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Physical Health & Growth

Don’t forget the way she opens her mouth when it’s time to brush her brand new teeth.

Circle 11

What’s more important to you than your baby’s health and well-being? Absolutely nothing! And it’s becoming just as important to her, too. Have you noticed that she lifts her arms when you dress her? How much she splashes in the bathtub?

Your Baby

She’s also exploring with all five senses and figuring out both her big and small muscles work. Patty-cake is becoming more fun as her coordination improves. And has she started to roll, scoot, or crawl yet? It’s coming! Hold her hands and watch as she tries to balance herself. This is a busy – and magical – time of growth for her!

  • I’d Like More Peas, Please!

    Is your baby a social butterfly? Or is he still more comfortable being with you – his safety net? Both exploring others from the safety of your arms or waving at every stranger he sees are appropriate ways for your little one to begin expanding socially. Watch as he engages with someone or something new. Is he shy? Unafraid? Does he greet strangers with a wide-eyed, toothless grin? He’s ready to expand his social circles!

    He’s also having fun during bath time and feeding. Have you noticed that he loves peas but turns his nose up at carrots? Maybe the texture of rice cereal is unsettling for him, but he can’t get enough banana pudding. He’s learning – and sharing – what he likes and what he’d rather do without. And when he grabs for the spoon? Forget messes! Let him learn – he’s telling you he’s ready.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Watch how daily routines, such as feeding and diapering, are handled. Caregivers should be gentle and talk little ones through the process. Listen for a quick, “I am going to wipe your nose” before the tissue meets a tender nose. Are babies actively engaged in their own self-care? You’ll want to see caregivers helping little ones who are trying to wash hands and hold tissues.

    Learn more about ideas to learn and play together below.

  • I See, Feel, Hear, Touch, and Taste My Way Through the Day

    Being a baby can mean information overload! There is just so much to learn and discover. Watch as your little one uses all five senses to make sense of her world. She might taste a handful of dirt to find out it doesn’t taste very good. Or maybe she’ll throw a toy to hear the sound it makes when it lands.

    She’s also becoming more aware of her own body. She might inch toward a toy, roll her way to the dog’s food dish, or rock back and forth on her knees in an early attempt to crawl. She’s moving and grooving!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    From dance parties that encourage babies to listen, sing, and move to soft surfaces for snuggling, reading, and quiet time, materials and curriculum in the classroom should engage all five senses…and caregivers should offer a wide variety of opportunities to explore.

    Learn more about ideas to learn and play together below.

  • I’m Getting My Move On

    Your little one is ready to rock and roll! He can pinch a piece of food between his fingers… and he can also scoot his way to the glass coffee table that’s off limits. But it’s a great place for him to try standing! He’s developing more sophisticated words – Ball! Yes! No! – and sharing them with you. There’s no stopping him now!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Look for places where busy hands can work on small skills like pulling, twisting, and stacking. You might find these actions with balls, blocks, busy boards, and puzzles. Then check out how busy bodies can have fun climbing, rolling, and walking. You might see these movements on slides, tunnels and climbers or through activities like dancing, tossing, and rolling. A great program will have plenty of time for both types of play!

    Learn more about ideas to learn and play together below.

  • I Like Getting Dressed!

    Remember the challenges of dressing your tiny newborn? She wasn’t much assistance, and her little limbs seemed so fragile. You have new challenges dressing your baby now – but primarily because she wants to help! She may lift her arms for you when you put her shirt on, but she may also pull her socks off twenty times a day! And if she kicks her shoes off to chew on them? She’s just demonstrating the earliest steps of her personal care independence.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Are babies supported and encouraged – in a respectful manner – to become more independent? You might see this in action as caregivers encourage little hands and arms to move through jacket sleeves and as they cheer on a little one who is mastering a spoon.

    Learn more about ideas to learn and play together below.

Ideas to Learn and Play Together!

From bedtime to playtime your child is always learning. Check out these family-time ideas for building their skills -- and your family connections. All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.

  • Tiny Talk

    Did you know chewing, cooing and babbling get your baby ready for her first little words? Each activity develops the muscles your baby needs for speech. Give her lots of toys that she can chew on. When she makes sweet little sounds, respond and encourage her. “Oh, really? Tell me more!”

  • Tummy Time

    When your baby is on his tummy, he builds strong muscles. And those muscles will later help him scoot, crawl and walk. Spend a little time each day on your tummy together with your baby. Lay side by side or so that your faces are close together. Engage your baby with talk and toys! “Look here is your little bear, can you s-t-r-e-t-c-h and grab it?”

  • Every Day, Something New

    Every day is a new experience! By simply dropping something and picking it up, your baby learns that he can control things with his hands. Build on what he sees by describing it out loud. “You used your hands to pick up the car. Can you pick up the crayon?”

  • Sensory Experiences

    Engage all five senses while playing with your baby. Your little one learns from touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. Simply point out things in the world, and allow them to use their senses. Invite your baby to explore regularly throughout the day. Touch a soft toy. Smell food. Notice the birds outside. Listen to you sing. Try new foods.

  • Show and Tell

    Show your baby how to do things safely. Your baby will watch and learn from you. So, when you model safe practices, it helps a lot. “Sit on your bottom like this to come down the stairs.” Be sure to share safe ways to do things when you’re talking about things that aren’t safe. “Oh, the door can smoosh fingers. Let’s just leave the door open.”

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