During the first 12 months of a baby's life, it's very common for parents to have concerns about their baby's general
well-being. Know that you likely do not have anything to worry about. But it is
good to be aware of health, development, and safety issues to help prevent or
respond to problems.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
SIDS is the death, without a known cause, of a baby who is younger than 1 year
old. Typically, a parent or other caregiver puts the baby-who seems
healthy-down to sleep and returns later to find the baby has died.
SIDS is very
rare, and it cannot always be prevented. But you can help prevent SIDS by taking certain steps. For instance, always put your baby to sleep on his or her back. For more information,
see the topic
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
You may just start bragging to your friends and family how your baby is
sleeping through the night when-suddenly-that's no longer true. The fact is, sleeping patterns change.
Your baby may suddenly
start to cry when it's nap time or bedtime or may wake up during the night.
Sometimes a baby gets too excited for sleep after he or she has mastered some
new skill, such as jabbering or shaking the crib. Other times, hunger from a
growth spurt, a change in routine, or not feeling well
may interrupt a good sleep pattern.
Try to keep a nap and bedtime routine.
Your baby will adjust if you stay consistent. And remember, napping can be good
for tired parents too. For more information, see:
- Sleep: Helping Your Children-and Yourself-Sleep Well.
And for more ideas, see:
You may notice your baby's feeding patterns change during this time. Parents often wonder whether their baby is getting enough
nourishment. The quality and quantity of a baby's feedings probably are
sufficient if the baby is gaining weight steadily, is content most of the time,
and is becoming increasingly alert and active. For more information about feeding your baby, see the topics Breast-Feeding and Bottle-Feeding.
Babies cry a lot, especially in the
first 2 months. Crying is your child's first way of communicating.
of time your baby spends crying usually increases from birth until your baby is
about 6 to 8 weeks old. After that, your baby will gradually cry less as he or
she finds other ways of communicating or consoling himself or herself.
child is crying, try to identify the type of cry. It helps to go through a
mental checklist of what might be wrong and make sure your child is safe and
As you respond to the young child's other signals
(such as whimpering, facial expressions, and wiggling), the child will usually
cry less. For more information, see the topic
Crying, Age 3 and Younger.