As Your Child Grows . . .

As Your Child Grows . . .
Newborn to 1 month
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Nutrition/Feeding
Newborn Care
• Most babies eat 6 to 8 times a day at this age, and breastfed infants may eat more frequently.
At each feeding the baby may take between 2-4
oz. every 2-4 hours.
• Breast feeding or iron fortified formula is
recommended. Prepare formula according to
instructions.
• Avoid propping the bottles, always be with your
baby when he/she is eating, propping the bottle
canlead to choking.
• Bottles and nipples should be washed with hot
soapy water.
• At this age do not add cereal to your baby’s diet
unless instructed to do so by your baby’s health
care provider.
• Clean around umbilical cord with a cotton ball
and antibacterial soap until cord falls off. The
cord usually falls off in 1-2 weeks. Call the office
if there continues to be any drainage or redness
around the belly button.
• It is not a good idea to allow anyone to smoke
around your baby. An infant’s lungs are
immature and still developing. The second hand
smoke can make your baby uncomfortable and
may increase the chance of your child getting ear
infections and upper respiratory infections.
Development
• There is no such thing as spoiling a child at this
age.
• Your baby can hear and see you at this young
age. Although their vision is not developed,
vision range is best at 7-8 inches.
• Crying may increase during the first 6-8 weeks of
life. This is your baby’s way of communicating.
With time, you will be able to distinguish
between the types of crying signaling hunger, a
wet diaper, or the need for comforting.
• On ocasion your baby may experience
constipation as their digestive system develops
and their diets change. Constipation is defined as
hard stools. It is not uncommon for your infant
to go 5 days without a bowel movement. If you
notice your baby’s stools are quite hard you may
give diluted apple or prune juice.
• You may also notice that your baby seems to
grunt or strain during bowel movements, this is
normal.
• A newborn usually sleeps 15-18 hours per
day, of 2-4 hour intervals. By 3-4 weeks of age
your infant should be able to sleep in 4-5 hour
intervals at night.
Safety
• Infants should be placed on their back or side
to sleep using a small rolled blanket to provide
support for the back.
• Infants should sleep either in a basinet or crib.
Allowing your baby to sleep with you in bed may
lead to the infant being injured of suffocated.
• Always have baby secured in a car seat that is
properly buckled in the car. At this age the car
seat should be facing backwards. Never put a car
seat in a seat with an airbag. The back seat is the
safest place for the child.
• Avoid putting necklaces on your baby or using
a string around to neck to attach a pacifier. This
could choke the infant.
• Never leave the baby unattended on flat surface
above floor (changing table). Even though they
cannot roll over yet they can wiggle.
• Never allow anyone to shake your baby.
• Smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detectors in the
house saves lives. Make sure yours are working.
Check batteries twice a year.
Recommended Reading
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What To Expect the First Year by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi
Eisenberg Murkoff, Sandee Eisenberg Hathaway
Your Baby’s First Year by Steven P. Shelov, MD, MS,
FAAP
Editor-in-Chief
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Le Leche League
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
2 months old
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Nutrition/Feeding
Safety
• Feedings usually decrease to 4-5 times a day,
taking 5-8 oz. at a feeding (about 26-40 oz. a
day).
• Your baby may now have a more regular
schedule of eating and Sleeping. Night
feedings should only be given on demand of
the baby – no need to wake for feeding.
• At this age do not add cereal to your baby’s
diet unlessinstructed by your baby’s health
care provider. There can be harmful effects of
introducing cereals and other foods to your
baby’s diet before 4 to 6 months of age.
• Occasionally your baby may experience
constipation as their digestive system develops
and their diets change. constipation is define as
hard stools. It is not unusual for your infant to
go 5 days without a bowel movement. If you
notice your baby’s stools are quite hard you
may give diluted apple or prune juice.
• You may also notice that your baby seems to
grunt or strain during bowel movements, this
is normal.
• Avoid toys with small parts, since everything the
baby gets a hold of goes straight to the mouth.
Watch out for older sibling’s toys, teach them to
keep their big girl (boy) toys away from the baby at
this age.
• Always have baby secured in a car seat that
isproperly buckled in the car. At this age the car
seat should be facing backwards. Never put a car
Seat in a seat with an airbag. The back seat is the
safest place for a child.
