Sceen Time for Children

Technology and digital media can have both positive and negative effects on the healthy development of a child.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that "parents and caregivers develop a family media plan that takes into account the health, education and entertainment needs of each child as well as the whole family". 

 Not all screen time is created equal!

  • some cartoons, TV shows, games and apps are more developmentally appropriate than others for toddlers and preschool children.
  • the role you play in how your child is exposed to technology and media is just as important (or even more) than the choice of media itself.

What are the current AAP recommendations?

Children:

  • 0-18 months - avoid use of screen media, other than video-chatting.
  • 18-24 months - if you wish to introduce children to digital media, choose high-quality programming and watch it with them to help them understand what they are seeing.
  • 2-5 years old - limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them. 
  • 6 and older - place consistent limits on the time spent use media, the types of media used, and make sure that it doesn't interfere with adequate sleep, physical activity, and other behaviors that are essential to health.

Where can I find more information?

 

 

Your Child's Milestones

What are milestones?

Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving "bye-bye" are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act and move such as crawling, walking etc.

The Center for Disease Control has a milestone checklist and questionnaire. If you feel for any reason that your child is not hitting their milestones talk to your pediatrician.

ACT EARLY!

Center for Disease Control

www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html

 

 

When Should I Introduce Solids?

A good rule of thumb is to watch your baby and not the calendar. Some signs that your baby might be ready for solids...  Able to sit with support  Reaches and grabs, and mouths hands and toys  Baby can show and tell. Around six months of age babies have the ability to say "yes" to wanting food by reaching or leaning toward the food and "no" by pushing or turning away. Expect mixed messages as your baby learns to communicate. Offer, but don't force.  For more information on feeding your baby solids:  https://www.askdrsears.com

A good rule of thumb is to watch your baby and not the calendar. Some signs that your baby might be ready for solids...

Able to sit with support

Reaches and grabs, and mouths hands and toys

Baby can show and tell. Around six months of age babies have the ability to say "yes" to wanting food by reaching or leaning toward the food and "no" by pushing or turning away. Expect mixed messages as your baby learns to communicate. Offer, but don't force.

For more information on feeding your baby solids:

https://www.askdrsears.com

Making the Most of Toys

Developmentally Appropriate Toys

For a toy to be developmentally appropriate it should be open-ended, allow children to use it in different ways, and promote learning in several developmental areas.  When a toy matches a child’s developmental level, it won’t be too boring or too hard.  

  • First clue – a child’s age.

  • Parents should also consider that each individual child will have different temperaments, interests, and tastes in toys and activities.

  • Safety – especially small parts that pose a choking hazard. For more information, visit Parenting Tip “Toy Safety.”

     

    For Babies-

    Babies use all their senses to explore.  Toys help them improve their ability to understand the input from more than one sense at the same time (for example, sight and touch).  However, they often play with one toy for only a few minutes before losing interest.  Toys that make noise or light up when babies press or shake them help babies stay engaged longer by taking advantage of babies fascination with cause and effect

For Toddlers-

Thanks to their growing abilities to move around and to engage in pretend play, toddlers become more interested in toys that:

  • Help them learn and practice the daily activities of adults.

  • Teach them about physical relationships and how things work.

  • Stimulate creativity and exploration.

  • Provide practice for large and small muscle skills.

  • Realistically represent things they see and experience.

 

Eating Healthy. Growing Strong.

Your child's nutrition is important to his or her physical and mental development!  Here's what children need:

Babies

During this stage of life, it's almost all about the milk — whether it's breast milk, formula, or a combination of the two. Breast milk or formula will provide practically every nutrient a baby needs for the first year of life.

  • At about six months most babies are ready to start solid foods like iron-fortified infant cereal and strained fruits, vegetables, and pureed meats. Because breast milk may not provide enough iron and zinc when babies are around six to nine months, fortified cereals and meats can help breastfed babies in particular.
  • Once you do start adding foods, don't go low-fat crazy. Although the AAP guidelines state fat restriction in some babies is appropriate, in general, you don't want to restrict fats under age two because a healthy amount of fat is important for babies' brain and nerve development.

For information about nutrition for Toddlers and Preschoolers click HERE 

What is the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program and how do I sign up

Read Aloud! 15 Minutes A Day... Any Time, Any Place, Any Way!

Does reading aloud really matter? YES!  Research shows that reading aloud is the single most important thing you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning. 

Committing to even just 15 minutes a day is enough to make a difference!  If you start at birth through 5 years of age, your child is getting 27,375 minutes of quality brain, literacy and social emotional development!

Any time:  Make it part of your routine - bedtime is a great time to read aloud!

Any place:  Books are portable -  in the waiting room,  next to the bath tub, or  by the high chair!

Any way:  Kids get something from reading whether they sit still or not! Read to squirmers, shakers and upside-downers.  Just read aloud!   

Reading Resources:

Reading Tips for Parents from Reading Rockets