Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The In-Laws

Don't you just love the holidays! With it comes presents, alcohol, traveling, and of course 'in-laws'. In-laws always present interesting dynamics when it comes to raising a child. They have the wisdom and experience from raising their own children...but with this "wisdom" comes frequent unsolicited advice! Nothing worse than having my 3-month-old in a routine only to changed and disrupted. Let me make my own mistakes...right?

Okay...I feel better now!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Milestones...from birth to 1 year!

First time parents (and even repeat offenders) often inquire about the timing of various milestones throughout the first stressful year of their baby's life. Reaching milestones is not only rewarding but is also instrumental in normal development. Seeing your child roll over for the first time is exciting and reassuring.

Given the complexity of the various stages of development, I thought I would quickly outline some of the important milestones for the various ages up to 1 year.

1) Birth - 1 month: Responds to sound, blinks, fixates on face, moves all extremities, has a startle response.

2) 2 months: Attentive to voice and noise, coos, lifts head and neck when on belly, smiles responsively.

3) 4 months: Babbles, laughs, raises body on hands, rolls from front to back, good head control, reaches for objects, grasp without release.

4) 6 months: Babbles, rolls 2 ways, sits with support, single consonants, transfers objects (from one hand to the next), rakes.

5) 9 months: Responds to own name, understands "no" and "bye-bye", sits independently, self finger feeds, stranger anxiety, crawls, creeps, scoots, inferior pincer grasp.

6) 12 months: Pulls to stand, walks independently (average range 9-15 months), plays peek-a-Boo, precise pincer grasp, bangs blocks together, 1-3 words spoken but also says mama and Dada (not yet specific), wave bye-bye, drinks from a cup.

Into the future...

My daughter is now 11 weeks old and a lot has happened since my last post! My wife delivered at 37+5 via C-section secondary to decels...but don't worry...all ended well with a healthy 6 lb 11.8 oz baby girl.

The last 3 months have been the most challenging and rewarding to date (the first 4 weeks being the toughest). My daughter quickly became the poster child for colic. I remember some days lasting forever with nothing but the wretched sound of my daughter screaming for no apparent reason. I tried everything from swaddling and shushing to long rides in the car seat, all to no avail. But the good news is this did eventually pass. Now my daughter can be awake, happy, and sometimes even entertain herself for periods of time.

Then came the smile! This is such an important milestone and the most rewarding experience yet. Seeing my daughter smile has helped to alleviate some of the pain from the prior 2-3 months. Her smiles can quickly put me in a better mood (if she only knew how easy it is to please new parents). If I'm lucky, I can occasionally get her to bust out a huge toothless grin in the middle of screaming episode.

Her next homework assignment...rolling over!