• Avoid putting necklaces on your baby or using
astring around the neck to attaché a pacifier. this
could choke the infant.
• Never leave baby unattended on flat surface above
floor (changing table). Even though baby cannot
roll over yet, they can wiggle!
• Never allow anyone to shake the baby.
• Smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detectors save lives.
• Make sure yours are working, check batteries
• twice a year.
• Toys at this age should be unbreakable, light
weight and have no small parts. Things that are
bright colored, have different textures and make
noises will be of interest to your infant.
• Walkers with wheels that an infant sit in are not
recommended. Walkers are dangerous because it
allows the baby to reach things that are normally
out of reach (hot pans, stove), and creates a hazard
of tumbling down steps. A good alternative is to
remove the wheels or purchase a stationary exersaucer instead.
• It is not a good idea to allow anyone to smoke
around your baby, an infant’s lungs are immature
and still developing. The second-hand smoke can
make the baby uncomfortable and may increase the
likelihood of your child getting ear infections and
upper respiratory infections.
Development
• By this age your baby is sleeping more during
the night and is more alert during the day.
They show more interest in their surroundings,
turning toward the direction of sound, and
begin to smile in response to someone or
something.
• Head control increases, by 3-4 months he will
be able to hold his head up well.
• Talk to your baby, he will begin to coo and
imitate sounds by 3-4 months. *Voluntary
movements increase - kicking, reaching, and
grabbing objects. But, be careful, everything
goes straight to the mouth! This is how infants
explores their environment.
• Sleep patterns vary at this age. Your baby
may sleep for 8-12 hours at night, or may still
awaken every 3-4 hours.
Sibling Rivalry
• An older sibling may become jealous. Spend time
alone with the older child. Allow them to help
with the care of the baby, giving them simple tasks
to do.
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
4 months old
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NUTRITION/FEEDING
• Your baby’s primary source of nutrition continues to
be from formula or breast mile until about 12 months.
• Typically babies are introduced to solid foods between
the ages of 4-6 months. The age of introduction of
foods cannot be set rigidly; it depends on the rate of
growth, stage of development, and level of activity
of the baby. There is no nutritional advantage for
introducing solid foods before the infant is 4 to 6
months of age. In fact, there can be harmful effects of
introducing solid foods at an earlier age. Check with
your baby’s healthcare provider to find out if he is
ready for solid foods.
• Iron-fortified single grain infant cereals, such as rice
cereal is typically the first solid food introduced into
baby’s diet. Once the baby is tolerating cereal, then
other foods can be added. The sequence of foods
is not critical, but adding individual (not mixed)
vegetables and fruits set a pattern for good variety and
a well balanced diet.
• Remember that your baby is learning a new skill and
discovering new textures of foods. Never force your
infant to eat.
• Occasionally your baby may experience constipation
as their digestive system develops and their diets
change. Constipation is defined as hard stools. It is
not uncommon for your infant to go 5 days without a
bowel movement.
• If you notice your baby’s stools are quite hard you
may give him a small amount of apple or prune
juice.*You may also notice that your baby seems
to grunt or strain during bowel movements, this is
normal.
• Teething starts at this age and continues until all
primary teeth have come in. The signs of teething
start about 2 months before a tooth actually erupts.
Symptoms of teething may include drooling, crying,
difficulty sleeping, pulling on cheeks and ears, and
chewing on anything and everything they can get their
hands on! Some say that low-grade fever, congestion
and personality changes also accompany teething, but
these are all common changes of babies at this age, so
it is difficult to determine if caused by teething.
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• Helpful hints to get through teething: Keep several
teething rings in the refrigerator and recycle them as
needed. Be careful of hard foods used for teething,
They can crumble and cause choking, always watch
infant with these foods. Massage gums with finger. May use Tylenol for severe discomfort. *Teething varies
from child to child, it is difficult to predict when your
child’s teeth will erupt. However, teething patterns
tend to run in families, if members of your family were
later in getting their teeth so might your child.
Development
• By this age your baby should be able to hold their
head up well, and they continue to gain more control
of muscles, your baby may also begin to roll over soon.
• Your baby will start to be more vocal as he discovers
his voice, talk to him, this encourages imitation of
sounds and cooing.
• Your baby is beginning to develop socially, enjoys
interaction and games of peek-a-boo.
