The First Year of Life 6 to 9 Months

There is a lot of learning going on. Baby continues to grow and gain weight. His feeding/wake schedule may change because he has hit a growth spurt and he is hungry. Ask your medical provider when to begin to introduce solid foods. It is also during this time baby begins to teethe. This could affect his appetite and his sleep routine. Most babies this age are starting to crawl, You might be surprised at how be maneuvers himself about.

Safety – If you have not yet taken a floor level search of your home – now is the time! Do you have safety plugs in unused outlets? Tie up blind cords.
Where do you keep cleaning supplies? Can they be moved to an upper cabinet? Cabinet locks and “bumper pads” for sharp corners on your list? What about stairs? Need a safety gate? Emergency information on your
phone is great, but what if something happens and you do not have the
phone or are unable to use it? Please create an emergency information sheet. List on this sheet emergency contact numbers, medical provider contact, any medications baby is taking, Dad’s work number and maybe even the number of a neighbor who would help in an emergency. Keep this in a protective plastic sheet on the fridge.

Teething – Babies may begin to teethe between 4 to 7 months, some later.
Teething may be painful, but it doesn’t usually make baby sick. Contact
your healthcare provider if baby has diarrhea, vomiting, rashes on the body, a high fever, or cough and congestion. These are not normal signs of teething. www.webmd.com
* Researching on teething information I learned that the liquid filled teethers, and teething necklaces should not be used. Numbing gel products,
containing benzocaine like “orajel” should not be used on children under two years of age. Learn more at www.mouthhealth.org a web sight of the American Dental Association.

Baby is learning ways to get from one place to another. He is curious and eager to explore. He may crawl, scoot and pull to a stand. He will look for a toy that is hidden. He can drop things intentionally to see what happens. He is also watching your response to this activity. *Remember this activity is developmentally appropriate for this time period.

Stranger Anxiety – Your baby now understands the difference between you and a stranger. You can help baby get comfortable. Baby will watch you for cues, show how him that you like and trust the new person.

Separation Anxiety – Your baby will likely cry when you leave to persuade you to stay. I encourage you not to sneek away. Tell baby good=bye and that you will be back to get him, then leave. If you are concerned you can always call the caregiver to check on baby. I encouraged parents to have a picture of themselves and tape it to a spot baby can see.

Stress – It is important to understand that babies are tuned in to our feelings. They know when we are happy or upset. Even if baby is asleep
angry voices and conflict can raise stress levels of babies as young as 6 months.

God Bless you and this young life you are caring for.

Trudy

The First Year of Life – 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 Months

From helpless newborn to active toddler takes only twelve short months.
It is important to remember that each baby in an individual and their progress in reaching milestones of development is unique to the individual child.

Tummy Time – When baby is alert and ready for play introduce this activity. It can be done on the floor with baby on his tummy. If baby does not enjoy this activity you can try placing him on your chest. A few minutes at a time doing this activity with you will help build baby’s neck muscles.

By 3 ½ months: Baby will turn his head to locate a sound. He will respond when he hears his name. You’re getting a little closer to a solid sleep routine. Rest when baby does and know that waking several times at night to feed is completely normal. After four months of age babies will likely sleep 12 to 15 hours a day including naps.

Baby development four to 51/2 months:
Baby is learning to reach out and manipulate. They are discovering their hands and their voice. Baby will reach out to grasp, swat and manipulate
objects. They will babble and laugh. The game of “Peek-A-Boo” is a great way to help baby learn that things exist even when we don’t see them. Baby is also learning to sit up.

Safety:
Baby is learning to roll over. Have a play mat on the floor or place baby where he will be safe if he rolls over. Baby is using his hands and mouth to explore things. It is vitally important to keep small items that might be a choking hazard away from baby. If an item fits through the cardboard toilet paper tube it is too small for baby to play with.

Ear infections:
www.nidcd.nihgiv/health/ear-infections-children
National Institute on Deafness and Communicative Disorders
If you suspect your child may have an ear infection, please contact
your medical provider immediately. The peak time for ear infections is 6 to 18 months. An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections. The eustachian tubes are smaller and more level in children than adults. This makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear, even under normal conditions. Also, a child’s immune system isn’t as effective as an adult’s because it is still developing.
Currently the best way to prevent ear infections is to reduce the risk factors associated with them. Follow your medical provider schedule for immunizations. Studies have shown that vaccinated children get far fewer ear infections. Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke. Babies who are around smokers have more ear infections. Do not let your baby drink from a bottle while lying down as this may allow small amounts of formula to enter the eustachian tube and cause blockage.
www.webmd.com

God bless,
Trudy

The First Year of Life – Newborn to three months

Mom – Yes that is you. Please remember that you are experiencing physical and emotional changes. You are now a 24/7 caregiver. It will take time for your hormone levels to return to normal. You might feel blue. It is vitally important to you and your baby’s wellbeing to be aware of how you are
feeling and talk to your medical provider about postpardum depresson.

