Child Development: Infants (0-1 year old)
Cognitive development for your baby means the learning process of memory, language, thinking and reasoning. Your baby is learning to recognize the sound of your voice. She is also learning to focus her vision from the periphery or the corner of her eyes to the center. Language development is more than uttering sounds ("babble"), or mama/dada. Listening, understanding, and knowing the names of people and things are all components of language development. During this stage, your baby is also developing bonds of love and trust with you. The way you cuddle, hold, and play with your baby will set the basis for how she will interact with you and others.
- It is soothing to hear your voice.
- Sing to your baby.
- Play music. This helps your baby develop a love for music and math.
- Read to your baby. This helps her develop and understand language and sounds.
- Praise your baby and give her lots of loving attention.
- Spend time cuddling and holding your baby. This helps her to feel cared for and secure.
AAP Developmental Delay Warning Signs
The American Academy of Pediatrics include the following as possible signs of developmental delay during the first months of a baby's life:
- Sucks poorly and feeds slowly.
- Doesn't blink when shown a bright light.
- Doesn't focus and follow a nearby object moving side to side.
- Rarely moves arms and legs, seems stiff, or seems excessively loose in the limbs or floppy.
- Lower jaw trembles constantly, even when not crying or excited.
- Doesn't respond to loud sounds.
- Does not crawl by twelve months.
Child Safety First
Now that your newborn is at home, it is time to make sure that your home is a safe place. Look around your home for household items that might present a possible danger to your baby. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that you create a safe environment for your baby. It is also important that you take the necessary steps to make sure that you are mentally and emotionally ready for your new baby. Here are a few tips to keep your baby safe during her first year of life.
- It is important that you never shake your newborn baby. Newborn babies have very weak neck muscles that are not yet able to support their heads. If you shake your baby you can damage her brain and delay normal development.
- To prevent SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, it is recommended that you always put your baby to sleep on her back. For more information on SIDS, visit