From birth to 6 months, you’ll notice your child is growing quickly! The time will fly. So today, we have collected 7 parenting tips that you should know about raising children during this time.
1. Most of their day is spent sleeping.
Children period sleep a lot during this. It is also recommended that your child gets plenty of sleep, so they’re doing exactly what they’re meant to do. Newborns are always dozing except during breastfeeding, and although the amount of time they spend awake will gradually increase, they still sleep a lot. From a newborn to 6 months of age, your child will sleep about 14 to 16 hours a day.
Be careful with using soft beds or soft pillows when putting your baby to sleep. These may increase the risk of suffocation. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best way to prevent sudden infant death syndrome is to lay your baby on their back when they sleep, rather than on their belly on their side, so that their face is clear and they can breathe freely.
2. Start weaning around 4 to 6 months of age.
Until the first year of life, a baby's staple food is breast milk or formula. However, after a year of breastfeeding, you’ll want to start introducing your child to baby food through the process of weaning. In order to develop chewing and swallowing skills, and to get used to ‘adult foods’ prepared in a way a baby can eat, you should introduce your baby to food slowly. Baby food is also essential to supplement the nutrients your child needs, such as iron and protein.
After weaning your child off breastmilk, it is important to consider whether they are getting enough iron. Children with iron deficiency may have issues such as sleep problems. Choosing foods naturally rich in iron such as ground beef from your selection of baby food can help you balance your child's iron levels.
3. Car seats are really important.
It is impossible to know how and under what circumstances a car accident will occur. Please choose a sturdy car seat that is free from defects and has no problems in use. The installation method for each car seat may be slightly different, but if your child is less than 12 months old, the car seat is usually installed in a rear-facing style. The American Highway Safety Association also recommends that children under the age of one must be seated in a rear-mounted car seat.
Install the car seat in the rear seat, not the front seat. Airbags can bruise your child.
4. Be careful not to shake your child’s neck.
Have you heard of 'shaken baby syndrome'? Children at this age do not have the strength to hold their necks, and if an adult shakes them at random, this can affect the health of their brain. When holding the child, support their head and neck gently so that they are not shaken. Make sure your child's head does not shake too much when loading them into the car seat, carrying them around, or otherwise handling them.
5. Create a regular daily routine.
If you want to bring up a child who has the habits of sleeping and eating well, we recommend that you start to make a regular daily routine for them. Allow your child to yawn and feel tired on their own at bedtime and feel hungry when it is time to eat. Remember, a very young child will still be confused and afraid of the world.
At this age, if their daily schedule is too irregular, it will be difficult for the child to feel secure. It's not easy to keep the timing of eating-playing-sleep when your child is only a newborn, but it will be easier to help your child gradually establish a pattern of routine as they grow up.
Starting from at least 9 pm, keep the house quiet so that your child can get a good night's sleep. Repeat the sleep rituals (e.g., playing the same lullaby) so that your child learns that they should sleep at bedtime.
6. A child's crying is not to provoke their parents.
Crying is the only means of communication for children at this time. They can't speak properly, so they try to convey all their desires through crying. Therefore, please do not interpret the cry of a child too sensitively (e.g., the child is blaming the parent, the child is crying because they hate me as the guardian). Check carefully whether their diaper is wet; whether they are hungry, bloated, or bored; or whether it is cold or hot in the room.
Your child may even cry when a stranger appears. It is best to approach your crying child with a relaxed and comfortable mindset, understanding that they may be crying for a range of factors. You’ll understand your child’s wants and needs better over time, so don’t worry!
7. Don't worry, reflexes and repetitions are natural.
Reflexes such as sucking hands, sucking feet, or grabbing objects with their fingers are normal for children at this age. Developing conscious movement comes from your child experiencing and practising these reflexes well. Don't be alarmed if your child repeats bizarre behaviours (e.g., trying to hold onto their toes or sucking) frequently. By repeating this process, your child understands the processes that result from certain actions.
Author: Lee Ji-hyun
- A Secondary School Level 2 Teacher Certificate
- As a real mother of a child, she ponders specific parenting tips between reality and theory. She has worked as an educational civic activist and freelance journalist.