Developmental Issues to Watch for in Your Child's First Months of Life

Every parent wants the best for their baby. As the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months, you will be eagerly awaiting the milestones. Baby's first smile, baby's first laugh and baby's first time cooing are unlike anything else for parents. But there are certain developmental issues to keep an eye out for during your little one's first months of life to ensure everything is on track.

Muscle Stiffness or Softness

Babies' bodies tend to be soft and fragile at the beginning of their lives, and that isn't worrisome to start. As the baby grows older though, it is important that she is able to lift her head and later her shoulders. If you notice that your baby is having a difficult time lifting her head during tummy time or that her muscles seem rigid during the small moments of playtime you incorporate in the beginning, you'll want to let your pediatrician know as it could be a symptom of cerebral palsy.

Lack of Hearing

Normally, hearing problems are diagnosed in the hospital. However, sometimes hearing issues show up later in a baby's life. According to Black Hills ENT, hearing loss is the No. 1 birth defect in America and many studies have shown that early diagnosis of hearing loss is crucial to the development of speech, language, cognitive, and psychosocial abilities. It is important to talk to your baby regularly and be sure she is responding appropriately. If you notice something seems off, do not delay in contacting your baby's doctor.

Eye Problems

Some eye problems are detectable at birth, such as eye shape deformities. Other eye problems develop later, though. These eye problems can range from visual impairment to total blindness. According to All About Vision, your baby should be able to track movements by two to three months old. If they aren’t tracking movements, you should get that checked out. Catching visual impairments early leads to earlier intervention, which can help prevent an array of problems from arising later in the future, such as chronic headaches.

You are already vigilant about your baby's health. Being aware of these developmental issues will add another layer of protection to your bundle of joy. Many developmental disorders and complications can be treated or even cured if caught at an early age, so be sure to keep your doctor informed about any potential problems you are noticing.

More Developmental Delay Facts

Believe it or not, most developmental delays do not have a known cause. Most people are aware of the dangers of smoking or drinking alcohol while pregnant. But infections during pregnancy tend to increase the risk of developmental issues in babies. While you are expecting, pay close attention to changes that seem “not quite right” and, of course, check in with your doctor immediately.

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Children's Songs Your Kids Will Love

Today, kids are all about media. Between videos and pics on cell phones, it is almost impossible to grab their attention in any different way. Today, I want to let you know about an album of children’s songs that can keep up with the contant competition for attention.

Tumble Bee by Laura Veirs: The Bottom Line For Children’s Songs

This is a great album that has 13 tracks and offers a substantial variety of meters, tones and sounds. Two of the tracks “Down in the Medder” and “Prairie Dream” are instrumentals. This is an attractive feature, especially if you are looking to introduce toddlers to music without any words.

Songs That Are Playful

Tumble Bee has at least three children’s songs that are “catchy”. The tune is fairly easy to pick up, “The Fox”, “Why Oh Why”, and “Little Lap Dog Lullaby” are the ones I might use in a classroom setting, or at a party to break the ice.

The Fox is a super fun song and is sure to cheer up a pouting person. It would also be a great way to start a play date if you felt your kids were shy. The song is easy to learn, is similar to Old McDonald in some ways, and catchy. Your kids will be humming to themselves in no time. This tune would also make a great song to play as you head out on a road trip.

“Why Oh Why” is set to a beat of three; a fast three, and it is fun to sing. Why can a bird eat an elephant? Why can a mouse it a streetcar? Why does a horn make music? These are a few things your kids will find out in this delightful song.

“Little Lap Dog Lullaby” is a bit of a misnomer, if you ask me. It is fun and addictive. Not something that would make most kids sleepy. Though does resemble famous lullaby lines like “Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird“, the pace and lyrical elements make this tune too fun to fall asleep to.

Songs That Are Fast

“Jack Can I Ride” showcases a Scott Joplin like piano accompaniment. The words are fast paced and may take a few times around to learn so your toddler can sing along. About midway through the song sports a square dance feel with fiddles and all. Be careful or you will find yourself saying “Do Si Do”.

“Soldier’s Joy” does feel like your little ones could square dance to it. While slower than the traditional square dance version, it takes pretty intense verbal skill to say the words as fast as Laura Veirs does. There is also a male voice on this song so your kids can hear both singing together.

Jamaica Farewell is included in the songs that are fast paced. In reality, it is slower than the others in this section. But I included it here because the lyrics are sung fairly quickly and may take little ones a while to learn. The calypso sway and imagery of the words makes this children’s song the right thing to do for almost any occasion.

Katie is a baby and child photographer in Los Angeles. Contact her today to book your child’s portrait session.