Everything Parents Need to Know Development from 6 Weeks to 6 Months

Everything Parents Need to Know- Development from 6 Weeks to 6 Months Old

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Keep an eye out for upcoming Development Posts covering all developmental stages from 0-18!

Welcome to When Fit Hits the Shan’s Development Series!!

We’ll cover each major developmental phase of life from age 0-18, diving deep into what affects children during that particular phase, what you as a parent need to be aware of, and how you can help your child develop properly.

Each post (including this one!) covers helpful topics for each developmental stage of life- including:

  • Milestones, New Skills, and Developmental Goals
  • Activities to Boost Development
  • Warning Signs or Potential Dangers
  • Typical Struggles for Mom and What to Do
  • GREAT Things About This Developmental Phase
  • What’s Coming Up Next for Your Child??

Let’s dive into what it takes to care for a baby from 6 weeks to 6 months old!! 

baby eating pacifier

Milestones, New Skills, and Developmental Goals

As always, don’t worry if your kid and the neighbor’s kid are slightly different in their milestones.

All kids reach various developmental goals in their own time and in their own way. No need to compare, because your sweet little one is his own perfect person!

Here’s a few milestones to watch out for between 6 weeks and 6 months of age:

  • Rolling Over. This is a super exciting moment because it’s baby’s first gross motor (whole body) movement! Soon, your cutie pie will be crawling, then walking, then running… but for now he’s mastering the art of rolling!
  • Sitting (with Help). Your little one is learning how to control his body more and more- although it’s still a work in progress. He can sit up but is still prone to fall over. Give your little one extra help as needed- such as when mom holds his arms to help him balance or when he has pillows propping him up.
  • Lift Head and Chest. Yes, this is the first sign that crawling is on its way! You’ve been practicing tummy time since your baby was born and now it’s paying off! She’s getting stronger and can lift her head and chest up off the ground for a few seconds! Some babies might even master crawling by 6 months old, but it’s normal for babies to crawl anytime between 6-10 months.
  • Beginning Solid Foods. It is recommended to begin solid foods at 6 months of age. However, some babies might show signs of being ready to eat solids sooner. Here are signs to watch out for:
    • Baby can sit up all on his own- without support.
    • The tongue-thrust reflex should be gone! When babies are born, their tongue automatically pushes solids out of his mouth. This reflex disappears around 6 months of age. If the reflex is gone, your baby might be ready to begin solids.
    • Baby shows interest in food by watching and reaching for food.
    • Baby is developing a “pincer grasp” which means he can pick up small objects using his thumb and pointer finger. This skill is important to learning to self-feed.
  • Teething. Teething is tough for moms and babies, but an essential part of development. Most babies get their first teeth around 6 months old, but some babies get their teeth much earlier or much later. My first baby didn’t get her first tooth until 11 months!!
  • Eye Contact and Smiles. This age is awesome because your baby shows genuine interest by laughing at, interacting with, and smiling for you and others. These interactions are a big deal because they form the beginning of relationships, social skills, and self-esteem. You’ll get to enjoy your baby laughing, smiling, jabbering, and showing excitement to see you by kicking his feet and flapping his arms when he sees you!
  • Conversations. Ok, so you don’t really have conversations with a baby. But, the interactions you do have with your baby are forming his earliest understanding of conversations. For example, he’s learning that people take turns talking, that people fluctuate their voices as they speak, that there are lots of different tones to use, lots of different sounds incorporated in our language, that common phrases or words are repeated, and, best of all, that making noise gets people’s attention! He’s learning that “speaking” (or his best attempts at speaking) is a useful tool and that will be motivating to keep learning all about language!
  • Attempt to Grab Objects. Yay, fine motor skills are developing! That means your baby is learning how to use his hands and fingers! She’s very rusty at it at first. She might try to swipe at an object and miss completely, but she’ll get better and better until she can reach for, pick up, and play with the object that she wanted!

Activities to Boost Development

Alrightie moms, you know what to expect from “nature”- that’s those developmental milestones that you’re watching for.

Let’s chat about “nurture”- the part where you get to actively participate in shaping your child!

Here are some things you can do now to help your baby reach his developmental goals:

  • Tummy Time. Tummy time is vital until a baby is strong enough to crawl. Indeed, tummy time directly correlates with a baby’s development of the muscles and coordination needed to crawl. This important skill can be delayed if a baby doesn’t get the chance to practice via tummy time.
  • Attention. Have you heard that old saying, “You can’t spoil a baby?” Well it’s true! Don’t worry about teaching your baby to delay gratification. Right now, your baby cries for legitimate reasons (hungry, thirsty, tired, over stimulated, uncomfortable, hot, cold, etc.) so don’t hesitate to meet their needs quickly! This teaches the baby that you are a reliable caregiver, which fosters trust.
  • Holding, Snuggling, Touching, Blow Raspberries. The biggest success a parent can have during the baby phase is to show your baby with absolute confidence that you will always be there for them. This bond will last a lifetime and it begins here. Making time to play and interact with your baby strengthens  the attachment they have with you. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!
  • Change Positions Often. Switching things up keeps babies interested and engaged with their environment, encourages them to turn their head in all directions, and helps them develop different muscles than if they were always in one position.  You can switch which side of crib baby’s head is on and lay/hold your baby in different positions (right side, left side, tummy, back… now let’s try propping you up to practice sitting, and then I’ll stand you up on my lap, and then you’ll lay back down… etc).
    • Make sure you include sitting and standing in the rotation of positions (although your child will need you to support them in these positions) as this will teach the skills needed to eventually master sitting and standing!
  • Talk, Read, Sing, and Label Familiar Objects. Babies love to hear language. They might not understand quite yet, but soon they will recognize familiar words and begin to respond to what you say- and it’s all because you talk to your baby now!
  • Repeat After Your Baby. I know, this might look a little weird if someone walked in the room at the wrong time. But it really is good for your baby! Your baby is more likely to imitate YOUR language if you imitate HIS language. You’re teaching him what he needs to do to learn how to speak. Plus, babies LOVE it! They notice that you are showing interest in them, at their level. They love having some control in the interaction. You can give your child the feeling of being special and valued, even as a baby.
  • Toys. Not all toys are good for babies. It’s important to know what to look for. Try toys that stimulate one or more of the senses. For example, bright colors and pictures stimulate the eyes. Textures and toys that move stimulate the sense of touch. Toys that make noise stimulate hearing. It’s also a great idea to choose toys that are easy to pick up. This will help the baby develop those fine motor (hand and finger movement) skills.

