Posts filed under Babies. Show all blog posts.
Waiting for the birth of your first child, you have hundreds of questions. You wonder about nutrition, sleep routines, feeding and even the best place to buy diapers. They all boil down to one thing: how can you provide your baby with the best possible environment to grow and develop?
Physical literacy is another key element.
In the first year, physical literacy refers to your baby developing basic motor skills. Long term, it means that your child eventually develops proficiency in a wide variety of fundamental movement skills that will promote an active, healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity is connected to better health, greater happiness, positive self-image, better school grades and improved social well-being in general.
Physical literacy begins the moment your baby is born. In the first year especially, regular movement is essential to healthy brain development. Your job is to stimulate and encourage age-appropriate movement in the right ways at the right times throughout the year.
The good news is you are already watching for the typical stages of infant development. You might not think that those milestones have anything to do with physical literacy, but they are key to your baby becoming a physically literate child. As your baby gets older, the physical skills they learn later will be built on the ones they learn in their first year.
Keep in mind that the age ranges specified below are flexible. Every child develops at different speeds and different times. If your child doesn’t seem ready for some of these activities, there’s a good chance you simply need to wait a bit.
Why it’s important: Your child is born with a grasping reflex from day one. However, she will actually begin to grasp things intentionally at around 3 to 4 months. The ability to grasp objects is an essential motor skill. It also requires the development of hand-eye coordination, and it needs to be stimulated and supported in infancy.
Tip: Make sure your child always has age-appropriate toys to encourage her to practice grasping.
Skill: Rolling over
Why it’s important: Your infant should be able to roll over onto his stomach between 4 and 6 months of age. Rolling over requires the development of basic core strength, and continued practice develops greater strength and coordination in order to progress to sitting and crawling.
Tip: Give your infant regular tummy time so he becomes familiar with the sensation of being on his stomach.
Why it’s important: Infants will generally be able to sit up unassisted at 6 months. Sitting requires core strength and coordination, which is developed earlier through regular tummy time.
Tip: When your infant starts to sit up on the floor, make sure that there are no sharp or hard obstacles present. Never leave her sitting unattended on beds, sofas or chairs. If she loses her balance and tumbles, serious injury can result.
Why it’s important: For the most part, infants begin to crawl between 7 and 10 months. It sometimes begins as an ‘army crawl’ with him pulling his body forward using his hands. Crawling requires your baby to have the strength to push himself up onto his hands and knees, and then maintain balance in that position as he propels himself forwards or backwards.
Tip: Encourage your child to crawl and reach by placing toys on the floor around him. While some infants don’t ever crawl, but instead go directly to cruising, don’t be in a rush for him to walk. Crawling is important for both motor and cognitive development.
Why it’s important: Cruising describes how infants begin to learn how to walk by holding onto furniture for support. Your child develops strength, balance, and coordination by cruising.
Tip: You should ensure that your child is safe to cruise by removing floor obstacles such as toys and cushions, and removing any furniture that has sharp edges or hard angles.
Why it’s important: At around 13 months, most children will be walking without support. That is, they will be ‘toddling’ as they take their first steps without assistance (that’s where the term ‘toddler’ comes from). 13 months is an average: some children may walk sooner, and some as late as 16 months.
Tip: As with cruising, you should ensure that your child is safe for walking by removing obstacles on the floor—toys and cushions—and removing any furniture with sharp edges or hard angles.
Jim Grove is a senior staff writer at Active For Life and a consulting editor to national sport organizations on physical literacy and Long-Term Athlete Development. He holds a teaching degree along with NCCP certification as a youth soccer coach. Married with three children, he has 15 years experience coaching children and youth ages 5 to 18.
Think back to before you were a mom. Remember how you’d purchase a latte or a new pair of shoes without batting an eye? How you used to grab drinks after work without feeling guilty about your self-indulgent spending? You probably never thought twice about simple purchases like these, so why are you punishing yourself for even considering them now?
According to a recent survey by BabyCenter of more than 3,000 moms, women are encountering increasing amounts of money anxiety after giving birth. This includes an overwhelming fear of guilt about spending and apprehension over improper saving habits.
Granted, raising kids can be extremely expensive. As such, it makes sense for new moms to have their minds on their money and their money on their minds. However, many moms are reporting that their money anxiety is interfering with their emotional health.
If your bundle of joy is making it virtually impossible to banish money stress, rest assured you’re not alone. Here are a handful of issues that were uncovered by the BabyCenter study, as well as some tips to help alleviate your penny pinching obsession.
1. Feeling guilty about personal purchases
According to the BabyCenter study, more than 57 percent of new moms feel guilty when they spend money on themselves. The source of this anxiety is threefold: first, as a new mom, you’re still adjusting to the fact that you’re no longer your number one concern. Second, you probably have less money now that you’re a mom; and third, you’re still struggling to adjust your finances to handle a growing family. These factors combine to create an overwhelming sense of fear when it comes to spending money, even on the smallest of personal purchases.
Having a baby is certainly a financial shock for any family; however, your new addition doesn’t have to blow your budget completely off course. Sit down with your spouse or a trusted family member and seriously sort out your financial responsibilities. While you’re at it, build in some spending for yourself. Try and set some money aside to spend on “extras” including entertainment, shopping, and that morning latte. It’s always easier to spend on yourself when it’s a planned purchase, so don’t be hard on yourself. If there’s room in the budget, give yourself a salary. You’ll more than deserve it!
2. Obsessing about spending on baby
While moms are hesitant about spending on themselves, they apparently have no problem splurging on the newest edition to their family. Stats from the BabyCenter study found that 90 percent of moms are more likely to purchase something for their child than for themselves. What’s more, mommies tend to spend 61 percent more on their child’s clothing than on their own.
Spending money on your new child isn’t just fun, it also gives moms the high of shopping without the guilt of spending on personal items. What’s worse, it’s easier to rationalize a purchase for your child if it’s a toy or gadget that might build her brain or make her laugh.
Moms often find themselves living in a child-centric, materialistic society that’s constantly pushing parents to buy, buy, buy. Failure to live up to this standard often leaves moms feeling as though they’ve failed as a nurturer. On the flipside, if you’re constantly overindulging your children, they’ll never learn the true value of money.
When it comes to curbing spending on your kids, it pays to learn the power of saying ‘no.’ This will not only teach your children how to tolerate not getting everything they want, but it will also help you to avoid irresponsible spending decisions.
3. Money makes being a parent easier
Many moms feel that having money—and more of it—is a necessity for raising kids. In fact, 68 percent of moms that responded to the BabyCenter survey felt that having money made parenting easier. Close to 62 percent also felt that they needed more money in order to feel secure about their child’s future.
From daycare to healthcare and higher education, raising a baby through to adulthood can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. As such, it’s crucial to have a long-term financial plan. This might include making some hard decisions concerning your lifestyle. Ask yourself, what’s more important: living in a big house, paying off your student debt or growing your family? Sometimes opting to live a simpler life is all it takes to better care for your children.
Mom needs a splurge, too
Moms don’t have to be misers. Take the time to manage your family finances in a responsible but relaxed manner. Splurging every now and again, both on yourself and your new baby, is perfectly acceptable. After all, what’s good for mommy is often what’s good for baby, too!