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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Success Tips part 1

Most people want to be successful in life. There are goals set and then the hard work begins to reach those goals. The question is what is success? Actually, success can mean different things to different people.
For example, a person that owns their own oil changing service for vehicles might set their level of success at servicing 50 cars a day while someone who loves music might consider success as cutting their own CD. In addition, success does not always have to involve money. Success could be getting a good grade in a difficult class or learning how to bake the perfect choholate cake.
Success comes in all different shapes and sizes with one common denominator. Success is important and it takes work to reach.
Regadless of what your specific success is, there are ways to surpass your goal. We give you tips for success. These are ways to better yourself as a person, proven methods you can apply to reach success.

1. Realize your Potential
In order to succeed at anything, you need to see that you have the potential to reach your goals. For example, if you want to be a recording artist but have no singing ability, having success in this field is not likely. However, if you love working on cars and have a real talent for fixing engines and transmissions, and to you, success would means working for Nascar, you have potential to learn and achieve that success.

2. Don’t Look Back
Everyone has failures or mistakes from the past. To have success, you need to learn from your past and value those difficult lessons but do not every dwell on past. Simply move forward and make batter, more educated decisions from the lessons learned.

3. Dare to Dream
To succeed, you need to have dreams and aspirations. Be honest with yourself as to what you want out of life and what you want to give of your life. Allow your mind to dream and think big.

4. Business Plan
Create a Business Plan as your very first step if you are planning to build a business. Whether you will be searching for investors or not, this plan will be the blueprint to your success. The Business Plan will consist of market trends, financial planning, competitive analysis, exit strategies, marketing and promotional options, everything about your goal. When going before an investor, you will be required to have a Business Plan. This is by far the most important document of all. If your success were something personal, you would not need to create a Business Plan although a project plan would be a good option to allow you to keep track of everything involving your goal.

5. Don’t Give Up
To reach success, you have to persevere. Even Thomas Edison had to learn this. When he was creating the incandescent light bulb, it took him more than 10,000 times to get it right. Keep striving even when it becomes challenging.

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From A to Zinc

If you have ever attempted to go on any kind of diet that involved reading the information on the nutritional labels of your food you are all too familiar with the fact that those little words and symbols can start to look like Greek after a while. If you’re not a doctor or a nutritionist you probably have no idea of what Vitamin B or Folic Acid are, much less why they’re important. The first step to conquering pregnancy nutrition is understanding what you’re eating, how much you should eat, why you’re eating it and how it’s going to help your baby.

A quick note. In the following section you are going to see several mentions made about the negative consequences of overdosing on specific vitamins. You must understand that this overdose very rarely occurs because of the foods you eat. More often it is because mothers have chosen to consume extra supplements in an attempt to “help” their baby or they have forgotten to tell their physician about other vitamins and supplements they take on a regular basis. Be sure when you go in for your prenatal appointments that your physician knows exactly what vitamins, medications and supplements (including herbal) you take, regardless of how insignificant you may believe them to be.

1. Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps the development of baby’s bones and teeth, as well as their heart, ears, eyes and immune system (the body system that fights infection). Vitamin A deficiency has been associated with vision problems, which is why your mom always told you to eat your carrots when you were a kid! Getting enough Vitamin A during pregnancy will also help your body repair the damage caused by childbirth.

Pregnant women should consume at least 770 micrograms (or 2565 IU, as it is labeled on nutritional labels) of Vitamin A per day, and that number almost doubles when nursing to 1300 micrograms (4,330 IU). Be aware, however, that overdosing on
Vitamin A can cause birth defects and liver toxicity. Your maximum intake should be
3000 mcg (10,000 IU) per day.

Vitamin A can be found in liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale spinach collard greens,cantaloupe, eggs, mangos and peas.

2. Vitamin B6: Also known as Pyridoxine, Vitamin B6 helps your baby’s brain and nervous system develop. It also helps Mom and baby develop new red blood cells. Oddly enough, B6 has been known to help alleviate morning sickness in some pregnant women.

