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Formerly the Welcome Baby Newsletter
Hi and welcome to Week 30 of the Welcome Baby e-newsletter program. This week we're reviewing some of the milestones you and your 7-month-old can look forward to achieving. And this week's feature article offers tips on how to care for your baby's teeth as they start to come in!
Month 7 Milestones
By seven months, your baby:
Can feed herself a cracker
Can make a wet razzing sound
Sits without support
Explores objects by putting them in his mouth
May be able to pick up a block and transfer to the other hand
Support a bit of her own weight when held in a standing position
Protecting Baby's Smile
Although your baby may have only one or two teeth, it’s not too soon to protect her from tooth decay. Letting her fall asleep with a bottle or breast in her mouth allows the build-up of harmful bacteria. The resulting damage can be painful as well as unsightly, and decayed teeth may have to be pulled.
Try to substitute comforts other than breast or bottle at nap and bedtime, including rocking, singing or playing music and a favorite blanket or stuffed toy. If you do give a bottle, be sure it contains nothing but water.
In Nevada County, NID water and well water have no fluoride added, so children need fluoride treatments regularly to help develop strong tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Talk to your medical provider about the need for flouride treatment.
Gently clean your baby’s teeth every evening. Rub teeth with a piece of gauze or use a damp toothbrush made especially for babies with soft, tiny bristles.
Toothpaste is not needed, and could be harmful if it’s swallowed. Change toothbrushes every 6-8 weeks.
Reprinted with permission from Welcome Words, a publication of the Welcome Baby Program of Durham County, NC, Cooperative Extension.
Photo Credit: By Chrisbwah (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Your 8-month-old baby may be too young to really understand what "no" means but it's not too early for you to learn how to set limits for your baby. This featured article offers some ideas and strategies you can use today. And the habits you set while your baby is crawling will make a difference when your baby is ready for walking, running and even - gasp! - driving.
Setting Limits For Your Baby
With a crawling baby in the house, it’s easy to find yourself saying “No!” almost constantly. While your baby is beginning to understand what “no” means, she’s too young to remember for more than a few minutes that your treasured crystal vase is a “no-no.”
The better childproofed your home, the fewer times you’ll have to say “No!” and the safer your possessions. This doesn’t mean that it’s pointless to set limits for your baby. It’s not too early to begin teaching him words like “ouch” or “hot.” But that doesn’t mean you can rely on him not to reach for your cup of steaming coffee – even though he may point to it and say “hot.” That level of understanding is still several months away.
For each “no,” it’s a good idea to offer a substitute that is okay. If she starts to throw toys, offer her a ball instead. “You can throw this ball, not blocks.”
For the next few years, diversion will prove to be one of your best strategies for good behavior. Babies quickly pick up on their ability to create a strong response from their parents, whether it’s anger, laughter, or frustration. Try to keep your cool when setting limits, even though you may feel more like yelling or bursting into laughter.
If you rotate playthings, this is the time to pull out a “new” toy to distract your baby.
Nobody’s perfect, of course, and if you do lose your temper, be sure to apologize by saying something soothing such as, “I’m sorry I yelled. I was angry.” Then follow your apology with a reassuring hug.
It helps to remember that your baby isn’t being bad. It’s her job to explore her surroundings. Using distraction is a good way to teach what’s allowed and what isn’t.
Babies, of course, have more than their share of accidents. If yours spills a glass of milk as he reaches for his cracker, let him know that accidents happen. “Oops! The milk spilled!”
Whatever she does, be sure she knows it’s her behavior that’s at fault: “Biting hurts,” not, “You’re a bad girl.” Telling a child that she’s bad can lead to more negative behavior.
You’re not spoiling your child if he sometimes gets what he wants. Offering him choices – “Do you want banana or apple?” – gives him a chance to develop a sense of independence.
Reprinted with permission from Welcome Words, a publication of the Welcome Baby Program of the Durham County, NC, Cooperative Extension.