• Sleep patterns vary at this age. Your baby may sleep
for 8-12 hours at night, or may still wake every 3-4
hours.
• If your baby has started sleeping through the night
then begins to wake at night again, simply check on
him, pat on back and allow him go to back to sleep.
Feeding may start a cycle of night waking that is
unnecessary.
Safety
• Choking becomes a concern at this age since baby
tends to put everything in the mouth. If your baby
is not making making vocal noises, stops breathing,
or has color changes something is obstructing their
airway. Call for help (911) and attempt to dislodge the
object. To do this, if you cannot see the object in the
mouth or throat turn baby over and give several hard
hits to back with your palm. Turn over and check his
mouth for object, if still not visible repeat until object
comes out or help arrives.
• Avoid toys with small parts, since everything the baby
gets hold of goes straight to the mouth. Watch out
for older sibling’s toys. Teach them to keep their toys
away from the baby at this age.
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
6 months old
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Nutrition/Feeding
Development
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Your baby’s primary source of nutrition continues to be
from formula or breast milk until about 12 months.
Starting solid food:
Start with rice cereal. Mix the cereal with formula
or water to make a thin consistency. Begin with 1-2
spoonfuls of cereal per meal. As the baby gets used
to eating from a spoon increase the amount and the
frequency each day. After introduction of rice cereal you
may introduce oat and mixed cereal. At each meal, feed
cereal until the baby tires of eating from the spoon then
follow with a bottle or the breast.
After the introduction of cereals, you can add baby foods:
vegetables, fruit (no citrus) and meats. Avoid peanuts,
honey, shellfish and egg whites. Babies’taste buds are still
developing, they may refuse to eat some foods, especially
meats and green vegetables. Continue to offer those foods
occasionally as your baby’s tastes change. Yellow and
orange vegetables are usually more tasteful to babies
when starting out.
Add each new food with several days between them. If
the child should have an allergy, this makes it easier to
determine the origin of the allergy.
Your baby may still take 4-5 (8oz.) bottles or nurse 3-5
times a day even with the addition of solid foods.
Offer juice, or water in small amounts in a cup at meal
times. Large amounts of juice or water may lead to a
decrease in milk intake.
Teething continues until all primary teeth have come
in. Signs of teething start about 2 months before a tooth
actually erupts. Symptoms may include drooling, crying,
difficulty sleeping, pulling on the cheeks or ears, and
chewing on anything and everything they can get their
hands on! Some say that a low-grade fever, congestion,
and personality changes may also accompany teething,
but these are all common changes of children at this age so
it is difficult to determine if these are caused by teething.
Helpful hints to get through teething: Keep several
teething rings in the freezer. Be careful when giving
hard foods for teething, they can crumble and cause
choking, always watch infant with these foods. Massage
gums With your finger. You may give Tylenol for severe
discomfort. Teething varies from child to child, it is
difficult to predict when your child’s teeth will erupt.
A child can get their first teeth as early as 3 months or
as late as 1 year of age. Teething patterns tend to run
in families, so if members of your family were later in
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Begin to sit alone, may show signs of beginning to crawl
or may be crawling well.
Language continues to develop with attempts to say a
few words (mama, dada).
Night Waking may begin around 7-9 months of age and
is most likely related to the fear of separation. Though
common at this age they have not developed the concept
of object permanence, the idea that objects that are out of
sight are not necessarily gone. So, when the child wakes
at night they become fearful and cry. Your child needs
to be comforted by knowing you are there so they can
get back to sleep. Avoid rocking, cuddling and feeding
since that will encourage them to desire that treatment
every night when they wake. Having your child sleep
with a security object (blanket, toy), a regular bedtime
routine and shorter naps during the day may help.
When the child wakes a night, go to him, pat on back,
and talk to him soothingly to let him know you are there
and then leave the room. Expect him to cry harder. Do
this several times until he is back to sleep. You may
have to do this for a few hours before they tire and
finally all asleep.
May also start to develop fear of strangers as they
begin to develop a sense of awareness of their world.
Encourage others to approach infant slowly and allow
the baby to get used to them before they touch him.
Safety
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Choking continues to be a concern at this age since the
child tends to put everything in his mouth. Be familiar
with CPR and choking procedures.
