Mother with baby

Preparing for Your Baby’s First Year

Did You Know At Two to Three Months Old, Your Baby…

  • will be able to smile back at you?
  • will be able to lift his or head 45 degrees while lying on his or her stomach?
  • will giggle and laugh?
  • will be able to wave his or her hands and maybe even clap them together?


 

Now that you and your baby have a month of real-world experience together, it is time for you to prepare for the many months ahead. You likely have already had at least one “well-baby” visit, and future visits should occur at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 1 year.

For future well-baby visits, consider using the following tips:

Schedule Appointments Around Baby’s Schedule – Be sure to schedule well-baby visits during times that usually aren’t occupied by feedings or naps. Also, try to feed your baby prior to the doctor visit so he or she isn’t hungry and doesn’t become fussy.

A Comfortable Baby is a Happy Baby – Dress your baby in some comfortable clothes that are easily removable for the doctor’s tests. You may also ask if any of the doctor’s exams can be taken while your baby remains on your lap to keep him or her happy.

Come Prepared with Questions – You likely have thought of dozens of questions to ask the doctor, but how many of them do you actually remember? When you think of a question, try to remember to write it down to ask during your baby’s next checkup.

Immunizations

Scheduled well-baby visits also means scheduled immunization shots. Your baby will be thrilled!

Here is a list of recommended immunizations for your baby and when they typically occur:

  • DTaP – Protects against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
    Recommended at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, 18 months
  • IPV – Protects against polio
    Recommended at 2 months, 4 months and between 6 to 18 months
  • MMR – Protects against measles, mumps and rubella
    Recommended between 12 to 15 months and between 4 to 6 years
  • Var – Protects against varicella, or chicken pox
    Recommended at 12 to 18 months
  • Hib – Protects against hemophilus influenzae
    Recommended at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 12 months
  • HepB – Protects against hepatitis B
    Recommended at birth, between 1 to 4 months and between 6 to 18 months
  • PCV7 – Protects against meningitis, pneumonia, ear infections and more
    Recommended at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and at 12 to 15 months
  • Flu – Protects against influenza (the flu)
    Recommended at any time between 6 months to 18 years

After immunizations are administered, be sure to keep a close eye on your child for the next couple of days following the shot. If your child has a high fever, unusual vomiting or crying, out-of-character sleepiness, etc., call your doctor immediately.

Childproofing Your Home

Babies are curious, perhaps even more curious than the proverbial cat. Your home probably has a number of “trouble spots” that could be dangerous for your curious child.

Remember, just because a trouble spot seems out of reach, a child will be able to reach for things and use furniture to climb up areas.

Here is a list of trouble spots to consider:

  • Electrical Outlets – Cover all electrical outlets in the home with plate covers.
  • Electrical Cords – Electrical cords could lead to shock or the child pulling on them and having an object fall on him or her. Put them out of reach behind furniture.
  • Blind or Curtain Cords – Keep cords tied up and high up from the floor, as they are a choking hazard.
  • Windows – Windows must be screened and shouldn’t be able to be opened past six inches. Don’t keep any climbable objects next to them.
  • Dressers – Be sure to shut all dresser drawers and keep them locked if possible. It is also important to make sure top heavy dressers and furniture are secured to the wall so they cannot fall on top of a baby or young child who pulls up on them.

There are hundreds of other items that could potentially lead to injury. Be sure to do plenty of research on your own or ask your doctor for other trouble spots not discussed in this email.

Now that you are a couple months into motherhood, you are probably feeling more and more comfortable each week. However, if you are still feeling uncertain or you are struggling in anyway, this is entirely normal. Seek help or guidance from your doctor or from a counselor to help resolve these feelings.

If for any reason you are still interested in learning more about adoption, please contact an adoption agency or adoption attorney. It is never too late to choose adoption, if you feel that may be best for you and your baby.