Children's Development Birth to Two Months
While reading this information, please keep in mind that all children are unique. While the sequence of development is practically the same for all children (for example, most children learn to crawl before they learn to walk), each child's rate of development is different. There is a wide variation in normal development. Some children reach developmental milestones earlier than others. Some reach them later than others. Rarely does a delay in reaching a developmental milestone mean that there is a problem. In most cases, delays turn out to be normal. Remember that premature infants generally reach developmental milestones later than other infants of the same birth age. Parents with any questions or concerns about their children's development should contact their children's health care provider.
Newborn infants do not usually resemble the dimpled, softly rounded bundles that are often seen in television commercials. Many parents are surprised when they are presented with a wrinkled, puffy faced, lumpy headed, oddly colored, crooked shaped little creature. The infants shown in most television commercials are in fact closer to five or six months in age. New parents, thus, should not expect their newborns to be raving beauties.
The average sleeping time for babies during their first month of life is 16-1/2 hours, taken in 7 to 8 daily naps. It is important for parents to remember that 16-1/2 hours is an average, and the hours infants sleep can range from eight hours a day to almost 24 hours a day. Babies who sleep more or less than average are just as normal as the ones who sleep the average of 16-1/2 hours per day. It seems that some babies, like adults, appear to need more sleep than others, and some less.
Newborn babies may frequently appear to be in a twilight state between sleeping and waking. During the first months, most infants are alert about one out of every ten hours. Many babies during this early phase of life do not follow a rigid schedule. Daily patterns of sleeping, crying, and eating will probably be very disorganized and unpredictable.
Reprinted with the permission of the Center for Effective Parenting. © 1998-2004 The Center for Effective Parenting. All Rights Reserved.
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