An infant is a baby in its first year of life. These days parenting media resources focus on issues that surround ‘Baby’s First Year’ instead of calling your baby an ‘infant’. When you first bring your baby home, they are called a newborn. A newborn is defined as the first stage of life starting at birth through the first 28 days. This is the time when your baby’s routine is started. You will be excited, possibly nervous and most definitely tired, as your job as a parent will take up most of your time and energy.
Getting Ready for Baby There are tons of things for new parents to do before the baby comes home. Setting your schedule at work, getting the nursery set up, learning about the job of being a parent and so much more.
Keeping Your Baby Safe You wouldn’t think that someone so small could get into unsafe situations as much as babies can. While parents of newborns may not have to use the plastic plug thingies, they do need to be aware of harsh chemicals they may use in baby’s laundry, stuffed animals in baby’s crib and more.
Feeding Your Baby While we adults taking eating for granted, getting used to feeding a baby on schedule isn’t as easy. Not to mention you have to make some important decisions about what to feed the baby as well. Whether or not to breastfeed your baby, do you supplement with formula or not? Should you only use formula? When do you start to introduce solids foods? What happens if your baby has an allergy? These are all things to think about when you are feeding a baby.
Baby’s Sleep Schedule Your baby has their own sleep schedule that they have gotten used to while waiting to be born. Problem is, it is probably the opposite of your schedule. Add that to needing to eat more often, and not many new parents get to sleep through the night. But there is a night light at the end of the tunnel as babies do learn to sleep soundly after some time and with the introductions of their family’s routines.
Teething and Tooth Care Baby getting their first tooth is a milestone parents enjoy. It almost gives them a sense of pride in their baby because it is a sign of growth. Parents can expect baby’s to be grumpy as teething can cause some pain.
Baby Hygiene and Body Care Parents will be taking care of baby’s body and bodily functions as soon as they come home from the hospital – even before. Diaper changing, bathing, cleaning baby’s eyes, ears and nose are all apart of keeping your baby clean and healthy. Learn how to give baby your tender love and care.
When Things Go Wrong: Rashes, Colic and Ear Infections, Oh My! Parents need to be aware of signs of problems that can arise when you have a baby. Rashes can be a sign of an allergy, a fever or just a simple diaper rash. Prolonged crying can be gas, colic or something is picking at the baby’s skin. Ear infections can happen when a baby gets a cold, is teething or an be a sign of food allergies or more serious problems.
Baby’s Siblings Bringing someone new into the family is an adjustment for all, including the other children in the family. Parents can help siblings get ready for baby by preparing them early, during the pregnancy. Letting them know how life at home is going to be the same and how it is going to be different is important to helping the older brother or sister feel less anxious. Making the sibling a part of the process, like allowing them to help pick the baby’s name, will help them know that they baby is a part of their family, a welcome part of who they are.
Growth and Development in the First Year Your baby is going to be growing fast, faster at this time of life then any other. You may notice some changes easily, but others, even though you have been paying attention, may take you by surprise as you look back on pictures taken the day they were born. Physical development for babies is measured in weeks, then months. As milestones and benchmarks are reached, others will take their place. You may find that time seems to fly by and baby grows at a rapid rate. For the most part, that is true. So enjoy the time you have with your baby at each level of growth for as long as you can.
Other Ages and Stages: