Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Three Rules About How Babies Grow

#1.Change occurs in an orderly way. For example, babies first learn to hold their heads up, then roll over, and then to sit. Once they are able to sit up alone, they do not forget how to do that. They naturally move on to creeping, crawling, and standing.

#2.Development happens at different rates for each child. There is a wide age range in which normally developing children gain new skills. A child may be further along in one area than another. For example, an 18-month-old may be putting lots of energy into walking and running but may not yet be talking much.

#3.There are windows of opportunity during the first three years for a child to learn many basic abilities. A window of opportunity is a limited period of time—a few weeks or months—when it is especially easy for a baby to develop a certain ability. At these times, connections between brain cells get stronger and multiply.

You can tell when your baby has entered one of these periods because he begins to do new things. You can help him open his windows of opportunity during these special, important times. As you play and care for him, notice what he especially likes so you can help supply certain kinds of learning experiences.

Watch your baby with fascination to see changes happening. Enjoy and celebrate each day with your child. Respond to your child with smiles and words. Get other family members involved in caring and playing with your child. Be patient! Sometimes babies and toddlers seem to backtrack, but not for long. Your baby will continue to develop.

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