In Florida, Arizona, Texas and California, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for infants and young children under the age of 4 years; and nationwide, drowning remains the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years.
Never leave your baby unattended around water – even for a second and even near innocent-seeming items such as a bucket, bowl, toilet, tub, sink, or puddle. A baby can drown in as little as one inch of water. If you have a wading pool, be sure to drain it when you’re not using it, and if you have a full-sized pool, install a safety gate.
Your New Baby
Your baby is learning to grasp small objects between his or her thumb and index finger and can judge depth more accurately, both of which will have him or her picking up everything from a favorite toy to each crumb of dropped food you missed when cleaning the floor. Your baby is also starting to respond to simple commands and may give Mommy a toy or share his or her finger food. What a giver! The ability to sit unassisted for 15 minutes and reach for a toy without losing his or her balance will have both of you beaming with pride. You have many reasons for commending your baby now. . . not that you needed another excuse to show your adoration.
As your baby is becoming more attached to you, he or she might also be becoming more attached to an inanimate object, such as his or her pacifier, a toy, or a favorite blanket. This is another sign of separation anxiety. As your baby realizes that you may not always be there right by his or her side, he or she decides to attach themselves to something that he or she can keep with him or her at all times. This insecurity may also be intensified by a big change, such as a new babysitter, or if you moved into a new, bigger house.
Your baby is probably pulling themselves up and may be able to lean against furniture with his or her hands free. Despite taking lots of tumbles, your baby is determined to conquer gravity. Soften his or her falls by placing rugs or blankets under the furniture he or she uses for balance.
Don’t feel pressured to wean your little one simply because he or she is eating solid foods now. There are many benefits to extended nursing, including the infection-fighting antibodies he or she receives with each ounce of breast milk, and the unique bonding that occurs during nursing. Remember, experts advise that breast milk (or formula) should still make up 75 percent of your baby’s daily diet throughout the second half of his or her first year.
A Quote Worth Repeating
“Storms make oaks take deeper roots.”
~ George Herbert
A Tip from the Trenches
Once your baby is eating solid foods, it’s important to help him or her develop healthy habits. The following tips will help:
- Don’t overfeed your baby. He or she will let you know he or she is full by turning his or her face away.
- Don’t force your baby to eat foods he or she doesn’t like. Respect his or her preferences and avoid power struggles over food.
- Feed your baby a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. Use sweets, salts, and fats in moderation.
- Avoid fast food.
- Don’t use food as a bribe or reward. Instead, offer plenty of hugs, kisses, and attention.