Pregnant women should consume at least 1.9 mg per day of Vitamin B6. That amount rises slightly when nursing to 2.0 mg per day.

Vitamin B6 can be found in fortified cereals, as well as bananas, baked potatoes, watermelon, chick peas and chicken breast.

3. Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 works hand in hand with folic acid to help both Mom and baby produce healthy red blood cells, and it helps develop the fetal brain and nervous system. The body stores years’ worth of B12 away, so unless you are a vegan or suffer from pernicious anemia the likelihood of a B12 deficiency is very slim.

Pregnant women should consume at least 2.6 mcg (104 IU) of B12per day, nursing
mothers 2.8 mcg (112 IU).

Vitamin B12 can be found in red meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs and dairy foods.
If you are a vegan you will be able to find B12 fortified tofu and soymilk. Other foods are fortified at the manufacturer’s discretion.

4. Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron and build a healthy immune
system in both mother and baby. It also holds the cells together, helping the body to
build tissue. Since the Daily Recommended Allowance of Vitamin C is so easy to
consume by eating the right foods supplementation is rarely needed.

Pregnant women should consume at least 80-85 mg of Vitamin C per day, nursing mothers no less than 120 mg per day.

Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, raspberries, bell peppers, green beans,
strawberries, papaya, potatoes, broccoli and tomatoes, as well as in many cough drops
and other supplements.

5. Calcium: Calcium builds your baby’s bones and helps its brain and heart to function. Calcium intake increases dramatically during pregnancy. Women with calcium
deficiency at any point in their lives are more likely to suffer from conditions such as osteoporosis which directly affect the bones.

Pregnant women should consume at least 1200 mg of calcium a day, nursing mothers 1000 mg per day.

Calcium can be found in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and, to a lesser extent, ice cream, as well as fortified juices, butters and cereals, spinach, broccoli, okra, sweet potatoes, lentils, tofu, Chinese cabbage, kale and broccoli. It is also widely available in supplement form.

6. Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, leading to healthy bones for both mother and baby.

Women who are pregnant or nursing should consume at least 2000 IU of Vitamin D per day. Since babies need more Vitamin D than adults babies that are only breastfeeding may need a Vitamin D supplement, so if your doctor recommends this don’t worry. You haven’t done anything wrong! Formula is fortified with Vitamin D, so if you are bottle feeding or supplementing with formula your baby is probably getting sufficient amounts of this vital nutrient.

Vitamin D is rarely found in sufficient amounts in ordinary foods. It can, however, be found in milk (most milk is fortified) as well as fortified cereals, eggs and fatty fish like salmon, catfish and mackerel. Vitamin D is also found in sunshine, so women and children found to have a mild Vitamin D deficiency may be told to spend more time in the sun.

7. Vitamin E: Vitamin E helps baby’s body to form and use its muscles and red blood cells. Lack of Vitamin E during pregnancy has been associated with pre-eclampsia (a condition causing excessively high blood pressure and fluid retention) and low birth weight. On the other hand, Vitamin E overdose has been tentatively associated with stillbirth in mothers who “self medicated” with supplements.

Pregnant women should consume at least 20 mg of Vitamin E per day but not more than 540 mg.

Vitamin E can be found in naturally in vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, spinach and fortified cereals as well as in supplemental form. Natural Vitamin E is better for your baby than synthetic, so be sure to eat lots of Vitamin E rich foods before you reach for your bottle of supplements.

8. Folic Acid: Also known as Folate or Vitamin B9, Folic Acid is a vital part of your baby’s development. The body uses Folic Acid for the replication of DNA, cell growth and tissue formation. A Folic Acid deficiency during pregnancy can lead to neural tube defects such as spina bifida (a condition in which the spinal cord does not form completely), anencephaly (underdevelopment of the brain) and encephalocele (a condition in which brain tissue protrudes out to the skin from an abnormal opening in the skull). All of these conditions occur during the first 28 days of fetal development, usually before Mom even knows she’s pregnant, which is why it’s important for women who may become or are trying to become pregnant to consistently get enough Folic Acid in their diet.

