Emotion runs high on the day your new baby comes into the world. But, these emotions vary. Mother is happy, smiles down at the little creature cradled in her arms. Father is excited, throws his fist in the air. He is now a dad! Baby cries, she is scared stiff by all the eyes peering down into her face. She does not understand the commotion that is going on all around her. Moments back, she was in some really warm place, without any such disturbances.
For many, the above scenario may be very familiar. The birth process is really amazing. The Holy book (the Bible) declares that children are heritage of God. This clearly indicates that even heaven recognizes the birth of that child.
It is necessary to know the physical and psychological changes that take place in your baby as she grows from one stage to another. The most important of which is the age between 0 – 3 years. This period in the physical and psychological advancement of your child must be handled with extreme care, wisdom, watchfulness and prayerfulness.
Below are stages of Children’s developments:
1. Age: 0 – 3 months
- They need much love, attention and care because they are totally dependent on their mothers for everything.
- They tend to cry much, but they do not cry because they merely want to get at their parents.
Crying is the only way they communicate to you that they are hungry, wet, sleepy, wet, cold, afraid or lonely. You must be patient with them, and show much tenderness. Do not interpret their cries negatively. Learn to meet their needs as quickly as possible, because their needs usually come with so much urgency. Meeting their needs fast enough suggests to them that you are always there for them.
2. Age 3 – 6 months:
- You’ll mostly find her very enjoyable.
- She smiles a lot, recognize your face, smiles when you smile at her.
- She does a lot of kicking her legs and waving her arms when she is excited.
- Watch it, when she has too much of the excitement, she would usually start to cry. Make her calm down.
- At this stage, she grabs and grasps anything within her reach. (Keep harmful objects far from her. Soft, graspable and colourful things, too big to be swallowed should be given to her for play).
- She also enjoys looking at people and bright colours.
- She turns her head to a talking person and makes a lot of little vocalizations.
Talk to your baby all the time, looking into her eyes. Talk to her as if to an adult. Pray with her too. These things work!
2. Age 6 – 9 months:
- She becomes a more active member of the family.
- She responds when her name is called
- She turns towards familiar sounds and makes sounds herself. Her sounds take a closer semblance to real words.
- She can be introduced to certain mashed foods, which she may throw out initially. This does not mean that she hates the food. It is only an indication that she is not yet familiar with chewing.
- Her movement at this stage is a lot more improved. (Parents have to be more safety-conscious).
- She recognises familiar people and starts to withdraw from strangers.
- She starts becoming anxious if her main caregiver is not around.
- She stretches her hand to be carried.
Age 9 – 12 months:
- She begins moving around more, unassisted.
- Safety becomes a very big issue at this stage.
- She talks more and makes some recognizable sounds and will also love to have you talk to her.
- She becomes clingier to familiar people and understandably wary of strangers.
- She has a better understanding of how conversations work.
- She responds when you talk to her
- She understands ‘No’ and can use nods to express this.
- She moves to musical sounds.
- You can repeat some songs that you have action to her; she‘ll respond by moving her body.
Age: 1 -3 years
At one (1), your baby should be up on her feet and at three she will be running around with normal coordination and will manifest self-centeredness. Parents must watch carefully in order to curb tendencies towards self-will and stubbornness without dampening the child’s spirits. You should be able to differentiate between willful defiance and childish lapses. She will learn by imitation. Hence, parents must be worthy models and regulators of behaviour. This you should do religiously without relenting. Always remember that each child is unique and its development stages unique too.
Parents need wisdom to cope with the various stages of child development. They must be careful and observant enough to notice if and when their baby does not show signs of development required for certain stages and do something fast to remedy the problem.