From Birth to One Year
Children need to be healthy and safe in order to thrive and learn.
Keeping your baby healthy
- Your baby needs healthy parents –who look after themselves as best they can, keeping as healthy as possible so that you can meet your new baby’s many needs
- Attachments to special people are essential for your baby’s healthy development – and the first special person is usually mum and later dad or other important family members or carers
- Babies have a number of basic needs – they include healthy food and being kept warm, dry and clean to help them thrive
- During the first year a programme of vaccinations for your baby will be offered – this will help provide protection from childhood illnesses
- Babies grow and change rapidly in the first year and all are unique and develop at different rates – no two babies develop in the same way so it is important to try not to compare your baby or young child with another
Keeping your baby safe
- Safety is first and foremost the responsibility of parents – but it is also the responsibility of everyone who comes in contact with your baby.
- Only leave your baby with someone who you can really trust – someone you know very well and is aware of your baby’s needs
- A safe home and community are essential – physical dangers need to be removed and an emotionally supportive atmosphere helps your baby thrive
- Clean air is part of a safe environment – for example cigarettes and fumes from alcohol are not good for your baby
- Babies are fragile and vulnerable and they depend upon adults – everyone needs to be very careful so that accidents rarely happen
Helping your baby learn
- Talk to your baby from the beginning – even before birth as well as after as this will stimulate your baby’s brain and help your baby to learn
- Show and tell –show your baby objects in the home, telling them what they are and what they are for
- Nurture the baby’s senses – as well as hearing your voice and seeing things that you show, let your baby feel different textures and experience different smells such as newly cooked food or the grass outdoors
- Play with your baby and introduce books – and sing rhymes and songs and let them investigate safe everyday objects
- You are your baby’s first teachers – you can help your baby learn simply by including them in your everyday life
Children with disabilities may have a wider range of developmental milestones and so their needs may differ – always consult with your Doctor, Health Visitor, Nursery or Children’s Centre who will be able to provide more information on supporting individual children’s development.
Enjoy being with your baby at this age, as that is the best way to help prepare them for the next stage of their learning and development !