Check toys for loose parts that could come off and
bechoked on.
Walkers with wheels that baby sits in are not
recommended.
Child proof your home and environments where your
child spends time (babysitter, grandparents). Your child
will soon be on the go and getting into everything if
they haven’t already. Get down on the floor and view
the world from your child’s level.
Lock up medications and chemicals to prevent
poisoning. If you suspect your child ingested something
toxic, call the Poison Control Center immediately at
1-800-222-1222.
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
9 months old
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Nutrition/Feeding
Safety
• New foods for your baby include tender, soft
meats, yogurt and cheese. May begin table
foods when baby is in their high-chair or at the
table with you at mealtime.
• Continue to avoid giving peanuts, honey, egg
whites, shellfish, citrus fruits and small hard
foods such as popcorn, raw carrots, celery or
apples.*Continue to add each new food with
several days between each new food in case
your child should have an allergy, this makes it
easier to determine the origin of the allergy.
• Offer juice, or water in a cup at meal times.
• Bottle/breast feedings may decrease to less than
16 oz. a day, or may continue to be 3-4 feedings a
day.
• Choking continues to be a concern at this age
since the child tends to put everything in his
mouth. Be familiar with CPR and choking
procedure.
• Check toys with loose parts that could come
off and be choked on.
• Now that your child is pulling up and will
soon be walking it means there are many
more things to get into. Take a look around
the places that your child spends time and
child proof those areas. Things like table
cloths, lamps, electrical cords, and mini blind
cords are all potential hazards for children.
• Keep all medications and chemicals out of
reach to prevent poisoning. Never store
toxic products in food containers. If you
suspect that your child could have gotten
into something harmful call the POISON
CONTROL CENTER at 1-800-222-1222
immediately.
Development
• By now most infants sit alone, get into
position,crawl well, and are beginning to pull up
to stand.
• Language continues to develop. Understands
simple commands.
• Curiosity is developing as babies of this age are
exploring their environment and understanding
what is in it. Be careful of what is left lying
around because they are sure to find it.
• Baby may enjoy push and pull toys, peek-a-boo,
patty-cake and toys that involve putting things
in and taking things out.
• Night waking in the infant who usually sleeps
all night may begin again. A reassuring pat on
the back and consistency will encourage that
night-time is sleep time. Regular bed-time
routines may also be helpful.
• At this age discipline should involve avoidance
and distraction. It is too early for your child to
understand the meaning of punishment.
• Once your child is walking, shoes will be
necessary. When outside to protect the feet. Buy
shoes with flexible soles. The most important
part about shoes is that they fit properly.
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
12 months old
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Nutrition/Feeding
Safety
• It is a common concern that the child is not
getting enough to eat. As long as the child is
growing and developing they are probably
getting enough to eat.
• As the child becomes more independent they
may insist on feeding themselves. Meal-time
may become messy. Once he or she is playing
with the food more than eating, it is time be be
dismissed from the table or high chair.
• Offer healthy finger food snacks. Soft fruits
and veggies, cheese, crackers & yogurt are
good choices.
• Be careful with small hard food that could
cause choking, always watch child while
eating.
• May start on whole mild in a cup and phase
out the formula. Whole milk contains
the necessary fat for continued brain
development.
• Introduce a cup at meal-times if haven’t
already, and wean from the bottle.
• While a child of this age has increasing
abilities to maneuver and manipulate things
in their environment, they have no sense of
danger. Keep children away from machinery
outdoors, lawn mowers and farm machinery.
• Reduce temperature setting on hot water
heater to less than 120 F to prevent accidental
scalding.
• Now that your child will soon be walking it
means that there are many more things they
can get into. Take a look around your home
and environments where your child spends
time and child-proof those areas. Things like
table cloths, lamps, electrical cords, miniblinds, are all potential hazards for your child
to pull on top ofthem or get wrapped-up in.
• Lock up medications and chemicals to
prevent poisoning. Never store toxic
products in food containers. If you suspect
your child ingested something toxic call the
Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222
immediately.
Development
• Pulls to stand, walks holding on to furniture,
may be taking steps on own.
• Waves “bye-bye”, points, plays peek-a-boo,
throws a ball, indicates wants.
• Curiosity is developing as babies of this
age are exploring their environment and
understanding what is in it. Be careful of what
you leave laying around because they are sure
to find it.
