Your Child's Job is to Explore

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Your Child's Job is to Explore

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Your Child's Job is to Explore

Tips for Babies

From birth to 18 months is a time of fast growth and development. For instance, children will nearly triple their weight. They gain skills in eating, walking and early language. They need to explore in order to learn. Most importantly, at this age children learn whom they can trust to meet their needs.

It's important to know you can't spoil a baby. In fact, the quicker you respond when a baby cries, the more secure the child will be. An infant who feels secure is happier and easier to live with.

Make the child's environment as safe and unrestricted as possible so he can explore everywhere. Put locks on cupboards and gates on stairs. In other words, child-proof their environment.

Most discipline methods at this age are ineffective. Children under 18 months are not able to understand or respond to usual discipline methods such as time out, saying no, or spanking. Any form of physical punishment is very dangerous for infants and can cause permanent damage. The best way to guide a small child's behavior is to redirect their interest. If your child keeps playing with the buttons on the TV, tell her she can't push those buttons and then give her something else to keep her hands busy, such as blocks or a toy with buttons she can push.

Remember, it is normal for babies to be into everything. It is your child's job to explore and learn all about her environment at this time. It is your job to respond to her needs and make her environment safe.

Source: Nebraska Extension NuFacts

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