The Magic of Everyday Moment – From 6 to 12 months
01:53 | 23/03/2014
 
The Magic of Everyday Moment
Loving and Learning Through Daily Activities
 
If you are like most parents today, your greatest challenge is probably caring for your baby while also taking care of yourself and your responsibilities. The competing demands on your time and energy make finding the time to connect with your baby no small challenge. But daily activities, such as feeding, bathing and grocery shopping, don’t need to take time away from bonding with and enjoying your baby. In fact, these everyday moments are rich opportunities to encourage your child’s development by building her self-confidence, curiousity, social skills, self-control, communication skills and social skills.
 
Most of all you build her desire to learn about her world. The booklets in this series are not intended to be general guides to everything that is happening at each specific age. Instead, they focus on how, through interactions with your baby during everyday moments, you can support your baby’s social, emotional and intellectual development. It’s the special interplay between parent and child that makes everyday moments so meaningful.
 
The potential is limitless. The starting point is you.
 
 
Remember, everyday moments are rich bonding and learning opportunities. Enjoy the magic of these moments with your child.
 
Reading Your Babys Cues
 
What follows is a chart that describes what children are learning at this stage and what you can do to support the development of these new skills. As you go through the chart, it’s important to remember that every baby is an individual person, and grows and develops in her own way, at her own pace. Building a strong and close relationship with you is the foundation of her learning and her healthy growth and development.
 
Any concern about your baby’s behavior or development deserves attention. Always discuss your concerns with your child’s pediatrician or other trusted professional.
 
From 6 to 9 months
 

 
 
 
What to expect
What you can do
I’ve Got Brain Power
Your baby’s brain power grows as he experiments with toys in more complex ways.
  • Provide a variety of safe toys for the bath—containers, rubbertoys, plastic bath books, plastic ladles. Join his exploration and show him different ways to use the objects.
  • Show him how to take a cup of water and pour it over the ducky to let him watch what happens. Help him fill up the whale and squirt the water out.
I Can Move and Shake
Your baby is increasingly mobile creeping, crawling and even pulling herself up to stand.
  • Create an environment that is safe for exploration. Make sure only safe objects are within her grasp and that anything she might use to pull herself to standing is sturdy and fastened down to support her weight.
  • Remind yourself that babies develop their motor skills at very different rates. Sometimes early crawlers are late walkers (why bother walking when she can get to where she needs to go so easily on all fours?). Development is an unfolding process... not a race.
I’m Good With My Hands
Your baby’s ability to use his hands and fingers is increasing every day.
  • During the next few months he will begin to hold things between his thumb and forefinger. This makes it much easier for him to do things with his hands, like feeding himself.
  • Play back-and-forth games. He’ll love to hand you things that you hand back to him. This can go on for hours, and it’s a great way to learn give-and-take!
  • Now that your baby can pick up lots of things, make sure he doesn’t get his hands on objects he can choke on – anything that he can fit entirely into his mouth.
I See You!
Your baby begins to understand that people and things exist even when she can’t see them.
  • Play peek-a-boo. Even though you’re hiding your head for just amoment (and in a very obvious way), this kind of game is practice for saying good-bye in other settings.
  • Play disappearing and reappearing games, such as find the missing toy (hidden under cloth, table, etc.) or drop an object andwatch her try to locate it.
Who, May I ask, Are You?
Your baby begins to beuncertain or fearful around strangers or even family members he doesn’t see very often. Becoming quiet or even distressed when meeting someone new is quite typicalof 6- to 9-month-olds.
  • Introduce your baby to new people from the safety of your arms. Ask the new person to approach him slowly. Give the new person one of your baby’s favorite toys or books to help engage him.
  • Prepare your extended family and friends for your baby’s new wariness and make sure they understand that it isn’t anythingpersonal.
Now Hear This!
Your baby begins using sounds and gestures to communicate her wants and needs.
Become your baby’s interpreter. If she points to her bottle, ask, “Do you want some juice?” Encourage communication and motor skills by describing what she is doing. When she throws a toy down, you can say, “Okay, you don’t want the car. But you’re looking at the bear. Do you want to hold him?” Then put the bear within her range and encourage her to get it.
I’m a Copycat
Your baby becomes a great imitator. Imitating is not only a great learning tool... it’s lots of fun.
Play copycat games. Make a sound and give him time to copy you. Push a button on the jack-in-the-box to make the clown appear, then wait for him to do it. This teaches him cause-and-effect and that he can make things happen.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Your baby is intensely curious and wants to spend almost every waking hour exploring.
Follow her lead on what interests her and encourage exploration.Think about the way your baby explores things. Does she explore a book, for example, from beginning to end, page by page? Does she turn it upside down, flip the pages quickly or look at one page again and again. There are no “rights” or “wrongs.” Some babies may find books so delicious that they’ll want to chew on them for a while. That’s okay, too, as long as they’re safe.
 