• Once your child is walking, shoes will be
necessary. The purpose of shoes at this age is
to protect the foot when outdoors. Buy shoes
with flexible soles and soft uppers. The most
important part is that they fit properly!
Discipline/Behavior
• Your child is now becoming more
independent. This cantrigger temper
tantrums. As long as child is safe to ignore
these tantrums as long as possible. Breath
holding spells can become a part of temper
tantrums. Keep an eye on child, they will
eventually have to take a breath.
• Discipline at this age is consistent limit
setting, and teaching what behaviors are
acceptable. The use of distraction, gentle
restraint, and removing child from situation
are all good ways to handle inappropriate
behavior.
• Regular daily routines and consistent
discipline strategies among caregivers will be
comforting for a child of this age.
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
15 months old
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Nutrition/Feeding
Safety
• By now your child is probably eating mostly table foods,
small portions of what the rest of the family is having.
• Children enjoy finger food and feeding themselves, be
prepared for a mess.
• Offer healthy finger food snacks. Soft fruits and veggies,
cheese, crackers and peanut butter are good choices.
• Be careful with small hard foods that may cause choking,
always watch child while eating.
• Weight gain and growth slow down for a while at this age,
and typically they do not eat much and may become picky.
• Forcing the issue of eating may cause the child to resist more,
offer frequent healthy snacks, they will eat when hungry.
• It is common for a child this age to want the same food for
a period of time. No need to worry, they will become bored
and change to some other food.
• While a child of this age has increasing abilities
to maneuver and manipulate things in their
environment, they have no sense of danger.
Keep children away from machinery outdoors,
lawn mowers and farm machinery.
• Reduce temperature setting on hot water
heater to less than 120 F to prevent accidental
scalding.
• Now that your child will soon be walking it
means that there are many more things they
can get into. Take a look around your home
and environments where your child spends
time and child-proof those areas. Things like
table cloths, lamps, electrical cords, miniblinds, are all potential hazards for your child
to pull on top ofthem or get wrapped-up in.
• Lock up medications and chemicals to prevent
poisoning. Never store toxic products in food
containers. If you suspect your child ingested
something toxic call the Poison Control Center
at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
Development
• Your child’s vocabulary continues to increase in number of
words they can say. They understand simple commands, and
may start to combine words into phrases.
• Child’s mobility is increasing, probably walking on own
by now. Continues to lack coordination,often falling and
bumping into things. • Children this age enjoy imitating adult behavio such as
playing house, talking on phone.
• Imagination is demonstrated in pretend play.
• Your child may also be able to sit still for short periods of time
to listen to stories, and
• Know several body parts.
Toilet Training
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Readiness for toilet training usually happens between 18 and
36 months of age. Cues that signal readiness include:
~ walking well, can pull pants up and down
~ can sit still for 5 minutes
~ able to follow commands and use 2 word phrases
~ imitates actions of parents or siblings
~ feeds self
~ shows desire to follow parents wishes
~ shows awareness of dirty/wet diaper
• Parent must be ready to commit the necessary time and energy!
Discipline/Behavior
• Your child is now becoming more independent.
This can trigger temper tantrums. As long
as he is safe try to ignore it. Breath holding
spells can become part of tantrum. Keep an eye
on child, they will eventually have to take a
breath.
• Independence and curiosity are developing
which contributes to behavior problems.
• Discipline involves consistent limit setting,
and teaching acceptable behaviors. Gentle
restraint, distraction and removing child
from the situation are good ways to handle
inappropriate behavior.
• Positive reinforcement of good behavior is
important, praising good behavior boosts self
esteem. Try to send more “yes” and “good”
messages than “no” and “bad”.
• Regular daily routines and consistent discipline
strategies among caregivers will be comforting
for the child.
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
18 months old
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Nutrition
Safety
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Set regular meal and snack times. Offer healthy snacks
after meal time. Do not allowing child to fill up on juice and
crackers before meals.
Forcing the issue of eating may cause child to resist more,
offer frequent healthy snacks, they will eat when hungry.
Food jags are also common at this age, where child
continually want the same food for a period of time. No need
to worry, they will become bored and change to some other
food.
Child should be drinking from cup and weaning off the
bottle. Replace bottles with cups of milk at meals.