Fisher-Price Rattle ‘n Rock Maracas, Blue/Orange

iPlay, iLearn 10pcs Baby Rattles Teether, Shaker, Grab and Spin Rattle, Musical Toy, Unique Gift Set, Early Educational Toys for 3, 6, 9, 12 Month Baby Infant, Newborn

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball | High Contrast Colors and Patterns | Easy to Grasp Bumps Help Develop Motor Skills | For Ages 6 Months and Up

Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym

Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys

teytoy My First Soft Book, Nontoxic Fabric Baby Cloth Books Early Education Toys Activity Crinkle Cloth Book for Toddler, Infants and Kids Perfect for Baby Shower -Pack of 6

VTech Lil’ Critters Moosical Beads (Frustration Free Packaging)

Warning Signs or Potential Dangers

Just a few things to be aware of, but remember that most babies are healthy and strong! This is all informational and just in case!

Don’t stress too much about the possible things that might go wrong in parenthood or you’ll miss the great things that are happening now!

If you have any questions, just give your doctor a call. It’s always better to be safe and double check! 

Here are some common problems between age 6 weeks to 6 months:

  • SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a scary but PREVENTABLE risk during the baby stage. Follow the guidelines of the Safe Sleep Academy to decrease the risk of SIDS.
    • Some parents prefer to use monitors that track the baby’s movement to decrease the risk of SIDS. Check out some products like these by following the links below.

NANNY Baby Movement European Monitor – EU Medical ‎device SIDS Certified – NOW ON US ‎MARKET + ‎Breastfeeding Apron.

New Model: Babysense Video + Baby Movement Monitor – Bundle Pack: Babysense Video Baby Monitor with Babysense 7 Under-The-Mattress Baby Movement Monitor – 2 in 1

Snuza Hero (SE) Premium Baby Movement Monitor – Wearable Infant Abdominal Movement Monitor Alarm – Cordless, Long Battery Life – Updated Model and Color for 2019 – (Grey)

New Babysense Petite Clip Baby Movement Monitor – with Vibration Stimulation & Audible Alarm – for Baby’s Safety and Parents’ Peace of Mind

  • Over Stimulation. Many parents are unaware that their attempts to entertain and engage with their babies can be too much. If a baby has too much going on, he feels overstimulated. He may cry, turn away, refuse to make eye contact. The solution is simple- he just needs a little quiet time and then he will be ready to interact again.
  • Choking. Babies explore the world around themselves by putting objects into their mouth. Keep small toys or objects away from the baby. As the baby gets more mobile (rolling, crawling, walking) the parent should be more aware of choke-able objects. Not sure what toys are too small?? Use a choke tester!

Safety 1st Small Object Choking Tester

  • Falling. The ability to get around via rolling or crawling adds the potential to fall. I remember setting my 4 month old daughter on a chair just for a second while I put my coat on. I thought there was no possible way for her to move. She couldn’t even roll yet. But she could kick her legs, and that was enough to propel her body off the chair. She was fine, but falls can be very dangerous especially if the child hits her head.
  • No Eye Contact. Children with Autism show very few signs in the early years, but if a parent is aware they may identify Autism early on. If a child is not making eye contact by 6 months, it is possible that the child could have Autism or other developmental delays.
  • Unresponsive, “Floppy”, Not Interested in her Surroundings. Babies at this stage are energetic, interested, and engaged. They are strengthening their muscles every day through movements. If your baby is very still, uninterested, and unresponsive, their may be a need for medical intervention. See your doctor.
  • Not Gaining Weight. Babies double their birth weight during the first 5 months of life! If your baby isn’t gaining weight, there might be a medical condition that needs to be addressed. See a doctor and/or a lactation consultant for help with feeding.
  • Not Responding to Loud Sounds or Not Making Sounds Herself. It can be difficult to identify if a baby has hearing problems, but one warning sign is if the child does not respond to loud sounds. This lack of response could be due to deafness or partial deafness. Similarly, children with hearing problems don’t hear the sounds that other people make so they don’t begin to imitate those sounds themselves. If your child does not try to make noise, she might have a hearing problem. See a doctor to confirm.

baby laying on bed

Typical Struggles for Mom and What to Do

As with every phase, 6 weeks to 6 months has its own unique challenges. But they aren’t as bad when you’re prepared for them!

Here’s what you might find yourself struggling with in this phase:

  • Postpartum Depression or Anxiety. Postpartum depression and anxiety are very real conditions that affect a lot of women. Get help quickly by telling your doctor if you think you might be experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety.
    • Medication,
    • natural remedies,
    • self-care,
    • asking for help from family and friends,
    • and finding things that bring you joy can help ease the symptoms of these disorders. ALWAYS tell a doctor- don’t try to ease postpartum depression on your own as this can be dangerous for you and your baby. 
  • Hormones and Other Postpartum Surprises. Most people expect their bodies to be very different for the first 6 weeks postpartum. It can be a shock when it’s been a few (or a lot) of months (or years) since you had your baby and you’re still dealing with changes in your hormones or your body.
    • Learn about your new body through helpful books and educational materials.
    • Accept that some changes are permanent and that’s ok- Your baby is worth it!
    • Find out what things you can change and set realistic goals to make those changes.
    • Love yourself!
    • Take each day one step at a time.
    • Be aware of your own needs and limitations so that you don’t do too much too soon.
    • Ask and accept help from others.

This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression

The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality

Moods in Motion: A coloring and healing book for postpartum moms

  • Back to Life. After the first 6 weeks, you’ve got to start transitioning back to reality. For moms who work, maternity leave ends and you’ve got to figure out a whole new routine. For all moms, you run out of freezer meals and it’s time to start cooking again. Your fridge empties, and it’s time to get to the grocery store. Your house gets dirty, and you’re the one who’s got to clean it. And you’re doing all this with one extra tiny person to juggle. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to figure out!
    • Take things one step at a time. Clean the bathroom today, go shopping tomorrow.
    • Don’t expect too much of yourself too soon.
    • Ask for help as needed!
    • Get your partner and older kids involved in the housework and errands. Split up the chores.
    • Do chores and errands on a rotation- not all at once.
    • Find a way to reward yourself for a job well done to keep yourself from getting burnt out.
    • Wear your baby! It’s way easier to get things done.