 
From 9 to 12 months
 
 
 
 
 
What to expect
What you can do
Look I Found It!
At around 9 months, babies begin to develop an awareness that things continue to exist, even when they don’t see them. This is called “object permanence.”
  • Play hide and seek games that will help him master object permanence. After you show him the ball, hide it behind the couch and encourage him to hunt for it.
  • Talk to him when you move out of his sight so he knows you are near. This will reduce his anxiety and may help him play alone for a few minutes.
  • Be patient! Babies often become very persistent as they develop “object permanence.” They remember the toy they had yesterday and they want exactly the same thing now!
Good-Byes Are Hard
Separations may become more difficult. As your baby’s new physical independence increases, so does her emotional dependence on you.
When saying good-bye, use positive language—with your words and body. Children take their cues from you. So, with a smile, tell her that you will really miss each other, but that she is going to have so much fun with Miss Marie. And when you come back, like you always do, you’ll read your favorite book together! Give her a picture of you. Make an audiotape of yourself singing songs or reading a cherished book.
Watch Me Move
Your child becomes more independent as he uses his body to move away from you creeping, crawling, or even taking baby steps.
  • Offer him a “safe base.” He needs to know you’ll still be there when he decides he’s gone far enough. This sense of security helps him feel safe to venture out again.
  • Avoid walkers. They can be dangerous and can interfere with muscle and joint development. Recognize his need to practice new skills. If he refuses to lie down for diaper changes, you can say “You don’t want to lie down now that you can stand all by yourself! Okay, we’ll do this together. You hold the diaper while I fasten it.”
I Get It!
Your child understands more than she can say and can even follow simple commands such as “Go get your ball.”
Put her actions into words and build on them. “You’re holding bear. Does he want a drink?” and hold out a cup. Use visual cues to help build comprehension. Ask, “Where are your shoes?” as you point to them.
I’ve Got Something to Say
Your child uses his gestures and vocalizations to communicate. He may point to the juice and say “juju” to show you what he wants. He may push the cracker off the highchair and say “nuhnuh.”
Help him show you what he wants. Present two toys and ask, “Which do you want?” Encourage him to respond by pointing or reaching. If he looks at or talks to one toy more than the other, say, “You want this one!” Play back and forth games. Roll a ball to your baby and encourage him to roll it back. These games promote his social development and lead to the back and forth of conversations.
I Want What I Want!
Your child may become more selective about foods (and everything else!) and want to eat on her own.
Offer her choices because yesterday’s favorite food may be rejected tomorrow. Be patient and experiment with foods to help her find what she likes. Allow and encourage her to feed herself. She can practice using a spoon and drinking from a sipper cup. She will be proud to be in charge of her feeding when you give her the chance. Of course, she’ll need some help.
Just Say No!
Your child discovers “No!” and uses it with great abandon.
Learn to distinguish what your baby means by “No!” It can be his way of declaring his independence. When he kicks and shouts and shakes his head, “No,” as you lift him into the car, he may be saying, “I’m the boss of me!” He may be sharing his likes and dislikes—”No peas . . . more carrots.” Or, he may be telling you, “I’m too tired to cope,” as he protests, “No” when you carry him to his crib.
Keep Me Safe
Your baby loves to explore, but she still needs grown-ups to keep her safe.
  • Create a safe home. It helps to get down on all fours to see your home from your baby’s viewpoint to make sure no dangers are within reach. Install baby gates, outlet covers and other safety items where necessary.
  • Create a stimulating home without having to spend a lot of money on expensive toys. Make sure each room contains things that interest her, like big, colorful books in the family room or a drawer full of plastic containers in the kitchen.
 
Source: Zero to Three (www.zerotothree.com)
 
 
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