Parenting Infants, Toddlers, & Preschoolers

 

Everything you need to know about parenting infants, toddlers, and preschoolers! (Ages 0-6)

Parenting a child from birth to six is probably one of the most challenging stages of parenting, yet it is the most important.

During this period, your child spends most of their time in Delta brainwives and the emotional center of their brain. Meaning, they’re mostly not thinking critically, they’re soaking up everything they see, AND they’re experiencing some very strong emotions. 

What happens in their life from 0-6 becomes their default operating system, or subconscious programming, for the rest of their life. While it CAN be changed in the future (that’s what we coaches do!), it’s not always easy.

They’re also learning a lot about how to regulate their emotions in this stage, and it’s so important to teach them healthy ways to do this rather than using fear to condition them to suppress their emotions. Emotions aren’t yuck, they’re their body’s GPS to help them find the best choices in any situation! 

You have a brilliant opportunity during this stage to empower them for a lifetime of success! If you take the time to learn about what their bodies and minds are going through, then you’ll have more empathy for what they’re experiencing AND be armed with the tools needed to respond in a way they’ll be receptive to!

Please use our Child Development Quick Reference Guide throughout your infant-to-kindergarten journey!

Just find the right guide for you from the list on the left.  Reach out if you have any questions at all, info@thefamilyalchemists.com or find us on Facebook.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Months 1-2

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

Congratulations! You’ve just been through a LOT. You endured nine months of pregnancy, a birth, major hormone changes, and your whole life was disrupted (maybe AGAIN) by the arrival of your gorgeous little one.

These months are exhausting for parents. The days are so long, but these years are SHORT. It seems like it was just yesterday that my daughter was born and now I’m looking at kindergarten options!

Don’t fret if you feel completely out of control, that’s normal –and that’s often why new parents really struggle at first, just like I did. As adults, we feel comfortable by controlling our days and lives down to every last detail, but soon discover that we have zero control over a child.

Please set up a 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Show me unconditional love.

5. Experience joy with me.

6. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

7. Listen to me and respond.

8. Surround me with interesting things to look at.

9. Play games where I follow things with my eyes.

10. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain develops at a rapid rate during the first year.

2. The cerebellum triples in size during the first year causing a rapid development of motor skills.

3. Newborns can only see 8-15″ away.

4. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

5. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

6. Infant is totally dependent on caregiver to calm them and help them regulate.

7. Children are mostly in Delta brainwave cycles from 0-2, with very little critical thinking or judgment taking place.

 

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Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

1. Number of naps: 3

2. Length of naptime hours: 6-7

3. Nighttime sleep hours: 8.5-10

4. Total sleep hours: 15-16

5. Nighttime wakings: Several

6. Watch for cues that they are sleepy, such as red eyebrows, losing interest in toy/surroundings, stop making eye contact, stop babble

7. Swaddle to reduce waking from the startle reflex

 

Safety:

1. Put baby to sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface

2. Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines if you choose to co-sleep, knowing that only Mom has natural alertness to baby’s safety

3. Consider using a large, firm breastfeeding pillow, like the My Brest Friend (deluxe for plus-size)

4. Always make sure a baby’s nose and mouth are unobstructed

5. Do not fall asleep with baby in a recliner or on a couch, do not leave baby asleep anywhere but in a crib

6. Do not use a non-breathable bumper or leave pillows, toys, or blankets in the crib

1. Crib slats should be no wider apart than a soda can

7. Consider using a ceiling fan to reduce the risk of SIDS by moving carbon dioxide away from the baby

8. Use a baby monitor or be close enough so that you will easily wake when they cry

9. Never leave them asleep in a car seat or swing unless they are properly reclined and strapped in snugly and are supervised because they can easily slouch down and block their airway

10. Consider using a pacifier to reduce the risk of SIDs

11. Never smoke or allow anyone to smoke around your child

12. Do use a sleep sack to keep baby warm if it’s winter

13. IF YOU ARE EVER FRUSTRATED, PLACE BABY SAFELY IN CRIB AND LEAVE ROOM TO COOL DOWN/CALL IN HELP

1. Never shake a baby, yell at them, throw water in their face, etc.

2. When your baby is crying, comfort by talking, patting, stroking, rocking, or walking with them in your arms, a sling, or stroller

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Child should be rear-facing in an infant or convertible seat until they outgrow the height (they should always be 1″ below the top of the seat as they will extend at least that much in a crash) or weight limits of that seat (usually around 40lbs but check your manufacturer’s information.)

1. Seat should be in the back, never in a seat with a passenger airbag.

2. Strap should be snug with the buckle across the center of their chest.

3. You can install the seat with latch up until the combined weight of the seat and child is 60lbs. There are also seats that use the seat belt but offer very quick installation, like the Britax Clicktight.

4. Seat should be reclined as far as possible at this age, within the safe range indicated by your seat (no more than 45 degrees). You can use a tightly rolled towel or foam pool noodles to help you achieve a proper recline.

2. Do not smoke in the car.

3. Do not leave baby unattended in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle the baby as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure the baby then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended. Check out The Carseat Poncho as well.

5. Warm weather: it can get very hot in a rear-facing car seat. Dress your baby in layers and remove any extra. Use sun shields on the windows and do your best to direct air into the seat.

6. CRYING: Use radio white noise, children’s music, or music with a good beat (similar to a heartbeat). Babies often like to look at mirrors, but do not use them if you will be too distracted by them. They make mirrors with dangling toys that swing when the car moves which I had success with.

7. SHOPPING: NEVER put an infant carrier style car seat in the top (child seat) section of a shopping cart. It changes the center of gravity and the cart (and your baby) came easily tip over. It could also ruin your car seat!

1. Instead, carry or baby wear

2. Or place the seat inside the main cart area

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. Baby will breastfeed 8-12 times per day. Or, offer 2oz of formula every 2-3 hours.

a. Hunger cues: puts hands to mouth, sucks or roots, fussing

b. Baby is full when: they turn away, close mouth, or relax hands

c. Burp during natural feeding breaks

2. Watch for food sensitivities. Mucous in the stool can indicate a dairy allergy.

a. If breastfeeding, eliminate dairy and/or soy from your diet

b. Change to a soy or special formula as needed

c. Visit sites like kellymom.com or your lactation consultant if you have supply issues.

i. You may have luck increasing your supply by switching to a low carb diet (lean proteins, healthy fats, and unlimited fruits and vegetables)

3. If using a bottle, you may need to experiment until you find the right one, always start with a slow nipple

4. Fussiness begins around 2-3 weeks as their digestive system is developing

a. It peaks around 10 weeks and subsides by 3-4 months

b. Breast milk and sucking help them to digest

i. Breastmilk is a laxative, so it will keep their bowels moving

ii. Sucking/saliva releases digestive enzymes and relaxes the baby’s bowels

5. You can use simethicone to help with gas, but using it regularly will make problems worse

6. You can try Gripe Water/Colic Calm. First check:

i. Is my baby tired?

ii. Is it the “witching hour”? About 6PM-9PM – bedtime!

1. Baby is overstimulated from the activity of the day

iii. Am I calm?

iv. Is my baby hungry?

v. Does my baby just need to be held? Does he or she need motion to relax?

1. Try baby-wearing! I recommend a ring sling

2. Try a baby swing that plugs in, make sure they are buckled in snug or reclined enough that their head is not falling forward on their chest

3. Try infant massage, use a lavender lotion or lavender bath soap at night

7. No solids until 6 months, baby’s digestive system is not ready!

8. No honey until 1 year

9. Do not give an infant water

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Play

1. Lay baby on a blanket for some tummy time!

a. Lay in front of them and talk to them and encourage them

b. Keep attempts short

2. Read to baby and talk to them as much as possible

3. Offer large toys that rattle, jingle, or make other noise when they manipulate them

4. Sing songs to them

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Abilities

Mental Leaps (from The Wonder Weeks app):

1. First leap (Changing Sensations) starts between 4.5 and 5.5 weeks (from due date)

a. Related to development of internal organs and metabolism

b. Or increased alertness with increased sensitivity in senses

c. Becomes much more interested in world around him

d. Abilities

i. Looks at something longer and more frequently

ii. Responds to touch differently

iii. Gives a social smile iv. Responds to odors more clearly

v. Is more awake and “busy”

e. Signs

i. Cries without a normal reason

ii. Only quiet when with you

iii. Wants more physical contact

iv. Wants to breastfeed more often

1. Second leap (Patterns) starts between 7.5 and 9.5 weeks (from due date)

a. Big change in neurodevelopment

b. Abilities

i. Able to hold up head much better

ii. Clearly turns head towards sounds

iii. Likes to shift his weight forward while sitting on your lap

iv. Flaps his hands against a toy

v. Feels toys without trying to grasp them

vi. Discovers and observes parts of his body

vii. Looks at patterns

viii. Makes short, explosive sounds

c. Signs

i. Wants to be entertained more often

ii. It will take a little longer before he is at ease with other/new people

iii. He wants to be breastfed all day long but doesn’t really drink

iv. Craving more physical contact

v. Cries more easily

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Newborns typically lose about 5-10% of their birth weight, until 2 weeks old when they should start to gain weight rapidly and grow quickly

2. Use Vaseline to protect baby boys that have had a circumcision

3. Use correct terms for all body parts, get into the habit of asking permission and telling baby what you are doing

4. Use diaper cream, especially at night or when baby is having lots of bowel movements, I recommend one with 40% zinc oxide for maximum protection or try Pinxave for pain relief

5. For boys, point their penis down (swelling is normal after birth)

6. For girls, always wipe front to back (swelling is normal after birth)

1. You may also see discharge or bleeding the first week, this is totally normal and is related to the surge of estrogen she received in utero (she may also have swollen breasts)

7. Do not give baby a regular bath until their cord falls off in 7-14 days (fold diapers under if necessary)

8. Do not pick at the little white spots that look like baby acne. They are called milia and will resolve on their own

9. Always use a tear-free baby shampoo and make a relaxing bath part of their nighttime routine to cue sleep

Vision:

1. Newborns can only see 8-15″ away

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use Ibuprofen, cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Use a saline mist and an aspirator or Nose Frida to gently clear nasal congestion

4. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 100.4 degrees

5. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

 

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Child development guide

Safety:

See the notes above about safe sleep.

1. Never hold hot liquids while holding your baby

2. Keep your car and home smoke-free

3. Never place a car seat in the top of shopping cart

4. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

5. Test your baby’s bathwater with your wrist

6. Wash your hands often

7. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

8. Do not put bracelets or necklaces on baby

9. Keep your hand on them when changing their diaper

10. Do not leave them unattended on any surface they could roll off of

11. Keep swings/bouncers/car seats on the floor

12. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a baby sunscreen

13. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

Consider preparing for the future by moving things like medicine and cleaning supplies to a locked location.

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Months 3-4

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

Everything is changing SO FAST, right? With my first, I quickly realized that my emotions were all over the place in these early months because I was constantly mourning the baby I’d had the day before. In this first year, change happens at lightning speed and it forces us to learn the art of detachment.

What do I mean by detachment? I mean that, while we love our child and are forming secure ATTACHMENT through a trusting relationship, we are not holding on to them too tightly, we are not enmeshed.

We already know that we are preparing them for the day they leave us to go fly on their own and realize they are a unique individual on their own journey.

It also means accepting who they are right now.

Yes, it’s so hard, I know. This ability to live in the moment is KEY to a healthy, happy life. It’s called mindfulness, and you’re being challenged by this beautiful child to get to this place of living in the present without resistance to it.

Please set up a 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning now how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.

 Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Show me unconditional love.

5. Experience joy with me.

6. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

7. Listen to me and respond.

8. Surround me with interesting things to look at.

9. Play games where I follow things with my eyes.

10. Let me move – a LOT. Take me to playgrounds, swimming pools, dance with me. Let me wiggle and roll. Let me take some “risks” while I learn to move.

11. Make sure I have plenty of outdoor time to begin to develop distance vision.

12. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

 

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain develops at a rapid rate during the first year.

2. The cerebellum triples in size during the first year causing a rapid development of motor skills.

3. Should now be able to see objects about 3′ away

4. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

5. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

6. Infant is totally dependent on caregiver to calm them and help them regulate.

7. Children are mostly in Delta brainwave cycles from 0-2, with very little critical thinking or judgment taking place.

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

1. Number of naps: (see sample schedules at The Baby Sleep Site)

2. Length of naptime hours: 5-6

3. Nighttime sleep hours: 10-11

4. Total sleep hours: 15

5. Nighttime wakings: 2-3 times

6. Establish a simple bedtime routine – bath, books, bed — for example

7. Watch for cues that they are sleepy, such as red eyebrows, losing interest in toy/surroundings, stop making eye contact, stop babble

8. Regression expected right around start of month 4, but can start as early as 3 or as late as month 5 – this is a permanent change in their sleep

a. Baby no longer spending as much time in deep sleep, will likely wake up if laid down before in deep sleep cycle

b. Will enter deep sleep in about 30 minutes

c. Cycles in and out of deep sleep every 45-50 minutes

d. Deepest sleep first 5 hours, so if sleep associations are strong he will need your help after midnight or so every 45-90 minutes

i. Sleep Association: Something you do with your baby that they fall asleep during; rocking, walking, singing, nursing, feeding, etc.

e. 4-6AM will be lightest sleep cycle of the night, may not be true wake up for the day

f. Symptoms include:

i. Changes in appetite

ii. Lots of night waking

iii. Increased (inconsolable) crying and fussiness

iv. Missed naps/shorter naps

g. To Fix:

i. Work on sleep associations

ii. Establish a schedule

 

Sleep Safety:

1. Put baby to sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface

2. Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines if you choose to co-sleep, knowing that only Mom has natural alertness to baby’s safety

3. Consider using a large, firm breastfeeding pillow, like the My Brest Friend (deluxe for plus-size)

4. Always make sure a baby’s nose and mouth are unobstructed

5. Do not fall asleep with baby in a recliner or on a couch, do not leave baby asleep anywhere but in a crib

6. Do not use a non-breathable bumper or leave pillows, toys, or blankets in the crib

1. Crib slats should be no wider apart than a soda can

7. Consider using a ceiling fan to reduce the risk of SIDS by moving carbon dioxide away from the baby

8. Use a baby monitor or be close enough so that you will easily wake when they cry

9. Never leave them asleep in a car seat or swing unless they are properly reclined and strapped in snugly and are supervised because they can easily slouch down and block their airway

10. Consider using a pacifier to reduce the risk of SIDs

11. Never smoke or allow anyone to smoke around your child

12. Do use a sleep sack to keep baby warm if it’s winter

13. IF YOU ARE EVER FRUSTRATED, PLACE BABY SAFELY IN CRIB AND LEAVE ROOM TO COOL DOWN/CALL IN HELP

1. Never shake a baby, yell at them, throw water in their face, etc.

2. When your baby is crying, comfort by talking, patting, stroking, rocking, or walking with them in your arms, a sling, or stroller

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Child should be rear-facing in an infant or convertible seat until they outgrow the height (they should always be 1″ below the top of the seat as they will extend at least that much in a crash) or weight limits of that seat (usually around 40lbs but check your manufacturer’s information.)

1. Seat should be in the back, never in a seat with a passenger airbag.

2. Strap should be snug with the buckle across the center of their chest.

3. You can install the seat with latch up until the combined weight of the seat and child is 60lbs. There are also seats that use the seat belt but offer very quick installation, like the Britax Clicktight.

4. Seat should be reclined as far as possible at this age, within the safe range indicated by your seat (no more than 45 degrees). You can use a tightly rolled towel or foam pool noodles to help you achieve a proper recline.

2. Do not smoke in the car.

3. Do not leave baby unattended in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle the baby as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure the baby then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended. Check out The Carseat Poncho as well.

5. Warm weather: it can get very hot in a rear-facing car seat. Dress your baby in layers and remove any extra. Use sun shields on the windows and do your best to direct air into the seat.

6. CRYING: Use radio white noise, children’s music, or music with a good beat (similar to a heartbeat). Babies often like to look at mirrors, but do not use them if you will be too distracted by them. They make mirrors with dangling toys that swing when the car moves which I had success with.

7. SHOPPING: NEVER put an infant carrier style car seat in the top (child seat) section of a shopping cart. It changes the center of gravity and the cart (and your baby) came easily tip over. It could also ruin your car seat!

