Starting a new family can be a wonderful yet stressful experience. Newborns, and even older babies, can seem mysterious and taking care of them may be a little scary. Fortunately, babies are born with the skills and desire to tell parents what they need. In this blog, experienced moms (who happen to be experts) will help parents understand why babies behave the way they do and share tips to help parents cope with the ups and downs of this new and exciting time of life.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Baby Behavior is on the road again!
Friday, April 25, 2014
Babies' Firsts: First Words
I am working on a post about language development, which got me thinking about my daughters' first words. All day I've been trying to remember how old they were when they started talking and what their first words were. Luckily, I documented these types of milestones, so even though it is Friday and my brain is ready for the weekend, I know that Olivia's first word was "Dada" when she was 11 months old and Charlotte said "mama" when she was 10 months old!
Last week we posted the answers to our Infant Communication Quiz, which included a question about the most common first word for babies in the US. According to a study published in 2008, the most common first words are "daddy" and "mommy," so I guess my kids are pretty representative!
So now I am curious about your experience. How old was your baby when he or she said their first word and what did he or she say?
Send us a comment and let us know!
Friday, April 18, 2014
Answers! Infant Communication Quiz
2. At what age do babies start babbling (experimenting with sounds but not saying any discernable words)?
Answer: Around 6-months of age. First communication starts with your baby's coos around 1-2 months followed by babbling at about 6-months. These patterns of learning language are predictable and universal.
3. On average, at what age do babies speak their 1st words?
Answer: Around 13-months. This is followed by a rapid expansion of your baby's vocabulary around 18-months.
4. True or False. You can help early vocabulary development by labelling specific objects for your baby, i.e "that is a block!"
Answer: True! Attaching a word to a specific object can help infants learn new vocabulary. Describing what you or your child is doing as it happens is also helpful.
5. True or False. Focusing on motor development, like learning to crawl or walk, can temporarily take your baby’s focus away from learning to speak.
Answer: True! Though this effect is brief, if your baby is intent on learning to walk, he may be so focused on that skill that he isn't as intent on learning new words. As soon as he masters walking though, he'll be back to learning to speak.
6. At what age do babies start recognizing words for common items?
Answer: Between 7-12 months. Sometime around 7-12 months your baby will begin to recognize common words such as "cup", "milk" or "shoe."
7. At what age is your baby able to follow directions?
Answer: Between 18-months and 2 years. At this age you can begin to ask your child to help you with simple tasks like bringing you her cup or picking up her shoe.
References (by question number):
1: Tardif T, Fletcher P, Liang W, Zhang Z, Kaciroti N, Marchman V. Baby's First 10 Words. Developmental Psychology. 2008;44(4): 929-938.
2, 3, 4 & 5: Kopko K. Research Sheds Light on How Babies Learn and Develop Language. Accessed 4/9/14 at: http://www.human.cornell.edu/hd/outreach-extension/upload/casasola.pdf
6: Birth to 1 Year: What should my child be able to do? Accessed 4/9/14 at:
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Quiz: Infant Communication
- What do you think is the most common 1st word said by babies in the United States?
- At what age do babies start babbling?
- On average, at what age do babies speak their 1st words?
- True or False. Early vocabulary development is stimulated when parents label specific objects for their babies. i.e "that is a block!"
- True or False. Focusing on motor development, like learning to crawl or walk, can temporarily take your baby’s focus away from learning to speak.
- At what age do babies start recognizing words for common items?
- At what age is your baby able to follow directions?
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Blog Remodel - We need your advice!
Over the next several months, we'd like to revamp our site, giving it a new style and, more importantly, making it easier to use. For example, we plan to reorganize the keywords section and make it easier to navigate through previous posts to find what you need (no small task given that we have 433 posts).
Before we begin, we want to get your suggestions. What features would you like to see on our site? What suggestions do you have for the layout or design? Is there something we haven't written about that you are interested in? Please send us your ideas in the comments section below.
Friday, April 4, 2014
Maternal Depression and Infant Sleep
With 14% of postpartum women in the US screening positive
for depression, according to a 2013 study, it’s important to understand how depression
affects infant sleep and how infant sleep (or lack of maternal sleep) affects
depressed mothers and their babies.
Now here’s another baby behavior connection. The authors recommended parenting education on reasons for nighttime crying to reduce maternal stress about nighttime parenting. It’s possible that information about normal infant sleep patterns would also reduce stress at nighttime. The authors believe mother-driven influences are at work from what they observed in the study. Though it can’t be ruled out that the infant night waking actually predisposed the mothers to spend more time with their infants at night, which in turn caused depressed feelings or excess worry about infant nighttime needs.
Top 5 Sleep Posts