Baby Wrap Carrier All-in-1 Stretchy Ergo Baby Wraps – Best Ergonomic Baby Carrier- Best Infant Carrier – Baby Wrap – Hands Free Babies Carrier Wraps – Best Baby Shower Gift – One Size Fits All (Classi

Luxury Ring Sling Baby Carrier – extra-soft bamboo and linen fabric – lightweight wrap – for newborns, infants and toddlers – perfect baby shower gift – great for new Dad too – nursing cover

Natural & Breathable My Honey Wrap Lightweight Baby Carrier Sling – for Infants & Babies – 4 Color Options

4 in 1 Baby Wrap Carrier and Ring Sling by Kids N’ Such | Charcoal Gray Cotton | Use as a Postpartum Belt and Nursing Cover with Free Carrying Pouch | Best Baby Shower Gift for Boys or Girls

Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier

  • Nursing Struggles. If you or your baby struggle to nurse, it’s possible that these issues could be a long-term problem for you. There isn’t one solution as every person’s needs are different. Here are a few of the potential solutions for you to consider:
    • See a lactation consultant to identify if you and your baby’s nursing technique is correct.
    • See a doctor to make sure the baby’s nutrition and growth is adequate.
    • Consider pumping and feeding the baby your breast milk out of a bottle.
    • Don’t be upset or ashamed to feed your baby formula! If it’s what is best for you and your baby, then who cares what other people think??
    • Take advantage of all the great breast feeding products out there to make yourself more comfortable!

Suekaphin Nursing Wireless Women’s Sleeping Maternity Breastfeeding Bra,Large, Black/Beige/Pink/Gray/Purplebean

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream, 100% Natural Lanolin Cream for Breastfeeding, 1.41 oz Tube

Lansinoh Nursing Pads, 2 Packs of 100 (200 Count) Stay Dry Disposable Breast Pads

Reusable Hot Cold Gel Packs NO CLOTH BACKING – Set of 5 Microwaveable Hot Packs or Ice Cold Compress for Pain Relief, Boo Boo Pack, Breastfeeding, Nursing Pad, or First Aid

Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care

  • Sleep Deprivation. As you deal with all this transition back to real life after having a baby, you have to do it all on half the sleep you used to get! It’s no fun. There’s no easy way to handle it. It just sucks to not sleep! But your baby will sleep more and more and you’ll have fewer feedings up until the child finally transitions to sleeping through the night. It gets better, mama!
    • Give yourself a good cry now and again. This part just sucks.
    • Research sleeping tricks and tips. With my first baby, I got her out of bed to eat every time she made the slightest noise in her bed. I found out later that she didn’t need to eat every time and I was actually waking her (and myself) up way more than was necessary!
    • Sleep during the day every chance you get. Naps aren’t time to clean the house or get stuff done! It’s time for you to rest!
  • Teething. Ahhh, teething. Another fact of life that just sucks… for mom and baby. Teething is painful and uncomfortable for babies. There are some tricks that moms can use to help out a poor teething baby. Check out these great products to make teething a little easier for you and your baby!

Boiron Camilia, 30 Doses, Homeopathic Medicine for Teething Relief

Nuby Natural Soothing Gel for Sore Gums with Bonus Silicone Massaging Toothbrush, 0.53 Ounce, Benzocaine Free, Belladonna Free

Hyland’s Baby Nighttime Oral Pain Relief Tablets, Soothing Natural Relief of Oral Discomfort, Irritability, and Swelling 125 Count

Baltic Amber Teething Necklace For Babies (Unisex) (Cognac) – Anti Flammatory, Drooling & Teething Pain Reduce Properties – Natural Certificated Oval Baltic Jewelry with the Highest Quality Guaranteed

Nuby Soothing Teething Mitten with Hygienic Travel Bag, Grey

Nuby Garden Fresh Fruitsicle Frozen Pop Tray

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder, 2 Pack, Blue/Green

Nuby Teething Blankie – Characters May Vary – Pack of 1

Baby Bandana Drool Bibs and Teething toys Made with 100% Organic Cotton, Super Absorbent and Soft 6-Pack Unisex ( Vuminbox )

 

GREAT Things About This Developmental Phase

That’s right, just because there are some tough things doesn’t mean that age 6 weeks to 6 months isn’t AMAZING!

I LOVE this phase! You’re past the infant stage and moving into the baby phase. Here are some wonderful things about this age:

  • Baby is Responsive! The absolute, hands down, most amazing part of the baby stage is how much FUN you get to have with your baby! They’re cute, they’re friendly, they’re playful, and they love everything you do. It’s the best! You’ve got your own little BFF to hang out with all the time! They’re never mad at you, they’re so loving and sweet. It’s just fun to be around a baby!
  • Baby is Not TOO Mobile. Every experienced mom will tell you that life gets a little harder once baby starts to crawl and walk. That means you’re in the perfect phase of limited mobility! Baby is able to sit up if propped up with pillows and she can play by herself for short periods of time… but she’s also not so independent that she’s getting into your cupboards and drawers! What a great place to be!
  • No Discipline Yet! Oh yeah. I soak up the baby phase because the parenting part of it all is very simple. No worrying about teen pregnancy or instilling proper morals into your kids. It’s just basic! Keep the kid alive! I don’t care who you are, that kind of no pressure parenting is nice!!
  • Nursing Problems May End Soon. 6 months is a major milestone for nursing moms! If you can nurse for the first 6 months of life, you’ve given your baby a great head start!! If you’re having a tough time with nursing, 6 months might be a good time to quit. Other moms continue nursing for a year, and other moms nurse for many years. Do whatever is best for your family!
  • No Stranger Awareness Yet. Another GREAT thing about young babies is that they don’t experience fear of strangers until they are older. That means you are free to drop them off with grandma for an evening while you go get dinner and there’s no separation anxiety. You can let your friends hold your baby at church, you can get a babysitter, it’s all good! That’s something to take advantage of!

baby lying on inflatable ring

What’s Coming Up Next for Your Child??

Your baby is growing and growing! You won’t believe how big she’ll get in the next couple months!

Soak up your little one because she won’t be little for long!

Watch out for our upcoming post: Everything Parents Need to Know- Development from 6 months to 12 months!!

 

Well. There you have it.

All the wonderful things, struggles, and adventures of being a mom of a baby from 6 weeks to 6 months old. 

Need more resources? Check out Child Development 3-6 Months or Baby Development!

It’s a great time of life, for you and for the little one!

Enjoy it mama!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

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Everything Parents Need to Know- Development in the First 6 Weeks

Everything Parents Need to Know- Development in the First 6 Weeks

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Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Keep an eye out for upcoming Development Posts covering all developmental stages from 0-18!

Welcome to When Fit Hits the Shan’s Development Series!!

We’ll cover each major developmental phase of life from age 0-18, diving deep into what affects children during that particular phase, what you as a parent need to be aware of, and how you can help your child develop properly.

