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2 Weeks

A peek inside your womb -- Fertilization.

11 Weeks

What your baby looks like -- 11 weeks.

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What your baby looks like -- 12 weeks.

13 Weeks

What your baby looks like -- 13 weeks.

14 Weeks

What your baby looks like -- 14 weeks.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Your 15-month-old : Week 4

Your toddler now

How to handle a biter

No doubt about it, biting is uncivilized behavior. But your toddler is still a bit uncivilized. When 15-month-olds bite, it's usually because they lack the language skills to express themselves. If they feel threatened, sometimes all they can think of to do is chomp.

Here's a good strategy for preventing biting from becoming a habit: First turn your attention to the child who was bitten and make sure he's okay. Stay calm with both children. There's little to be gained by yelling at or punishing the biter, who was overwhelmed by emotions she found hard to control.

In fact, the biter may be crying harder than the bitten. Simply say "no biting" and redirect her. Take note of what was happening at the time of the incident. Was your child being threatened or was her space being invaded? Is it close to nap time? You may be able to head off trouble if you know what the triggers are.

Never try to teach your child how biting feels by doing it to her. That only suggests that biting is sometimes okay.

Safe spaces for play

One way to handle discipline with a rambunctious toddler us to avoid situations in which you're likely to have to dole it out. Minimize how often you have to say "no" by childproofing at least a part of your home in which your toddler can be contained.

It's not always easy to create a childproof area in your home, especially if your child is a determined explorer who's into everything. But if you can manage it, a safe space gives your child a chance to explore freely without being constantly redirected or told "no," and it gives you a bit of a break. You still need to supervise, but it's a lot more relaxed if sharp objects, breakables, plants, electric cords, trash cans, and other temptations are removed from reach.

Your 15-month-old : Week 3

Your toddler now

Keeping small hands busy

Keys, pencils, lipstick, phones: All may be fascinating to your toddler. These objects are fun to look at and manipulate, and when your toddler sees you using them, he wants to do the same.

The problem is, you might not want him demolishing your lipstick! (And many of these items, including lipstick, can be toxic or pose a choking hazard.) Your challenge is to find things he can safely use to satisfy his need to mimic – like a set of plastic keys, an old purse of yours with a hairbrush and comb, a cheap wallet.

There are plenty of other ways to keep your toddler's hands occupied for more than a minute or two. For example, fill a laundry basket with safe odds and ends, such as plastic containers and lids, scarves, hats, and wooden spoons and other big utensils. He'll love getting his hands on objects that look like they have a purpose and trying to figure out how to use them.

Beginning speech

Worried because your child isn't speaking much yet? Don't be. Many children, especially boys, speak little until the middle of the second year. Chances are good, though, that your 15-month-old understands a great deal of what you say. Keep speaking and reading to your child, but don't try to coax or drill. By 18 months he should be able to say at least 15 words.

Do pay attention to your child's ability to hear, as poor hearing can create speech delays. Report any concerns to his doctor. The sooner a hearing problem is treated, the better the outcome is likely to be.

Your 15-month-old : Week 2

Your toddler now

Power struggles

Where there's a will, there's a won't. And your toddler is discovering that will, big time. The generally agreeable nature of a 12-month-old can morph overnight into something more exhausting. "No" will soon become one of her favorite words.

Rigid, contrarian behavior shows that your child is beginning to understand a huge concept: She's a separate person from you. (It's the seeds of the you-are-not-the-boss-of-me syndrome.) Power struggles at this age are likely to be over things like diaper changes, toothbrushing, and getting into the stroller or car seat.

Your best bet is to sidestep power struggles when you can. Let things go if they don't really matter (say, changing a shirt that has gotten dirty). Save your energy and follow-through for the big stuff (no hitting, for example).

Helping a timid toddler

If your child has a reserved personality, resist labeling her "shy." She may be slow to warm up to others, but most toddlers sometimes act shy, especially in new situations. Separation anxiety can afflict the sociable and bold as well as their more timid peers.

