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Health & Baby

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Growth and Development, Ages 1 to 12 Months - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development

Emotional health and development

  • Encourage bonding. Consistently interact with and provide loving attention to your baby.
  • Recognize and reinforce behaviors. For example, when interacting with your baby, encourage smiling and eye contact.
  • Respond to crying. Your baby cries to communicate needs, such as feeling hungry or uncomfortable. You are not spoiling your baby by promptly responding to these cues. Use comforting techniques, like cuddling and singing.
    Crying, Age 3 and Younger

Development of new skills

Behavior development

  • Don't spank your baby or use other types of corporal (physical) punishment. A baby age 1 month to 12 months is too young to know that there are certain ways he or she should behave. Try distracting a child who is doing something wrong or something that might be dangerous. For example, if your baby tries to pull the dog's tail, you can find a toy to get his or her attention, and then move the dog to another area.
  • Don't worry about "spoiling" your baby. You can't spoil a baby at this age. Hold your child, and give him or her as much love and attention as you can. Your love and patience are critical for helping your child grow into a happy and confident toddler.

Parenting help

Taking care of your baby is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Some days you may simply feel overwhelmed. Ask for help when you need it:

  • Call a family member or friend to watch your baby and give you a break.
  • Investigate community resources that are available to help you with child care or other needed services.
  • Call a doctor or local hospital for some suggestions.
  • Some communities have respite care facilities for children. A respite care facility is a place that provides temporary child care during times when you need a break.

Also, parents may find that they have a harder time communicating with each other. Feeling tired can make you more sensitive and lose patience more easily than normal. Learn coping skills to help you deal with anger and frustration. For more information, see the topic Stress Management.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
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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