Each post (including this one!) covers helpful topics for each developmental stage of life- including:

  • Milestones, New Skills, and Developmental Goals
  • Activities to Boost Development
  • Warning Signs or Potential Dangers
  • Typical Struggles for Mom and What to Do
  • GREAT Things About This Developmental Phase
  • What’s Coming Up Next for Your Child??

Let’s dive into the infant stage!

First of all, congrats Mama!! That’s so exciting that you get to enjoy this amazing miracle of parenthood!

It’s seriously the best. There’s not a thing in the world that can compare. You love these little ones so much, and they just fill your entire universe.

Sometimes I just let my jaw drop and sit in awe for a minute at how wonderful and perfect and sweet and funny and cute and innocent and pure and loving and forgiving and cuddly and honest and wonderful kids are! Especially my own kids. There’s nothing like having your own.

And now you get to enjoy all that too! I’m just bursting with joy FOR you!  

So here it is! Everything a mom needs to know about your infant’s development within the first 6 weeks of life! 

Infant's feet being held by a woman's hand with painted and manicured hands resting on a gray blanket

Milestones, New Skills, and Developmental Goals

First of all, it’s important to note that developmental milestones happen over a range of time.

For example, it’s normal for kids to start talking between 9 and 14 months! That’s quite a range! It gets really stressful if your child is a 14 month old talker. 

You wait and wait… and all the other kids are saying words… And you’re just hanging in there hoping your baby will speak too! And then one day, he does! And it’s such a relief. But you can’t help but feel behind! Now all the other kids know five or six words and your baby only says one! 

Don’t get caught up in comparisons. It’s perfectly ok for kids to take their development at their own pace!

So don’t freak out mama.

Here are a few awesome new skills to watch for in the first 6 weeks of life:

  • Gain about 4 lbs during the first 6 weeks. Keep in mind- babies often loose a couple pounds in the first two or three days after birth, then gain it back slowly over the next weeks.
  • Focus on faces. This is super fun because you can tell your baby is getting to know you! Hold her close because her eyesight isn’t great at first.
  • Coo, sigh, gurgle, and other adorable sounds!! Soak these up! These adorable little noises are unique to newborns and will start to change as your baby gets older. This is great practice for your baby to eventually use those vocal chords to speak and sing!
  • Improve eating. Infants eat on demand- meaning whenever they are hungry, feed them. Your baby should be showing consistent signs of hunger (yay- you’re figuring out this crazy motherhood thing!). She should also be using a proper latch (if not, practice makes perfect! Don’t be afraid to stop feeding and adjust the latch!). You will also notice that she is more efficient at eating- meaning she can feed faster and less frequently.
  • Sleep 16 hours per day. Don’t expect your infant to sleep through the night because he still needs to eat during the night (I know, that sucks! Hang in there mom!). Around 6 weeks of age, you can start understanding better what your baby’s sleep patterns are! Woo hoo for schedules and death to the unpredictability of the first few weeks!!!!
  • Stronger neck and head! It’s tough for an infant to hold their head up, but as your baby gets lots of tummy time you will see improvement during the first 6 weeks! You will still need to be careful to support his head, but he will start trying to lift his head on his own. He should also be able to move his head from side to side.
  • Umbilical Chord. You can expect the baby’s umbilical chord to fall off on its own within the first few weeks. Once it does, your baby is ready for her first real bath- not just those wipe-em-down-with-a-towel wannabe baths!
  • Social and Emotional Skills! I know, so exciting! This is by far my favorite developmental milestone of the first 6 weeks! Your baby learns who you are! He learns your voice and your face! When you start talking or when you approach your baby, he’ll start to wiggle and flap his arms and reach for you! And the SMILES! Every once and a while, a newborn will smile in their sleep as they dream of your breast milk, but at about 6 weeks you see a real I-love-you-mommy SMILE! Yay! There’s nothing like it in the world.

baby lying on gray textile

Activities to Boost Development

One of my favorite things about being a mom is that balance between nature and nurture!

It’s awesome because I get to relax and enjoy my kiddos in whatever stage of life they are in (nature) and yet I also love being an active participant in shaping their character (nurture). 

So cool, huh?? Moms really get the best of both worlds!

We’ve been talking about the nature part so far (development) but let’s throw in a little of the nurture. Here’s what YOU can do to help your child along in learning new skills and mastering his first 6 weeks of life!! 

  •  Snuggle, touch, hold, kiss, diaper, burp, feed, sleep together, etc. Touch is wonderful for newborns! All the typical routines of taking care of a baby (diapering, burping, feeding, sleeping) can involve a lot of parent-child bonding if you hold and snuggle your newborn during those times. It’s stimulating to his senses, he can learn your voice and your face, and it strengthens your relationship.  Look for any chance you can find to soak up your sweet little one- it’s great for them too!
  • Eye contact. Newborns have poor eyesight, so hold them close to your face. It’s good for them to see you up close to learn who you are. This builds trust and familiarity. You can also practice tracking- meaning helping your baby follow an object with his eyes- by moving a brightly colored toy across the baby’s field of vision (this is also great for his neck muscles!!).
  • Talk, sing, read, and more! Let your baby hear your voice! Even though she can’t talk yet, she’ll learn to recognize who you are by your voice and she’ll pick up on specific pieces of language, like tone fluctuations, emotions in your voice, pauses in speaking, and more!
  • Movement games. Babies love to move! Lay your little one on your lap, take a hold of their hands or feet, and practice clapping, running, jumping, playing pretend drums, and more!
  • Bright colors and patterns. These are easier for their little eyes to see and they get their brains working!
  • Tummy time! Tummy time is not a suggestion- it’s an important part of babies’ health. Without tummy time, babies develop a flat head from laying in one position all the time. Laying them on their bellies strengthens babies’ neck and back muscles.
  • Meet their needs quickly! The most important developmental goal of the first 6 weeks is to develop a strong bond between parent and child. This bond is your child’s first emotional attachment and has a deep influence in the rest of her social and emotional development for life. Help your baby learn to trust you by meeting her needs quickly in the first few weeks. As the baby gets older, she is more capable of waiting a minute or two if needed. For now, do your best to respond quickly to your child’s cries.

black and red signage near body of water at daytime

Warning Signs or Potential Dangers

Now. Moms. We are always on hyper-alert for anything that might be wrong with our babies because we love them and it freaks us out to know that they might not be genetically perfect.

Keep an eye out for these things, but don’t stress yourself too much! Follow your mommy intuition. Trust your gut.