Pregnant woman should consume at least 0.6-0.8 mg of Folic Acid per day. Folic Acid can be found in oranges, orange juice, strawberries, leafy vegetables, spinach, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, pasta, beans, nuts and sunflower seeds, as well as in supplements and fortified cereals.

9. Iron: Iron helps your body to form the extra blood that it’s going to need to keep you and baby healthy, as well as helping to form the placenta and develop the baby’s cells. Women are rarely able to consume enough iron during their pregnancy through eating alone, so iron supplements along with prenatal vitamins are often prescribed. Women who are pregnant should have at least 27 mg of iron per day, although the Center for Disease Control suggests that all women take a supplement containing at least 30 mg. The extra iron rarely causes side effects; however, overdosing on iron

supplements can be very harmful for both you and your baby by causing iron build-up
in the cells.

Iron can be found in red meat and poultry, which are your best choice, as well as legumes, vegetables, some grains and fortified cereals.

10. Niacin: Also known as Vitamin B3, Niacin is responsible for providing energy for your baby to develop as well as building the placenta. It also helps keep Mom’s digestive system operating normally.

Pregnant women should have an intake of at least 18 mg of Niacin per day.

Niacin can be found in foods that are high in protein, such as eggs, meats, fish and peanuts, as well as whole grains, bread products, fortified cereals and milk.

11. Protein: Protein is the building block of the body’s cells, and as such it is very important to the growth and development of every part of your baby’s body during pregnancy. This is especially important in the second and third trimester, when both Mom and baby are growing the fastest.

Pregnant and nursing women should consume at least 70g of protein per day, which is about 25g more than the average women needs before pregnancy.

Protein can be found naturally in beans, poultry, red meats, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, cheese, tofu and yogurt. It is also available in supplements, fortified cereals and protein bars.

12. Riboflavin: Also known as Vitamin B2, Riboflavin helps the body produce the energy it needs to develop your baby’s bones, muscles and nervous system. Women with Riboflavin deficiency may be at risk for preeclamsia, and when baby is delivered it will be prone to anemia, digestive problems, poor growth and a suppressed immune system, making it more vulnerable to infection.

Pregnant women should consume at least 1.4 mg of Riboflavin per day, nursing mothers 1.6 mg.

Riboflavin can be found in whole grains, dairy products, red meat, pork and poultry, fish, fortified cereals and eggs.

13. Thiamin: Also known as Vitamin B1, thiamin helps develop your baby’s organs and central nervous system.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers should consume at least 1.4 mg of Thiamin a day. Nursing mothers who are Thiamin deficient are at risk for having babies with beriberi, a disease which may affect the baby’s cardiovascular system (lungs and heart) or the nervous system.

Thiamin can be found in whole grain foods, pork, fortified cereals, wheat germ and

14. Zinc: Zinc is vital for the growth of your fetus because it aids in cell division, the primary process in the growth of baby’s tiny tissues and organs. It also helps Mom and baby to produce insulin and other enzymes.

Pregnant women should have an intake of at least 11-12 mg of Zinc per day.

Zinc can be found naturally in red meats, poultry, beans, nuts, grains, oysters and dairy products, as well as fortified cereals and supplements.

Bear in mind that the Recommended Daily Allowances are just that-recommended. None of those number has been formulated on a case-by-case basis, so if your doctor recommendssomething else for you listen to what they have to say. After all, they managed to run up thatstudent loan somehow!

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Toy Safety Tips



Choosing toys with care. Keep in mind the child's age, interests and skill level.

Look for quality design and construction in all toys for all ages.

Make sure that all directions or instructions are clear −− to you, and, when appropriate, to the child. Plastic wrappings on toys should be discarded at once before they become deadly playthings.

Be a label reader. Look for and heed age recommendations, such as "Not recommended for children under three". Look for other safety labels including: "Flame
retardant/Flame resistant" on fabric products and "Washable/hygienic materials" on stuffed toys and dolls.