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Development
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Your child’s vocabulary continues to increase, now saying
about 15-20 words, and can imitate what they hear (watch
adult language). They understand simple commands, and
may start to combine words into phrases. Read to child to
encourage speech development.
Provide opportunity for physical play (jumping,running,
climbing) Limit TV to 1 hour a day, do not use TV as a
substitute for interaction or “babysitting” of child.
Encourage pretend play, it promotes use of imagination.
Do not expect child to share and cooperate with others.
Children of this age enjoy toys that can be taken apart and
put together, and can begin to help with simple chores, such
as picking up toys.
Can teach child use of toothbrush. Have child imitate you as
you brush your teeth.
Toilet Training
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Readiness for toilet training usually happens between 18 and
36 months of age. Cues that signal readiness include:
~ walking well, can pull pants up and down
~ can sit still for 5 minutes
~ able to follow 2 step commands and use 2 word phrases
~ imitates actions of parents or siblings
~ feeds self
~ shows desire to follow parents wishes
~ shows awareness of dirty/wet diaper
Parent must be ready to commit the necessary time and
energy!
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While a child of this age has increasing ability
to maneuver and to manipulate things in their
environment, they have no sense of danger. Keep
children away from things such as lawn mowers,
hot grills and farm machinery.
May need to lower crib mattress to prevent
childfrom climbing out of crib.
*Take a look around your home and other places
the child spends time and child-proof these areas.
things like table cloths, lamps, electrical cords, and
mini-blind cords, are all potential hazards for your
child to pull on top of them or get wrapped up in.
Do not allow child to play with plastic bags and
balloons, they are choking and suffocation hazards.
Lock up medications and chemicals to prevent
poisoning. Never store toxic products in food
containers. If you suspect your child ingested
something toxic, call the Poison Control Center
immediately at 1-800-222-1222.
Discipline/Behavior
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Your child is now becoming more independent.
This can trigger temper tantrums. As long as
child is safe try to ignore these tantrums as long as
possible. Breath-holding spells can become a part
of temper tantrums. Keep an eye on child, theywill
eventually have to take a breath.
A child’s independence and curiosity are
developing at this age which contributes to
behavior problems.
Discipline at this age is consistent limit setting
and teaching what behaviors are acceptable. The
use of distraction, gentle restraint, and removing
child from situation are all good ways to handle
inappropriate behavior.
Positively reinforcing good behavior is important,
praising good behavior boosts self-esteem of child.
Try to send more “yes” and “good” messages than
“no” and “bad” messages.
Try to limit the use of a pacifier to bedtime or
during stressful situations for child, a pacifier can
hinder speed development if used all the time. Try
replacing a pacifier with a favorite toy.
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
24 months old
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Nutrition
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At this time a child’s independence may cause problems with
mealtime – refusing to eat food that was prepared and/or
inappropriate behavior at the table.
Do enforce appropriate mealtimes and behavior.
Do not force child to eat, this may create a pattern of refusal to eat.
Try offering limited food choices.
If your child did not eat well at a meal, try offering food again later.
Common for child to want the sam food for a period of time. No
need to worry, they will become bored and change to some other
food.
Set a good example of healthy food choices and acceptable mealtime
behavior.
First dental visit is recommended at this time.
Development
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Your child’s vocabulary continues to increase in number to now over
20 words, and can imitate what they hear (watch adult language). Reading to child will encourage speech development.
Child can go up & down stairs, can kick and throw a ball.
Provide opportunity for physical play (jumping, running, climbing)
and limit TV to 1 hour a day, do not use TV as a substitute for
interaction or “babysitting” of child.
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Readiness to toilet train usually happens between 18-36 months of
age. Cues that signal readiness include:
~ Walks well, can pull pants up and down
~ Can sit still for 5 minutes.
~ Able to follow 2-step command and uses 2-word phrases.
~ Imitates action of parent or sibling.
~ Feeds self.
~ Shows desire to follow parent wishes.
~ shows awareness of dirty/wet diaper.
Parent must be ready to commit necessary time and energy.
Discipline/Behavior
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Helpful Hints:
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When child straining or urinating tell them what they are doing so
they can associate the feeling with words.
Let child Sit on toilet with clothes on, then with pants pulled down.
Let them look at a book or play with a toy.
