Unit 18 Babies Development

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E1-Summarise the factors which may influence the health and -development of babies in the first year of their lives There are many factors that affect health and development such as environmental factors, for example, a lack of space in the garden or outside play area will limit their gross motor and fine motor skills. "Generally, people with a high level of earnings enjoy a better lifestyle, with better housing, better food, warm clothes and own transport." Meggit 2001 page 9 Genetics are also a major factor which may influence the health and development of the baby as some illnesses are inherited through genes. For example babies with Down's syndrome suffer due to a chromosomal abnormality which lead to problems such as heart defects and chest infections. Illness's in general can cause detrimental damage to a babies development, for example a baby may have asthma which is long term and is potentially life threatening in circumstances other illness's like meningitis can lead to many extreme conditions. The babies weight and height may be below average if they have not been developing correctly due to illness. Antenatal factors are also important to the baby such as certain foods like Camembert cheese can severely harm the baby, other illnesses like rubella can be detrimental to the unborn child’s health in the first 12-16 weeks as it can cause a miscarriage, still birth and defects such as brain damage, hearing loss and cataracts. Narcotics and alcohol can damage the child’s development during pregnancy, When the baby is being delivered, there may be complications which can affect the baby's health such as lack of oxygen, birth asphyxia, can be caused by the umbilical cord becoming entangled. Asphyxia can cause the baby permanent brain damage.

E2-Describe how indoor and outdoor environments can be made safe, reassuring and stimulating

By keeping to the adult to child ratio (1:3) and constantly supervising them, both indoor and outdoor environments can be safe for babies. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is something that practitioners must be aware of when babies are sleeping and should check on the babies every 5 minutes while under supervision. To reduce SIDS babies should be placed at the bottom of the cot with a maximum of two blankets. .Risk assessments should also be made for both inside and outside play. "It is important that the environment children are playing in is regularly checked, before and during activities." Tassoni et al 2007 page 193 Practitioners must make sure they follow the correct policies and procedures and make sure all gates are locked to keep the children safe from possible threats. The indoor environment can be reassuring by having a key person in which the baby will form a bond with. The key person can ensure that the baby will have a routine that tailors for the individual needs by working with the parents. The baby can also be reassured with a comforter, a much loved object from home, being brought into the setting to help them feel more 'at home' and settled. The environments can be made stimulating by having a range of activities to promote different areas of development, for example, a treasure basket which will contain different natural items inside to promote the use of senses. Visual displays and posters can be put low down so that babies can look and investigate them. Whilst outside the practitioner can take the babies out on walks to see nature or just a stroll around the town, in my current setting we take the babies on walks as our environment is quite colourful. A trip to the park is also good as it provides opportunities for those who walk early to be able to run and explore.

E3-Describe the expected stage of development of babies at 7 months and how they can be expected to develop in the next 2 months of life. I have chosen 7 months as this is a busy time in development for babies, for example this is when a baby may be able to sit unaided for a short period of time...
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