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Growth and Development, Ages 1 to 12 Months - Common Concerns

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 don't 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).

Sleeping

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.

Quick Tips: Getting Baby to Sleep
actionset.gif Sleep: Helping Your Children-and Yourself-Sleep Well

Feeding

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.

Crying

Babies cry a lot, especially in the first 2 months. Crying is your child's first way of communicating.

The amount 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.

If your 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 cared for.

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.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 07, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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