Babies grow a lot in their first year of life and learn lots of new skills. Understanding the changes they're going through will help you better adjust to life with a new baby.
It's normal for a baby to cry more often and for longer periods of time at certain points in their life. Here's what you and anyone caring for your baby should know about infant crying. Most babies:
In the first five to six months, it's normal for a baby's crying to increase in intensity, and the baby may not be consolable. If you feel your baby is unwell, follow up with your health care provider.
Sometimes there's no reason to explain why the baby is crying, and there's often nothing you can do.
Listening to a baby cry for long periods of time can be very frustrating and upsetting for parents and caregivers. It's the most common trigger for shaking a baby. For help managing your baby's crying contact Niagara Parents.
Meal and snack routines are important for young children. Eating every two to three hours a day gives your child time to feel hungry and be interested in eating.
Limit the amount of time for meals and snacks to about 30 minutes to ensure there's enough time between meals and snacks. Once a meal or snack is over, do not offer food or drinks in-between set times, offer only water.
Enjoy family meals
The best and safest place to feed your child is at the family table. Offer meals and snacks when your child is comfortably seated and supervised. Make eating a social and enjoyable time.
For free and confidential information on nutrition and feeding (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.), call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
Teeth will usually appear in the first year of a baby's life. Looking after teeth even before they appear is an important part of a baby's routine.
You can wipe your baby's gums in the morning and night (or more often) with a clean wash cloth. Once your baby’s teeth appear, keep your baby's teeth and gums healthy. Good oral care will make sure that your baby’s mouth and speech develop properly.
It's not recommended for children under two to have any screen time. This includes watching TV, tablets and movies. Babies and toddlers learn best from face-to-face interaction with people.
Instead of screen time, play with your child with age appropriate toys and read to them often. Reading or singing to a baby will help them learn about speech and language. Babies love to look at pictures, and will enjoy turning the pages when they are able to do so.
Vaccinations are the safest way to protect your child. In Ontario, routine vaccinations start when your child is two months old. You can get your child vaccinated at:
Each time your child receives a vaccination:
For questions about vaccines, have an open discussion with your health care provider, or give our public health nurses a call at 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074 ext. 7425. You can also visit A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination.
Eighteen months is a milestone in your child's development, and the last regular check-up before your child starts school. It's important to plan a visit to a family doctor or other health care provider and take the time you need to:
Use this easy 18-Month Well-Baby Visit planner to help you think about items you may want to discuss about your child's development with your family's health care provider.
If you don't have a doctor, learn about doctors and community health centres who are accepting new clients.
For more information, visit Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit.
Parent Resource Guide: Birth to Two Years
Whether you're a mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandparent, step-parent, friend or family member, you have an important role to play in a child's growth and development. This guide covers everything from your baby's health and safety to self-care and helpful resources.
Play & Learn
Activities to help your child learn, grow and thrive.
Early Years Check-In
Complete the questionnaire to identify concerns about how your child is developing.
Checklist to provide a snapshot of your child's development.
If you're a parent or caregiver for a toddler or preschool child, use Nutri-eSTEP as a fast and simple way to find out if your child is a healthy eater.
Libraries - Parent Direct Niagara
Libraries offer various programs to encourage positive interactions between children and their families while developing early literacy skills and fostering a love of reading.