1. Instead, carry or baby wear

2. Or place the seat inside the main cart area

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. Baby will breastfeed 6-8 times per day. Or, offer 2.5oz of formula per pound of their weight a day– spread out in 4-7 oz bottles every 2-4 hours. Each baby is different.

a. Hunger cues: puts hands to mouth, sucks or roots, fussing

b. Baby is full when: they turn away, close mouth, or relax hands

c. Burp during natural feeding breaks

2. Watch for food sensitivities. Mucous in the stool can indicate a dairy allergy.

a. If breastfeeding, eliminate dairy and/or soy from your diet

b. Change to a soy or special formula as needed

c. Visit sites like kellymom.com or your lactation consultant if you have supply issues.

i. You may have luck increasing your supply by switching to a low carb diet (lean proteins, healthy fats, and unlimited fruits and vegetables)

3. If using a bottle, you may need to experiment until you find the right one, always start with a slow nipple, don’t increase nipple speed if you’re still breastfeeding.

4. Fussiness begins around 2-3 weeks as their digestive system is developing

a. It peaks around 10 weeks and subsides by 3-4 months

b. Breast milk and sucking help them to digest

i. Breastmilk is a laxative, so it will keep their bowels moving

ii. Sucking/saliva releases digestive enzymes and relaxes the baby’s bowels

5. You can use simethicone to help with gas, but using it regularly will make problems worse

6. You can try Gripe Water/Colic Calm. First check:

i. Is my baby tired?

ii. Is it the “witching hour”? About 6PM-9PM – bedtime!

1. Baby is overstimulated from the activity of the day

iii. Am I calm?

iv. Is my baby hungry?

v. Does my baby just need to be held? Does he or she need motion to relax?

1. Try baby-wearing! I recommend a ring sling

2. Try a baby swing that plugs in, make sure they are buckled in snug or reclined enough that their head is not falling forward on their chest

3. Try infant massage, use a lavender lotion or lavender bath soap at night

7. No solids until 6 months, baby’s digestive system is not ready!

8. No honey until 1 year

9. Do not give an infant water

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Play

1. Lay baby on a blanket for some tummy time!

a. Lay in front of them and talk to them and encourage them

b. Keep attempts short

2. Read to baby and talk to them as much as possible

3. Offer large toys that rattle, jingle, or make other noise when they manipulate them

4. Sing songs to them that have movement, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Wheels on the Bus”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”

5. Blow bubbles

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Abilities

Mental Leaps (from The Wonder Weeks app):

1. Third leap (Smooth Transitions) starts between 11.5 and 12.5 weeks (from due date)

a. Third major neurodevelopmental leap since birth

d. Abilities

a. Follows something with eyes in fluid motion

b. Turns head in fluid motion when following something

c. Acts more lively and active, squirms, turns in all directions

d. Rolls from tummy to back (with little help)

e. Shakes a rattle

f. Discovers new possibilities of his voice such as screaming, cooing, and crowing

g. Blows saliva bubbles

h. Clearly shows when he finds something funny or interesting

i. Clearly enjoys lightbulbs slowly illuminating from soft to bright

j. Clearly enjoys sounds that go from high to low or vice versa

e. Signs

a. Crying more often, longer, harder

b. Wanting to drink more

c. Wanting more physical contact

d. Withdrawn (often)

e. Thumb sucking (often)

f. Quieter and/or less mobile behavior

2. Fourth leap (Events) starts between 14.5 and 19.5 weeks (from due date)

a. Baby can now perceive or perform a short, familiar series of smooth transitions, patterns, or sensations

b. Abilities

a. Suddenly very active

b. Hardly misses when he grasps something

c. Puts your hand in his mouth

d. Pulls a cloth away from his own face

e. Hits the toy on the table

f. Is busy with an activity center

g. Searches to see where mom and dad are

h. Reacts to his mirror image

i. Responds to his name

j. Pushes the breast away when he’s had enough

k. Grumbles when he is impatient

c. Signs

a. Crying, clinging, and cranky

b. Your baby’s head has to be supported again more often

c. Asks for and almost claims more attention

d. Has firm mood swings

e. Wants more body contact during feedings

f. Seems to lack his usual “spunk” or seems absent

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Baby’s weight is about double the birth weight by 4-6 months old

3. Use correct terms for all body parts, get into the habit of asking permission and telling baby what you are doing

4. Use diaper cream, especially at night or when baby is having lots of bowel movements, I recommend one with 40% zinc oxide for maximum protection or try Pinxave for pain relief

5. Always use a tear-free baby shampoo and make a relaxing bath part of their nighttime routine to cue sleep

Vision:

1. Baby should now be able to see objects about 3′ away

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use Ibuprofen, cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Use a saline mist and an aspirator or Nose Frida to gently clear nasal congestion

4. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 100.4 degrees

5. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

 

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Child development guide

Safety:

See the notes above about safe sleep.

1. Never hold hot liquids while holding your baby

2. Keep your car and home smoke-free

3. Never place a car seat in the top of shopping cart

4. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

5. Test your baby’s bathwater with your wrist

6. Wash your hands often

7. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

8. Do not put bracelets or necklaces on baby

9. Keep your hand on them when changing their diaper

10. Do not leave them unattended on any surface they could roll off of

11. Keep swings/bouncers/car seats on the floor

12. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a baby sunscreen

13. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

Consider preparing for the future:

– by moving things like medicine and cleaning supplies to a locked location.

– purchasing baby gates

– placing locks on cabinets with unsafe contents

– purchasing Door Monkey locks for basement or bathroom doors

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Months 5-6

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

Your little one is probably close to or already sitting on their own by now. Their unique personality is really starting to shine through.

The most exciting part of this time for a lot of parents is the six-month mark when their baby is ready to eat solid food!

You’ll find information inside about Baby Led Weaning, which is what I did with both of my children. Not only is it developmentally appropriate and ideal, it gives you back a little bit of time to enjoy your own meal. Plus, you still only need to think about packing a bottle since you can find appropriate food almost everywhere! I highly recommend it.

If this is your first child, you may also be seeing a big shift in your relationship with your co-parent. If you are tired of feeling like you do all the work or your marriage has dissolved into feeling like roommates, call me and I’ll help you bring the love and connection back.

 

Please set up an 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning now how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Show me unconditional love.

5. Experience joy with me.

6. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

7. Listen to me and respond.

8. Surround me with interesting things to look at.

9. Play games where I follow things with my eyes.

10. Let me move – a LOT. Take me to playgrounds, swimming pools, dance with me. Let me wiggle and roll. Let me take some “risks” while I learn to move.

11. Make sure I have plenty of outdoor time to begin to develop distance vision.

12. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

 

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain develops at a rapid rate during the first year.

2. Frontal lobe development really begins to kick off.

3. The cerebellum triples in size during the first year causing a rapid development of motor skills.

4. Should now be able to see objects about 3′ away

5. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

6. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

7. Infant is totally dependent on caregiver to calm them and help them regulate.

8. Children are mostly in Delta brainwave cycles from 0-2, with very little critical thinking or judgment taking place.

 

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Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

1. Number of naps: (see sample schedules at The Baby Sleep Site)

2. Length of naptime hours: 3-4

3. Nighttime sleep hours: 10-11

4. Total sleep hours: 14-15

5. Nighttime wakings: 2-3 times– they can continue waking up hungry 1-2 times after about 4 hours until 12 month

6. Establish a simple bedtime routine – bath, books, bed — for example

7. Watch for cues that they are sleepy, such as red eyebrows, losing interest in toy/surroundings, stop making eye contact, stop babble

8. Regression expected right around start of month 4, but can start as early as 3 or as late as month 5 – this is a permanent change in their sleep

a. Baby no longer spending as much time in deep sleep, will likely wake up if laid down before in deep sleep cycle

b. Will enter deep sleep in about 30 minutes

c. Cycles in and out of deep sleep every 45-50 minutes

d. Deepest sleep first 5 hours, so if sleep associations are strong he will need your help after midnight or so every 45-90 minutes

i. Sleep Association: Something you do with your baby that they fall asleep during; rocking, walking, singing, nursing, feeding, etc.

e. 4-6AM will be lightest sleep cycle of the night, may not be true wake up for the day

f. Symptoms include:

i. Changes in appetite

ii. Lots of night waking

iii. Increased (inconsolable) crying and fussiness

iv. Missed naps/shorter naps

g. To Fix:

i. Work on sleep associations

ii. Establish a schedule

 

Sleep Safety:

1. Put baby to sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface

2. Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines if you choose to co-sleep, knowing that only Mom has natural alertness to baby’s safety

3. Consider using a large, firm breastfeeding pillow, like the My Brest Friend (deluxe for plus-size)

4. Always make sure a baby’s nose and mouth are unobstructed

5. Do not fall asleep with baby in a recliner or on a couch, do not leave baby asleep anywhere but in a crib

6. Do not use a non-breathable bumper or leave pillows, toys, or blankets in the crib

1. Crib slats should be no wider apart than a soda can

7. Consider using a ceiling fan to reduce the risk of SIDS by moving carbon dioxide away from the baby

8. Use a baby monitor or be close enough so that you will easily wake when they cry

9. Never leave them asleep in a car seat or swing unless they are properly reclined and strapped in snugly and are supervised because they can easily slouch down and block their airway

10. Consider using a pacifier to reduce the risk of SIDs

11. Never smoke or allow anyone to smoke around your child

12. Do use a sleep sack to keep baby warm if it’s winter

13. IF YOU ARE EVER FRUSTRATED, PLACE BABY SAFELY IN CRIB AND LEAVE ROOM TO COOL DOWN/CALL IN HELP

1. Never shake a baby, yell at them, throw water in their face, etc.

2. When your baby is crying, comfort by talking, patting, stroking, rocking, or walking with them in your arms, a sling, or stroller

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Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Child should be rear-facing in an infant or convertible seat until they outgrow the height (they should always be 1″ below the top of the seat as they will extend at least that much in a crash) or weight limits of that seat (usually around 40lbs but check your manufacturer’s information.)

1. Seat should be in the back, never in a seat with a passenger airbag.

2. Strap should be snug with the buckle across the center of their chest.

3. You can install the seat with latch up until the combined weight of the seat and child is 60lbs. There are also seats that use the seat belt but offer very quick installation, like the Britax Clicktight.

4. Seat should be reclined as far as possible at this age, within the safe range indicated by your seat (no more than 45 degrees). You can use a tightly rolled towel or foam pool noodles to help you achieve a proper recline.

2. Do not smoke in the car.

3. Do not leave baby unattended in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle the baby as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure the baby then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended. Check out The Carseat Poncho as well.

5. Warm weather: it can get very hot in a rear-facing car seat. Dress your baby in layers and remove any extra. Use sun shields on the windows and do your best to direct air into the seat.

6. CRYING: Use radio white noise, children’s music, or music with a good beat (similar to a heartbeat). Babies often like to look at mirrors, but do not use them if you will be too distracted by them. They make mirrors with dangling toys that swing when the car moves which I had success with.

7. SHOPPING: NEVER put an infant carrier style car seat in the top (child seat) section of a shopping cart. It changes the center of gravity and the cart (and your baby) came easily tip over. It could also ruin your car seat!

1. Instead, carry or baby wear

2. Or place the seat inside the main cart area

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Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. Baby will breastfeed 6-8 times per day. Or, offer 2.5oz of formula per pound of their weight a day– spread out in 4-7 oz bottles every 2-4 hours. Each baby is different.

a. Hunger cues: puts hands to mouth, sucks or roots, fussing

b. Baby is full when: they turn away, close mouth, or relax hands

c. Burp during natural feeding breaks

2. If using a bottle, you may need to experiment until you find the right one, always start with a slow nipple, don’t increase nipple speed if you’re still breastfeeding.

3. You can use simethicone to help with gas, but using it regularly will make problems worse

4. At six months you can begin to offer solid food!

a. Still no honey until 1 year

b. Breastmilk or formula is still their primary source of nutrition

c. I recommend Baby-Led Weaning, see below

d. Use a small cup to offer cold water, especially on hot days, or during a meal

e. They will throw their food – do not try to discipline

f. There is research that finds that early exposure to typical allergen foods reduces the likelihood that your child will be allergic, so don’t avoid food like peanuts, but use caution and keep an anti-histamine on hand

Baby- Led Weaning

Skip baby food completely! Let baby eat what you are eating by offering large, French-fry sized pieces! Don’t miss this time when babies naturally put everything in their mouth. Let them explore and play with food, offering solids after their breastmilk or formula.

I recommend the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook for more information.

 

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Child development guide

Play

1. Read to baby and talk to them as much as possible

2. Offer large toys that rattle, jingle, or make other noise when they manipulate them

3. Sing songs to them that have movement, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Wheels on the Bus”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”

4. Blow bubbles

5. Place baby so they are sitting up and can look around

6. Repeat the sounds they make

7. Play games such as peek-a-boo, patty cake, and so big

8. Do not force them to share, they are not capable until age 7-8

 

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Child development guide

Abilities

Mental Leaps (from The Wonder Weeks app):

1. Leap 5: Relationships starts between 22.5 and 26.5 weeks (from due date)

a. Can now perceive distance between two objects, can be very alarming

b. Abilities

a. Shows interest in people who “act differently” compared to “normal”

b. Shows interest in labels, zippers, or stickers

c. Lifts things up to see if anything is underneath

d. Tries to untie laces

e. Throws something to see the contents

f. Puts food in the mouths of others

g. Makes connections between words and deeds

h. Blows air

i. Protests as dad or mom walks away

j. Imitates sounds with his tongue

k. Stands up with a little help or pulls himself to an upward position

c. Signs

a. Cries more often or longer

b. Asks for more attention

c. Sleeps less, sleeps worse, and eats less

d. Has mood swings

e. Is not pleased with many things

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Baby’s weight is about double the birth weight by 4-6 months old

3. Use correct terms for all body parts, get into the habit of asking permission and telling baby what you are doing

4. Use diaper cream, especially at night or when baby is having lots of bowel movements, I recommend one with 40% zinc oxide for maximum protection or try Pinxave for pain relief

5. Always use a tear-free baby shampoo and make a relaxing bath part of their nighttime routine to cue sleep

Teeth:

1. Central incisors appear; lowers 5-8 months, uppers 6-10 months

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Use a saline mist and an aspirator or Nose Frida to gently clear nasal congestion

4. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 102.2 degrees

5. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

 

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Child development guide

Safety:

See the notes above about safe sleep.

1. Never hold hot liquids while holding your baby

2. Keep your car and home smoke-free

3. Never place a car seat in the top of shopping cart

4. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

5. Test your baby’s bathwater with your wrist

6. Never leave baby alone in or near a bath

7. Wash your hands often

8. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

9. Do not put bracelets or necklaces on baby

10. Keep your hand on them when changing their diaper

11. Do not leave them unattended on any surface they could roll off of

12. Keep swings/bouncers/car seats on the floor

13. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a baby sunscreen

14. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

Childproof:

– by moving things like medicine and cleaning supplies to a locked location.

– purchase and install baby gates at the bottom and tops of stairs, or into any rooms that are not childproofed

– placing locks on cabinets with unsafe contents

– purchasing Door Monkey locks for basement or bathroom doors

– keep small objects like perfume caps and other suffocation dangers like plastic bags or latex balloons away from your baby

– turn pot handles in so they can’t be reached

– do not leave curling irons plugged in

create a safe space for your baby to play within your home; you should never have to remove the baby from the object–remove the object from the baby’s reach

 

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Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Months 7-8

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

Unless you are very lucky, sleep is probably one thing you’re REALLY missing by now.

It’s amazing how quickly we adapt and cope with far less sleep, isn’t it? Like almost all things involving your child, you’ll learn that resisting it makes it persist.

I always had this constant fear of making a wrong move as a parent. I bought into parenting myths like, if she didn’t learn how to sleep on her own by a certain age, she would never sleep on her own.

I hope you’ll find the information in this guide valuable throughout your parenting journey, so that when you are sleep deprived you can feel confident in the decisions you make, for both you and your child.

Learning to trust yourself and make decisions based on whether they serve your child’s highest self brings true liberation to your parenting journey.

Please set up an 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning now how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Show me unconditional love.

5. Experience joy with me.

6. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

7. Listen to me and respond.

8. Surround me with interesting things to look at.

9. Play games where I follow things with my eyes.

10. Let me move – a LOT. Take me to playgrounds, swimming pools, dance with me. Let me wiggle and roll. Let me take some “risks” while I learn to move.