Check all toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. A damaged or dangerous toy should be thrown away or repaired immediately.

Edges on wooden toys that might have become sharp or surfaces covered with splinters should be sanded smooth. When repainting toys and toy boxes, avoid using leftover paint, unless purchased recently, since older paints may contain more lead than new paint, which is regulated by CPSC. Examine all outdoor toys regularly for rust or weak parts that could become hazardous.


Teach children to put their toys safely away on shelves or in a toy chest after playing to prevent trips and falls.

Toy boxes, too, should be checked for safety. Use a toy chest that has a lid that will stay open in any position to which it is raised, and will not fall unexpectedly on a child.

For extra safety, be sure there are ventilation holes for fresh air. Watch for sharp edges that could cut and hinges that could pinch or squeeze. See that toys used outdoors are stored after play −− rain or dew can rust or damage a variety of toys and toy parts creating hazards.


New toys intended for children under eight years of age should, by regulation, be free of sharp glass and metal edges.

With use, however, older toys may break, exposing cutting edges.


Older toys can break to reveal parts small enough to be swallowed or to become lodged in a child's windpipe, ears or nose. The law bans small parts in new toys intended for children under three. This includes removable small eyes and noses on stuffed toys and dolls, and small, removable squeakers on squeeze toys. LOUD NOISES Toy caps and some noisemaking guns and other toys can produce sounds at noise levels that can damage hearing. The law requires the following label on boxes of caps producing
noise above a certain level: "WARNING −− Do not fire closer than one foot to the ear. Do not use indoors." Caps producing noise that can injure a child's hearing are banned.


Toys with long strings or cords may be dangerous for infants and very young children. The cords may become wrapped around an infant's neck, causing strangulation. Never hang toys with long strings, cords, loops, or ribbons in cribs or playpens where children can become entangled. Remove crib gyms for the crib when the child can pull up on hands and knees; some children have strangled when they fell across crib gyms stretched across the crib.


Toys which have been broken may have dangerous points or prongs. Stuffed toys may have wires inside the toy which could cut or stab if exposed. A CPSC regulation prohibits sharp points in new toys and other articles intended for use by children under eight years of age.


Projectiles −− guided missiles and similar flying toys −− can be turned into weapons and can injure eyes in particular. Children should never be permitted to play with adult lawn darts or other hobby or sporting equipment that have sharp points. Arrows or darts used by children should have soft cork tips, rubber suction cups or other protective tips intended to prevent injury. Check to be sure the tips are secure. Avoid those dart guns or other toys which might be capable of firing articles not intended for use in the toy, such as pencils or nails.


Keep toys designed for older children out of the hands of little ones. Follow labels that give age recommendations −− some toys are recommended for older children because they may be hazardous in the hands of a younger child. Teach older children to help keep their toys away from younger brothers and sisters.

Even balloons, when uninflated or broken, can choke or suffocate if young children try to swallow them. More children have suffocated on uninflated balloons and pieces of broken balloons than on any other type of toy.


Electric toys that are improperly constructed, wired or misused can shock or burn. Electric toys must meet mandatory requirements for maximum surface temperatures, electrical construction and prominent warning labels.

Electric toys with heating elements are recommended only for children over eight years old. Children should be taught to use electric toys properly, cautiously and under adult supervision.


Infant toys, such as rattles, squeeze toys, and teethers, should be large enough so that they cannot enter and become lodged in an infant's throat.

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9 Tips For A “Team Effort” Packing List

If you have two or more school-age children, a magnetic white board attached to the fridge is the way to go. Failing that, a plain old ordinary list, left in a prominent, semi-permanent place.

1. Use different colored washable or erasable marker for each child, to act as a quick visual “cue”

2. Have a color for you too!

3. Divide the list into “Must Have” and “Would Like To Bring”

4. Explain in advance that there will (or won’t) be a rigid number of items per child – but there will be a cut off point, load-wise (One popular plan is to get each child a backpack for “extra” on-the-road items – and to stress they will have to carry and be responsible for it themselves. In other words, if it doesn’t fit in their one designated backpack or tub, it doesn’t go.)