If your child seems generally introverted, give her extra TLC. In stressful social situations, let her know you understand. Hold her hand and say "It's noisy at this party, isn't it?" Give her extra time to warm up without pushing, and praise her when she's sociable rather than pointing out times when she's reserved.

Your 15-month-old : Week 1

Your toddler now

Getting into books

Your child may love books … pulling them off the shelf, gnawing on them, stacking them, or flipping through them. Or he may actually sit calmly and happily with you and look at the pictures. While some kids can sit still at this age, others can't, so don't give up hope if your toddler is too wiggly to settle in for a reading session.

Be persistent. Keep introducing your child to books and eventually he'll love sitting and listening to stories. In the long run, reading is likely to be one of the most rewarding activities the two of you share. Reading aloud to kids expands their vocabulary and lets them experience the joy of telling and hearing stories. It teaches them how the world around them works and helps them develop a love of learning.

Board books are perfect because the pages are sturdy and easy for small hands to turn. Choose picture books with big, bright, clear images, and ask questions as you read: Can you find the dog? What does the dog say? Where is the mommy?

If your child seems to be losing interest in one book, pick up a different book, perhaps one with a catchy rhyme, such as something by Dr. Seuss or Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Let him help you turn the pages.

If your child doesn't want to look at books right now, try again another time. Bedtime or before a nap, when he's already wound down and ready to cuddle, is ideal. It's no coincidence that so many great kids' books – like Goodnight Moon – end with the main character fast asleep.

Toddlers often want to hear the same story again and again. Repetition helps them learn the words, and familiarity with the story – "Aha! I knew that would happen!" ­– is reassuring.

Hard goodbyes

How can you make saying bye-bye easier when your child is in the throes of separation anxiety? Sneaking off may seem to make the task less daunting but can actually feed the anxiety. If your child thinks you might disappear at any time without notice, he's not going to let you out of his sight. Always say good-bye when you leave.

Make your goodbyes matter-of-fact, not emotional, even if your child is crying. Your child will probably get over the pang of separating more quickly than you do!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Your 14-month-old : Week 4

Your 14-month-old: Week 4

Your toddler now

At the table

Your toddler is gaining new skills left and right – from waving bye-bye to drinking from a cup. But one thing she hasn't mastered is table manners – and that's okay. It's too early for her to eat neatly.

At 14 months, eating is a hands-on learning experience. So spread a splash mat or some newspapers under the highchair and watch the learning – and the mess – begin. Provide a spoon or "spork" (a combination spoon and fork) with a short, broad handle and a decent-size scoop, and let your toddler get the hang of it at her own pace.

Bottle basics

Are you trying to get your toddler off the bottle? Doctors often tell parents to try to break the habit by age 1, but many (perhaps most) children drink from a bottle long after their first birthday.

The main problem with bottles is their link to tooth decay. To quote one of our experts, "If you've ever seen a picture of a child with bottle tooth decay, a.k.a. 'bottle rot,' you'll toss out every single one of your baby's bottles faster than you can say 'root canal'!"

Carrying a bottle around and sipping from it for hours – or going to sleep with a bottle – sets the stage for cavities. Either scenario gives the sugars in the milk, formula, or juice kids drink a chance to wreak havoc on their teeth.

If you're not ready to take away the bottle, keep your child's choppers in good shape by reserving milk, formula, and juice for meals and snack time, whether it's in a bottle or a cup. For the pre-bedtime bottle, milk is fine if it's followed by teeth cleaning (the last thing you want is milk sitting in your toddler's mouth all night).

If she likes to go to sleep with the bottle, you can allow a bottle of water. That way, she has the satisfaction of sucking if she wants it. You can transition to water if need be by gradually substituting water for milk: an ounce of water for an ounce of milk, then two ounces for two ounces of milk, and so on over a period of days or weeks.

If you decide the time is right for your child to give up the bottle completely, you can go cold turkey or take a more gradual approach. Cold turkey is faster but is likely to involve quite a few tears and possibly some sleepless nights. Doing it slowly might involve substituting a cup for, say, the lunchtime bottle and following that routine for a few days. Then substituting a cup for another regular bottle. And so on. The pre-bedtime bottles are usually the hardest to give up and the last to go.


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