Track your baby’s milestones — Parenting challenges

Parenting your peewee is filled with countless challenges, here’s what to expect and how to cope…

Babies — Track your baby’s milestones — Parenting challenges

The delight and joy you feel in your little one’s arrival can quickly ebb under the weight of your new parenting responsibilities. Indeed, constant feeds and endless diaper-changing will overwhelm anyone, let alone someone who is dealing with sleep deprivation. Here are ways to ease past these rough spots in your parenting journey and avoid losing your mind…

0 to 6 months

* A newborn’s tummy is really small (the size of a cherry), so you can expect to feed her eight to 12 times a day. With the feeds and frequent diaper changes, don’t expect to enjoy much sleep.

* Many babies suffer from colic, which usually starts at 2 to 3 weeks of age, peaks at 2 months, and ends when she’s about 4 months old. During this trying period, she’ll cry excessively for unknown reasons (for up to three hours a day) at the same time daily for as long as three weeks.

* Your concentration, quick-thinking and even gut feelings will be put to the test as you’ll have to monitor your cherub very closely, to discern if her mood, crying and breathing patterns are a cause for concern.

* In the first 20 months of life, little ones go through some 10 “Wonder Weeks”. During these, her brain and nervous-system changes, her physical, mental and sensory skills will also advance. Poor sleep, fussiness and clinginess are signs that a Wonder Week is imminent.

Babies — Track your baby’s milestones — Parenting challenges

6 to 12 months

* By the time your sweetie is 6 months old, her sleeping patterns should normalise with short naps in the day and longer periods of sleep at night. Expect her to sleep anywhere between six and12 hours a night.

* At around 7 months, she’ll start to teethe, which can be painful when each tooth erupts. Besides excessive drooling and irritability, she may experience red and swollen gums. Offer her a chilled wet towel or teething ring to gnaw on.

* This is around the time your munchkin can grasp tiny objects within her reach and start putting them in her mouth out of curiosity. So, put away small items that may present a potential choking hazard.

* At about 10 months, though it can start as early as 6 months, babies begin to show signs of separation anxiety. So, she’ll cry when you leave her when you need to pee. This is a normal emotional stage of development. Help her grasp the concept of “object permanence” — the idea that people exist even when they are not present — by playing games like peekaboo.

Parenting challenges for 1 year and above coming up next…