CHFD 331 AMU week 4 lesson Parenting Children Birth to Five American Military University
Effective parenting is essential to children’s growth and development. Parenting young children is a challenging and often isolating task, but good parenting is essential to the wellbeing of children. In this lesson, students will explore children’s growth, skillful parenting techniques, ways for parents to access needed support, and how to monitor and supervise
media use for their school-age children.
Topics to be covered include:
- Techniques to help children aged 0- 5 years develop positive relationships with family and peers.
- Parenting techniques that help children aged 0-5 years learn to regulate their behavior and develop problem solving skills.
- Ways in which parents support children’s cognitive, physical, social-emotional and language development during the first five years of life.
Parenting the Newborn and Infant
- Most parents bring their newborn home and feel utterly overwhelmed–even parents who have done it before. Caring for a new baby is all-encompassing. Newborns need to eat round-the-clock, and typically have highly erratic sleep behaviors. During the course of the first year, the parents gain confidence, and the infant begins to regulate itself and gain a wide range of developmental skills.
- Physical touch and social interaction develop an infant’s ability to soothe himself or herself.
- Gradually establishing daily routines for feeding and sleep will also help infants develop their feeding, sleep patterns, and daily routines. These routines should be guided by the infant’s needs, rather than imposed by parents.
- It is important to note that infants should be fed on-demand, or as-needed, rather than on an imposed schedule. For infants fed formula, feeding routines will often become more normalized; however,breastfed infants are much more likely to maintain irregular feeding patterns.
This is normal and expected–infants may spend more time breastfeeding for comfort, because of growth or discomfort, or to help increase maternal milk supply.
Routines for sleep vary depending upon parent preferences. Some parents are happy and willing to breastfeed or rock an infant to sleep regularly, while others value more independent sleep. Providing comfort during the transition to sleep helps the infant develop healthy attachment, so encouraging independent sleep is not appropriate in a young infant, under six to nine months. Increasingly, experts are recommending more gentle transitions to independent sleep, rather than the traditional suggestion to just leave an infant to cry.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides parents with a distinct and important set of recommendations regarding infant sleep. These recommendations are designed to prevent SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. The causes of SIDS remain largely unknown; however, the following measures have been scientifically proven to reduce the risks:
- Breastfeeding and immunization reduce the risk of SIDS and are recommended.
- Infants should sleep on a firm, flat surface without soft bedding, including crib bumpers.
- Infants should sleep in the parents’ room, in an infant-appropriate sleep space, like a crib.
- Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs, without positioners of any sort.
Sleep and bedtime routines can help to smooth the transition for older infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Common routines include a bath, a final snack, teeth brushing, and stories.Some children may do best if a parent sits with them while they fall asleep; however, this transition can be shortened over time.