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Monday, April 30, 2007


New Attention Grabbers

Forget the toys. Babies are fascinated by everyday objects. Your baby would rather play with car keys, pots, pans and the remote control.

And soon she'll take this fascination to a new level. At around 10 months, babies start imitating everyday behaviour. So your 10-month-old may try to use the phone, brush her hair or stir her cereal with her finger. This is more than simply having fun. Your baby is learning through observation.

Social Communication
Most babies learn the meaning of the word "no" at around this age. And although your baby probably won't say it, she will understand it. Saying "no" firmly and clearly is a good way to set limits, especially when your baby's safety is at stake.

Don't be surprised if your 10-month-old starts shaking her head from side to side when she doesn't want to do something. This head shake is one of the earliest gestures babies make.

Separation Wariness
This month your baby may start acting a bit funny around strangers. What happened to your sweet, affectionate, outgoing child? "She's not usually like this," you say when she cowers and cries around relatives or friends.

Parents often feel embarrassed and anxious when their babies get "clingy." But stranger anxiety and its twin, separation anxiety, are actually healthy signs. The fact that she's experiencing them means your baby is learning the difference between familiar and unfamiliar situations.

She's also learning about object permanence. Meaning she's beginning to understand that things continue to exist even when she can't see them.

Separation anxiety occurs because your baby knows you're out there somewhere and she wants you back.

Help stimulate your baby's mental and language development by getting him involved in pretend play, like making a telephone call, having a tea party, or building a sand castle.
When you play with interactive things like pop-up toys, talk to your baby about the colours or movements. Ask him what he likes best about it.
Give your baby an empty box and lots of little toys. Slowly put each toy in the box, and then empty it. Help your baby fill the box and then dump it out, then let him play the game on his own.
Encourage your baby to pull himself to a standing position. Respond with lots of praise when he succeeds.
Let your baby hold onto your fingers and try to walk, always praising and encouraging him along the way.

College Friends


Acting Intelligently

Naturally, you think your baby is a genius. Every new parent does. But until now, your smart little cookie didn't have what the experts call intelligence, meaning the ability to solve a problem by figuring out an effective response to a new situation.
Watch your nine-month-old when he encounters a problem. For example, what does he do when you "disappear" behind an obstacle such as a couch? He wants to play with you, but the couch blocks his path. A few months ago, he could only cry. This month, clues like the sound of your voice help him find a solution. He crawls around the couch and smiles triumphantly.

"Mama" and "Dada"

As far as babies are concerned, "baby talk" is serious business. That's part of why it's so funny to be parents. Your baby may be babbling, but he seems to think he's making perfect sense.
Your baby has been mimicking adult speech patterns for weeks, combining vowel sounds (ah, uh) and consonant sounds (da, na). This month he will start making more combinations that sound like words ("mama," "dada"). Eventually he'll make a connection between the words and the objects they refer to.

Gaining Control over Relationships

A nine-month-old is worlds away from a six-month-old, both socially and emotionally. Your baby will rely on his advanced motor and cognitive skills this month to get the attention he craves. He'll reach out his arms and demand to be held. Insist on sharing your food. Crawl happily toward you when you walk in the door.

Your baby has a new feeling of control over his relationships and interactions. Sometimes this makes life difficult for Mom and Dad. Why sit still for a diaper change when playing is so much more fun?

She is on the go and the world is hers for the taking. As she learns to move on her own, she will enjoy her freedom but will need your help.

Set up some bedtime, bath time and feedings routines with your baby. It will help her start to know what will happen next and help her develop her feelings of security and comfort.

If you haven't been using gestures with your baby, like shaking your head yes or no, and waving bye-bye, now's a good time to start. Soon, she might start using this "sign language" with you.

Build a large pile of blanket steps, or a mound of pillows for her to crawl on. Encourage and applaud her explorations, as exploring promotes cognitive development.
Give your baby a squeaky toy and show her how it works. Give lots of praise and kisses when she makes it squeak.

Play finger games with your baby like "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Jack and Jill went up the hill," walking your fingers up her arm as you recite the rhymes.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


At eight months your baby may:

Sensory / Intellectualsystematically investigate toys, people and her surroundings
Languagetry standing up
Social /Emotionalplay social games
Playing Detective
Your eight-month-old is like a detective on an important case. Clues about how the world works are everywhere. She's suddenly fascinated by everything; a scrap of paper, a human face, a tree moving in the wind. Your baby will spend this month systematically looking, listening and touching.
By eight months, your baby can see objects at a distance. Try standing at the doorway when someone familiar comes to visit. See how she starts to smile and wiggle in greeting? Her improved vision gives her more information about her surroundings.
This month your baby will start investigating toys by turning them around in her hands. You can imagine her thinking, "Hmm, this is interesting." Examining is a fine motor skill. It's also an incredible developmental milestone. Focusing her attention on an object allows her to learn more about it.
Standing Up
Your baby has focused on using her arms and hands during the past few months. Now she's turning her attention to her legs. Expect to see more ambitious crawling. You'll notice her sitting for longer periods, even standing up. She will achieve these feats because of her stronger, more limber muscles.
Her hip and knee joints are starting to "lock" in, instead of collapsing under the weight of her body. Soon she will be pulling herself up on the sofa or even standing in place.
At eight months, your baby will love games like "Peek-a-boo." Another favorite is "Pat-a-cake". Experts call these games social play. They're fun for the whole family. And they're also a great learning opportunity.
Even simple games have rules. Your baby will discover how to coordinate her part of the game with yours. She will also learn that games have a sequence of events. You cover your eyes with your hands. You open your hands and say, "Peek-a-boo." Then everybody cheers and laughs.

The stimulation of being in different environments is good for your baby. Take him with you to the supermarket, museums, the zoo, and other busy places.
Make funny, unusual noises and encourage your baby to copy you.
Play music designed especially for babies and children.
Lift your baby to a standing position and let him dance, bounce, or walk.
Crawl with your baby. Give him a round of applause and lots of kisses for his efforts.
Put toys in a net bag, and show your baby how to take things out and put them back.
Krispy Kreme! Yummy!


See! I can stand up!


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