5. Pre-load the list with essentials (using your special-color marker, so they know this is mom’s decree). This will accomplish 2 things: not only will you know the items you deem essential are safely on there, so you can’t forget them – but seeing items already on a list is a known cue to help people “get started” on their own ideas.

6. If one or more of your children is very young, either fill out the list for them or designate one of your older children to be their “writer”

7. Call a family meeting. Go over the list before the trip, to make sure nothing has been missed.

8. If one child wants to bring too many items, help them by negotiating about what’s reasonable and what’s just not going to work. Explain why.

9. The day before the trip (if possible) get involved in helping each child pack. Make checking off the items on the list with their special markers a fun project

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Public Speaking Tips

Public speaking can be a nerve-wracking experience. Feeling a little uneasy speaking in front of an audience is normal. If you are feeling totally terrified and petrified with fear, there are some things you can do. The following public speaking tips will help you nix the nervousness as you entertain, inform, and motivate your audience.

• Be Prepared – Memorize your speech. If you must have notes with you when public speaking to feel confident, just carry small note cards. Arrange the cards in the order of your speech and only include bullet points, not paragraphs of text. The cards will keep your speech “on track.” Do not read directly from your note cards, just glance at them briefly.

• Picture Giving a Great Speech – Practice visualizing your speech going well. Picture delivering your speech perfectly to an audience hanging on for every word you say.

• Get Familiar With the Stage – Visit the location you will be giving a speech beforehand or arrive early the day of your speech. Take the time to get familiar with the stage, sound equipment, backstage areas, and any stairs leading to the stage. Pay special attention to the amount of public speaking space on the stage so you know how much room you have.

• Do an Equipment Check – Take the time to check your audio-visual equipment. This includes doing a sound check, learning to use the microphones, music, projectors, and other public speaking equipment. Also, make sure you have spare parts, such as replacements for burnt out projector bulbs and extra cables. Do not let faulty or broken equipment ruin your speech. Make sure your audio-visual
crew knows what they are doing.

• Greet Your Audience – When possible, take the time to meet with your audience as they arrive. Knowing the nature of your audience will help you feel more comfortable when speaking to them. You may even spark some ideas, stories, or jokes to include in your public speaking speech.

• Take a Few Minutes to Relax – Take some time before your speech to prepare yourself. Take some deep breaths and focus yourself. Do not drink alcohol to relax before speaking. Direct your nervous energy into positive public speaking enthusiasm for your audience and your message.

• If Things Go Wrong, Do Not Apologize – Nine times out of ten your audience will have no idea something in your speech did not go well. That is, they will not know unless you apologize.

• Remember That Your Audience Wants You To Do Well – Your audience is excited to hear you speak and they want you to succeed. They want to learn from you and look forward to an entertaining and informative speech.

Keep the above public speaking tips in mind when delivering your next speech. These public speaking tips should help your next speech be a success.

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The Time Capsule – 0-12 Months at the Speed of Life! ( 2 )

7-9 Months

At this age your baby’s vision is nearly as clear as adult vision. He can sit without toppling over or losing balance and he can crawl consistently using his hands, knees and feet.

He may even be pulling himself up using the edge of a table or chair, so watch for things he might pull down onto himself or for light tables or things that may fall over when he tries to use them to pull himself up.

Your baby can recognize the sound of your voice, your touch and the image of your face and he shows distinct preference for you and others who are regular caregivers.

He has recall and memory of these things and knows that people and objects are permanent, and he waits for them to reappear.

Because they no longer think you have disappeared when you hide behind the end of the crib or behind your hands, they now love to play ‘hide and seek’ and will wait anxiously for you to come out of hiding.

If your baby has not already started to pull herself up by holding onto things, she will probably do so by 9 months of age.

Once she is comfortable with that process and she has some balance she will try to take a step or two, still holding onto the table or chair for balance.

While your baby will still want to put every object into her mouth, now she can examine toys and other things with her hands too, and she will pick up objects to examine them.

