Parents: Here’s How to Help Your Baby’s Development

All children grow and develop at their own pace, but parents play a very important role in encouraging them along.

“The No. 1 thing a parent can do is interact with their baby,” said William Scovell, MD, a ProMedica Physicians pediatrician.

Examples of this interaction include talking, reading or just holding your baby close. “Having a safe, positive environment around your baby is essential. It is important to be responsive, smile and make eye contact,” explained Dr. Scovell.

“Having a safe, positive environment around your baby is essential. It is important to be responsive, smile and make eye contact.”

It’s important for parents to know that in the first few months of life, you cannot spoil a baby. In fact, Dr. Scovell said attention is very good for your baby. “By being consistent, loving and attentive you can build a foundation of trust that leads to a happy and healthy toddler.”

In addition to interacting with your baby frequently, it’s important that babies see a primary care provider regularly during the first several years to monitor their growth and development.

Dr. Scovell explains, “During these visits we measure and plot their weight, height and head circumference. These measurements give doctors good benchmarks for how babies are growing. Your doctor and nurse will also ask parents questions during these visits to determine if your child is meeting their developmental milestones.”

These visits provide great opportunities for parents to ask questions about their baby’s development. But Dr. Scovell said not to wait until your next appointment if you have concerns. “If there ever is a question, please call your doctor or make an appointment so your concerns can be addressed.”

This chart below may help you better understand typical infant development.

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