There are a number of factors that can influence a babies health and development in their first year of life. The mother’s health is one of these factors. If the mother has a healthy pregnancy and takes folic acid then the baby will be more likely to be born healthy and develop in order to meet their milestones in the first year of life. If a mother chooses to smoke, drink or take drugs during her pregnancy then the baby may develop learning difficulties and they can be born prematurely or with a low birth weight which will affect their development throughout their life. “Women who smoke cigarettes during their pregnancy are at a higher risk of delivering their baby prematurely which means before 38 weeks of pregnancy. Also, women who smoke are at risk of placenta abruption, where the placenta actually peels away before delivery. All of these factors could contribute to giving birth to a premature baby. Premature babies are sadly at risk for many complications like breathing difficulties, digestive problems and low immune system function, as they are not fully developed when they are born.” http://www.livestrong.com/article/116763-effects-drinking-smoking-unborn/#ixzz2SndtMuzG Immunisation is another factor that can affect the baby’s health and development. A baby will get their first immunisation when they are around 2 months old and will continue to be immunised throughout their first year of life with immunisations such as DTaP/IPV/Hib or 5-in-1 vaccine, Pneumococcal or pneumo jab (PCV), Meningitis C, Hib/Men C (booster) and MMR. Immunisation is important to a child’s health and development because it protects them from serious diseases. http://www.health.qld.gov.au/immunisation/documents/immunisation_child_br.pdf tells us “It not only helps protect individuals, it also protects the broader community by minimising the spread of disease,” so therefore also protects the other children that they may come in contact with at day care, playgroups or in other home environments. Nutrition also affects a baby’s health and development as a baby needs to have good nutrition in order to grow. A baby can either be bottle fed or breast fed depending on the mother’s preference however breast feeding is the best option for mother and baby. Breast milk is full of colostrum which is really good for protecting the baby against illness or disease as it is full of nutrients and antibodies. Breast milk also contains just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help a baby continue to grow. Breast milk is also good for a child’s emotional development as it helps with the bonding process between mother and baby. When a baby gets to around the 6 month stage it is also important to start the weaning process. This is important for a baby’s health and development because as they grow they will become more active and will therefore need more solid foods to get enough nutrients. http://www.smanutrition.co.uk/know-how/how-to-begin-weaning/what-is-weaning/information-553.aspx?catid=17 tells says that weaning is also important for babies fine motor skills and social skills as it; * “Lays the foundations for healthy, balanced eating for the years ahead * Learning new social skills and becoming more independent; picking up a piece of food and eating it is one of the first things your baby will learn to do for itself! * Learning to talk: chewing and swallowing will help develop the muscles that your baby needs for speech development”
An indoor and outdoor environment has to be safe, reassuring and stimulating for babies. Practitioners have to make sure that the environment is safe for the babies to move around in without hazards. A safe environment for children under 12 months is essential as they cannot defend themselves or look after themselves, they are dependent on others looking after them and keeping them safe. The environment has to suit the needs of every child and...
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