Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...


Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...


Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...


The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Growth & Development

By the end of her first year, your baby’s growth rate will begin to slow. From now until her next growth spurt (which occurs during early adolescence), her height and weight should increase steadily, but not as rapidly as during those first months of life. She may only gain a total of 1.5 to 2 kg and grow 10 cm in the entire year. Her head will only grow by another 2.5 cm; however, by the age of 2 her head will be 90% of her expected adult head size. Continue to plot her measurements every few months on growth charts to make sure she’s generally following her normal growth curve.

Your toddler’s looks, however, probably will change more than her size. At 12 months, she still looked like a baby. Her face had a soft roundness, her arms and legs were still short compared to her larger torso. When she stands she may appear to have a strange posture – a protruding belly and bottom, slightly pigeon-toed, flat feet that suddenly turn outward as she takes her first steps. This apparent awkwardness disappears as she finds her balance, as the ligaments around her hips strengthen to straighten her legs and as the soft little bones in her feet become sturdy and strong.

By the time your baby is a 2-year-old toddler, her body and limbs will be more proportional and leaner looking. Her face is now angular and has a more defined jawline; suddenly you can see the adult in the child.


This continues to develop rapidly, with depth perception and eye/hand coordination being the main area of development. It will be a while still before he is able to see as far as an adult. Toddlers are, however, unable to tell you if they are having a problem with their vision so it would be important to have a check-up if you notice your child may have problems. Some signs are:  sensitivity to light, frequent scrunching up of the eyes or squinting, continuous rubbing of the eyes (not just when tired), pupils of an unequal size, holding objects close to eyes to see them.

Hearing and talking

Initially your baby was hearing you and all the other noises in his environment. Then she started to actively listen to you and differentiate between the different voices and sounds. Now she is understanding everything that is being said to her. This is the further step in the development of her language and comprehension skills.

All the babbling sounds she was making during her first year are now becoming recognisable words that are decipherable by you, her parent, and not necessarily anyone else. You may find yourself using less baby talk; she no longer needs to hear high-pitched singsong monologues to get her attention. Instead, she seems to respond better to slow, clear, simple words and short sentences. By providing a good language model, avoiding the use baby words, you’ll help her to learn to talk with a minimum of confusion.

Most toddlers spend most of their second year listening and developing a vocabulary of at least 50 words, rather than talking. At the end of the second year they start putting the words together, 2 or 3 at a time. Girls are generally a bit faster at this than boys. The reason some of the words are difficult to understand is because they often omit or change certain sounds. For example, she might get the first consonant (b, d, t) and vowel (a, e, i, o, u) sounds right, but drop the end of the word. Or she may substitute sounds she can pronounce, such as d or b, for more difficult ones.

You’ll learn to understand what she’s saying over time and with the help of her gestures. Be very patient with your child as she begins to speak; try not to second guess her words. Once she has had her say, repeat what she said with the correct pronunciation. She will love to mimic you and this is how her language skills develop and improve.


By starting to walk and being able to understand so much more of what is being said to her, everything that your child does is now a potential learning experience.

Imitation is a big part of her learning process at this age. Instead of simply manipulating household objects, she now plays with them with a purpose. She may want to mow the lawn with her own little mower, or chat on a toy phone like you do on yours. She may appear to read a book, turning the pages one at a time or attempt to brush her hair with her own brush. Because imitation is such an important part of her behaviour and learning, now, perhaps more than ever, you need to be aware of the behaviours that you are modelling for her. Remember, things that you do or say will be copied repeatedly as she plays and learns. This imitation is often cute but can also be potentially embarrassing. She will also copy older siblings and playmates, all of which is advantageous to her development.

Favourite games are hide and seek; she can often remember where a toy was hidden days later! This also means that there is a better understanding of being separated from you, just as she can be found when playing hide and seek, so you too are ‘found’ after a day at work.