Your baby’s babbling has taken on even more shape and meaning. Within a few months, he will say his first word. Right now, he is practicing and coming as close to real language as his new skills will allow.

His mother skills are much better, and he will soon master the critical ‘thumb and forefinger’ grip.

10-12 Months

The rate of growth will start to increase again around this age. By the time your child is 10-12 months old, he will have tripled his birth weight.

Sometime around the 10th month, the fontanels (soft spots) in his skull will begin to grow together more rapidly to form the solid skull.

This process can take up to 9 months to complete so don’t become concerned if your baby reaches 12 months of age and there is still a soft spot in his head.

Your child will become less sensitive to strangers as these months pass but he will still have a preference for those he knows well.

He will become more curious and interested in his environment and since he can now crawl and may even be able to pull himself up and take a few steps, he will quickly learn that he can explore the world around him on a whim, so watch him carefully.

He is no longer a ‘blob’ you can place on a blanket. If you don’t watch him carefully, he will be in the other room before you know it.

By now, your child can probably understands the word ‘no’ and she can respond to your commands to wave goodbye or go to another person by putting her arms out. If you tell her to put down her toy, she knows what you mean.

She has graduated from control of the large muscles to the ability to control smaller muscles in her hands, as her brain continues to develop and integrate her senses and her motor skills.
She knows she is the one controlling her world now!

She may still put things in her mouth to explore them, but she is just as likely to hold an object in her hand and study it seriously.

Ever since your child has discovered that she can get around the room by holding onto tables and chairs, she has spent hours testing her balance and developing muscle strength by exploring the room and holding onto the nearest coffee table or end table.

Only about 50% of children will walk by 12 months, but most will begin to walk by 14 months, so watch your little one for signs. At first, she will try to walk on tiptoe, but she will rapidly learn how to balance on the balls and heels of her feet, although she will fall at lot trying out her new balancing skills.

You will also notice that your child’s curiosity extends to those drawers, doors and cabinets you are always opening and closing and that, if given the chance, they will happily explore these enclosures.

Be sure you have ‘baby safe’ closers on cabinet doors under sinks to protect your child.

We’ll talk more about child safety later.

At 12 months of age, your child understands a lot more words than they can say, but within months they will begin saying words you may or may not understand at first. At a year old, they may already be saying the most common words like ‘dada’ and ‘mama’.

‘Dada’ is an easier word for little lips and mouths to form!

So, Moms, don’t be upset if your little one says ‘Dada’ before he says YOUR name.
By this age, your child knows his own name and he will look at other family members and may point at them if you call their name. He will try to talk to you in a stream of unintelligible words that have real inflection and tone.

You may not recognize the words, but you will know from the conversation whether he is upset or happy.

She will carefully observe your behavior and the behavior of others to watch how you act when things go wrong, so be sure to remain calm and don’t discipline by yelling, or you will be teaching them bad habits at a young age.

By the time she is 12 months old, your baby will have grown to about 28 inches in length.
By 12 months, your child has mastered the ‘thumb and forefinger’ grasp – that most critical motor skill that separates us from other mammals. She can pick up and examine objects using her thumb and forefinger to grasp the item, and she can pass it easily from hand to hand.

In his high chair, your baby is probably trying to feed himself small things (like Cheerios) and may or may not be missing his mouth, but he is getting the hang of it.

At this age, he might want to try to feed himself with a spoon and while he may fail at the effort, you should feel free to let him try.

The attention span of a one-year old is about 2-4 minutes, and he can sit and play quietly for that period of time, but is likely to want to become active and explore very soon after he sits down to play, so be sure to put him in a playpen if you are not watching him every moment.

He will take a toy from you and give you a toy to play with him. He likes to push, pull, throw and knock things around as he tests his newfound muscle control and strength.
You can put him in a playpen with blocks or shape sorters and he will have a ball!

At a friend’s house, he is happy to play with pots and pans or various sizes of plastic containers he can stack and put inside one another, and he loves to bang things around, so be prepared for loud noises!

