Your baby this week
Once your child learns the skills needed to crawl or even walk, she has the ability to leave your side and explore the world around her. Whilst this is a fascinating time for her as her sense of self and independence flourishes, her separation anxiety may come to a head as she finds herself facing situations without you by her side. Obviously you (or whoever is looking after her) are never far away but for her to find herself suddenly in the hallway when she was previously in the sitting room will give her a sense of freedom and abandonment at the same time. It’s a complicated business becoming independent but it is also a normal developmental process where the outcome is your independent little toddler. Bear with her when she cries one minute or wants to explore the next, soon she’ll be confident enough to experience things on her own.
Many babies this age will have a trademark ‘pot belly’ so don’t worry if you thought your baby might be stuck looking like a Buddha! As she becomes more active, from this stage onwards her belly will disappear. Her face and arms are probably cuddly and filled with baby-fat too, but again, these will become more trim and toddler-like over the coming months. Your child has already grown and changed faster than she ever will do at other stages in her life and from this point onwards her growth levels will slow down dramatically. Never hinder what your child eats, even if she seems to eat too little. Babies don't eat for the sake of eating yet and are eating because they are growing and no doubt hungry.
You this week
Sometime soon your baby should show signs that she can follow simple instructions, for example, tell her to give you the spoon, or to fetch a book and she might just do it! Start with simple questions such as, ‘where’s mummy’s mouth?’ or ‘Where’s your milk?’ to see if she responds. Don’t worry if she looks blankly back at you, she may not be ready to understand you yet. Try showing your baby photographs of relatives and telling her the names of the people she sees. In a few months she’ll be able to understand who is who and may even point to a person if you name them.