11. Make sure I have plenty of outdoor time to begin to develop distance vision.

12. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

 

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain develops at a rapid rate during the first year.

2. Frontal lobe development really begins to kick off.

3. The cerebellum triples in size during the first year causing a rapid development of motor skills.

4. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

5. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

6. Infant is totally dependent on caregiver to calm them and help them regulate.

7. Children are mostly in Delta brainwave cycles from 0-2, with very little critical thinking or judgment taking place.

8. Rudimentary object permanence begins around 8 months

9. By 8 months your baby can now see as well as an adult, but vision won’t be fully developed until ages 3-5

10. It’s a good time to let you know your child won’t have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old!

 

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Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

1. Number of naps: (see sample schedules at The Baby Sleep Site)

2. Length of naptime hours: 3-4

3. Nighttime sleep hours: 10-11

4. Total sleep hours: 14-15

5. Nighttime wakings: 1-2 times– they can continue waking up hungry 1-2 times after about 4 hours until 12 month

6. Regression can start as early as 8 months and as late as 10 and lasts 3-6 weeks, with 4 weeks of a fussy period

a. Related to brain development and teething

i. Too wired to settle down

b. Losing 3rd nap

i. Makes them extra tired and fussy

c. Breastfeeding associations, napping problems, medical concerns

d. What to do:

i. If this has been going on for some time, it’s a lingering issue – not regression

ii. Don’t assume everything is teething

1. Use Tylenol and cold washcloths to help with teething pain

iii. Be careful not to make new habits you don’t want to keep

e. Nightmares begin, he may wake up screaming or make crying sounds while asleep – these are signs of nightmares

f. Can continue waking up hungry 1-2 times after about 4 hours until 12 months.

7. Separation anxiety begins

a. Place your photo in or near their crib

b. Create a photo book of their nighttime routine including sleep and then morning, and read it with them often

c. Provide their lovey (consider a Snoedel which retains your scent) or an item of yours

d. If it works for your family, safely co-sleep following the safe co-sleeping guidelines

 

Sleep Safety:

1. Put baby to sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface

2. Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines if you choose to co-sleep, knowing that only Mom has natural alertness to baby’s safety

3. Consider using a large, firm breastfeeding pillow, like the My Brest Friend (deluxe for plus-size)

4. Always make sure a baby’s nose and mouth are unobstructed

5. Do not fall asleep with baby in a recliner or on a couch, do not leave baby asleep anywhere but in a crib

6. Do not use a non-breathable bumper or leave pillows, toys, or blankets in the crib

1. Crib slats should be no wider apart than a soda can

7. Consider using a ceiling fan to reduce the risk of SIDS by moving carbon dioxide away from the baby

8. Use a baby monitor or be close enough so that you will easily wake when they cry

9. Never leave them asleep in a car seat or swing unless they are properly reclined and strapped in snugly and are supervised because they can easily slouch down and block their airway

10. Consider using a pacifier to reduce the risk of SIDs

11. Never smoke or allow anyone to smoke around your child

12. Do use a sleep sack to keep baby warm if it’s winter

13. IF YOU ARE EVER FRUSTRATED, PLACE BABY SAFELY IN CRIB AND LEAVE ROOM TO COOL DOWN/CALL IN HELP

1. Never shake a baby, yell at them, throw water in their face, etc.

2. When your baby is crying, comfort by talking, patting, stroking, rocking, or walking with them in your arms, a sling, or stroller

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Child should be rear-facing in an infant or convertible seat until they outgrow the height (they should always be 1″ below the top of the seat as they will extend at least that much in a crash) or weight limits of that seat (usually around 40lbs but check your manufacturer’s information.)

1. Seat should be in the back, never in a seat with a passenger airbag.

2. Strap should be snug with the buckle across the center of their chest.

3. You can install the seat with latch up until the combined weight of the seat and child is 60lbs. There are also seats that use the seat belt but offer very quick installation, like the Britax Clicktight.

4. Seat should be reclined as far as possible at this age, within the safe range indicated by your seat (no more than 45 degrees). You can use a tightly rolled towel or foam pool noodles to help you achieve a proper recline.

2. Do not smoke in the car.

3. Do not leave baby unattended in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle the baby as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure the baby then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended. Check out The Carseat Poncho as well.

5. Warm weather: it can get very hot in a rear-facing car seat. Dress your baby in layers and remove any extra. Use sun shields on the windows and do your best to direct air into the seat.

6. CRYING: Use radio white noise, children’s music, or music with a good beat (similar to a heartbeat). Babies often like to look at mirrors, but do not use them if you will be too distracted by them. They make mirrors with dangling toys that swing when the car moves which I had success with.

7. SHOPPING: NEVER put an infant carrier style car seat in the top (child seat) section of a shopping cart. It changes the center of gravity and the cart (and your baby) came easily tip over. It could also ruin your car seat!

1. Instead, carry or baby wear

2. Or place the seat inside the main cart area

8. FLYING: You can either fly with your baby on your lap or in their own seat in a car seat, but know that most airlines will insist that they remain in the car seat. Plan to nurse, use a pacifier, or bottle during takeoff and landing to help them with the change in air pressure. You will either need to bring your car seat (you can check one free usually) or rent one at your destination.

 

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Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. Baby will breastfeed 6-8 times per day. Or, offer 2.5oz of formula per pound of their weight a day– spread out in 4-7 oz bottles every 2-4 hours. Each baby is different.

2. Breastfeeding: Most mothers are fed up with breastfeeding after this leap. Your baby’s ability to nag during this leap can be rather irritating. Remember that a leap will go away, so hang in there if you want to continue!

3. At six months you can begin to offer solid food!

a. Still no honey until 1 year

b. Breastmilk or formula is still their primary source of nutrition

c. I recommend Baby-Led Weaning, see below

d. Use a small cup to offer cold water, especially on hot days, or during a meal

e. They will throw their food – do not try to discipline

f. There is research that finds that early exposure to typical allergen foods reduces the likelihood that your child will be allergic, so don’t avoid food like peanuts, but use caution and keep an antihistamine on hand

Baby-Led Weaning

Skip baby food completely! Let baby eat what you are eating by offering large, French-fry sized pieces! Don’t miss this time when babies naturally put everything in their mouth. Let them explore and play with food, offering solids after their breastmilk or formula.

I recommend the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook for more information.

 

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Child development guide

Play

1. Read to baby and talk to them as much as possible

2. Let baby play on the floor with blocks, books, stuffed animals, wooden spoons, and age-appropriate toys. Stay present and play with them.

3. Sing songs to them that have movement, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Wheels on the Bus”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”

4. Blow bubbles

5. Place baby so they are sitting up and can look around

6. Repeat the sounds they make

7. Play games such as peek-a-boo, patty cake, and so big

8. Do not force them to share, they are not capable until age 7-8

 

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Child development guide

Abilities

Mental Leaps (from The Wonder Weeks app):

1. Leap 6: Categories begins between 33.5 and 37.5 weeks (from due date)

a. Beginning to investigate; peak mess-making time

b. Abilities

a. Shows that he knows some words

b. Makes it clear that he finds something dirty

c. Imitates adults

d. Recognizes himself in the mirror

e. Exaggerates his moods

f. Plays peek-a-boo by himself

g. Challenges others to play a game

h. Calls for a song (maybe by clapping)

i. Begins to practice crawling

c. Signs

a. Your baby appears jealous as he wants you to only pay attention to him. He will become difficult if you pay attention to someone else

b. Baby make wake up screaming or cry during sleep, this can indicate that he is having nightmares

c. Baby may be extremely lovely – going from being difficult to extremely lovely and nice to get attention

d. He may suddenly act like a younger baby

Separation anxiety begins

1. Encourage all caregivers to talk to him a lot

2. Create a step-ladder approach to transitions

Behavior:

1. Babies will drop things to explore gravity

a. Participate with them

2. Hitting/Biting

a. Gently change his environment b. Verbally remind him that hitting/biting is not okay, show him nice touches

3. Temper tantrums

a. Understand and empathize with him

4. Children do not have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Use correct terms for all body parts, get into the habit of asking permission and telling baby what you are doing

2. Use diaper cream, especially at night or when baby is having lots of bowel movements, I recommend one with 40% zinc oxide for maximum protection or try Pinxave for pain relief

3. Always use a tear-free baby shampoo and make a relaxing bath part of their nighttime routine to cue sleep

Teeth:

1. Central incisors appear; lowers 5-8 months, uppers 6-10 months

2. Lateral incisors appear; lowers 7-10 months, uppers 8-12 months

3. Use a rice-sized amount of tooth paste on a soft toothbrush or washcloth to clean their teeth

4. Do not let them sleep with a bottle

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Use a saline mist and an aspirator or Nose Frida to gently clear nasal congestion

4. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 102.2 degrees

5. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

 

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Child development guide

Safety:

See the notes above about safe sleep.

1. Never hold hot liquids while holding your baby

2. Keep your car and home smoke-free

3. Never place a car seat in the top of shopping cart

4. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

5. Test your baby’s bathwater with your wrist

6. Never leave baby alone in or near a bath

7. Wash your hands often

8. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

9. Do not put bracelets or necklaces on baby

10. Keep your hand on them when changing their diaper

11. Do not leave them unattended on any surface they could roll off of

12. Keep swings/bouncers/car seats on the floor

13. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a baby sunscreen

14. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

Childproof:

– by moving things like medicine and cleaning supplies to a locked location.

– purchase and install baby gates at the bottom and tops of stairs, or into any rooms that are not childproofed

– placing locks on cabinets with unsafe contents

– purchasing Door Monkey locks for basement or bathroom doors

– keep small objects like perfume caps and other suffocation dangers like plastic bags or latex balloons away from your baby

– turn pot handles in so they can’t be reached

– do not leave curling irons plugged in

create a safe space for your baby to play within your home; you should never have to remove the baby from the object–remove the object from the baby’s reach

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Months 9-10

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

Some parents may be expecting their child to crawl or even walk by now.

I encourage you to not rush toward the next milestone, tempting though it may be! Your child will do everything exactly when they’re meant to.

Of course, you can help them learn to use their new bodies by giving them opportunities to move! Let them test their limits.

This is a great opportunity for you to start the very important practice of not comparing your child to any other child.

Equally important is to not care about what anyone else thinks about your child or their abilities. You will know when something is an issue that needs more attention. Trust yourself, Momma!

Please set up a 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning now how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Give me lots of objects to manipulate. Let me explore the world hands-on.

5. Show me unconditional love, without need or dependency or a desire to control.

6. Experience joy with me.

7. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

8. Talk to me about my emotions. Give me the vocabulary to understand how I feel.

9. Listen to me and respond.

10. Surround me with interesting things to look at.

11. Play games where I follow things with my eyes.

12. Let me move – a LOT. Take me to playgrounds, swimming pools, dance with me. Let me wiggle and roll. Let me take some “risks” while I learn to move.

13. Make sure I have plenty of outdoor time to begin to develop distance vision.

14. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

 

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain develops at a rapid rate during the first year.

2. Frontal lobe development really begins to kick off.

3. The cerebellum triples in size during the first year causing a rapid development of motor skills.

4. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

5. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

6. Infant is totally dependent on caregiver to calm them and help them regulate.

7. Children are mostly in Delta brainwave cycles from 0-2, with very little critical thinking or judgment taking place.

8. Rudimentary object permanence begins around 8 months

9. By 8 months your baby can now see as well as an adult, but vision won’t be fully developed until ages 3-5

10. It’s a good time to let you know your child won’t have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old!

 

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Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

1. Number of naps: (see sample schedules at The Baby Sleep Site)

2. Length of naptime hours: 2.5-4

3. Nighttime sleep hours: 11-12

4. Total sleep hours: 14

5. Nighttime wakings: 1-2 times– they can continue waking up hungry once after about 4 hours until 12 months

6. Regression can start as early as 8 months and as late as 10 and lasts 3-6 weeks, with 4 weeks of a fussy period

a. Related to brain development and teething

i. Too wired to settle down

b. Losing 3rd nap

i. Makes them extra tired and fussy

c. Breastfeeding associations, napping problems, medical concerns

d. What to do:

i. If this has been going on for some time, it’s a lingering issue – not regression

ii. Don’t assume everything is teething

1. Use Tylenol and cold washcloths to help with teething pain

iii. Be careful not to make new habits you don’t want to keep

e. Nightmares begin, he may wake up screaming or make crying sounds while asleep – these are signs of nightmares

f. Can continue waking up hungry 1-2 times after about 4 hours until 12 months.

7. Separation anxiety is strongest 10-18 months

a. Place your photo in or near their crib

b. Create a photo book of their nighttime routine including sleep and then morning, and read it with them often

c. Provide their lovey (consider a Snoedel which retains your scent) or an item of yours

d. If it works for your family, safely co-sleep following the safe co-sleeping guidelines

 

Sleep Safety:

1. Put baby to sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface

2. Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines if you choose to co-sleep, knowing that only Mom has natural alertness to baby’s safety

3. Consider using a large, firm breastfeeding pillow, like the My Brest Friend (deluxe for plus-size)

4. Always make sure a baby’s nose and mouth are unobstructed

5. Do not fall asleep with baby in a recliner or on a couch, do not leave baby asleep anywhere but in a crib

6. Do not use a non-breathable bumper or leave pillows, toys, or blankets in the crib

1. Crib slats should be no wider apart than a soda can

7. Consider using a ceiling fan to reduce the risk of SIDS by moving carbon dioxide away from the baby

8. Use a baby monitor or be close enough so that you will easily wake when they cry

9. Never leave them asleep in a car seat or swing unless they are properly reclined and strapped in snugly and are supervised because they can easily slouch down and block their airway

10. Consider using a pacifier to reduce the risk of SIDs

11. Never smoke or allow anyone to smoke around your child

12. Do use a sleep sack to keep baby warm if it’s winter

13. IF YOU ARE EVER FRUSTRATED, PLACE BABY SAFELY IN CRIB AND LEAVE ROOM TO COOL DOWN/CALL IN HELP

1. Never shake a baby, yell at them, throw water in their face, etc.

2. When your baby is crying, comfort by talking, patting, stroking, rocking, or walking with them in your arms, a sling, or stroller

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Child should be rear-facing in an infant or convertible seat until they outgrow the height (they should always be 1″ below the top of the seat as they will extend at least that much in a crash) or weight limits of that seat (usually around 40lbs but check your manufacturer’s information.)

1. Seat should be in the back, never in a seat with a passenger airbag.

2. Strap should be snug with the buckle across the center of their chest.

3. You can install the seat with latch up until the combined weight of the seat and child is 60lbs. There are also seats that use the seat belt but offer very quick installation, like the Britax Clicktight.

4. You may wish to adjust the recline to a level within your seat’s acceptable rear-facing range.

2. Do not smoke in the car.

3. Do not leave baby unattended in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle the baby as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure the baby then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended. Check out The Carseat Poncho as well.

5. Warm weather: it can get very hot in a rear-facing car seat. Dress your baby in layers and remove any extra. Use sun shields on the windows and do your best to direct air into the seat.

6. CRYING: Use radio white noise, children’s music, or music with a good beat (similar to a heartbeat). Babies often like to look at mirrors, but do not use them if you will be too distracted by them. They make mirrors with dangling toys that swing when the car moves which I had success with.

7. SHOPPING: NEVER put an infant carrier style car seat in the top (child seat) section of a shopping cart. It changes the center of gravity and the cart (and your baby) came easily tip over. It could also ruin your car seat!

1. Instead, carry or baby wear

2. Or place the seat inside the main cart area

8. FLYING: You can either fly with your baby on your lap or in their own seat in a car seat, but know that most airlines will insist that they remain in the car seat. Plan to nurse, use a pacifier, or bottle during takeoff and landing to help them with the change in air pressure. You will either need to bring your car seat (you can check one free usually) or rent one at your destination.

 

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Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. Baby will breastfeed 6-8 times per day. Or, offer 2.5oz of formula per pound of their weight a day– spread out in 4-7 oz bottles every 2-4 hours. Each baby is different.

2. Breastfeeding: Most mothers are fed up with breastfeeding after this leap. Your baby’s ability to nag during this leap can be rather irritating. Remember that a leap will go away, so hang in there if you want to continue!

