she came out of the womb, and can be further adapted based on any physical concerns. For example, a healthy premature baby born five weeks early might have a month or two delay when it comes to walking. So if walking for a normal baby occurs around 10 months, a premature baby might need until twelve months to begin walking. This is another topic where you will have to talk over the adjustments with your baby’s doctor, and you will revisit it frequently based on your child’s progress.

Premature Growth Charts

Keep it simple, because stress and likely sleep deprivation will affect how you interact with your preemie. Remember to keep your emotions in check, keep as much of a level head as possible, and do the simple things first: check your premature baby for warmth, make sure they don’t eat before they are ready, and when they do, make sure they don’t overeat; keep up with your doctor’s visits, and always have a plan and a back-up plan ready if something concerns you.

Premature Baby Care: How You Can Help with Premature Babies and their Development

Premature Baby Long-Term Effects

Once the baby has been out of the hospital, and you have been enjoying her at home for a while, you might start to forget that your baby was a premature arrival. This is usually how people feel after the short-term concerns of premature births become standard for their day-to-day life.  The fears for the long-term effects usually get triggered when the baby starts to hit her milestones, or is expected to start hitting her milestones and she doesn’t.

While many premature babies don’t suffer any long-term effects of being born early, there are some higher areas of concerns. The lungs, for example, are among the last organs to develop while they are in gestation, so when a premature baby arrives, one of the most closely monitored activities of a baby is how well his or her breathing is going. Asthma is linked to early birth, but it is not unheard of that a baby will grow out of it as his lungs develop and he is more active. Premature babies development later in life have been seen to life full and active lives no differently from their full-term baby counterparts.

There are occasions, however, where there are some longer-term issues with the child. If your child displays behavior that concerns you, there are plenty of things you can do to help with their progress. One of the best examples I have seen is getting a developmental therapist for your child. These are the people who can help your baby get ready to crawl, walk, and move around. While as a parent you often teach your babies how to do many things as they grow, such as holding a spoon, the therapist is trained specifically to key in on the baby’s needs efficiently, and work to correct it. For my friend, she says getting a physical therapist for her daughter really helped her baby progress; after a few months with the therapist, her daughter was on track with full-term babies.

In conjunction with the physical and occupational therapist options, there are also speech therapists who can help your baby. This can help when the child is as young as two, and if there has been slower speech development than normal, a speech therapist can come in and help work with the child to physically form the words with her mouth as well as speak them.

In the case of physical deformities, it is important to remember that examinations with the pediatrician and, if needed, specialists, are required. I knew a child who was born early, and her one earlobe did not develop fully. Even now, she has a much smaller ear on one side than the other. However, while her ear is small, it is still functional. Her mother takes her in to get it checked by a doctor and a specialist every year to make sure as she grows, she will not run into any issues with her hearing.

While outside physical deformities are a concern, perhaps more caution needs to be attended to physical deformities on the inside of a baby’s body. I had a friend with a son who had a small hole in his heart when he was born at thirty-three weeks. He had to go and see a cardiologist and get his heart examined with an ultrasound every couple of weeks to make sure the hole wasn’t getting any bigger or causing him issues.

Premature Babies and You

The truth of the matter is, no matter if you have a full-term baby or a preemie, as a parent you will always want to do what’s best for your child. You will make the sacrifices for them, because they are yours and you love them. Once you’ve committed yourself to them, learned all you need to, carefully monitor progress, and work towards a better tomorrow, you will find the real difference is in meeting the specialized needs of your baby.

Conclusion

Keep it simple, because stress and likely sleep deprivation will affect how you interact with your preemie. Remember to keep your emotions in check, keep as much of a level head as possible, and do the simple things first: check your babies for warmth, make sure they don’t eat before they are ready, and when they do, make sure they don’t overeat; keep up with your doctor’s visits, and always have a plan and a back-up plan ready if something concerns you. It is this loving proactive decision which will help you see it through.

We will be happy to hear from your experience with premature babies, how did you cope and how did it effect you?

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When do babies crawl? When does it start? the complete guide

Baby crawling is the first effective means of mobilization of your baby. To crawl your baby first learns to stand on all six (on his hands and knees) so he can move forward and backward by pushing with his feet. As your baby develops he continues to develop his muscles in preparation to sit up and walk.

When do babies crawl, When does it start?

Most babies learn to crawl between the ages of 6-10 months, although some find other creative solutions such as belly crawl, mobilization of the bottom and feet while sitting or rolling around the room from side to side. Other babies skip the crawling stage altogether and immediately stand up and start to walk on two feet. The way your baby starts mobilization is insignificant, the main thing is that he has the ability to move and he is mobile in space which enables independent exploration of his environment.

How does crawling starts?

Most babies will start to crawl on six after they learn to sit steadily, without support, usually around the age of 7 months. At this stage your baby’s back muscles are strong enough to bear his weight when he gets on his knees and hands.

In the coming months your baby will learn to safely move from sitting to crawling on all six. Initially your baby will remain in this position or sometimes swing back and forth before actually starting to crawl.

Around the age of 9-10 months, your baby will understand that if he pushes his body with his knees he could move while he is on the all six position, and in fact set off crawling. As your baby becomes more aware to his position he could then move between crawling to a sitting position easier. Towards the age of 12 months your baby will crawl more efficiently and quickly. Some babies are even able to climb stairs while crawling.

Baby Milestones, What’s next?

In the next stage you will start seeing your baby pulling himself up, as he leans over the side of his bed, a chair or a small table, towards standing. Once your baby will feel stable and secure to stand alone without any support your baby will start exploring walking.

When do babies crawl And in what age

The Parents’ Role

The best way you as a parent can encourage your baby to crawl is by stimulation. With a colorful toy or a colorful object stimulate your baby to crawl by placing the toy a bit further away from your baby’s hands. Your baby should have to move forward to reach it (like we did to encourage perception and grasp).

As your baby’s crawling skills gets better with time you can then set up a kind of obstacle course all over your house to develop his ability to move forward, navigate and reach farther than ever. You can build obstacle courses from pillows, soft toys and blankets; just pay attention that the areas you make are safe and steady for your baby. It is necessary to block stairs and open surfaces inside your home in order to avoid any dangerous fall, remember when your baby crawls he can get all over the house.

More baby crawling tips and videos…

Each baby is unique and has his or hers own growth rate of its own unique development. It is important to understand what your baby can do at any age, but always remember that if they do not do so yet he will do so soon when the time is right for him. Remember, babies that were born premature (preterm) tend to develop later than babies born at term.

If your baby shows no interest or desire to move forward, roll or crawl, or if at the 12 months stage has not yet learned to move his hands and feet mimicking crawling movements consult your pediatrician.

How did your baby started to crawl? Did he or she pass this milestone quickly? Did they have any difficulties? We will be happy to hear from you… Comment below.