Let child Watch parent or sibling of same gender.
Practice runs to potty chair.
Praise child for success and cooperation.
Teach good bathroom habits of hand washing.
Teach girls to wipe from front to back.
While a child of this age has increasing ability
to maneuver and to manipulate things in their
environment, they have no sense of danger.
Do not leave child unattended near street,
water, in a car etc. Try to create a safe play
area for child.
Children of this age continue to be curious,
expect exploration, they can get into more
because of their improving abilities to master
their surroundings.*Take a look around your
home and environments where your child
spends time and child-proof those areas and
limit possible hazards.
Lock up medications and chemicals to
prevent poisoning. Never store toxic
products in food containers. If you suspect
your child ingested something toxic, call the
Poison Control Center immediately at 1-800222-1222.
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Toilet Training
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Safety
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Toddlers of this age depend on routine and
rituals, they may be resistant to change.
Your child may have trouble settling down for
the evening for fear they may miss something.
Quiet play activities may help.
Nighttime fears and fears in general
are common at this age due to an active
imagination. Handle fears with matter-of-fact
reassurance (there are no monsters under the
bed; Mommy and Daddy are just in the next
room). Don’t give into tactics the child may
use to keep you in their room or allow them
to sleep with you.
As long as the child is safe ignore temper
tantrums. Don’t give in to demands, try to
remain calm and don’t scream back.
Discipline at this age is consistent limit setting,
and teaching what behaviors are acceptable.
The use of distraction, gentle restraint, and
removing child from situation are all good
ways to handle inappropriate behavior.
Positive reinforcement of good behavior is
important, praising good behavior boosts
self-esteem. Try to send “yes” and “good”
messages instead of “no” and “bad” messages.
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
3, 4, 5 years old
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Nutrition
Safety
• Avoid junk food and drinks, if you don’t
want child to have it, don’t buy it.
• Child is able to feed self entirely.
• Create a pleasant atmosphere at mealtime,
include the child in the conversation.
• Offer small portions, if finishes can give
seconds.
• Don’t overwhelm the child - Offer limited
choices at meal and snack times.
• Encourage good food habits, be a good role
model.
• Teach your child about stranger safety and
street safety. No bikes or playing near street,
talkabout danger of throwing ball in street.
• Teach child to approach strange dogs with
safety toprevent dog bites and attacks.
• Always supervise children near pools, lakes,
and ponds – knowing how to swim does not
make the child Safe at this age.
• Electrical tools, guns, matches and poisons
should Be locked up to prevent accidental
injury.
• Form a fire escape plan for home and teach it
to Children, practice it every other month.
Development
• By age 3, about 90% of children are boweltrained.
• About 85% are dry during the day, and 6070% are dry at night.
• By age 4 about 95% of children are boweltrained. About 90% are dry during the day,
and about 75% are dry at night.
• By age 3 your child is beginning to
understand the concept of taking turns and
sharing.
• Play activities that children of this age enjoy
may include: pretend play, play that allows
for free expression (coloring, play-doh,
painting).
• Child may become irritable when overly
tired and may need help to calm down.
Switch to quiet, sit down play activities.
• For the 5 year old child:
• School Readiness – Some cues that signal
your child is ready to start kindergarten:
~ Knows his colors
~ Identifies some uppercase letters
~ Identifies numbers 1-10
~ Writes first name legibly
~ Can draw stick figures
~ Can count items one by one
~ Plays cooperatively
~ Know full name, address and phone number
Discipline/Behavior
• May no longer take naps, but a bedtime
routine continues to be important. The
average preschooler Sleeps about 12 hours at
night.
• May have night fears (monsters under bed)
and Nightmares/terrors. Fears are a big
part for a preschooler, they have an active
imagination and are aware of the stressors
in a family. Help Child “wind down” before
bedtime. Reassure child that it was only a
dream and that they are safe,the goal is to
make the child comfortable and feel Safe so
they return to sleep.
• Regular dental check-ups are recommended.
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
School-age years
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Nutrition
Discipline/Behavior
• Avoid junk food and drinks; if you don’t
want child to have it, don’t buy it.
• Encourage participation in physically active
play.
• Encourage good health habits.
• Breakfast is an important meal and allows for
a good start to the day.
• It is important to pack extra snacks if the
child is going straight from school to sports or
extracurricular activities.