3. Your baby is eating solid food!

a. Still no honey until 1 year

b. Breastmilk or formula is still their primary source of nutrition

c. I recommend Baby-Led Weaning, see below

d. Use a small cup to offer cold water, especially on hot days, or during a meal

e. They will throw their food – do not try to discipline

f. There is research that finds that early exposure to typical allergen foods reduces the likelihood that your child will be allergic, so don’t avoid food like peanuts, but use caution and keep an anti-histamine on hand

g. Baby is full when they lean back or turn away

h. Baby can start using utensils

Baby-Led Weaning

Skip baby food completely! Let baby eat what you are eating by offering large, French-fry sized pieces! Don’t miss this time when babies naturally put everything in their mouth. Let them explore and play with food, offering solids after their breastmilk or formula.

I recommend the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook for more information.

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Play

1. Read to baby and talk to them as much as possible

2. Let baby play on the floor with blocks, books, stuffed animals, wooden spoons, and age-appropriate toys. Stay present and play with them.

3. Sing songs to them that have movement, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Wheels on the Bus”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”

4. Blow bubbles

5. Place baby so they are sitting up and can look around

6. Repeat the sounds they make

7. Play games such as peek-a-boo, patty cake, and so big

8. Do not force them to share, they are not capable until age 7-8

 

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Child development guide

Abilities

Mental Leaps (from The Wonder Weeks app):

1. Leap 7: Sequences begins between 41.5 and 46.5 weeks (from due date)

a. Baby will start putting things together instead of making messes

b. Will like to feel needed and want to help

c. Abilities

a. Answer simple questions

b. Says “hum” if he wants another bite

c. Points at things, people, or animals when asked

d. Puts together a simple puzzle of three pieces

e. Understands that you have to talk into the mouthpiece of a phone

f. Stacks rings onto the ring pyramid

g. Points where to go

h. Repeats a game

i. Tries to persuade you to help him with things he really could have done without you

j. Imitates two or more gestures that you make, one after another

k. Tries to put on his sock by himself but does not succeed

d. Signs

a. Show an even greater desire for attachment; being carried, staying close, sitting on your lap, keeping an eye on you

b. Becomes angry when you put him down

c. Unconsciously plays with emotions to get your attention

d. Sits quietly, daydreaming

e. Often sucks his thumb

f. Cries more often and is cranky, grumpy, or moody

g. Chats less

h. Whines more

e. He may suddenly act like a younger baby

Separation anxiety begins

1. Encourage all caregivers to talk to him a lot

2. Create a step-ladder approach to transitions

Behavior:

1. Babies will drop things to explore gravity

a. Participate with them

2. Hitting/Biting

a. Gently change his environment b. Verbally remind him that hitting/biting is not okay, show him nice touches

3. Temper tantrums

a. Understand and empathize with him

4. Children do not have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Use correct terms for all body parts, get into the habit of asking permission and telling baby what you are doing

2. Use diaper cream, especially at night or when baby is having lots of bowel movements, I recommend one with 40% zinc oxide for maximum protection or try Pinxave for pain relief 

3. Always use a tear-free baby shampoo and make a relaxing bath part of their nighttime routine to cue sleep

4. Posterior fontanelle (soft spot) hardens between 9-18 months

Teeth:

1. Central incisors appear; lowers 5-8 months, uppers 6-10 months

2. Lateral incisors appear; lowers 7-10 months, uppers 8-12 months

3. Use a rice-sized amount of tooth paste on a soft toothbrush or washcloth to clean their teeth

4. Do not let them sleep with a bottle

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Use a saline mist and an aspirator or Nose Frida to gently clear nasal congestion

4. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 102.2 degrees

5. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Safety:

See the notes above about safe sleep.

1. Never hold hot liquids while holding your baby

2. Keep your car and home smoke-free

3. Never place a car seat in the top of shopping cart

4. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

5. Test your baby’s bathwater with your wrist

6. Never leave baby alone in or near a bath

7. Wash your hands often

8. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

9. Do not put bracelets or necklaces on baby

10. Keep your hand on them when changing their diaper

11. Do not leave them unattended on any surface they could roll off of

12. Keep swings/bouncers/car seats on the floor

13. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a baby sunscreen

14. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

Childproof:

– by moving things like medicine and cleaning supplies to a locked location.

– purchase and install baby gates at the bottom and tops of stairs, or into any rooms that are not childproofed

– placing locks on cabinets with unsafe contents

– purchasing Door Monkey locks for basement or bathroom doors

– keep small objects like perfume caps and other suffocation dangers like plastic bags or latex balloons away from your baby

– turn pot handles in so they can’t be reached

– do not leave curling irons plugged in

create a safe space for your baby to play within your home; you should never have to remove the baby from the object–remove the object from the baby’s reach

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Months 11-12

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

So many BIG things happening! It’s almost time to introduce milk, you may be ready to end your breastfeeding journey, and you have a birthday party to prepare for!

There’s a good chance your little one is now crawling, or getting close to it.

It’s getting more fun to go do things with them, like the zoo! I happened to be in Florida when our daughter was this age. We wanted to go to Disney World– so we all went – and she had a ball!

Of course, they won’t remember much of what happens, but that doesn’t mean to put your life on hold until they will. You can still enjoy every moment along the way and share the pictures with them when they’re older. I have beautiful memories of my daughter at that age from that trip that are easy to recall since we were in such a different environment.

Speaking of pictures, I don’t regret a single picture or video I’ve ever taken. If you can snap a quick one or get someone else to and still enjoy the moment, you will have memories for a lifetime.

Please set up a 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning now how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Give me lots of objects to manipulate. Let me explore the world hands-on.

5. Show me unconditional love, without need or dependency or a desire to control.

6. Experience joy with me.

7. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

8. Talk to me about my emotions. Give me the vocabulary to understand how I feel.

9. Listen to me and respond.

10. Surround me with interesting things to look at.

11. Play games where I follow things with my eyes.

12. Let me move – a LOT. Take me to playgrounds, swimming pools, dance with me. Let me wiggle and roll. Let me take some “risks” while I learn to move.

13. Make sure I have plenty of outdoor time to begin to develop distance vision.

14. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

 

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain develops at a rapid rate during the first year.

2. Frontal lobe development really begins to kick off.

3. The cerebellum triples in size during the first year causing a rapid development of motor skills.

4. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

5. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

6. Infant is totally dependent on caregiver to calm them and help them regulate.

7. Children are mostly in Delta brainwave cycles from 0-2, with very little critical thinking or judgment taking place.

8. Rudimentary object permanence begins around 8 months

9. By 8 months your baby can now see as well as an adult, but vision won’t be fully developed until ages 3-5

10. It’s a good time to let you know your child won’t have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old!

 

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Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

1. Number of naps: 1-2 (see sample schedules at The Baby Sleep Site)

2. Length of naptime hours: 2-3

3. Nighttime sleep hours: 11.5-12

4. Total sleep hours: 13-14

5. Nighttime wakings: 1-2 times– they can continue waking up hungry once after about 4 hours until 12 months

 

6. Separation anxiety is strongest 10-18 months

a. Place your photo in or near their crib

b. Create a photo book of their nighttime routine including sleep and then morning, and read it with them often

c. Provide their lovey (consider a Snoedel which retains your scent) or an item of yours

d. If it works for your family, safely co-sleep following the safe co-sleeping guidelines

7. There are changes in baby’s brain waves and glucose metabolism at around 12 months

8. If you are struggling, check your sleep associations:

a. Are you doing something that baby associates with falling asleep?

b. I recommend the book, “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley or The Beyond Sleep Training Project for help with nighttime sleep issues

 

Sleep Safety:

1. Put baby to sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface

2. Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines if you choose to co-sleep, knowing that only Mom has natural alertness to baby’s safety

3. Consider using a large, firm breastfeeding pillow, like the My Brest Friend (deluxe for plus-size)

4. Always make sure a baby’s nose and mouth are unobstructed

5. Do not fall asleep with baby in a recliner or on a couch, do not leave baby asleep anywhere but in a crib

6. Do not use a non-breathable bumper or leave pillows, toys, or blankets in the crib

1. Crib slats should be no wider apart than a soda can

7. Consider using a ceiling fan to reduce the risk of SIDS by moving carbon dioxide away from the baby

8. Use a baby monitor or be close enough so that you will easily wake when they cry

9. Never leave them asleep in a car seat or swing unless they are properly reclined and strapped in snugly and are supervised because they can easily slouch down and block their airway

10. Consider using a pacifier to reduce the risk of SIDs

11. Never smoke or allow anyone to smoke around your child

12. Do use a sleep sack to keep baby warm if it’s winter

13. IF YOU ARE EVER FRUSTRATED, PLACE BABY SAFELY IN CRIB AND LEAVE ROOM TO COOL DOWN/CALL IN HELP

1. Never shake a baby, yell at them, throw water in their face, etc.

2. When your baby is crying, comfort by talking, patting, stroking, rocking, or walking with them in your arms, a sling, or stroller

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Child should be rear-facing in an infant or convertible seat until they outgrow the height (they should always be 1″ below the top of the seat as they will extend at least that much in a crash) or weight limits of that seat (usually around 40lbs but check your manufacturer’s information.)

1. Seat should be in the back, never in a seat with a passenger airbag.

2. Strap should be snug with the buckle across the center of their chest.

3. You can install the seat with latch up until the combined weight of the seat and child is 60lbs. There are also seats that use the seat belt but offer very quick installation, like the Britax Clicktight.

4. You may wish to adjust the recline to a level within your seat’s acceptable rear-facing range.

2. Do not smoke in the car.

3. Do not leave baby unattended in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle the baby as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure the baby then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended. Check out The Carseat Poncho as well.

5. Warm weather: it can get very hot in a rear-facing car seat. Dress your baby in layers and remove any extra. Use sun shields on the windows and do your best to direct air into the seat.

6. CRYING: Use radio white noise, children’s music, or music with a good beat (similar to a heartbeat). Babies often like to look at mirrors, but do not use them if you will be too distracted by them. They make mirrors with dangling toys that swing when the car moves which I had success with.

7. SHOPPING: NEVER put an infant carrier style car seat in the top (child seat) section of a shopping cart. It changes the center of gravity and the cart (and your baby) came easily tip over. It could also ruin your car seat!

1. Instead, carry or baby wear

2. Or place the seat inside the main cart area

8. FLYING: You can either fly with your baby on your lap or in their own seat in a car seat, but know that most airlines will insist that they remain in the car seat. Plan to nurse, use a pacifier, or bottle during takeoff and landing to help them with the change in air pressure. You will either need to bring your car seat (you can check one free usually) or rent one at your destination.

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. Baby will breastfeed 6-8 times per day. Or, offer 2.5oz of formula per pound of their weight a day– spread out in 4-7 oz bottles every 2-4 hours. Each baby is different.

2. Your baby is eating solid food!

a. Still no honey until 1 year

b. Breastmilk or formula is still their primary source of nutrition

c. I recommend Baby-Led Weaning, see below

d. Use a small cup to offer cold water, especially on hot days, or during a meal

e. They will throw their food – do not try to discipline

f. There is research that finds that early exposure to typical allergen foods reduces the likelihood that your child will be allergic, so don’t avoid food like peanuts, but use caution and keep an anti-histamine on hand

g. Baby is full when they lean back or turn away

h. Baby can start using utensils

Baby-Led Weaning

Skip baby food completely! Let baby eat what you are eating by offering large, French-fry sized pieces! Don’t miss this time when babies naturally put everything in their mouth. Let them explore and play with food, offering solids after their breastmilk or formula.

I recommend the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook for more information.

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Play

1. Read to baby and talk to them as much as possible

2. Let baby play on the floor with blocks, books, stuffed animals, wooden spoons, and age-appropriate toys. Stay present and play with them.

3. Sing songs to them that have movement, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Wheels on the Bus”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”

4. Blow bubbles

5. Place baby so they are sitting up and can look around

6. Repeat the sounds they make

7. Play games such as peek-a-boo, patty cake, and so big

8. Do not force them to share, they are not capable until age 7-8

Did You Know?

Children learn through play: “Indeed, current research in the brain and cognitive sciences agrees that it is learning that truly spurs development. And young children learn most when they are at play… As children work together or figure things out through play, they build confidence in their abilities. Confidence allows children to take chances, learn, and grow. It is this confidence, determined through play, that they take into academic learning as they get older—a feeling of excitement about figuring it out, whether it is learning to add or read new words.” – Dr. Tovah Klein, How Toddlers Thrive

 

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Child development guide

Abilities

Mental Leaps (from The Wonder Weeks app):

1. Leap 8: Programs starts between 50.5 and 54.5 weeks (from due date)

a. Another big change in neurodevelopment

b. Able to perceive a big sequence of actions as one thing

c. Abilities

a. Comes to you with a jacket and hat because he wants to go out

b. Grabs his clothes and wants to be dressed

c. Puts things back into the closet where they belong

d. Chooses a CD to listen to

e. Picks up a pencil and some paper and “makes a drawing” if you tell him how

f. Bathes a doll

g. Invents imaginary ways in which he drives a car

h. Intensively examines how you do a program such as cooking, eating, or putting on makeup

d. Signs

a. Throws spontaneous temper tantrums when he’s not allowed to do something he really wants

b. Grabs onto his teddy bear more often

c. Wants to be entertained more often

d. Cries more often and is cranky, moody, and grumpy

Separation anxiety is strongest between 10-18 months

1. Encourage all caregivers to talk to him a lot

2. Create a step-ladder approach to transitions

Behavior:

1. Babies will drop things to explore gravity

a. Participate with them

2. Hitting/Biting

a. Gently change his environment b. Verbally remind him that hitting/biting is not okay, show him nice touches

3. Temper tantrums

a. Understand and empathize with him

4. Children do not have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Use correct terms for all body parts, get into the habit of asking permission and telling baby what you are doing

2. Use diaper cream, especially at night or when baby is having lots of bowel movements, I recommend one with 40% zinc oxide for maximum protection or try Pinxave for pain relief

3. Always use a tear-free baby shampoo and make a relaxing bath part of their nighttime routine to cue sleep

4. Posterior fontanelle (soft spot) hardens between 9-18 months

Teeth:

1. Lateral incisors appear; lowers 7-10 months, uppers 8-12 months

2. First molars appear; lowers 11-18 months, uppers 11-18 months

3. Use a rice-sized amount of tooth paste on a soft toothbrush or washcloth to clean their teeth

4. Do not let them sleep with a bottle

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Use a saline mist and an aspirator or Nose Frida to gently clear nasal congestion

4. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 102.2 degrees

5. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

 

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Child development guide

Safety:

See the notes above about safe sleep.

1. Never hold hot liquids while holding your baby

2. Keep your car and home smoke-free

3. Never place a car seat in the top of shopping cart

4. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

5. Test your baby’s bathwater with your wrist

6. Never leave baby alone in or near a bath

7. Wash your hands often

8. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

9. Do not put bracelets or necklaces on baby

10. Keep your hand on them when changing their diaper

11. Do not leave them unattended on any surface they could roll off of

12. Keep swings/bouncers/car seats on the floor

13. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a baby sunscreen

14. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

Childproof:

– by moving things like medicine and cleaning supplies to a locked location.

– purchase and install baby gates at the bottom and tops of stairs, or into any rooms that are not childproofed

– placing locks on cabinets with unsafe contents

– purchasing Door Monkey locks for basement or bathroom doors

– keep small objects like perfume caps and other suffocation dangers like plastic bags or latex balloons away from your baby

– turn pot handles in so they can’t be reached

– do not leave curling irons plugged in

create a safe space for your baby to play within your home; you should never have to remove the baby from the object–remove the object from the baby’s reach

 

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Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Months 13-18

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

This period is so much fun! They’ll learn how to crawl, how to walk, and climb the stairs!

They’re much more into toys and books and starting to use some language.
If you use a school or daycare, they’re probably transitioning or have already moved to a new room that allows them more independence and freedom.

They may also be super into songs and music.

Enjoy this final incarnation of your baby before the madness starts! At around 18 months they begin to have a desire for independence yet still REALLY want you. That clash of needs and the fact that they are emotion-driven can really drive a parent bananas if they don’t understand it.

When in doubt, just remember to be quietly compassionate and offer snuggles. Save the logic and reasoning for well after the storm has passed.

Please set up a 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning now how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

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Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Give me lots of objects to manipulate. Let me explore the world hands-on.

5. Show me unconditional love, without need or dependency or a desire to control.

6. Experience joy with me.

7. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

8. Talk to me about my emotions. Give me the vocabulary to understand how I feel.

9. Listen to me and respond.

10. Surround me with interesting things to look at.

11. Play games where I follow things with my eyes.

12. Let me move – a LOT. Take me to playgrounds, swimming pools, dance with me. Let me wiggle and roll. Let me take some “risks” while I learn to move.