If you have any questions, just give your doctor a call. It’s always better to be safe and double check! 

Here’s a few of the common warning signs or potential dangers of the first 6 weeks of life.

  • Yellow skin or eyes. Jaundice is when your baby has too much bilirubin in her blood. Basically, her liver is just brand new and needs a little more practice to function properly. The great news is that there’s a super simple solution! All she needs is a little sunlight!  Open a window, lay down a blanket in the sun, and let your baby soak up the light for 10-15 minutes. In extreme cases, newborns may need to be hospitalized for extreme cases of jaundice. If you’re unsure, call the doctor and ask about your specific situation.
  • Sluggishness/Unresponsive. Babies who are lethargic may have medical problems that need a doctor’s attention. Your baby should sleep often, but wiggle, look around, and make noises when she is awake.
  • Refuse to eat. Generally, infants eat on demand- meaning we feed them whenever they need food. Typically, babies at this age are hungry every 4-5 hours. If your baby shows no interest to eat or avoids eating for a long period of time, see your doctor.
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea. Sickness in babies can be serious because of their weak immune systems. If your child is vomiting (more than just a little spit up… which is normal) or has diarrhea visit your doctor.
  • Fever. For a baby under 29 days old, a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit is a medical emergency. Get your baby to the doctor right away!
  • Umbilical Chord Infection. Keep an eye on the child’s umbilical chord for signs of infection, which include: red skin, puss, and/or a yucky smell. Take your child in to the doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
  • Sucking Problems. Nursing is tricky for moms and babies. It’s a new skill that you both have to learn. Don’t be too concerned if nursing is difficult, but know that there is a lot of help out there (lactation consultants, online resources, creams and lotions to heal your nipples, etc.). However, there are more serious feeding issues that might require a doctor’s attention, such as:
    • Weak sucking
    • No swallowing during nursing
    • Abnormally long feeding (45 minutes or longer)
    • Excessive spit up or discolored spit up
  • Not gaining weight. Babies typically grow in a steady and upward trend. You don’t want to see a baby’s weight or height plateau. Your baby might not be gaining enough weight if he has very few dirty/wet diapers or if his skin is loose. Don’t be worried about the drop in weight that usually occurs 2-3 days after birth. It’s normal for babies to drop a little weight but then they gain it right back and then some in the following weeks.

woman sitting on bed while holding mug

Typical Struggles for Mom and What to Do

The first 6 weeks is no picnic. There are some tough things about this developmental phase.

Here’s a few of the common struggles for mom during the infant phase… and what to do about it!

  • Postpartum Recovery. Let’s not forget- through all of this development that your baby is going through and all this change you’re experiencing, you’re still healing from childbirth! This is a major physical and emotional adjustment. If you are struggling to care for your baby while recovering from labor and delivery, try these tips:
    • Follow the doctor’s directions to the T!
    • Ask other people for help!
    • Communicate clearly to your partner so that they can help you.
    • Make time for self-care, even if it’s just a little extra sleep.
    • Keep it simple. Cook meals out of a box like Hamburger Helper or something. Don’t worry about cleaning. Don’t move unless you have to. The couch and Netflix are your friends.
    • Take advantage of helpful products that can make you more comfortable.

MomWasher Peri Bottle for PostPartum Care by Fridababy – Perineal Recovery After Birth

Tucks Md Cool Hemorrhoid Pad, 100 Count

Gel Ice Cold Compress – (2 Pack) – Reusable comfortable soft touch vinyl provides instant pain relief, rehabilitation and therapy from injuries like shoulder, upper/lower back, knee, neck, ankle

Pink Stork Recovery: Strawberry Passionfruit Postpartum Body Tea -USDA Organic Loose Leaf Herbs in Biodegradable Sachets, Supports Healthy Labor Recovery, Restores Nutrients -30 Cups, Caffeine Free

Best Organic Sitz Bath Soak For Postpartum Care Recovery & Natural Hemorrhoid Treatment, Soothes Relieves Pain Reduces Discomfort, 100% Pure Epsom & Dead Sea Salts Witch Hazel Lavender Essential Oil

Herbal Perineal Spray by Earth Mama | Safe for Pregnancy and Postpartum, Natural Cooling Spray For After Birth, Benzocaine and Butane-Free 4-Fluid Ounce

Gepoetry 3 In 1 Postpartum Support – Recovery Belly Wrap Girdle Support Band Belt Body Shaper (Plus Size For Weight Over 190lbs, Nude)

  • Postpartum Depression or Anxiety. Please know that these are REAL conditions that can affect ANYONE- regardless of your emotional health before the baby comes. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s nothing to hide. If you find yourself battling with postpartum depression or anxiety, try these tips:
    • Tell a doctor right away and follow his recommendations!
    • Tell your family and friends. Be prepared with a list of things they can do to help you- including cleaning your house, meals, taking the baby for a bit while you sleep, watching the older siblings, shopping, or WHATEVER else you think of!! Maybe you just need chocolate! Tell someone and they’ll get it for you!
    • Self-care the crap out of yourself!! Take long showers, nap when the baby naps, snuggle your husband and/or the baby, eat yummy food, get take out!! All that and more!

Need some great ideas for self-care? Read more here: 

27 Universal Truths to Live a Happy Life NOW!

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!

What About Me? Stop Feeling Resentment Towards Your Kids With These Self-Care Tips

Fill Yourself- 6 Vital Tools for Balancing Parent Life and Personal Life


 

