Motherhood is an amazing thing. You get the chance to watch your child develop into an adult over time and sometimes that development seems to happen overnight while we are sleeping. One moment we are bringing them home in a carrier and suddenly they are graduating High School, heading to college, or getting married and having children of their own. The time in between is truly important and the many steps our children take over time are the ones we remember forever.
What types of development should I watch for early on?
When a baby is born, they need proper nutrition for healthy physical development and plenty of emotional support for their own emotional development as well. One important part of this process is keeping an eye on their eating habits. All babies are different and each one will have nutritional needs that change over time.
While one child may only eat a few ounces of milk early on, another may move forward to larger feedings at a faster rate. Knowing how much our child is eating, how often, and how filled they seem to be will help to determine whether they are getting the nutrition they need and if any additional measures need to be taken.
All of these things should be monitored, kept a record of, and discussed with the pediatrician during check-ups. However, as complicated as this all may sound, the process is actually very simple. In fact, it is nearly as simple as keeping an eye on things like:
- Baby stomach size
- Skin color and moisture
- Diaper changes including consistency of bowel movements
- Baby eye changes and focus
- Finger movements and random muscle movements
- Mood changes
- Sleeping patterns
That all sounds really complicated, is it easier than it sounds?
Indeed, monitoring your baby will be far easier than it seems. You’ll notice some things very easily, such as changes in the consistency of diaper contents and the frequency of diaper changes as well. In addition, it will be easy to make note of the eating habits and sleeping habits of your child, as these are going to affect you as well.
Things like eye changes and skin color are very important, as it will help you to notice if your baby is properly hydrated. Babies need water, too, though not in the earliest stages. Speak to your health care provider if you notice your baby exhibiting listless behavior, dry eyes or skin, or a yellowish skin color. These are all signs of dehydration or other underlying issues and should be addressed promptly.
By keeping an eye on these simple basics, you can ensure that you are discussing everything with your care provider at visits and check-ups, which can make a big difference and help your peace of mind. Keeping a record book of your baby’s growth will also provide a keepsake that you can pass on to your child later on, something that they and their own children can treasure for years to come.