At around 12 months, your child may begin to resist naps. If you keep her on a regular routine for naps and meals and bedtime, this will help.

Well, there you have it. A quick capsule version of the first 12 months of your baby’s life.

Your baby will grow rapidly during his first year of life and your doctor will measure progress in motor skills and growth and ability every time you take your baby in for a well-baby check-up. If you have questions or concerns, ask your doctor.

But, remember that all babies grow and develop on their own timetable, so if your child is 6 months old, don’t try to compare her to another 6 month old.

The best thing to do to ensure that your child will is healthy during this critical developmental time is to feed him the rights foods. You should also make sure he gets plenty of sleep and exercise (as his abilities warrant) and spend a lot of time talking to him and holding him and interacting with him so that you challenge those developing neurons and synapses in his brain.

Just because your child can’t talk yet, doesn’t mean he isn’t learning language by listening to you.

Just because he isn’t ready to walk, doesn’t mean he can’t strengthen his muscles and balance by playing, stretching and trying out his new body.

Left to his own devices, he is a curious bundle of experimentation and new skills. All you have to do is encourage him and watch him grow.

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The Time Capsule – 0-12 Months at the Speed of Life! ( 1 )

We will start here, because, we know you must have many questions about what to expect in the way of development and growth.
Let’s start at square one.
0-3 Months
From the first day of your baby’s life through the first three months, he is busy growing and learning, and you will see changes every day.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your behavior and actions as a parent don’t matter much at this point.

Everything your baby does is a new effort and challenge for her and if you reinforce those things by talking to your child and getting involved in the process, you will encourage them to keep trying.

In the first month of your child’s life, you will see a smile appear for the first time!
Aunts and grandmothers may tell you it is just a reaction to gas bubbles, but you’ll know better. As your baby’s vision fuzzy vision disappears and he can see better, he will begin to recognize faces and respond to you and to others he sees every day.

By the time your baby is a month old, he has mastered the art of focusing both of his eyes on one thing – as long as it is about 8-12 inches away from him, he can see it more clearly and practice his focusing skills.

By the time he is two months old, he will be able to focus on your face and direct that smile right at you and you will feel like you are in heaven!

All babies develop at a slightly different pace, so your baby may or may not be lifting their head and looking around during the first week or so. Her head will be wobbly and her arm and leg movements will seem erratic and strange.

You will note that, as a newborn, your baby’s hands are curled into a loose ‘fist’, and if you insert your finger into his little hand, his grasp will be tight.

But, as your baby adjusts to his new, larger environment and get used to being outside the womb, he will begin to stretch and flex his hands and limbs.

These little exercises and physical movements help your baby to develop motor skills over time and to learn how to control their limbs and fingers.

By the end of the first month, if you are watching carefully, you will notice more control when your baby lifts her head or moves her arms and legs.

When your baby is about 4 weeks old, she will react to loud noises (e.g. if you drop something on the floor or bang a pot on the stove). Her arms and legs will jump and straighten in a startle reflex and she will blink and look concerned or wary.

Other sounds approaching her crib (e.g. the sound of your shoes on the floor or a door closing or opening) will elicit a mild response.

Somewhere between three and six weeks of age, your child will try to communicate and you will notice that her crying is different if she is hungry, if she is tired, or if she is in pain.
She may pause and kick her feet a bit or wave her arms in anticipation, or she might stop sucking on a pacifier momentarily to assess the sound.

At approximately 8 weeks of age, your child will start to open and flex her hands more and make attempts at grasping objects, and he will start to respond to your voice as a unique sound.

By now he has learned to distinguish your voice from others and can tell when you are in the room.

Your voice, and the voice of others he sees every day, will calm him when he is crying or upset, where other voices may have no effect on him at all!

At two months, your child will also be more social, smiling in response to your smile, watching you move from one side of the crib to the other, gurgling and cooing when you talk to him or play with him.

You may notice that his cooing sounds become more varied in tone as if he is trying to speak his own language and form actual words.