  • Knowing what baby needs. How am I supposed to care for an infant who can’t tell me what is wrong?? She just cries! Luckily, science and smart moms before me have it down. Here’s what to look for when your baby is crying:
    • Is he hungry?
    • Is he tired? (Side note- it’s better to help a baby fall asleep before they get fussy so be aware of early signs of sleepiness)
    • Is he hot or cold?
    • Is his diaper wet or dirty? (Or maybe he’s in the process of pooping??)
    • Does he want to be held?
    • Does he have gas? (Try pumping his legs or holding him in a different position to relieve gas pains)
    • Is he uncomfortable? (Try holding him in different positions or laying him down in different positions)
    • Is he overstimulated? (Try giving him some space to see if that calms him down)
    • Is there something hurting him that I didn’t notice? (Try checking him from head to toe to see if there is something wrong. It could be something poking him through his jammies or a hair wrapped around his toe. One mom told me she accidentally clipped the pacifier to her baby’s nipple! Oops!)
  • Colic. Basically, colic is when babies cry for no reason for 3 hours per day or more, for 3 days a week or more. It’s really tough on parents because colicky babies are difficult (nearly impossible!) to soothe. And it can last for a few months! If your baby is colicky, try these methods:
    • Give your baby something to suck on, like a pacifier.
    • Swaddle the baby tightly to resemble the snug feeling of being in the womb.
    • Sway and rock with your baby to calm and relax them.
    • Sing, shush, or use white noise to drown out the new and loud sounds outside the womb. These noises can be overstimulating to a baby, so consistent sound like a vacuum, running water, or shushing can be relaxing to a newborn.
    • Try a change of scenery, like going outside or taking a bath. The warm water or the fresh air might help your child calm down.
    • For more excellent suggestions, check out Coping with Colic from BabyCenter
    • And of course, moms- take care of yourselves if you have a colicky baby!!
  • Nursing struggles. Nursing doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people. If that’s the case for you, try:
    • Using a lactation consultant for help.
    • Practice, practice, practice!
    • Learn as much as you can. Maybe the baby isn’t latching properly and there’s a simple fix!
    • Try pumping and feeding the baby your breast milk in a bottle.
    • Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed if you need to feed your baby formula!
    • Take advantage of the products that are out there to help you.

Suekaphin Nursing Wireless Women’s Sleeping Maternity Breastfeeding Bra,Large, Black/Beige/Pink/Gray/Purplebean

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream, 100% Natural Lanolin Cream for Breastfeeding, 1.41 oz Tube

Lansinoh Nursing Pads, 2 Packs of 100 (200 Count) Stay Dry Disposable Breast Pads

Reusable Hot Cold Gel Packs NO CLOTH BACKING – Set of 5 Microwaveable Hot Packs or Ice Cold Compress for Pain Relief, Boo Boo Pack, Breastfeeding, Nursing Pad, or First Aid

Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care

  • Sleep deprivation. If you ask moms what the worst part of the infant stage is, you’ll always hear about the lack of sleep! This one is universal. Everyone gets less sleep during the infant phase. Every baby in this phase needs to eat at night, and that means you’ll be up to feed them. So sorry about that one, mama! But it’s a fact of life. If you’re struggling with the sleep deprivation, try these things:
    • Sleep any time you can!
    • Ask friends or family to watch your older kids so that you can nap when the baby naps.
    • Don’t fall into the trap of trying to be productive while baby sleeps! You’ll get there later- but in the first 6 weeks, sleep time for baby is sleep time for mom too.
    • Divide duties with your partner. Pump some milk so that he can feed the baby with a bottle sometimes.
    • Use relaxation methods and calming techniques to help you get a restful sleep.
    • Simplify daily life. If you’re exhausted, you can’t keep up with everything, so just do what really matters and let the rest wait!
  • Feeling stuck indoors. Are you a social butterfly? Or a workaholic? Or a busy bee? Then you’re likely to struggle with the first 6 weeks. This time is about relaxing, laying around on the couch, figuring out this new little person. Not about getting stuff done or going out. In fact, it’s not very safe to take your little one out because his immune system is weak. If you’re feeling stuck, here’s some tips:
    • Ask friends to come visit!
    • Ask a friend, your partner, or a family member to watch the baby while you go out. Make sure you pump some milk so baby can eat!
    • Think up a bunch of fun activities for yourself before you have your baby.
    • Get ready to binge watch your favorite shows!
    • Get yourself treats, comfy pillows and blankets, adult coloring books, regular books, whatever you need to be cozy and happy indoors.
    • Sit outside with your baby for a few minutes to get some fresh air!

baby yawning

GREAT Things About This Developmental Phase

Now, just because there are some tough things doesn’t mean the newborn phase isn’t incredible… because it really is!

The newborn phase is one of my favorites. Ok, I’ll probably say that about every developmental phase… but it’s true- every single one has so many amazing things!!! 

You’ll never experience anything else like the infant stage. Here’s why:

  • They’re SOOO snuggly! As babies and children grow up, sometimes they don’t want to cuddle you. It’s so sad! Not so with infants. You can hold them close, dress them up, take adorable pictures, and snuggle some more. And they love every second of it!
  • It’s so short. The infant phase is unique because it’s only a few weeks long! That can be a good thing because there are difficult things about this phase… but it’s also the perfect reason to soak it right up!!! Your baby will change so fast, so you need to remember every second!
  • It’s an amazing reason to slow down in life. Life is way too fast paced in modern society. The infant stage defies this extreme rush! None of that- instead, we’re going to rest for a solid 6 weeks. That’s right- take that, assembly lines and race cars.
  • It’s humbling. The infant stage reminds me of what’s important. I refocus on my family each time I have another baby. But that’s not all- I learn that I can’t do everything myself and I learn to accept help from others all over again. I learn to simplify and take it easy. I learn to smell the flowers. I learn to admire the amazing perfection of a new child and I remember my immense responsibility to raise this little human to become a responsible adult. It’s a lot to take in- in a short time. The infant stage is all about the baby’s growth and my own growth.
  • It’s simple. The infant stage isn’t complicated. There’s no discipline because an infant doesn’t break rules. They cry for three or four reasons, give or take. The infant stage is a good beginner lesson to the complex role of parenting.

woman carrying baby standing near white wooden door

What’s Coming Up Next for Your Child??

Your child is graduating from the “infant” stage. Soon, she’ll be a full-fledged chubby, wiggling, giggling, playing baby!

Watch out for our upcoming post: Everything Parents Need to Know- Development from 6 Weeks to 3 Months Old!!

 

Well mama, enjoy your infant, and remember how lucky you are to be a mom! It really is the best job in the world. So rewarding, so fulfilling, and so enriching.

You’ll learn to give your entire self to another person who needs you.

There’s nothing like it! Enjoy motherhood! 

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Tracker

Click here to receive your FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Trackers! 

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Save Kids (And Ourselves) From Technology

3 Reasons and 4 Tips to Save Kids (And Ourselves) From Technology

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Trivia: How many children under the age of 6 have smart phones??

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for the answer)

I have heard that technology can cause problems for kids and parents. I kind of thought, “Yeah, well, anything can cause problems. You’ve just got to be in control of it, be smart.”

That is what I thought.

And then I watched this Ted Talk that changed my whole perspective on technology and social media for children.

Can flip phones end our social media addiction? | Collin Kartchner | TEDxSaltLakeCity

 

Please, please take the time to watch this. It’s 17 minutes long, and life changing. I’m so happy I spent that 17 minutes to better understand this issue.

Let me repeat some of the most horrifying, intoxicating, depressing quotes from that video- Not to bring anyone down, but because I think they’re worth remembering. Even better yet, they’re worth changing ourselves!

There is a lot in this video that’s tough to hear, but it’s worth it to make ourselves, our homes, and our kids better!!

Here we go. Let’s do this.

(All quotes come from the Ted Talk listed above (see link)- unless otherwise specified.)

woman holding iPhone during daytime

1) Social Media and Suicide

“What is one thing your parent does not know about social media? It nearly ended my life.”

“…In just the last 7 years our suicide rate among kids (ages 10-17) have jumped 141%.”

“Experts say that handing a smart phone with social media and untethered access to these apps with no training or guidance is like handing them a key to a car with no drivers’ ed.”

Suicide has been a problem in society for most of my life, but I never really thought about the realities of this mass epidemic.

Children are hurting themselves. Children. All the time! Children don’t just do that kind of crap. Children are loving, kind, gentle, forgiving, understanding. Children are my favorite people to be around because of their amazing qualities.

My eyes are opened that a sweet, innocent child who hurts themselves could be lost forever. Over something so insignificant as a phone. That’s insane! It just can’t go on. This has to stop.

person using black smartphone with gray and pink case

2) Problems for Children’s Mental Health

“We are on the verge of the greatest public health crisis this generation has ever seen. That was two years ago. We are no verging. The verge is here.”

“Robs them of their resiliency…”

“Our kids’ entire self-worth at 13 is determined by virtual, unpredictable feedback. The validation that we all crave, to them, is only available in this synthetic way. Their social standing and their self-esteem is determined by a like on an Instagram photo.”

“When you’re 13 today, there’s no place to run. There’s no escape. And it is soul crushing.”

I’ve often wondered about the rising rates of depression and anxiety in particular, but other mental health issues as well, like bipolar disorder.

This video shared research linking depression and anxiety to cell phone use and/or social media addictions in children. This makes sense to me as a professional. I know that children’s brain development (particularly in complex social situations) takes years to properly form.

Neural connections that are actively used are maintained and even heightened by the brain, while neural connections that are not used weaken, wither, and eventually die if they are not used for a long period of time.

That means that our teens’ daily activities drastically affect their long-term development.

Lack of appropriate social and emotional experiences, learning, and growth will weaken or slow the social/emotional areas of the brain. Overexposure to particular experiences (like cell phone or social media use) heighten those areas of the brain.

It makes sense that the result would be an imbalance of development!


Other Great Reads: 

27 Universal Truths to Live a Happy Life NOW!

16 Rules of Parenting Etiquette That Will Make YOU One Popular Mama

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!

25 Best Mom Hacks that Save Time, Energy, and Money


two men and one woman standing on station while holding mobile phones during daytime

3) Our Own Addictions

“The answer of ‘how do we save these kids’ is that we can’t… until we first save ourselves. We as adults and as parents, we have to break free from our screen dependency and our social media addiction. We have to start modeling healthy digital behavior for our kids who don’t hear us, they see us.”

“Now that I’m a teenager, I have never felt more distance, and it’s not because of me… It’s because I can’t get my mom and dad off their stupid phone… I’ve never felt more unloved and more uncared for all because of this stupid phone.”

“This little, precious human being looked at me and with tears in her eyes said, ‘Why do you love your phone more than you love me?’”

“When I had my phone out in front of my kids she didn’t know that I was answering emails to make money so she could go to dance… The only thing she saw when this was out in front of her was ‘that means more to dad that I do.’”

This broke my heart.

It is interesting to me that the presenter did not describe the intense, over the top parents. He described every day dads and moms. The ones who use their phone to check email, to enjoy a break by playing a quick game, to keep in touch with long lost friends, to see their sister’s cute baby on Facebook, to learn something new on YouTube.

It’s all good things- but an imbalance of anything is no longer a good thing.

The child doesn’t know the difference between a parent who is doing good things on their phone and a parent who isn’t. To the child, it’s the same result- a distracted, emotionally unavailable parent.

And I realized as I listened that I fell into that same category of “normal” disengaged parents. I remembered my child pushing her face in between me and my phone, or saying “mom, mom, mom, mom…” over and over because I didn’t respond the first time, or hitting my phone in my hands and saying “No!” And I thought she was the one who was out of line. 

Absolutely not! It was me all along.

Not my child! She can NEVER feel this way again! I learned about this with plenty of time to adjust and I’m going to.

My baby will grow up knowing that she and her daddy and her siblings are the most important thing in my entire life! More important than stupid cell phones, more important than Facebook likes, more important than popularity.

She is the center of my universe, and she’s going to know it!

man beside a boy while holding playing cards

4) What Can We Do?

Throughout the Ted Talk, I noticed four ideas of what we can do to improve ourselves as parents to help this crisis. Here they are:

  • “When I get home from work now… I put my phone in a drawer, I grab that little tiny human, I set her on my lap. I ask her about her day and as she’s telling me I try not to even blink. One thing amazing happened as I was doing this. All the defiance and anger stopped right then because she felt loved and connected.

This is obvious, but really hard to actually do.

The first step is to put the phone away. I never, ever thought I had a cell phone or a social media addiction. I never even had an Instagram or Twitter before I started blogging! I only had Facebook, and I spent less than 1 hour a day on Facebook.

But the cell phone… I actually struggle to be without my phone. I depend on it for my calendar, my alarms, my notes, my grocery list, my email, my games, my social media, my communication with my husband (and everyone else I know for that matter….), researching answers to questions, and basically everything else.

How am I supposed to put it down so that I can give my children all the attention they need?

I don’t really know, but I’m going to figure it out. Time to put it down, even when it’s inconvenient.

  • “It’s ok to show the world that we’re not ok.”

Social media has created a world of perfection. A world where everyone compares their worst qualities to everyone else’s best qualities. A world where you hide your flaws and flaunt the things you’re good at, then beat yourself up quietly when others are good at something you’re not good at.

That’s wrong!

Why do we participate?? Let’s just not!

We can be imperfect, even in public. Even on the worldwide web- even in front of our friends, and our colleagues. And yes, even in front of our children!

  • “What is the proper age to hand our children this technology and these devices… When are you ok with him to start looking at pornography? When are you ok with her to start feeling anxiety and question her self-worth? The minute we hand our kids these devices is the minute they stop being a kid.”

A third suggestion is to delay giving your children access to smart phones, especially because of the access to social media.

I know every parent has their own opinions on this, and I’m still forming my own opinion. But I think this point is very compelling and should at least be considered as parents make their own decisions.

photo of mother and child beside body of water

  • “It is never too late to step up and be a parent!”

