The years zero to three are crucial years for every child, but for children who are showing signs of developmental delays, addressing them early is essential. Early intervention helps keep these children on a path to making the most of the fundamental abilities and skills developed during the early years of life.
A child’s early environment has lasting effects on his or her long-term development. Even though very young children might not always understand what they see and hear, they absorb much from their surroundings and are greatly affected by the adults in their life who they rely upon for support and security.
The words “toddler” and “cooperate” might not seem like they could be joined together into one sentence--the phrase “terrible twos” exists for a reason. But, despite expectations, even very young children can learn to cooperate successfully with practice and encouragement.
Tummy time, which is positioning your infant on his tummy to maneuver about his surroundings, is a crucial step that lets your baby work his muscles in his upper body. Engaging in tummy time allows her to practice motor skills, like neck strength and rolling over, and contributes to physical development such as crawling, sitting up and walking.
When it comes to potty training, much depends on the individual child. Some toddlers start using the potty at 18 months, some at 3 years. Don’t push your child to train before he is ready--it may work against you by creating a frustrating situation. Look for these cues and signs that potty training can begin.
Fine motor skills are the small motions we make that use muscles in the fingers, wrists, toes, tongue and lips that are necessary for life skills such as writing and drawing, cutting with scissors, buttoning and unbuttoning, manipulating small items, and feeding oneself with utensils. Additionally, experts say that fine motor skills are related to cognitive development--through our hands, we make the connection between thought and action.
Arturo Brito MD, the Executive Director of The Nicholson Foundation, and a partner of the Right From the Start NJ public awareness program, was a featured speaker at the “Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey” conference, on November 29, 2017 at Pines Manor in Edison, New Jersey.