You and your newborn will be on a six week learning curve. A newborn’s
tummy is really small so baby will need feeding frequently and you will be exhausted from lack of sleep.


Crying – Birth to 3 months
Crying is baby’s way to communicate hunger, discomfort, distress or a need for your attention. Babies under 6 months cannot be spoiled. They do not understand that you are another person. Responding to baby’s cries reasurres baby his needs will be met. Soon you will be able to read your baby’s cries and cues. Newborn’s reach a crying peak at about 6 weeks and then their crying starts to decrease. By 3 months babies typically cry for about 1 hour a day.
Colic – Colic is defined as crying that begins and ends for no reason lasting at least 3 hours a day, happens at least 3 days a week and continues for 3 weeks to 3 months. Please discuss crying with your medical provider if you suppect colic.

Relationships – So much is changing and it is important to find time for being with your hubby. This is a big change for him too. Encourage him
to get to know baby. Baby knows the sound of his voice and he will soon
recognize his scent too. Try to carve out time to be together.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMTION: Baby’s need you to support their neck.
It is also important to place the baby on his back to sleep. Never shake baby.

Breastfeeding – This is your decision. Please talk to a lactation specialist and
your medical provider. If you can give your baby the colostrum that comes
before the milk that would be a special gift for the both of you.

2 months – Read baby’s cues. Moving head toward breast or bottle – I’m
hungry. Eyes bright, awake and alert – Time for play. If baby turns his head away, cries, or arches his back – I’ve had enough. Baby recognizes faces, voices and smells.

3 months – Baby is learning to trust. He relies on you for comfort. This helps baby learn to comfort himself. Baby babbles and opens his hands.

God Bless, Trudy

Resources:
www.zerotothree.org
www.parents.com
www.webmd.com

The First Year of Life

I was blessed to carry and give birth to a son. That is the wonderful
news. When placed in my arms I kissed Patrick hello and I kissed him
again to say goodbye. No there was nothing wrong, truly! The second
kiss was to remind myself that he was only on loan to me. It was so
important to me to give our son “roots” and ” wings”. Mr. Pat and I would
both give our son the roots of love, values, and a nurturing foundation.
We also wanted to give him the freedom and opportunity to discover, to
learn and to grow reaching for his own dreams.

Well we had our plan but I knew nothing about infant care. Well, I did know what end needed diapering and Patrick and I had a great time
figuring out how he would be fed. I will never forget the beauty, joy and delight when I pressed and milk streamed into his mouth. The doctor came in as we were figuring this out and smiled at us.

Mr. Pat worked two jobs the first fifteen years of our marriage. My college
years were 15 years in future. There was no internet to ask questions. There were many things I did not know. I did know I was a “MOM” and babies don’t come with instructions so I better get busy.

During the coming week I will share with you some of the knowledge I acquired as a mom, a student of early childhood education and my employment working with parents and babies, prenatal to five years of age. Joy!

Christmas Crafts for Kids

Yarn Pom-Pom Snowman
Materials:
1 large and 1 small yarn pom-pom
Black felt for hat
Scrap of felt for scarf and face
Cotton balls for arms and legs
Directions. Make pom-poms and glue together. Glue on features and scarf. Make a hat and glue onto snowman’s head. Glue on cotton balls.

Folded Butterfly
Materials:
1 piece of white construction paper for butterfly wings
1 small piece of black construction for butterfly body
Poster Paints
Eye dropper (These are available at a pharmacy)
Directions: Fold the piece of white paper in half. Draw the butterfly wings with a pencil. Cut the paper into a rectangle leaving the wings to cut-out later Open the paper and let the children use the dropper to drip droplets of the paint on one side of the paper only. Now fold the paper and press with the flat of their hand from the center out to each end. Slowly open the paper and set aside to dry. When dry, refold and cut out the sketched butterfly. Cut out a body from black paper and glue to center of the insect.

Pressed Flowers
During the spring and summer pick the flowers buttercups, queen Anne’s Lace and little Johnny-Jump-ups. The leaves of the queen’s lace are feathery and press well. Add some to the flowers. These are not endangered, but never pick all the flowers from one spot. Leave some to reseed. Place the flowers and leaves face down between the pages of a book. Place a heavy book on top. 

These can be used to make beautiful cards, small pictures or to decorate a special Invitation like wedding or anniversary. Frame in a 5” by 7” frame. I drew the outline of a heart of on a folded piece of card stock then filled the center of the heart with the heads of pressed buttercups. It made a beautiful wedding card. For Christmas these could be glued to clear plastic ornaments then finish by painting the ornament with a white glue and water solution. Using card stock draw the shape of ornament then paint or color the ornament. When the ornament is dry, cut it out and glue some pressed flowers onto it. This will make pretty Christmas tree ornaments. I would protect the flowers by covering the flat ornament with clear contact paper.