• Regular dental check ups are recommended.
• Limit TV viewing/video game playing to 1-2
hours a day. Monitor programs for violence.
Encourage other types of activities such as
reading, music and physical activity.
• Establish rules of the household: be a good
role model in setting examples.
• Show interest in your child’s school activities.
Maintain open communication with child. If
your child has a question or concern who do
you want them to get the answer from, you
or their friends?
• Praise child and encourage activities of their
interests. This will help child develop a
positive self-esteem.
Safety
• Helmets, elbow/wrist/knee guards are all
necessary for roller-blading and biking. Take
time to visit an athletic practice that your
child may be participating in to see the type
of safety equipment and warm-up exercises
used. Inquire about accident and injury
prevention.
• Teach child to approach strange dogs with
safety to prevent dog bites and attacks.
• Seatbelts save lives – Everyone in the car
should buckle up!
• Electrical tools, guns, matches, and poisons
should be locked up to prevent accidental
injury.
• Form a fire escape plan for home and teach it
to children; practice it every other month.
• Swimming lessons are a good idea for your
child.
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
Teen-age years
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Nutrition
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Avoid junk foods and drinks. If junk food is tempting keep if out
of the house.
Avoid fad diets and diet pills. If concerned about weight, develop
a plan for exercise of involvement in sports, and eat healthy well
balanced meals. Skipping meals can be hazardous to your health.
Encourage good health habits. Breakfast is an important
meal and allows for a good start to the day.
It is important to pack extra snacks if going straight from school to
sports of extracurricular activities.
Regular dental check-ups are recommended.
What to expect from your body
For Girls
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Safety
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Helmets, elbow/wrist/knee guards are necessary when roller
blading and biking. Take the time to visit an athletic practice that
your teen is participating in to see the type of safety equipment
and warm-up exercises they use. Inquire about accident and injury
prevention.
Seatbelts save lives – everyone in the car should be wearing
seatbelts.
Electrical tools, guns, matches and poisons should be locked up to
prevent accidental injury.
General Information for parents of teens
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Parents need to take seriously the importance of their function as a
role model to their teens.
Establish rules of the house that are consistent and observe them
yourself. This may help reduce conflicts.
Make teen aware of your morals and values as a family.
Incorporate them into your discipline and expectations.
Be part of your child’s sex education, making sure they get
appropriate knowledge rather than hear-say and myths from their
peers.
Encourage teen to be involved in activities to earn money to spend
or save as they wish.
Respect their need for privacy, your teen is becoming more
independent and discovering his identity.
Set reasonable expectations with fair but firm limits.
Develop mutual trust. Trust your teen’s judgement and they will
trust yours.
Discuss the consequences of drug and alcohol use, drinking and
driving, school performance, athletics school performance, loss of
privileges
Maintain open communication with your teen.
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Usually breast development begins first,
starting somewhere between 8-13 years
of age. Pubic hair usually develops at the
same time. About one year after the breast
development begins there is a growth
spurt in height, and about two years after
breast development begins you may start
to menstruate (have your period). For girls
puberty can last anywhere from 1 - 6 years.
Development can vary from person to person,
but patterns of development tend to run in
families, ask your mom or older sister when
they started to develop. The following ages
are based of the average girl’s development:
Breast development begins 8 – 11 years,
matures 15 – 18 years
Pubic hair 11 – 14 years
Menstruation 10 – 16 years
Height spurt 10 – 14 years
For Guys
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Usually testicular growth starts first,
sometime between the ages of 11-15 years.
Penis size increases after the testis have
already started to grow. Pubic hair develops
as the penis grows. The height spurt comes
later guys than for girls (about 14 years of
age). Puberty can last anywhere for 2-5
years. Development varies from person to
person, but patterns of development tend
to run in families, so ask your dad or older
brother when they started to develop. The
following ages are based on the average guy’s
development:
Testis development 11 – 15 years
Penis development 12 – 15 years
Pubic hair 12 – 15 years
Height spurt 12 – 17 years
Things to be concerned about:
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A drop in school performance
Sudden change in friends
Lack of interest in previous hobbies or activities
Dramatic mood change, activity level
Change in eating habits and/or sleep patterns
As Your Child Grows . . .
Age Appropriate Guidelines
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