I love this quote so much!

It’s absolutely right! We never have to get down on ourselves for our mistakes. We get infinity chances to try again, to fix our problems, to become who we want to be. 

Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and give it another shot.

And when you fail again, just do that again. One more try, and another, and another, and another. Your kids will love you if you keep trying, even if you fail over and over. Trying shows that you love them. You would give up if you didn’t care, but you do care so you won’t ever give up on your kids.

 

I hope sharing this awesome information helps a parent and a child out there! Please share your experiences in the comments below to inspire other moms and dads just like you!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Click here to get your FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care! 

Free Self Care Guide 2

 

Trivia Answer: 1 in 4 of children under age 6 have smartphones, according to this resource! 

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Gifts for Kids (Ages 0-18) that will Meet their Developmental Needs

Gifts For Kids (Ages 0-18) That Will Meet Their Developmental Needs

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Please comment below- What was a Christmas or birthday gift that  your child loved? How old were they?

 

Christmas is right around the corner! It’s time to start shopping!

There are lots of things parents could get for each child on their list… but lots of toys are just noisy or obnoxious, without really contributing anything positive to the child’s life.

This holiday season, give a lasting gift to your child (and a bonus reward for yourself!) by teaching the child something useful through your gift. Understanding the child’s developmental needs will help you choose a thoughtful and educational gift. 

For your shopping convenience,

CLICK ON ANY OF THE IMAGES BELOW for a quick link to Amazon! 

Babies (0-18 months)

Babies have two main developmental goals: 1) learn how to use their bodies (fingers, hands, sitting up, crawling, walking, eating, etc.) and 2) build a relationship with loving adults around them.

Click on any of the images below for some great gifts that tailor to those needs:

  • Sensory Objects

  • Activity Cube

  • Walkers

  • Shape Sorters/Stackers


  • Soft Blocks

  • Plush Books


Toddlers (18 months-3 years)

Toddlers have mastered a few skills during their baby stage- such as walking, some talking, eating, etc.). Now that they are more capable, the big struggle for a toddler is to find ways to use these skills independently…. But this usually gets them into some trouble. Toddlers are exploring the world around them, learning their own limits, and learning their parents’ rules.

One important way that a toddler gains independence is through toilet training.

Learning to communicate through speech helps toddlers accomplish these developmental goals.

  • Buckles, Snaps, Dressing


  • Blocks


  • Nuts and Bolts (Builds fine motor skills)

  • Thick Cardboard Toddler Books



  • Potty Seat



  • Puppets


Early Childhood (4-6 years)

Children in early childhood are beginning their school years- bringing new challenges such as learning to sit still, wait their turn, stand in lines, listen and attend to the teacher, play cooperatively with friends… Not to mention academic demands like learning the ABC’s and reading.

Having mastered basic communication skills, they are able comprehend basic logic, such as cause and effect. Children at this age often struggle to comprehend abstract concepts.

Play really expands during early childhood as children’s imagination allows them to pretend with their friends.

  • Dress Up/Pretend Play


  • Color Coordinated Tea Set (Builds color recognition and matching skills)

  • ABC Fun



  • Beginning to Read Books


  • Coloring Set (Promote artistic expression)
  • Musical Instruments

Middle Childhood (7-10 years)

Children in middle childhood are beginning to understand abstract concepts. They are ready for more advanced learning- in school (such as in math) and outside of school (such as in learning to use money).

They have excelled in their communication enough to grasp irony and humor.

With more understanding of why’s and how’s, these children are ready for advanced teaching about moral character. They can start deciding for themselves who and what they want to be. They can plan for the future and start setting goals independently.

These children have more awareness of their surroundings, so they start to catch on to social norms and expectations. Children start to take on roles at home and at school that define themselves. They are ready for a little more responsibility.

  • Comics or Joke Books


  • Geometric Blocks

  • Chapter Books


  • Pets or Pretend Pets


  • Money Management Tools


  • New Skills (Playing an instrument, sewing, cooking, etc.)



Late Childhood (11-12 years)

In late childhood, children are in a transitional phase. They are beginning to outgrow younger children and prefer to interact with older youth. They are looking for ways make themselves more accepted by teenagers.

This is a time of parental teaching and warning. These children usually haven’t hit the rebellion that often comes with adolescence, so they are still willing to listen to their parents. It is an important time for talking about peer pressure, sex, drugs, alcohol, bullying, how to use technology responsibly, porn, and other major topics that will arise during adolescence.

  • LIFE Board Game

  • Lessons or Materials to Play an Instrument, Dance, Play a Sport, etc.



  • Dream Boards
  • Family Friendly Games




Adolescence (13-18 years)

Adolescence is surprisingly similar to the toddler stage. The main challenge for adolescents is to find independence, while still operating within their parents’ rules. Adolescents push boundaries, trying to find the limits.

They are almost adults- and need to be prepared for every situation that they will encounter when they hit adulthood. They need to be prepared for: cooking their own meals, managing their own money, keeping track of time, working a job, cleaning their own home, balancing work/school and play, having positive friendships, having positive romantic relationships, organization, being a responsible citizen, and graduating college.

Adolescents are also finding their own unique hobbies, interests, life skills, and exploring possible future careers.

Teens are strongly influenced by their peers, so any gift that will make the adolescent feel “cool” will help your child in their social skills.

  • Cash (Encourage them to save some of it!)
  • Appropriate Clothing/Shoes/Jewelry/Accessories



  • Money Management Tools


  • Time Management Tools


  • Things for their Future Apartment/Dorm (Some teens are weirdly more interested in “boring” practical gifts when reminded that they will get to move out someday soon….And that this gift will help them do that!)





  • Products to Care for the Car/Safety in the Car



  • Tickets to the Movies, Gift Cards for Restaurants (For hanging out with friends)




  • The Gift of Making Your Home “Teen Friendly”

Making your home “teen friendly” depends on your child’s interests and the interests of his friends. Adding perks to your house that appeal to them will encourage your teen and their friends to want to hang out at your house. This is awesome because you can get to know your child’s peers- and keep an eye on things to make sure they are being safe and responsible.



  • Vacations/Family Time Rather than a Physical Gift

I’ve known families who go on a cruise, rent snowmobiles, or go for a hot air balloon ride with their teens instead of buying gifts for Christmas! This builds your family togetherness, and is a ton of fun!

Enjoy your new gift-giving confidence, knowing that your gift will be loved and useful.

Please comment below- What was a Christmas or birthday gift that  your child loved? How old were they?

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Please share with a parent who needs help shopping for Christmas!

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