His neck muscles are stronger and he can hold his neck up without wobbling too much as long as he is looking straight ahead.

He likes to look at colors and shapes and seems to be studying them and trying to figure out the differences.

At three months, your baby will be able to grab that rattle in her crib. She can lift her head and her chest when she is lying on her stomach.

And you will see a PERSONALITY beginning to take shape.

Her social skills are developing and she is much more interactive. Her routine is beginning to emerge and you can tell when she is tired, hungry and playful.

She will probably go to sleep around the same time at night and wake up at about the same time every day.

By the time your baby is a full three months old, he will reach for you for comfort, and can play for 10 minutes at a time in his crib or playpen without your attention or involvement.

He likes to look at pictures, mirrors with his own image and mobiles above his crib, and he is already preparing to turn over by turning from his side onto his back.

Within a short time, he will make the complete flip!

Your child loves to look at his hands at this age. He will watch as he moves his hands and fingers, as if he isn’t sure he is the one moving them.

This is all part of the learning experience and this process will soon help him develop his eye and hand coordination.

You will notice that your child is anticipating things based on her previous experience.

For example, she might reach out to be picked up when she knows it is time to be fed, or she might bend her knees toward her chest when you are about to change her diaper, or gurgle and coo when you put her coat on and she knows she is going outside.

He is cooing and talking to himself and to anyone who will listen; practicing his verbal skills and watching and listening for your response.

So you’ll want to talk to him a lot and encourage him to talk back.

4-6 Months

This is an exciting phase. By the time your baby is 6 months old, he will be a self-starter (probably crawling and crossing the room with little or no difficulty).

But let’s start with the fourth month so you can witness the development in sequence.
By the time your baby is four months old, she will have grown about 3-4 inches in length, and an average of 4-6 pounds in weight.

Keep in mind that this is AVERAGE and it does not mean that your child has a problem if she hasn’t grown that much.

If you have questions, of course, ask your doctor. Growth may slow a little at this stage, but it will pick up again and become more rapid when she is 8-9 months old.

She will play with toys you give her and is cooing and babbling up a storm!

At this early age your baby has significantly improved his balance and coordination by practice and determination. He has some control over his larger muscles and will roll over! He may even sit and balance himself with his hands on the floor on either side of his body.

He will reach for things that are far away from him and he can hold objects for longer periods of time.

At the four-month phase, your child’s brain is developing rapidly and her vision and senses are much better. She can associate what she smells or feels with what she sees and her vision is much better and clearer. She will put everything in her mouth to examine it and figure it out.

She is a real social creature now, and loves to play and laugh with you and to snuggle in your arms or on your shoulder. She may even start to respond to her name when you call her.
When your child is five months old, he will start to form and shape more sounds, as he works toward speaking his first words. These new sounds may be nonsense to you, but if you listen carefully, you will hear consonants (e.g. ‘ga’, ‘ba’).

At six months, your baby is a wonder of whirling activity, passing her toys from one hand to another, holding her bottle and her rattle and using both hands to hold larger objects or objects that are harder to control.

She is making more sounds and her syllables are clearer. She may even use these sounds to express different feelings and to let you know what she wants.
If she wasn’t already sitting on her own earlier, she is probably doing so now and seems to have pretty good balance.

She may already have started to crawl and while these first attempts may include a lot of rocking back and forth, followed by some crawling and then a flop or rest, her crawling will rapidly progress from stomach lurches (or belly crawls) to a point where she can support her own weight by crawling on her knees and hands.

Then, watch out! She will cross the room in no time and you will wonder where she is going so fast!

By 6 months your child will probably have doubled in weight, and the ‘soft spots’ (fontanels) on the top of her head will become smaller as they start to close.

Your child will express feelings like happiness, anxiety, curiosity and anger, and he will demonstrate these feelings with facial expressions.

As your baby passes his sixth month of life, he will show strong signs of emotional preference and bonding with parents and others who care for him.

He may cry if he is approached by a stranger as opposed to someone he knows and he might turn away or hide his face.

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