Basic Care

Your child is now entering a stage of independence. He is starting to move away from you with his physical ability to crawl and possibly walk. He is becoming more vocal and assertive about his needs. Yet at the same time he seems to need you more than ever emotionally as he prepares himself for this great step into independence.

For you, as the parent, this is not only a time of great pride but also a resurgence of feelings of great concern as you suddenly find dangers lurking around every corner and you have your hands full keeping him safe. Your baby is now able to participate far more in his world. Knowing when to help out if he is frustrated at not being able to reach an object, knowing when to protect him from harming himself because he doesn’t yet understand the consequences of his actions and knowing when to curb your own frustration at his ineptitude and allowing him to figure it our for himself, is part of the art of parenting.

The more opportunities that your baby can experience to test his new-found independence and to test his skills, the more confident, independent and adventurous your child will be.

Feeding

At this stage it may seem as if your baby is being fed constantly, as he is still making the transition from milk feeds being his main source of nutrition, to his expanding diet of ‘real’ food. His meals are becoming more varied and more textured but his appetite may be less as his rate of growth slows, his teeth develop and his fascination with the world around him makes him easily distracted at meal times.

He is also developing the use of his hands which in turn results in quite messy meal times due to his desire to feed himself. This can be frustrating as you are concerned about the actual quantity he needs to eat. Giving him his own bowl of food and spoon with which to practise his independence whilst alternating with a spoon of food from you can be a more fun and less frustrating meal time experience. Continue to get guidance from your clinic nurse with regard to balanced meal portion sizes and variation in textures.