13. Make sure I have plenty of outdoor time to begin to develop distance vision.

14. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

 

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain develops at a rapid rate during the first year.

2. Frontal lobe development really begins to kick off.

3. The cerebellum triples in size during the first year causing a rapid development of motor skills.

4. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

5. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

6. Infant is totally dependent on caregiver to calm them and help them regulate.

7. Children are mostly in Delta brainwave cycles from 0-2, with very little critical thinking or judgment taking place.

8. Rudimentary object permanence begins around 8 months

9. By 8 months your baby can now see as well as an adult, but vision won’t be fully developed until ages 3-5

10. It’s a good time to let you know your child won’t have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old!

 

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Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

1. Number of naps: 1-2 (see sample schedules at The Baby Sleep Site)

2. Length of naptime hours: 2-3

3. Nighttime sleep hours: 11.5-12

4. Total sleep hours: 13-14

5. Wakings: they “should” no longer be waking up hungry, check sleep associations + move snack/milk up in routine

6. Separation anxiety is strongest 10-18 months

a. Place your photo in or near their crib

b. Create a photo book of their nighttime routine including sleep and then morning, and read it with them often

c. Provide their lovey (consider a Snoedel which retains your scent) or an item of yours

d. If it works for your family, safely co-sleep following the safe co-sleeping guidelines

7. Regression can occur around 18 months

a. Caused by

i. Teething; kids typically cutting canines and first molars

ii. Separation anxiety (Separation anxiety strongest 10-18 months)

iii. Greater independence so they are exerting will by not sleeping/staying in bed

8. If you are struggling, check your sleep associations:

a. Are you doing something that baby associates with falling asleep?

b. I recommend the book, “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley or The Beyond Sleep Training Project for help with nighttime sleep issues

9. Has nightmares

10. May need a before-bed feeding

 

Sleep Safety:

1. Put baby to sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface

2. Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines if you choose to co-sleep, knowing that only Mom has natural alertness to baby’s safety

3. Do not fall asleep with baby in a recliner or on a couch, do not leave baby asleep anywhere but in a crib

4. You may now choose to use a toddler pillow, which is flatter than a normal pillow

5. Use a baby monitor or be close enough so that you will easily wake when they cry

6.  Never smoke or allow anyone to smoke around your child

7.  You may wish to start using a blanket, or you can use a sleep “sack” with legs

8. IF YOU ARE EVER FRUSTRATED, PLACE BABY SAFELY IN CRIB AND LEAVE ROOM TO COOL DOWN/CALL IN HELP

1. Never shake a baby, yell at them, throw water in their face, etc.

2. When your baby is crying, comfort by talking, patting, stroking, rocking, or walking with them in your arms, a sling, or stroller

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Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Child should be rear-facing in an infant or convertible seat until they outgrow the height (they should always be 1″ below the top of the seat as they will extend at least that much in a crash) or weight limits of that seat (usually around 40lbs but check your manufacturer’s information.)

1. Seat should be in the back, never in a seat with a passenger airbag.

2. Strap should be snug with the buckle across the center of their chest.

3. You can install the seat with latch up until the combined weight of the seat and child is 60lbs. There are also seats that use the seat belt but offer very quick installation, like the Britax Clicktight.

4. You may wish to adjust the recline to a level within your seat’s acceptable rear-facing range.

5. It is normal and ok for their legs to bend, they will still be comfortable. The vertebrae in their spine are not fused until 3+ years and they are SAFEST rear facing as long as possible.

2. Do not smoke in the car.

3. Do not leave baby unattended in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle the baby as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure the baby then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended. Check out The Carseat Poncho as well.

5. Warm weather: it can get very hot in a rear-facing car seat. Dress your baby in layers and remove any extra. Use sun shields on the windows and do your best to direct air into the seat.

6. CRYING: Use radio white noise, children’s music, or music with a good beat (similar to a heartbeat). Babies often like to look at mirrors, but do not use them if you will be too distracted by them. They make mirrors with dangling toys that swing when the car moves which I had success with.

7. SHOPPING: NEVER put an infant carrier style car seat in the top (child seat) section of a shopping cart. It changes the center of gravity and the cart (and your baby) came easily tip over. It could also ruin your car seat!

1. Instead, carry or baby wear

2. Or place the seat inside the main cart area

8. FLYING: You can either fly with your baby on your lap or in their own seat in a car seat, but know that most airlines will insist that they remain in the car seat. Plan to nurse, use a pacifier, or bottle during takeoff and landing to help them with the change in air pressure. You will either need to bring your car seat (you can check one free usually) or rent one at your destination.

9. Some people like to leave for long road trips at night, I find it easiest to leave very early in the morning (3-5AM) – just leave the kids in their pajamas and transfer to the car once you’re packed and ready!

 

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Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. You can now move to milk! Some people choose whole milk, we chose soy milk (Silk Original) as it is the closest nutritionally to dairy

a. You want to start making solid food their primary source of nutrition, don’t stress if they don’t regularly consume much milk. You can always choose a vitamin supplement that has calcium. Water should be their primary beverage.

b. Your pediatrician may start pressuring you to wean from the bottle, I have found that not worrying about it at all led to a much easier, natural progression from bottle to cup (I love the Munchkin 360 cups).

2. Your baby is eating solid food!

a. They can now have honey

b. They will throw their food – do not try to discipline

c. There is research that finds that early exposure to typical allergen foods reduces the likelihood that your child will be allergic, so don’t avoid food like peanuts, but use caution and keep an anti-histamine on hand

d. Baby is full when they lean back or turn away

e. Baby can start using utensils

Meals & Mealtime

Kids are not going to sit for meals, allow them to graze or leave their seat once they are finished. Use play to connect, not food. Change your expectations, not your child.

Control the food in your house, not what or when your child eats. Allow them to listen to their body and to choose from the food available in the house.

Do not force a child to eat what you have prepared, clean their plate, or try any food. Let them build their own relationship with food, inspired by what you model!

 

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Child development guide

Play

1. Read to baby and talk to them as much as possible

2. Let baby play on the floor with blocks, books, stuffed animals, wooden spoons, and age-appropriate toys. Stay present and play with them.

3. Sing songs to them that have movement, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Wheels on the Bus”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”

4. Blow bubbles

5. Repeat the sounds they make

6. Play games such as peek-a-boo, patty cake, and so big

7. Encourage sensory play; provide bins with hidden toys/objects inside mediums like rice, beans, sand, snow, water, etc.

8. Help baby paint and color with crayons

9. Use Play-Doh or other modeling materials. This is a great way to teach them how to use a (toy) knife.

10. Use a push walking toy to help them build confidence in their walking ability

11. Allow them to bring a toy or object from home to daycare/school (Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia are great programs). These transitional objects help them adjust.

12. Encourage role-play and engage with them

13. Do not force them to share, they are not capable until age 7-8

Did You Know?

Children learn through play: “Indeed, current research in the brain and cognitive sciences agrees that it is learning that truly spurs development. And young children learn most when they are at play… As children work together or figure things out through play, they build confidence in their abilities. Confidence allows children to take chances, learn, and grow. It is this confidence, determined through play, that they take into academic learning as they get older—a feeling of excitement about figuring it out, whether it is learning to add or read new words.” – Dr. Tovah Klein, How Toddlers Thrive

 

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Child development guide

Abilities

Mental Leaps (from The Wonder Weeks app):

Leap 9: Principles begins between 59.5 and 64.5 weeks (from due date)

1. Becomes more skillful with tasks and language

2. Imitates others

3. Role plays daily life

4. Practices emotions

5. Starts to think ahead

6. Starts nagging to get his way

7. Starts to put on drama plays

8. Starts to demand a vote

9. Starts to be aggressive

10. Distinguishes between mine and yours

11. Starts being nice and placating to get on your good side

12. Starts to make jokes to get around the rules

13. Starts negotiating and bargaining

14. Starts experimenting with yes and no

15. Learns to do something together

16. Wants to help in the household

17. Experiments with the concept of being thoughtless versus careful

18. Abilities

a. Plays with emotions by practicing all sorts of behavior and facial expressions from sad to happy and sweet

b. Wants to do things by himself

c. Replays the daily domestic business done indoors and out

d. Thinks ahead, contemplates, and makes plans

e. Starts nagging and throwing temper tantrums to get his way

f. Understands the concepts of mine and yours

g. Starts negotiating and bargaining

h. May have irrational fears (show sympathy because your child is not faking)

19. Signs

a. Can be more like a small baby and is only happy if sitting on a lap or being carried around

b. Does not want to be picked up by anyone other than mom

c. Follows you constantly wherever you go

d. Is jealous, especially when you give attention to other children

e. Is cheerful one moment and crying the next

f. Breastfeeding toddlers want to be fed more often (to be with mom)

g. Act unusually sweet

h. Is mischievous

 

Leap 10: Systems starts between 70.5 and 76.5 weeks (from due date)

1. Starts to develop earliest beginnings of a conscience by systematically upholding his values and norms

2. Understands he can choose how he wants to be

3. Starts to develop a notion of self

4. After this leap, sensorimotor stage has been completed

5. Abilities

a. Sense of self; me and my body, I have control over my body, I can do it myself, I have my own will, I can decide for myself, I want power

b. Grasps that mom and dad are individuals that lead their own lives

c. Tests with behavior to see what reaction he’ll get

d. Can console others

e. Starts to understand that he is part of an extended family and wants to call grandma and grandpa

f. Learns the rules of what belongs to whom and what he is entitled to

g. He creates drawings that represent something from the real world

h. Begins to develop a sense of routine; his memory improves and he gets better at anticipating the future

i. Impressive increase in the comprehension of words spoken around him and starts to speak more words

6. Signs

a. Cries more often and is cranky or fretful more often

b. Is cheerful one moment and crying the next

c. Wants to be entertained

d. Clings to your clothes or wants to be closer to you

e. Acts unusually sweet

f. Is mischievous

g. Throws temper tantrums or throws them more often

h. Is jealous

i. Is more shy with strangers

j. Wants physical contact to be tighter or closer

k. Sleeps poorly

l. Has nightmares or has them more often

m. Loses appetite

n. Sometimes just sits there, quietly daydreaming

o. Reaches for a cuddly toy or does so more often

p. Acts more babyish

Behavior:

1. Babies will drop things to explore gravity

a. Participate with them

2. Hitting/Biting

a. Gently change his environment b. Verbally remind him that hitting/biting is not okay, show him nice touches

3. Temper tantrums

a. Understand and empathize with him

4. Children do not have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Growth plateaus. Typical gain is only about 5lbs between 1 and 2 years old

2. Use correct terms for all body parts, get into the habit of asking permission and telling baby what you are doing

3. Use diaper cream, especially at night or when baby is having lots of bowel movements, I recommend one with 40% zinc oxide for maximum protection or try Pinxave for pain relief

a. Between 18-24 months, baby may show signs of readiness for potty training:

i. Dry for two hours

ii. Can pull down pants

iii. Can tell you when they need to go

iv. Know if they are wet or dry

v. Wants to learn

4. Always use a tear-free baby shampoo and make a relaxing bath part of their nighttime routine to cue sleep

5. Posterior fontanelle (soft spot) hardens between 9-18 months

Teeth:

1. First molars appear 11-18 months

2. Canines appear 16-20 months

3. Use a rice-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft toothbrush or washcloth to clean their teeth

4. Do not let them sleep with a bottle

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Use a saline mist and an aspirator or Nose Frida to gently clear nasal congestion

4. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 102.2 degrees

5. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

 

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Child development guide

Safety:

See the notes above about safe sleep.

1. Never hold hot liquids while holding your baby

2. Keep your car and home smoke-free

3. Never place a car seat in the top of shopping cart

4. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

5. Test your baby’s bathwater with your wrist

6. Never leave baby alone in or near a bath

7. Wash your hands often

8. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

9. Do not put bracelets or necklaces on baby

10. Keep your hand on them when changing their diaper

11. Do not leave them unattended on any surface they could roll off of

12. Keep swings/bouncers/car seats on the floor

13. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a baby sunscreen

14. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

13. Continue using a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the seat’s height and weight limits

14. Supervise play with an older sibling that has access to choking hazards and may innocently hand them to the younger child

 

Childproof:

– by moving things like medicine and cleaning supplies to a locked location.

– purchase and install baby gates at the bottom and tops of stairs, or into any rooms that are not childproofed

– placing locks on cabinets with unsafe contents

– purchasing Door Monkey locks for basement or bathroom doors

– keep small objects like perfume caps and other suffocation dangers like plastic bags or latex balloons away from your baby

– turn pot handles in so they can’t be reached

– do not leave curling irons plugged in

create a safe space for your baby to play within your home; you should never have to remove the baby from the object–remove the object from the baby’s reach

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Months 19-23

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

Now the madness has begun. And you may still not even be sleeping, especially with the big sleep regression around 18 months and continued teething and separation anxiety woes.

Your child has learned a very interesting word… NO. I was so excited when my daughter learned no because it ended some of the constant guessing about what she wanted.

However, this also coincides with their new developmental state of always wanting two things at once: independence and dependence.

They are always wanting to do it on their own, but always want to know that you are there for them too. Keep this in mind and stay calm during their tantrums (and quiet), and you’ll get through this stage just fine.

This is also the time to really make sure you are building their skills for your essential boundaries (more details on boundaries on my website). Have consistent routines in place so boundaries, like picking up toys or brushing teeth, are built-in and expected parts of their day.

Structure provides comfort right now, so be lenient in the WAY things are done but have a consistent order in which they are done, for the most part. Toddlers have no sense of time, only of what comes next.

Please set up a 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning now how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Give me lots of objects to manipulate. Let me explore the world hands-on.

5. Show me unconditional love, without need or dependency or a desire to control.

6. Experience joy with me.

7. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

8. Talk to me about my emotions. Give me the vocabulary to understand how I feel.

9. Listen to me and respond.

10. Surround me with interesting things to look at.

11. Play games where I follow things with my eyes.

12. Let me move – a LOT. Take me to playgrounds, swimming pools, dance with me. Let me wiggle and roll. Let me take some “risks” while I learn to move.

13. Make sure I have plenty of outdoor time to begin to develop distance vision.

14. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

 

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain develops at a rapid rate during the first year.

2. Frontal lobe development really begins to kick off.

3. The cerebellum triples in size during the first year causing a rapid development of motor skills.

4. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

5. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

6. Children are mostly in Delta brainwave cycles from 0-2, with very little critical thinking or judgment taking place.

7. By 18 months, they have full understanding of object permanence

8. By 8 months your baby can now see as well as an adult, but vision won’t be fully developed until ages 3-5

9. It’s a good time to let you know your child won’t have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old!

 

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Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

1. Number of naps: (see sample schedules at The Baby Sleep Site)

2. Length of naptime hours: 1-2

3. Nighttime sleep hours: 11-12

4. Total sleep hours: 13

5. Wakings: they “should” no longer be waking up hungry, check sleep associations + move snack/milk up in routine

6. Separation anxiety can appear off and on

a. Place your photo in or near their crib

b. Create a photo book of their nighttime routine including sleep and then morning, and read it with them often

c. Provide their lovey (consider a Snoedel which retains your scent) or an item of yours

d. If it works for your family, safely co-sleep following the safe co-sleeping guidelines

7. Regression can occur around 18 months

a. Caused by

i. Teething; kids typically cutting canines and first molars

ii. Separation anxiety (Separation anxiety strongest 10-18 months)

iii. Greater independence so they are exerting will by not sleeping/staying in bed

8. If you are struggling, check your sleep associations:

a. Are you doing something that baby associates with falling asleep?

b. I recommend the book, “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley or The Beyond Sleep Training Project for help with nighttime sleep issues

9. Has nightmares

 

 

Sleep Safety:

1. Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines if you choose to co-sleep, knowing that only Mom has natural alertness to baby’s safety

2. You may now choose to use a toddler pillow, which is flatter than a normal pillow

3.  Never smoke or allow anyone to smoke around your child

4.  You may wish to start using a blanket, or you can use a sleep “sack” with legs

5. IF YOU ARE EVER FRUSTRATED, PLACE CHILD SAFELY IN CRIB AND LEAVE ROOM TO COOL DOWN/CALL IN HELP

1. Never shake a child, yell at them, throw water in their face, etc.

2. When your child is crying, comfort by talking, patting, stroking, rocking, or walking with them in your arms, a sling, or stroller

3. Always lovingly support your child while they cry. You may not be able to “fix it”, but you can be present and understanding

4. The easiest way to handle bedtime is to drop any ideas of what it “should” look like and just go with the flow. Your child will likely strongly want to be with you; in the bed or a cot

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Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Child should be rear-facing in an infant or convertible seat until they outgrow the height (they should always be 1″ below the top of the seat as they will extend at least that much in a crash) or weight limits of that seat (usually around 40lbs but check your manufacturer’s information.)

