We all want our kids to have the brains of Einstein, the coordination of Michael Jordan and the grace of a prima ballerina, but just because your baby reaches a milestone ahead of schedule doesn't mean he's headed for greatness. (If he's a little slower getting there, that's usually no biggie either.) Tracking milestones can be helpful in gauging appropriate playtime, providing a safe environment and exposing potential problems. Here's how to monitor your baby's progress:
Tummy time is important because it prevents flattening of the head and enhances motor development. “Tummy time teaches babies to push up on their arms,” says child development expert Lora Lesak. Motor development occurs from head to toe, so if a baby is slow to develop shoulder strength, delays will trickle down to rolling, sitting and crawling.
You're no longer operating in a totally sleep-deprived state and rarely have spit up on your clothes, but now your child is beginning to voice her concerns, needs and wants with actual words–and sometimes more forcefully than others. Occasionally, you find yourself wishing she came equipped with a "pause" button.
Not to worry–all parents find themselves in the same position: loving most of it and wondering, at times, what they've gotten themselves into. Here are eight tips to help see you through those tricky days of toddlerdom:
Your baby's first tantrum can come as a shock, but don't take it personally. Baby tantrums are normal and, once you recognize the triggers, you can prevent the screaming from starting in the first place.
Does your baby blow you away with how fast he’s learning to do cool stuff, like hold his head up by himself? Milestones are developmental stages that (usually) happen naturally. Here are the main ones to watch for – and what you can do to help your baby master them.