27 June 2006

The twelfth month

Congratulations! You made it through the first year and by the end of this month you will be celebrating your baby’s first birthday.

Congratulations! You made it through the first year and by the end of this month you will be celebrating your baby’s first birthday.

What we will look at

  • What your baby can do
  • Birthday party ideas
  • What you can do to help your baby

What your baby can do

  • Sits well on floor and for indefinite time
  • Rises to sitting position from lying down
  • Pulls to standing
  • Crawls or shuffles on buttocks
  • Walks one hand held
  • Walks holding on to furniture
  • Picks up fine objects with pincer grasp
  • Says two or three words with meaning
  • Starts to understand simple questions
  • Gets upset if you take a toy away
  • Knows own name

Separation anxiety
It is common for babies to experience separation anxiety at this age. This may be very distressing for you and make you feel guilty about leaving her behind. Don’t worry, your child will most likely settle down after you’ve left.

What can you do to make separation easier on your child?

  • Ask the childminder to come at least fifteen minutes before you need to leave. This will ease the transition and give them a chance to get involved in an activity that will distract your child.
  • Always say goodbye but keep it brief. It may seem easier to just disappear but it will be very distressing to your child when he/she realises that you have left. He will feel as if you’ve abandoned him and will make it difficult for him to trust you.
  • Comfort your child if he is distressed. Explain that you will return and tell him that you love him.

Birthday party ideas
Now you are officially part of the kid’s party circuit. At this age birthday parties are more important to the parent – your baby doesn’t even know what the fuss is all about!

Don’t be too ambitious when you plan the party. Here are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that it is a success:

  • Don’t invite too many people. It is far too daunting for a baby and he may end up clinging to you all the time.
  • Time it right – schedule the party for a time when your baby is well rested and fed.
  • Put away all breakable and fragile items – with other children around, there is no way that you will be able to supervise them all the time.
  • Get help. You also need time to interact with the guests and to make sure that the guest of honour has a good time. With so much going on, you will need someone who can run around serving guests and clearing away.
  • Serve wholesome snacks that are safe for young children – don’t risk a child choking on nuts or popcorn.
  • Don’t bother inviting a clown or magician – they may frighten your baby or his guests.
  • Keep it brief – parties are exhausting for a baby (and you!). An hour will do.
  • Provide a variety of toys and if you can, have more than one of each kind to avoid competition.
  • A ball pond can be hired. It is always a hit with babies this age.
  • Put drop sheets out – parties are messy affairs!

What you can do to help your baby

  • Start reading short stories
  • Encourage him to show affection
  • Stand a short distance away from your child and encourage him to come to you
  • Give him a crayon to start scribbling
  • Encourage her to feed herself with a spoon

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