1. Seat should be in the back, never in a seat with a passenger airbag.

2. Strap should be snug with the buckle across the center of their chest.

3. You can install the seat with latch up until the combined weight of the seat and child is 60lbs. There are also seats that use the seat belt but offer very quick installation, like the Britax Clicktight.

4. You may wish to adjust the recline to a level within your seat’s acceptable rear-facing range.

5. It is normal and ok for their legs to bend, they will still be comfortable. The vertebrae in their spine are not fused until 3+ years and they are SAFEST rear facing as long as possible.

2. Do not smoke in the car.

3. Do not leave baby unattended in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle your child as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure the baby then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended. Check out The Carseat Poncho as well.

5. Warm weather: it can get very hot in a rear-facing car seat. Dress your child in layers and remove any extra. Use sun shields on the windows and do your best to direct air into the seat.

6. FLYING: You can either fly with your child on your lap or in their own seat in a car seat, but know that most airlines will insist that they remain in the car seat. Plan to nurse, use a pacifier, or bottle during takeoff and landing to help them with the change in air pressure. You will either need to bring your car seat (you can check one free usually) or rent one at your destination.

7. Some people like to leave for long road trips at night, I find it easiest to leave very early in the morning (3-5AM) – just leave the kids in their pajamas and transfer to the car once you’re packed and ready!

 

Remember,

Do not turn the child forward-facing until they have outgrown the seat’s height and weight limits. In some states, it’s illegal to do so before the age of 2.

If you are using the LATCH system, make sure the combined weight of the seat plus your child does not exceed 60lbs (read your seat and vehicle owner manuals for details specific to you).

 

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Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. They’re drinking dairy or plant-based milk! Some people choose whole milk, we chose soy milk (Silk Original) as it is the closest nutritionally to dairy

a. You want to start making solid food their primary source of nutrition, don’t stress if they don’t regularly consume much milk. You can always choose a vitamin supplement that has calcium. Water should be their primary beverage.

b. Your pediatrician may start pressuring you to wean from the bottle, I have found that not worrying about it at all led to a much easier, natural progression from bottle to cup (I love the Munchkin 360 cups).

2. Your baby is eating solid food!

a. They can now have honey

b. They will throw their food – do not try to discipline

c. There is research that finds that early exposure to typical allergen foods reduces the likelihood that your child will be allergic, so don’t avoid food like peanuts, but use caution and keep an anti-histamine on hand

d. Child is probably getting proficient at using utensils

e. Place a plate of healthy foods out, children like their food “deconstructed” but MAY try your culinary masterpiece… just don’t expect it!

Meals & Mealtime

Kids are not going to sit for meals, allow them to graze or leave their seat once they are finished. Use play to connect, not food. Change your expectations, not your child.

Control the food in your house, not what or when your child eats. Allow them to listen to their body and to choose from the food available in the house.

Do not force a child to eat what you have prepared, clean their plate, or try any food. Let them build their own relationship with food, inspired by what you model!

 

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Child development guide

Play

1. Read to your child and talk to them as much as possible

2. Stay present and play with them.

3. Sing songs to them that have movement, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Wheels on the Bus”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”

4. Encourage sensory play; provide bins with hidden toys/objects inside mediums like rice, beans, sand, snow, water, etc.

5. Help your child paint and color with crayons

6. Use Play-Doh or other modeling materials. This is a great way to teach them how to use a (toy) knife.

7. Allow them to bring a toy or object from home to daycare/school (Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia are great programs). These transitional objects help them adjust.

8. Encourage role-play and engage with them– now is a great time for items like play kitchens, cash registers… you can even get them a broom in their size and teach them how to sweep and clean up!

9. Do not force them to share, they are not capable until age 7-8

10. Make sure they have toys, pets, or friends they can show affection to

11. Get outdoors as much as possible. Nature has a positive energetic effect on our health and well-being.

Did You Know?

Your child is unlikely to attempt anything they aren’t physically able to do. Try to stand back and let them attempt something before intervening unless you are certain their health or well-being is at risk.

Children learn through play: “Indeed, current research in the brain and cognitive sciences agrees that it is learning that truly spurs development. And young children learn most when they are at play… As children work together or figure things out through play, they build confidence in their abilities. Confidence allows children to take chances, learn, and grow. It is this confidence, determined through play, that they take into academic learning as they get older—a feeling of excitement about figuring it out, whether it is learning to add or read new words.” – Dr. Tovah Klein, How Toddlers Thrive

 

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Child development guide

Abilities

Mental Leaps (from The Wonder Weeks app):

Leap 10: Systems starts between 70.5 and 76.5 weeks (from due date)

1. Starts to develop earliest beginnings of a conscience by systematically upholding his values and norms

2. Understands he can choose how he wants to be

3. Starts to develop a notion of self

4. After this leap, sensorimotor stage has been completed

5. Abilities

a. Sense of self; me and my body, I have control over my body, I can do it myself, I have my own will, I can decide for myself, I want power

b. Grasps that mom and dad are individuals that lead their own lives

c. Tests with behavior to see what reaction he’ll get

d. Can console others

e. Starts to understand that he is part of an extended family and wants to call grandma and grandpa

f. Learns the rules of what belongs to whom and what he is entitled to

g. He creates drawings that represent something from the real world

h. Begins to develop a sense of routine; his memory improves and he gets better at anticipating the future

i. Impressive increase in the comprehension of words spoken around him and starts to speak more words

6. Signs

a. Cries more often and is cranky or fretful more often

b. Is cheerful one moment and crying the next

c. Wants to be entertained

d. Clings to your clothes or wants to be closer to you

e. Acts unusually sweet

f. Is mischievous

g. Throws temper tantrums or throws them more often

h. Is jealous

i. Is more shy with strangers

j. Wants physical contact to be tighter or closer

k. Sleeps poorly

l. Has nightmares or has them more often

m. Loses appetite

n. Sometimes just sits there, quietly daydreaming

o. Reaches for a cuddly toy or does so more often

p. Acts more babyish

Behavior:

1. Hitting/Biting

a. Gently change his environment

b. Verbally remind him that hitting/biting is not okay, show him nice touches

c. Respond neutrally and comfort both children

d. Try to identify the need beneath the behavior (tired? hungry? sick? do they feel loved?)

2. Temper tantrums

a. Understand and empathize with him

3. Children do not have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Growth plateaus. Typical gain is only about 5lbs between 1 and 2 years old

2. Use correct terms for all body parts, get into the habit of asking permission and telling child what you are doing. Teach and read about body safety. 

3. Use diaper cream, especially at night or when baby is having lots of bowel movements, I recommend one with 40% zinc oxide for maximum protection

a. Between 18-24 months, baby may show signs of readiness for potty training:

i. Dry for two hours

ii. Can pull down pants

iii. Can tell you when they need to go

iv. Know if they are wet or dry

v. Wants to learn

4. Always use a tear-free baby shampoo and make a relaxing bath part of their nighttime routine to cue sleep

5. Posterior fontanelle (soft spot) hardens between 9-18 months

 

Teeth:

1. Canines appears 16-20 months

2. Second molars appear 20-30 months

3. Use a rice-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft toothbrush or washcloth to clean their teeth

 

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Use a saline mist and an aspirator or Nose Frida to gently clear nasal congestion

4. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 102.2 degrees

5. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

Child development guide

Safety:

See the notes above about safe sleep.

1. Never hold hot liquids while holding your baby

2. Keep your car and home smoke-free

3. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

4. Never leave baby alone in or near a bath (STILL!)

5. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

6. Keep your hand on them when changing their diaper, you may need to move to standing changes or the floor

7. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a baby sunscreen

8. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

9. Continue using a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the seat’s height and weight limits

10. Supervise play with an older sibling that has access to choking hazards and may innocently hand them to the younger child

11. Carefully supervise play near any hazard (roads, bodies of water, bike trails, etc.) as your child is not capable of understanding to not run off yet

 

Childproof:

– by moving things like medicine and cleaning supplies to a locked location.

– purchase and install baby gates at the bottom and tops of stairs, or into any rooms that are not childproofed

– placing locks on cabinets with unsafe contents

– purchasing Door Monkey locks for basement or bathroom doors

– keep small objects like perfume caps and other suffocation dangers like plastic bags or latex balloons away from your baby

– turn pot handles in so they can’t be reached

– do not leave curling irons plugged in

create a safe space for your child to play within your home; you should never have to remove your child from the object–remove the object from the child’s reach

– secure exterior doors and consider a door alarm, mobile children can escape quickly

 

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Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Months 24-35

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

Often the biggest challenge in these months is the arrival of a new sibling!

If that’s the case, remember that your child still madly needs you, no matter how grown-up or independent they may seem.

Expect big meltdowns or extra clinginess after they’ve worked hard at being a big girl or boy all day.

Transitions are such a big deal right now and they still have no sense of time. Help them with transitions by your consistent use of routines – always say goodbye and when you’ll be back – “I’ll be back after your second snack today.”

Also, remember that play is vital to their development – it IS how they learn. The best thing you can do for them is to stay present and play with them.

Please set up a 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning now how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

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Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Give me lots of objects to manipulate. Let me explore the world hands-on.

5. Show me unconditional love, without need or dependency or a desire to control.

6. Experience joy with me.

7. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

8. Talk to me about my emotions. Give me the vocabulary to understand how I feel.

9. Listen to me and respond.

10. Surround me with interesting things to look at.

11. Let me move – a LOT. Take me to playgrounds, swimming pools, dance with me. Let me wiggle and roll. Let me take some “risks” while I learn to move.

12. Make sure I have plenty of outdoor time to begin to develop distance vision.

13. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

 

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

2. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

3. Toddler has a growing desire for independence but does not have the ability to fully think through situations, control emotions or behavior, act “polite”, stop behaviors they should not be doing, make decisions, or know right from wrong

4. Between 2 and 6, children are mostly in Theta brainwave cycles.

a. Children operating in Theta are very connected to their internal world. They live in the realm of imagination, daydreaming and still not able to show signs of critical, rational thinking. This is a super learning state, where the child is open to suggestion. These children are likely to accept what you tell them as true. People in hypnosis and animals are also in this frequency.

5. It’s a good time to let you know your child won’t have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old!

a. You can help them with self-regulation by playing games such as “Freeze Dance” or “Stop and Go”–anything where they can practice regulating their level of excitement.

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Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

1. Number of naps: (see sample schedules at The Baby Sleep Site)

2. Length of naptime hours: 1-2

3. Nighttime sleep hours: 11-12

4. Total sleep hours: 13

5. Separation anxiety can resurface

i. Fear

ii. Or knowing that you’re doing something fun without him

b. Strong nap resistance

c. Transitions disrupt sleep

i. New bed (try to wait until age 3 to move to a toddler/regular bed)

ii. Potty training

iii. New sibling

d. Nighttime fears

i. Possibility of night terrors begins – about 90 minutes into sleep cycle in first third of the night

7. If you are struggling, check your sleep associations:

a. Are you doing something that baby associates with falling asleep?

b. I recommend the book, “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley or The Beyond Sleep Training Project for help with nighttime sleep issues

6. Has nightmares

 

 

Sleep Safety:

 

1. Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines if you choose to co-sleep, knowing that only Mom has natural alertness to baby’s safety

 

2. IF YOU ARE EVER FRUSTRATED, PLACE CHILD SAFELY IN CRIB AND LEAVE ROOM TO COOL DOWN/CALL IN HELP

1. Never shake a child, yell at them, throw water in their face, etc.

2. When your child is crying, comfort by talking, patting, stroking, rocking, or walking with them in your arms, a sling, or stroller

3. Always lovingly support your child while they cry. You may not be able to “fix it”, but you can be present and understanding

4. The easiest way to handle bedtime is to drop any ideas of what it “should” look like and just go with the flow. Your child will likely strongly want to be with you; in the bed or a cot

3. Use a gate at the door, a Door Monkey or door lock, stair gates, or take other measures to ensure child cannot go into an unsafe area during the night if they are no longer in a crib or your room.

4. Keeping bedroom doors shut is safest in the event of a house fire.

 

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Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Child should be rear-facing in an infant or convertible seat until they outgrow the height (they should always be 1″ below the top of the seat as they will extend at least that much in a crash) or weight limits of that seat (usually around 40lbs but check your manufacturer’s information.)

1. Seat should be in the back, never in a seat with a passenger airbag.

2. Strap should be snug with the buckle across the center of their chest.

3. You can install the seat with latch up until the combined weight of the seat and child is 60lbs. There are also seats that use the seat belt but offer very quick installation, like the Britax Clicktight.

4. You may wish to adjust the recline to a level within your seat’s acceptable rear-facing range.

5. It is normal and ok for their legs to bend, they will still be comfortable. The vertebrae in their spine are not fused until 3+ years and they are SAFEST rear-facing as long as possible.

2. Do not smoke in the car.

3. Do not leave child unattended in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle your child as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure the baby then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended. Check out The Carseat Poncho as well.

5. Warm weather: it can get very hot in a rear-facing car seat. Dress your child in layers and remove any extra. Use sun shields on the windows and do your best to direct air into the seat.

6. FLYING: You can either fly with your child on your lap or in their own seat in a car seat, but know that most airlines will insist that they remain in the car seat. Plan to nurse, use a pacifier, or bottle during takeoff and landing to help them with the change in air pressure. You will either need to bring your car seat (you can check one free usually) or rent one at your destination.

7. Some people like to leave for long road trips at night, I find it easiest to leave very early in the morning (3-5AM) – just leave the kids in their pajamas and transfer to the car once you’re packed and ready!

 

Remember,

Do not turn the child forward-facing until they have outgrown the seat’s height and weight limits. In some states, it’s illegal to do so before the age of 2.

If you are using the LATCH system, make sure the combined weight of the seat plus your child does not exceed 60lbs (read your seat and vehicle owner manuals for details specific to you).

 

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Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. Your child is eating solid food!

a. Do not worry about what they eat or don’t eat in a day – measure their nutrition by what they eat in a week

i. The most nutritious food is “live” food – food closest to its natural state, like a banana or cucumber, or raw almonds

ii. If their resistance is strong, add these items to foods they will eat, like muffins or a smoothie

iii. Include healthy fats and lean proteins

iv. Their primary beverage should be water, offer milk at least once a day and/or consider a vitamin supplement with calcium

b. Place a plate of healthy foods out, children like their food “deconstructed” but MAY try your culinary masterpiece… just don’t expect it!

i. Pro Tip: Children are more likely to try something they’ve served themselves or helped prepare

c. Serve about an ounce of food at a time if you are concerned about waste, allowing child to ask for more

d. Remember that food they eat STILL turns to waste, never force them to finish anything!

Meals & Mealtime

Kids are not going to sit for meals, allow them to graze or leave their seat once they are finished. Use play to connect, not food. Change your expectations, not your child.

Control the food in your house, not what or when your child eats. Allow them to listen to their body and to choose from the food available in the house.

Do not force a child to eat what you have prepared, clean their plate, or try any food. Let them build their own relationship with food, inspired by what you model!

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

 

Child development guide

Play

1. Read to your child and talk to them as much as possible

2. Stay present and play with them.

3. Encourage sensory play; provide bins with hidden toys/objects inside mediums like rice, beans, sand, snow, water, etc.

4. Help your child paint and color with crayons

5. Use Play-Doh or other modeling materials. This is a great way to teach them how to use a (toy) knife.

6. Allow them to bring a toy or object from home to daycare/school (Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia are great programs). These transitional objects help them adjust.

7. Encourage role-play and engage with them– now is a great time for items like play kitchens, cash registers… you can even get them a broom in their size and teach them how to sweep and clean up!