Hand Prints
Materials:
A scrap of material cut out to 12 ½” by 14 ½ “. Hem three sides and then
Make a casing for hanging at the top. This can be sewn or use the product stitch witchery.
A sponge paint brush and poster paint.
A luncheon plate and a pencil to draw a circle.
Paint the children’s hands and let them press their hand onto the fabric circle. Vary the direction of each hand print around the circle and make a wreath. Their thumbs can be painted to make berries on the hanging. Even a single hand print, framed with name and date can make a special gift.

A Snow Scene
Materials:
White card stock.
Poster or water color paint and brushes
flowerets from Queen Anne’s Lace
glitter and scraps of colored and white paper to make a snow man.

Directions: Using an almost dry brush have the children paint the top half of the paper for sky. Use colored paper scraps or cut outs from old greeting cards and create the scene. Place droplets of white glue in the sky and put a floweret into the glue. If you don’t have flowers, use white glitter. Use white glue and the stiff brush to make the snow on the ground and sprinkle with glitter. Sign and date the art piece.

*With appreciation to all the teachers that have shared ideas with me over the last 30 years!
JOY!

The gift of reading

Tuesday, December 11th

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Today I share with you my love of reading.  In elementary school we were loaned slim poetry books and inside I found that ordinary every day words could be manipulated in the most delightful ways.  Mud-luscious and puddle wonderful became part of a springrain.  I could see the young colt running his little hooves miniature thunder when the first snow fell. It was truly wonderful.

As a young mom we moved many times, I always took Patrick to the library to help us settle into a new spot.  The important thought here is that we both borrowed books.  My love of the written word was nurtured at the library.  I could not wait to share Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, e.e. cummings and Robert Louis Stevenson with Patrick.  I did not learn of the value of sharing this passion until after he was grown, and I went to college at 40 years of age.  As I studied early childhood development, I learned about a child’s brain development and how the brain focuses on specific areas of development at specific times.  As a child grows so does his brain and brain connections are made.  Repetition is how a connection is soldered.

Know a child who wants the same story read to him over and over?  That is a good example. The more connections that can be made the more a child learns.  Those connections that are not made are lost.  A good example is language ability.  Patrick had hearing problems so he was substituting word sounds.  A speech therapist was able to help him.  The window for language development was still open. If more time had passed and he had not received the needed help this would have been more difficult and possibly affected his speech.

Lynda was my best friend for 40 years.  We were new brides and new moms at the same time.  Lynda bought beautiful books for her son and took him to the library.  Lynda an her hubby both read to their son each night.  This did not have the results they had hoped for. Their son did not enjoy reading.

Patrick was taken to the library and he too was read to. Reading became a lifetime passion.  What was different?  We now know that reading to a child is important, but a child seeing the important adults in his life reading makes a tremendous difference!  My dear friend and her hubby never read.  At home Patrick saw Grand Pop reading the National Geographic and the newspaper, and both his parents read.

This is a gift only you can give.  It will last a lifetime and provide adventure, learning and the gift of understanding and beauty. Read with, read to, and grow in wisdom together.
Joy!  Trudy

Resources:

Tickles, Lovies, Bounces, Fingerplays, Movement Games and World Rhymes www.piercecountylibrary.org

“We Are in A Book” by Mo Will (Hyperion Books for Children)

“Hand Shadows to Be Thrown Upon the Wall” by Henry Bursill (Dover Publication)

“Rhymes About Us” by Marchette Chute (E.P. Dutton & Company, Inc.

“Mousekin Books” by Edna Miller (Prentice-Hall Inc)

“The Golden Treasury of Poetry” (Golden Press) (Western Publishing Company, Inc.)

“How to Find Flower Fairies” (Warner Publishing)

Books by Jan Brett  (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
www.janbrett.com

 

 

Children’s Art

 

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What happens when we create?   Using our imagination and manipulating materials gives us sensory input. We make decisions about color, placement and scale.  There is a lot of  learning going on!  If we allow ourselves freedom of expression we will have fun.  This will reinforce our enjoyment of the experience. This is true for children and adults.  Coloring within the the lines is learning self-control.  It is not self-expression.  As a preschool teacher I wanted to provide the children with materials and time to experience with their senses.  Some of their work was simply discovery.  In the class room, I would take the children’s completed easel art to make butterflies by cutting out the butterfly shape from the art then gluing a black paper insect body to the center. These flights of fancy hanging from the ceiling delighted the children.

The encouragement to create and the space to make mistakes is learning.  What ever the medium: paint, fabric, fibers or threads, art is expressed through the burning light of our self expression, what ever our age.