Tantrums usually result when the baby feels frustrated, and he knows no better way to cope. Be sure to encourage his acceptable attempts at dealing with stress. Be sensitive to your child's frustration and help him find ways to cope before he loses control.
Many parents are concerned that they may make mistakes that will forever damage their child. It is important (and comforting) to remember that children are affected more by parents' feelings behind the words than by the words themselves.
Of course, some out-of-control parent behavior such as shaking or hitting an infant can result in permanent damage. In addition to possible physical injury, these behaviors teach the child to fear the parent. If a parent is able to relax, enjoy parenting, and express love for the child regularly, the child has a good chance to grow up as a secure, capable person.
Your baby is more active now, so he may want to play at mealtime, as well as eat. Variety in foods may help keep him interested in eating. Eating applesauce with a spoon and something else with a child's fork is more interesting than just one option.
A drinking cup, instead of a bottle, may be used at mealtime. All the food and drink won't make it into his mouth, but learning-by-doing is a necessary step toward better muscle control and table manners. You may also notice that he becomes more interested in food when he can feed himself.
Where do you keep the poisons in your house? Where are your household cleaners? Not under the sink, we hope! Now that baby is crawling, pulling open, getting into things and generally is a handful to manage, you don't need the additional worry that he might get into your toxic cleaners.
Safety latches on cabinet doors are helpful, but they are no guarantee when it comes to hazardous chemicals. Move anything poisonous up high -- better yet, lock it up!
Some parents may be concerned by the way their baby stands. Many babies support themselves on the inner sides of their feet and ankles during the early months of standing. He needs this extra support for balance, but as coordination improves and ankles strengthen, this practice will be left behind. If he seems to stumble because of this practice, allow him to go barefoot so toes can be used for grasping.
When your baby has been walking for about four to six weeks, have your baby's doctor examine his feet and legs. Many potential walking problems can be corrected before they become serious.
As your baby approaches his first birthday, appropriate clothing styles will look more like children's clothes than infant clothes. You will still be looking for washability, ease in dressing and features that allow clothing to grow with your child. Growth features include elastic waist, wrist and leg bands; one-piece garments with no waistlines; and adjustable shoulder straps.
If you decide to buy clothing in a larger size, be sure it is not so big that your child has difficulty moving. Too-long pant legs and sleeves can be frustrating and uncomfortable for active babies. If you plan to hem pants or dresses for longer wear, knit fabrics are less likely to show old hemlines than are corduroy or crisp cottons.
Reprinted with permission from The University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension Service.