8. Do not force them to share, they are not capable until age 7-8

9. Make sure they have toys, pets, or friends they can show affection to

10. Get outdoors as much as possible. Nature has a positive energetic effect on our health and well-being.

11. Use a game of Stop and Go to accomplish tasks like trimming nails

12. Child may be ready to ride a tricycle

13. Use puppets, dolls, or storytelling to help your child process their day or stressful situations (like parents fighting)

Did You Know?

Your child is unlikely to attempt anything they aren’t physically able to do. Try to stand back and let them attempt something before intervening unless you are certain their health or well-being is at risk.

Children learn through play: “Indeed, current research in the brain and cognitive sciences agrees that it is learning that truly spurs development. And young children learn most when they are at play… As children work together or figure things out through play, they build confidence in their abilities. Confidence allows children to take chances, learn, and grow. It is this confidence, determined through play, that they take into academic learning as they get older—a feeling of excitement about figuring it out, whether it is learning to add or read new words.” – Dr. Tovah Klein, How Toddlers Thrive

 

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Child development guide

Abilities

Behavior:

1. Hitting/Biting

a. Gently change his environment

b. Verbally remind him that hitting/biting is not okay, show him nice touches

c. Respond neutrally and comfort both children

d. Try to identify the need beneath the behavior (tired? hungry? sick? do they feel loved?)

2. Temper tantrums

a. Understand and empathize with him

c. Anticipate meltdowns after they’ve worked all day at “being a big kid” but now they just really, really need you

i. They need to be reminded again and again that when they need you, you really are there for them

3. Toddlers are ready to test themselves and figure out how to do tasks on their own

a. Be the organizer and regulator

b. Don’t insist there is only one “right” way to do something, it takes away the opportunity for children to exercise independence and learn from mistakes

i. Correcting and controlling your child robs them of the chance to prove that he is growing

ii. See and acknowledge their growth, support his explorations and share in his delights so he feels valued and safe

c. Understand that they still madly need you but also want independence and separation from you

i. They want to be separate from you but stay attached

ii. They want to be independent and dependent

iii. They want freedom, but also need limits and structure in order to feel safe

iv. They want what they want

d. Be supportive and loving consistently so this push and pull is not so dramatic; allow them to explore and be independent but stay close by to offer assistance when they are ready and boundaries if there is a true safety issue

i. The more they try things on their own, the more intense their need for you becomes

1. They internalize this message – “No matter how hard it is or how hard I push Mom, she is still there for me, I am not alone.”

4. Routines are imperative to establishing boundaries and helping your toddler handle transitions, they have no sense of time, only of what comes next. However, follow a basic routine, not a strict schedule, and flow with change/be flexible with how tasks are accomplished

5. Language:

a. Use “As soon as you [insert task], we can do [something fun, the next step]”

b. Use “You really want [toy and its benefits, their strong feelings], the problem is…. Let’s add it to your wish list.” – help them take a photo of the item or write it on a notepad

c. Use “I can’t allow you to [hit others, bite, etc.].”

d. Use “[Insert what child wants here], the problem is….

6. Children do not have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old

Basic Life Skills:

Ages 2 to 3:

• Help put his toys away

• Dress himself (with some help from you)

• Put his clothes in the hamper when he undresses

• Clear his plate after meals

• Assist in setting the table

• Brush his teeth and wash his face with assistance

 

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Steady growth between 2 and 10 years old, gaining about 5lbs every year. ld

2. Use correct terms for all body parts, get into the habit of asking permission and telling child what you are doing. Teach and read about body safety.

3. Use diaper cream, especially at night or when child is having lots of bowel movements, I recommend one with 40% zinc oxide for maximum protection

a. Between 18-24 months, child may show signs of readiness for potty training:

i. Dry for two hours

ii. Can pull down pants

iii. Can tell you when they need to go

iv. Know if they are wet or dry

v. Wants to learn

4. Always use a tear-free baby shampoo and make a relaxing bath part of their nighttime routine to cue sleep

5. Anterior fontanelle (soft spot) hardens around 2 years of age

 

Teeth:

1. Second molars appear 20-30 months

2. Use a rice-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft toothbrush to clean their teeth, brush and floss nightly

3. Time to visit the dentist!

4. They will give up a pacifier between 3-6. It’s not a concern until baby teeth fall out.

 

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 102.2 degrees

4. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

 

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Child development guide

Safety:

See the notes above about safe sleep.

1. Never hold hot liquids while holding your child

2. Keep your car and home smoke-free

3. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

4. Never leave baby alone in or near a bath (STILL!)

5. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

6. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a baby sunscreen

7. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

9. Continue using a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the seat’s height and weight limits

10. Supervise play with an older sibling that has access to choking hazards and may innocently hand them to the younger child

11. Carefully supervise play near any hazard (roads, bodies of water, bike trails, etc.) as your child is not capable of understanding to not run off yet

 

Childproof:

– by moving things like medicine and cleaning supplies to a locked location.

– purchase and install baby gates at the bottom and tops of stairs, or into any rooms that are not childproofed

– placing locks on cabinets with unsafe contents

– purchasing Door Monkey locks for basement or bathroom doors

– keep small objects like perfume caps and other suffocation dangers like plastic bags or latex balloons away from your baby

– turn pot handles in so they can’t be reached

– do not leave curling irons plugged in

create a safe space for your child to play within your home; you should never have to remove your child from the object–remove the object from the child’s reach

– secure exterior doors and consider a door alarm, mobile children can escape quickly

– secure heavy furniture to the walls and teach about how dangerous it is to climb furniture or open every drawer in a dresser, for example

– teach about strangers and the importance of never going anywhere with a stranger

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Years 3-4

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

Depending on how you handled the previous years, you are either dealing with a seemingly defiant child right now, or one that may act like an adult in a teeny body!

While there are still what appear to you to be “random” meltdowns and difficult transitions, you should start to see your child getting a little bit more accomplished at handling their big emotions.

If that’s not the case, let’s talk. These should be really joyous years and I want you to love being a parent and creating beautiful memories with your child. You still have time to instill boundaries and create connection before their brain changes again, when it will become much harder to overcome any previous conditioning.

Please set up a 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning now how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Give me lots of objects to manipulate. Let me explore the world hands-on.

5. Show me unconditional love, without need or dependency or a desire to control.

6. Experience joy with me.

7. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

8. Talk to me about my emotions. Give me the vocabulary to understand how I feel.

9. Listen to me and respond.  It may take me a while to get out what I want to say, please be patient and wait for me to finish.

10. Let me move – a LOT. Take me to playgrounds, swimming pools, dance with me. Let me wiggle and roll. Let me take some “risks” while I learn to move.

11. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

12. Have me sort and categorize objects.

13. Encourage problem-solving. Let me be frustrated sometimes as I figure something out.

14. Help me notice patterns of cause and effect (“When you do X, this always happens”)

15. Give me choices when I’m calm (I can’t make choices when I’m stressed or upset)

16. Talk to me about plans.

17. Help me break down big tasks into little steps.

 

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

2. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

3. Child has a growing desire for independence but does not have the ability to fully think through situations, control emotions or behavior, act “polite”, stop behaviors they should not be doing, make decisions, or know right from wrong

4. Between 2 and 6, children are mostly in Theta brainwave cycles.

a. Children operating in Theta are very connected to their internal world. They live in the realm of imagination, daydreaming and still not able to show signs of critical, rational thinking. This is a super learning state, where the child is open to suggestion. These children are likely to accept what you tell them as true. People in hypnosis and animals are also in this frequency.

5. It’s a good time to let you know your child won’t have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old!

a. You can help them with self-regulation by playing games such as “Freeze Dance” or “Stop and Go”–anything where they can practice regulating their level of excitement.

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Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

3 Year Old Sleep

1. Number of naps:

2. Length of naptime hours: 1-1.5

3. Nighttime sleep hours: 11

4. Total sleep hours: 11.5-12.5

4 Year Old Sleep

1. Number of naps: 0 

2. Nighttime sleep hours: 11.5

3. Total sleep hours: 11.5

a. Strong nap resistance

b. Transitions disrupt sleep

i. New bed

ii. Potty training

iii. New sibling

c. Nighttime fears

i. Possibility of night terrors begins – about 90 minutes into sleep cycle in first third of the night

ii. Has nightmares

d. Separation anxiety can still appear on and off

 

 

Getting Some Shut-Eye

Even if you’ve never co-slept, it’s a good idea to offer your child a mattress or cot next to your bed that is available to them if they need it.To a toddler, transitions like bedtime or even getting dressed in the morning mean having to say goodbye to you… so they will resist.

You can help by creating a photo book of your nighttime routines, placing your photo near their bed, giving them an object of yours, still encouraging use of a lovey, even having a rope that goes from you to the child so they can pull it if they need you.

All new tasks must be built up to by a series of small steps.

Don’t resist your child and their needs around bedtime, it’s often much easier to go with the flow. Talk to them to find out what they’re feeling. They won’t sleep in your bed or room forever.

 

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Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Child should be rear-facing in an infant or convertible seat until they outgrow the height (they should always be 1″ below the top of the seat as they will extend at least that much in a crash) or weight limits of that seat (usually around 40lbs but check your manufacturer’s information.)

1. Seat should be in the back, never in a seat with a passenger airbag.

2. Strap should be snug with the buckle across the center of their chest.

3. You can install the seat with latch up until the combined weight of the seat and child is 60lbs. There are also seats that use the seat belt but offer very quick installation, like the Britax Clicktight.

4. You may wish to adjust the recline to a level within your seat’s acceptable rear-facing range.

5. It is normal and ok for their legs to bend, they will still be comfortable. The vertebrae in their spine are not fused until 3+ years and they are SAFEST rear-facing as long as possible.

2. Do not smoke in the car.

3. Do not leave child unattended in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle your child as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure the child then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended. Check out The Carseat Poncho as well.

5. Warm weather: it can get very hot in a rear-facing car seat. Dress your child in layers and remove any extra. Use sun shields on the windows and do your best to direct air into the seat.

6. FLYING: You can either fly with your child on your lap or in their own seat in a car seat, but know that most airlines will insist that they remain in the car seat. Plan to nurse, use a pacifier, or bottle during takeoff and landing to help them with the change in air pressure. You will either need to bring your car seat (you can check one free usually) or rent one at your destination.

7. Some people like to leave for long road trips at night, I find it easiest to leave very early in the morning (3-5AM) – just leave the kids in their pajamas and transfer to the car once you’re packed and ready!

 

Remember,

Do not turn the child forward-facing until they have outgrown the seat’s height and weight limits. In some states, it’s illegal to do so before the age of 2.

If you are using the LATCH system, make sure the combined weight of the seat plus your child does not exceed 60lbs (read your seat and vehicle owner manuals for details specific to you).

 

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Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. Your child is eating solid food!

a. Do not worry about what they eat or don’t eat in a day – measure their nutrition by what they eat in a week

i. The most nutritious food is “live” food – food closest to its natural state, like a banana or cucumber, or raw almonds

ii. If their resistance is strong, add these items to foods they will eat, like muffins or a smoothie

iii. Include healthy fats and lean proteins

iv. Their primary beverage should be water, offer milk at least once a day and/or consider a vitamin supplement with calcium

b. Place a plate of healthy foods out, children like their food “deconstructed” but MAY try your culinary masterpiece… just don’t expect it!

i. Pro Tip: Children are more likely to try something they’ve served themselves or helped prepare

c. Serve about an ounce of food at a time if you are concerned about waste, allowing child to ask for more

d. Remember that food they eat STILL turns to waste, never force them to finish anything!

Meals & Mealtime

Allow child to graze or leave their seat once they are finished. Use play to connect, not food. Change your expectations, not your child.

Control the food in your house, not what or when your child eats. Allow them to listen to their body and to choose from the food available in the house.

Do not force a child to eat what you have prepared, clean their plate, or try any food. Let them build their own relationship with food, inspired by what you model!

 

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Child development guide

Play

1. Read to your child and talk to them as much as possible

2. Stay present and play with them.

3. Encourage sensory play; provide bins with hidden toys/objects inside mediums like rice, beans, sand, snow, water, etc.

4. Help your child paint and color with crayons

5. Use Play-Doh or other modeling materials. This is a great way to teach them how to use a (toy) knife.

6. Allow them to bring a toy or object from home to daycare/school (Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia are great programs). These transitional objects help them adjust.

7. Encourage role-play and engage with them– now is a great time for items like play kitchens, cash registers… you can even get them a broom in their size and teach them how to sweep and clean up!

8. Do not force them to share, they are not capable until age 7-8

9. Make sure they have toys, pets, or friends they can show affection to

10. Get outdoors as much as possible. Nature has a positive energetic effect on our health and well-being.

11. Use a game of Stop and Go to accomplish tasks like trimming nails

12. Child may be ready to ride a bicycle with training wheels or a balance bike

13. Use puppets, dolls, or storytelling to help your child process their day or stressful situations (like parents fighting)

14. Use play to diffuse tense moments

15. Chase, play the “tickle monster”, hide and seek, imaginary play, etc. with your child daily

16. If your child starts using potty words, do not react. Instead:

a. “Oh, you can say that all you want, but you better not say [insert your silly word here]!” – then chase them around playfully

b. Or, “Shhh, no one is supposed to know my secret name is poopyhead!”

Did You Know?

Your child is unlikely to attempt anything they aren’t physically able to do. Try to stand back and let them attempt something before intervening unless you are certain their health or well-being is at risk.

Children learn through play: “Indeed, current research in the brain and cognitive sciences agrees that it is learning that truly spurs development. And young children learn most when they are at play… As children work together or figure things out through play, they build confidence in their abilities. Confidence allows children to take chances, learn, and grow. It is this confidence, determined through play, that they take into academic learning as they get older—a feeling of excitement about figuring it out, whether it is learning to add or read new words.” – Dr. Tovah Klein, How Toddlers Thrive

 

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Child development guide

Abilities

Behavior:

1. Hitting/Biting

a. Gently change his environment

b. Verbally remind him that hitting/biting is not okay, show him nice touches

c. Respond neutrally and comfort both children

d. Try to identify the need beneath the behavior (tired? hungry? sick? do they feel loved?)

2. Temper tantrums

a. Understand and empathize with him

b. Do not try to use any logic/reasoning during tantrum, just tell them you understand and hold the space for them

c. Anticipate meltdowns after they’ve worked all day at “being a big kid” but now they just really, really need you

i. They need to be reminded again and again that when they need you, you really are there for them

3. Toddlers are ready to test themselves and figure out how to do tasks on their own

a. Be the organizer and regulator

b. Don’t insist there is only one “right” way to do something, it takes away the opportunity for children to exercise independence and learn from mistakes

i. Correcting and controlling your child robs them of the chance to prove that he is growing

ii. See and acknowledge their growth, support his explorations and share in his delights so he feels valued and safe

c. Understand that they still madly need you but also want independence and separation from you

i. They want to be separate from you but stay attached

ii. They want to be independent and dependent

iii. They want freedom, but also need limits and structure in order to feel safe

iv. They want what they want

d. Be supportive and loving consistently so this push and pull is not so dramatic; allow them to explore and be independent but stay close by to offer assistance when they are ready and boundaries if there is a true safety issue

i. The more they try things on their own, the more intense their need for you becomes

1. They internalize this message – “No matter how hard it is or how hard I push Mom, she is still there for me, I am not alone.”

4. Routines are imperative to establishing boundaries and helping your toddler handle transitions, they have no sense of time, only of what comes next. However, follow a basic routine, not a strict schedule, and flow with change/be flexible with how tasks are accomplished

5. Language:

a. Use “As soon as you [insert task], we can do [something fun, the next step]”

b. Use “You really want [toy and its benefits, their strong feelings], the problem is…. Let’s add it to your wish list.” – help them take a photo of the item or write it on a notepad

c. Use “I can’t allow you to [hit others, bite, etc.].”

d. Use “[Insert what child wants here], the problem is….

6. Children do not have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old

Basic Life Skills:

Ages 2 to 3:

• Help put his toys away

• Dress himself (with some help from you)

• Put his clothes in the hamper when he undresses

• Clear his plate after meals

• Assist in setting the table

• Brush his teeth and wash his face with assistance

+

Ages 4 to 5:

• Know his full name, address, and phone number

• Know how to make an emergency phone call

• Perform simple cleaning chores such as dusting in easy-to-reach places and clearing the table after meals

• Feed pets

• Identify monetary denominations, and understand the very basic concept of how money is used

• Brush his teeth, comb his hair, and wash his face without assistance

• Help with basic laundry chores, such as putting her clothes away and bringing dirty clothes to the laundry area

• Choose her own clothes to wear

 

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Steady growth between 2 and 10 years old, gaining about 5lbs every year.

2. Growing pains begin, ages 3-4

a. Increased appetite

b. Aching legs, especially at night

3. Newly potty-trained children do not wipe well, daily baths (minus hair-washing) are a good idea!

a. Always use a tear-free shampoo and make a relaxing bath part of their nighttime routine to cue sleep

4. Use correct terms for all body parts. Teach and read about body safety, including not keeping secrets and not helping adults with their body parts.

 

Teeth:

1. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft toothbrush to clean their teeth, brush and floss nightly

2. Time to visit the dentist!

3. They will give up a pacifier between 3-6. It’s not a concern until baby teeth fall out.

 

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 102.2 degrees

4. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

 

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Child development guide

Safety:

See the notes above about safe sleep.

1. Never hold hot liquids while holding your child

2. Keep your car and home smoke-free

3. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

4. Never leave baby alone in or near a bath (STILL!)

5. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

6. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a baby sunscreen

7. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

9. Continue using a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the seat’s height and weight limits

10. Supervise play with an older sibling that has access to choking hazards and may innocently hand them to the younger child

11. Carefully supervise play near any hazard (roads, bodies of water, bike trails, etc.) as your child is not capable of understanding to not run off yet

 

Childproof:

– keep things like medicine and cleaning supplies in a locked location.

-place locks on cabinets with unsafe contents

– keep small objects like perfume caps and other suffocation dangers like plastic bags or latex balloons away from your baby

– turn pot handles in so they can’t be reached

– do not leave curling irons plugged in

create a safe space for your child to play within your home; you should never have to remove your child from the object–remove the object from the child’s reach

– secure exterior doors and consider a door alarm, mobile children can escape quickly

– secure heavy furniture to the walls and teach about how dangerous it is to climb furniture or open every drawer in a dresser, for example

– teach about strangers and the importance of never going anywhere with a stranger

Talk about:

– Stranger danger

– Body safety

– How to call 911

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideChild Development Quick Reference Guide: Years 5-6

  • Understand the stages of child development so you know what to expect, what is typical, and what your child is capable of
  • This guide covers brain development, sleep, travel/carseat safety, nutrition and feeding, play, abilities, physical and emotional development, and key guidelines for safety
  • Attuning to your child’s needs at each stage allows them to form a healthy attachment to you; this guide will keep you informed of what the whole child needs as they grow!

SO. MANY. CHANGES!!!

By now you’ve at least looked into your kindergarten options, your child has dropped their nap, and their brain is about to go through a big change out of its impressionable state into critical thinking.

And now you have a whole new challenge – school and homework.

Routine and structure is still super important, as is being organized, and embodying your desired behavior.

As your child is exposed to new settings, teachers, and classmates, remember that you are their biggest advocate and you can both teach them how to handle hard situations as well as look for options that are a better fit.

Also, be careful not to start overwhelming them with after-school activities. Kids need plenty of time for free play and even to just be bored.

Please set up a 30-minute call to experience coaching with your Family Alchemist™ if you’re really struggling with anxiety or just want to start learning now how you can best serve this precious baby. Together, we can make sure your parenting experience is one filled with joy.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. It is intended to be an educational and informational quick reference guide to standards and averages of child development and basic safety precautions. Consult with your own medical physician for any concerns or specific needs you or your child may have.  

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guideEncouraging Whole Brain Development:

1. Help me feel emotionally and physically safe at all times. If my brain goes into the stress response, the rest of my brain can’t grow and develop; I can’t learn.

2. Hold me and look into my eyes; hold my hand, give me a massage, hug me.

3. Respond in consistent ways.

4. Give me lots of objects to manipulate. Let me explore the world hands-on.

5. Show me unconditional love, without need or dependency or a desire to control.

6. Experience joy with me.

7. Talk to me, sing to me, read to me. Read the same stories or sing the same songs over and over so I learn to memorize.

8. Talk to me about my emotions. Give me the vocabulary to understand how I feel.

9. Listen to me and respond.  It may take me a while to get out what I want to say, please be patient and wait for me to finish.

10. Let me move – a LOT. Take me to playgrounds, swimming pools, dance with me. Let me wiggle and roll. Let me take some “risks” while I learn to move.

11. Serve & Return: stay present with me so when I try to show you I need or am interested in something, you respond and encourage, letting us explore together.

12. Have me sort and categorize objects.

13. Encourage problem-solving. Let me be frustrated sometimes as I figure something out.

14. Help me notice patterns of cause and effect (“When you do X, this always happens”)

15. Give me choices when I’m calm (I can’t make choices when I’m stressed or upset)

16. Talk to me about plans.

17. Help me break down big tasks into little steps.

 

 

Stage of Brain Development:

1. The brain creates millions of neural pathways, called synapses

a. The connections that need to stick must be repeated over and over until about age 8 or 9

b. All tasks must be built layer by layer

c. Unused connections are discarded

d. Children will internalize your emotional coaching so they can cope with their feelings as they get older (“this is hard but you can do it”, “this is scary but I’m here with you, you’re safe”, “hitting people hurts, but I can hit this drum instead”)

2. Of the three processing areas of the brain, the thinking level, or cortex, is the last to develop. All of us experience emotions before reasoning kicks in, but for young children this difference is more dramatic.

3. Child has a growing desire for independence but does not have the ability to fully think through situations, control emotions or behavior, act “polite”, stop behaviors they should not be doing, make decisions, or know right from wrong

4. Between 2 and 6, children are mostly in Theta brainwave cycles.

a. Children operating in Theta are very connected to their internal world. They live in the realm of imagination, daydreaming and still not able to show signs of critical, rational thinking. This is a super learning state, where the child is open to suggestion. These children are likely to accept what you tell them as true. People in hypnosis and animals are also in this frequency.

5. Your child should finally be close to having impulse control, typically by age 5.5.

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Child development guide

Sleepy Time:

1. Number of naps: 0 

2. Nighttime sleep hours: 11.5

3. Total sleep hours: 11.5

a. Transitions disrupt sleep

i. New bed

ii. New school

iii. New sibling

c. Nighttime fears

i. Possibility of night terrors begins – about 90 minutes into sleep cycle in first third of the night

ii. Has nightmares

d. Separation anxiety should diminish

 

 

Getting Some Shut-Eye

Even if you’ve never co-slept, it’s a good idea to offer your child a mattress or cot next to your bed that is available to them if they need it.

Transitions like bedtime or even getting dressed in the morning mean having to say goodbye to you… so they will resist.

You can help by creating a photo book of your nighttime routines, placing your photo near their bed, giving them an object of yours, still encouraging use of a lovey, even having a rope that goes from you to the child so they can pull it if they need you.

All new tasks must be built up to by a series of small steps.

Don’t resist your child and their needs around bedtime, it’s often much easier to go with the flow. Talk to them to find out what they’re feeling. They won’t sleep in your bed or room forever.

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

Child development guide

Travel Tips

1. Once they outgrow their rear-facing car seat, move to a harnessed forward-facing seat.

2. Do not move to a booster seat until the following conditions are met:

1. There is a shoulder AND a lap belt (boosters need shoulder belts)

2. The child is at least 40lbs

3. The child is at least 4 years old

4. The child can sit properly the entire trip without leaning forward, slouching, sitting on their knees, playing with their shoulder belt, etc.

3. Do not smoke in the car.

4. Cold weather: do not bundle your child as it will compress in a crash, instead, secure your child then place blankets safely over them. A thin fleece jacket is recommended.

5. FLYING: Bring lots of snacks, books, a tablet, special toys, neck pillows, blankets, etc. to make the flight easier. You will either need to bring your car seat (you can check one free usually) or rent one at your destination.

6. Some people like to leave for long road trips at night, I find it easiest to leave very early in the morning (3-5AM) – just leave the kids in their pajamas and transfer to the car once you’re packed and ready!

 

Remember,

Do not turn the child forward-facing until they have outgrown the seat’s height and weight limits. Rear-facing is 5 times safer! Move to a five-point harness combination seat if they outgrow their convertible seat.

If you are using the LATCH system, make sure the combined weight of the seat plus your child does not exceed 60lbs (read your seat and vehicle owner manuals for details specific to you).

 

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Child development guide

Nutrition

 

1. Your child is listening to their body!

a. Do not worry about what they eat or don’t eat in a day – measure their nutrition by what they eat in a week

i. The most nutritious food is “live” food – food closest to its natural state, like a banana or cucumber, or raw almonds

ii. If their resistance is strong, add these items to foods they will eat, like muffins or a smoothie

iii. Include healthy fats and lean proteins

iv. Their primary beverage should be water, offer milk at least once a day and/or consider a vitamin supplement with calcium

b. Place a plate of healthy foods out, children like their food “deconstructed” but MAY try your culinary masterpiece… just don’t expect it!

i. Pro Tip: Children are more likely to try something they’ve served themselves or helped prepare

c. Serve about an ounce of food at a time if you are concerned about waste, allowing child to ask for more

d. Remember that food they eat STILL turns to waste, never force them to finish anything!

2. Half of the calories consumed by the average 5-year-old are to support brain growth!

Meals & Mealtime

Allow child to graze or leave their seat once they are finished. Use play to connect, not food. Change your expectations, not your child.

Control the food in your house, not what or when your child eats. Allow them to listen to their body and to choose from the food available in the house.

Do not force a child to eat what you have prepared, clean their plate, or try any food. Let them build their own relationship with food, inspired by what you model!

 

Back to Guide Menu – © 2019 – THE FAMILY ALCHEMISTS

 

Child development guide

Play

1. Read to your child and talk to them as much as possible

2. Stay present and play with them.

3. Do not force them to share, but they may be ready to do so on their own soon

4. Help your child paint and color with crayons

5. Use Play-Doh or other modeling materials. This is a great way to teach them how to use a (toy) knife.

6. Allow them to bring a toy or object from home to daycare/school (Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia are great programs). These transitional objects help them adjust.

7. Encourage role-play and engage with them– now is a great time for items like play kitchens, cash registers… you can even get them a broom in their size and teach them how to sweep and clean up!

8. Make sure they have toys, pets, or friends they can show affection to

9. Get outdoors as much as possible. Nature has a positive energetic effect on our health and well-being.

10. Child may be ready to ride a bicycle

11. Use puppets, dolls, or storytelling to help your child process their day or stressful situations (like parents fighting)

12. Use play to diffuse tense moments

13. Chase, play the “tickle monster”, hide and seek, imaginary play, etc. with your child daily

14. If your child starts using potty words, do not react. Instead:

a. “Oh, you can say that all you want, but you better not say [insert your silly word here]!” – then chase them around playfully

b. Or, “Shhh, no one is supposed to know my secret name is poopyhead!”

Did You Know?

Your child is unlikely to attempt anything they aren’t physically able to do. Try to stand back and let them attempt something before intervening unless you are certain their health or well-being is at risk.

Children learn through play: “Indeed, current research in the brain and cognitive sciences agrees that it is learning that truly spurs development. And young children learn most when they are at play… As children work together or figure things out through play, they build confidence in their abilities. Confidence allows children to take chances, learn, and grow. It is this confidence, determined through play, that they take into academic learning as they get older—a feeling of excitement about figuring it out, whether it is learning to add or read new words.” – Dr. Tovah Klein, How Toddlers Thrive

 

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Child development guide

Abilities

Behavior:

1. Hitting/Biting

a. Gently change his environment

b. Verbally remind him that hitting/biting is not okay, show him nice touches

c. Respond neutrally and comfort both children

d. Try to identify the need beneath the behavior (tired? hungry? sick? do they feel loved?)

2. Temper tantrums

a. Understand and empathize with him

b. Do not try to use any logic/reasoning during tantrum, just tell them you understand and hold the space for them

c. Anticipate meltdowns after they’ve worked all day at “being a big kid” but now they just really, really need you

i. They need to be reminded again and again that when they need you, you really are there for them

3. Children are ready to test themselves and figure out how to do tasks on their own

a. Be the organizer and regulator

b. Don’t insist there is only one “right” way to do something, it takes away the opportunity for children to exercise independence and learn from mistakes

i. Correcting and controlling your child robs them of the chance to prove that he is growing

ii. See and acknowledge their growth, support his explorations and share in his delights so he feels valued and safe

c. Understand that they still madly need you but also want independence and separation from you

i. They want to be separate from you but stay attached

ii. They want to be independent and dependent

iii. They want freedom, but also need limits and structure in order to feel safe

iv. They want what they want

d. Be supportive and loving consistently so this push and pull is not so dramatic; allow them to explore and be independent but stay close by to offer assistance when they are ready and boundaries if there is a true safety issue

i. The more they try things on their own, the more intense their need for you becomes

1. They internalize this message – “No matter how hard it is or how hard I push Mom, she is still there for me, I am not alone.”

4. Routines are imperative to establishing boundaries and helping your toddler handle transitions, they have no sense of time, only of what comes next. However, follow a basic routine, not a strict schedule, and flow with change/be flexible with how tasks are accomplished

5. Language:

a. Use “As soon as you [insert task], we can do [something fun, the next step]”

b. Use “You really want [toy and its benefits, their strong feelings], the problem is…. Let’s add it to your wish list.” – help them take a photo of the item or write it on a notepad

c. Use “I can’t allow you to [hit others, bite, etc.].”

d. Use “[Insert what child wants here], the problem is….

6. Children do not have impulse control until closer to 5.5 years old

Basic Life Skills:

Ages 2 to 3:

• Help put his toys away

• Dress himself (with some help from you)

• Put his clothes in the hamper when he undresses

• Clear his plate after meals

• Assist in setting the table

• Brush his teeth and wash his face with assistance

+

Ages 4 to 5:

• Know his full name, address, and phone number

• Know how to make an emergency phone call

• Perform simple cleaning chores such as dusting in easy-to-reach places and clearing the table after meals

• Feed pets

• Identify monetary denominations, and understand the very basic concept of how money is used

• Brush his teeth, comb his hair, and wash his face without assistance

• Help with basic laundry chores, such as putting her clothes away and bringing dirty clothes to the laundry area

• Choose her own clothes to wear

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Ages 6 to 7:

• Mix, stir, and cut with a dull knife

• Make a basic meal, such as a sandwich

• Help put the groceries away

• Wash the dishes

• Use basic household cleaners safely

• Straighten up the bathroom after using it

• Make his bed without assistance

• Bathe unsupervised

 

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Child development guide

Physical

Body:

1. Steady growth between 2 and 10 years old, gaining about 5lbs every year.

2. Use correct terms for all body parts. Teach and read about body safety, including not keeping secrets and not helping adults with their body parts.

 

Teeth:

1. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft toothbrush to clean their teeth, brush and floss nightly. Continue to walk them through this task until 8 or 9.

2. Time to visit the dentist!

3. They will give up a pacifier between 3-6. It’s not a concern until baby teeth fall out.

 

Illness:

1. You can use Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain relief, consult your pediatrician

a. Do not use cough/cold medicine, aspirin, or anti-nausea/diarrhea medicine

2. Use a warm-mist humidifier (in a safe location away from crib) or sit in a bathroom with a warm shower running if baby is severely congested

3. Visit your pediatrician or emergency department/urgent care for any fever that reaches 102.2 degrees

4. Always give your child a probiotic any time they are taking a prescribed antibiotic to maintain healthy bacteria

 

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Child development guide

Safety:

1. Keep your car and home smoke-free

2. Make sure your water heater is set lower than 120 degrees

3. Keep hanging cords/string away from baby

4. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a child sunscreen

5. Never spank, put in time-out, isolate, use “cry it out” methods, or otherwise punish your child. This creates severe disconnection, which will render any correction ineffective, and it also creates lifelong emotional damage.

 

Childproof:

– keep things like medicine and cleaning supplies in a locked location.

-place locks on cabinets with unsafe contents

– keep small objects like perfume caps and other suffocation dangers like plastic bags or latex balloons away from your baby

– turn pot handles in so they can’t be reached

– do not leave curling irons plugged in

– secure exterior doors and consider a door alarm, mobile children can escape quickly

– secure heavy furniture to the walls and teach about how dangerous it is to climb furniture or open every drawer in a dresser, for example

– teach about strangers and the importance of never going anywhere with a stranger

Talk about:

– Stranger danger

– Body safety

– How to call 911

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Mailing Address:

1135 W. Western Reserve Rd

STE D #128

Youngstown, OH 44514

info@thefamilyalchemists.com

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