A Family Approach to Photos
Your Photo Albums:

Edit Albums
Upload New Pictures
Infant - Week #37

Get Weekly Updates on your Child E-Mailed to You
Complete Privacy - Your information will be used by edHelperBaby only and will never be shared with another company.

  Enter your E-MAIL ADDRESS:  

Night Terrors, Games, and Birthday Parties

By Mary Perrin, edHelperBaby

  Your Baby's Development
           Your baby's needs have been perfectly met.  She ate a delicious meal that she pleasantly devoured.  She splashed in the bath, snuggled into her pajamas, and hit the sheets without one bit of hesitation.  After a long day at the office, you sneak down to the couch to watch your favorite Thursday evening television show.  Can you see where this is going?  If so, you had better hope you have the ability to record that show because soon you just may be making your way back to your baby's room to soothe her as she cries out because of pesky night terrors.  Just when you think you were able to get your baby to sleep through the night, you may be presented with a little hiccup every now and then, and night terrors may just be one of them.  No need to worry though. Night terrors shall pass, and they pose no developmental harm to your baby.

       What is a night terror? - Night terrors occur during the transition period of deep to light sleep.  Night terrors differ from nightmares in the sense that nightmares occur during REM sleep and connect themselves to a dream rather than a sudden reaction.  Night terrors are not logged to memory unlike a nightmare which may prevent a child from wanting to fall back to sleep.  During the time your child is having a night terror, she will likely be unaware of your presence since she is literally stuck somewhere between a light and a deep sleep.

       What causes night terrors? - Night terrors typically occur during the first few hours of sleep.  Your baby's sleep patterns are more predictable than you probably think.  According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby will transition from deep to light sleep four to six times per night.  Aside from the night terrors, you might be able to tell which type of sleep your baby is experiencing.  During the periods of lighter sleep, your baby may be easily startled when you enter her room to check on her.  She may lift her head, look around, and whimper when she sees you there.  (Separation anxiety can also play into her inability to calm herself and continue sleeping.)  On the contrary, when she is in REM sleep, she will not be affected by your "are you okay" curiosity.

       How do you handle night terrors? - If she is unaware of your presence and does not respond to your touch, then she is most likely experiencing a night terror.  It will probably be hard not to clutch her up into your arms to console her, but honestly, it will make her more confused and disoriented.  Be patient, rub her back, and wait it out.  She will calm herself shortly and transition back into a deep sleep.  Look on the bright side. If you recorded your show, you can now fast forward through the commercials and get straight to the nitty-gritty.


  Get up And Get Moving!
           You've probably heard the phrase "if adults only had half the energy of that of a child..."  The ability to maintain focus starts at a very early age.  If you are around older children at all, then you know that if you don't keep a child's mind busy, she will replace the lack of mental stimulation with a desire to get physical.  Don't we wish that as adults our bodies would work the same way?  When minds are not occupied with work-related issues, housework, family, and social gatherings, adults like to find some time for a little rest and relaxation.  Your child on the other hand seems to be able to go and go.  She is excitable, wants to explore everything she can get her hands on, and is constantly looking for things that will stimulate her mind.  Set aside some time to channel her excitement and energy through the use of fun interactive songs and games.  Your baby will surely enjoy dancing, clapping, babbling, and interacting with you.  Teaching your baby how to play easy games and move to simple songs will stimulate her brain development and directly impact her language development, attention span, and fine/gross motor skills.  It might look a bit like baby aerobics, but you'll probably be the one out of breath by the time you are through singing and playing.

       Get groovin' with these fun songs and games that really teach!
  • Hide and seek with toys - teaches problem solving skills
  • Hokey Pokey - teaches body parts
  • Chicken dance - Hold your baby and dance together.  Use her arms, legs, etc. to shake during the specified parts of the song.
  • Play soccer - Place a medium ball on the floor.  Cradle your baby so that she is facing outward.  In a fast motion swoop down so that her legs kick the ball, and then bring her back up again.  Do this over and over and soon she will anticipate the action.
  • Hot potato - practices concept of give and take
  • If You're Happy and You Know It - reinforces actions and recognizing parts of the body
  • Patty Cake - teaches rhythm patterns.
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider - uses finger play to encourage comprehension
  • I'm a Little Teapot - Hold your baby in your arms and sing this song.  Sway her, manipulate her body parts for hand and spout, and then gently tip her to one side.
  • It Raining, It's Pouring - Dance and sing this song together as you look out the window on a rainy day.
  • One, Two, Buckle My Shoe - teaches counting skills
  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat - This is a fun song to sing while swinging together on the swing set.
  • Rain, Rain, Go Away - Sit by a window on a rainy day, sing this song, and use finger plays.
  • This Little Piggy Went to Market - teaches anticipation and elicits reaction
  • Where is Thumbkin? - teaches imaginary play and the name of each finger


  From A Parent's Perspective
           Many of these games and songs are so popular that my daughter is able to benefit from them at home, daycare, and with her grandparents.  Each caregiver tends to have a different version and varied motions, but none-the-less, she recognizes the songs and anticipates the action that accompanies each one.  Since these games/songs have somewhat of a fast tempo, we use them as play pieces and save the slower lullabies for early morning and evening hours.  The soccer activity came from watching her brother and sister play soccer together in the yard.  Instead of observing, I gave her an opportunity to be part of the action.  We do this often.   We toss a ball back and forth as we play baseball.  We swoop down to kick the ball during soccer practice.  She gets carried around the yard as we play a family game of tag.  When playing tag, the parent is obscure and Reagan is the participant.  She chases, she gets tagged, and she gets frozen.  I don't want her to have to wait until she is able to walk, run, or catch a ball to develop the cognitive understanding of the games at hand.  Granted, she won't be able to grasp them in their complexity, but every bit of exposure will help her down the road.


  The Upcoming Party
           It will be here before you know it.  Your baby will be turning one year old!  Planning a birthday party can be a lot of fun, especially when the party is for your little one.  His friends and family will gather around his highchair with great anticipation as they wait for him to feed himself his first pieces of that sweet yummy goodness known as cake.  Birthday parties range from large orchestrated events to small intimate gatherings with very few guests.  Use the following information to help you decide what type of party you will plan for your soon-to-be toddler. Keep in mind that your baby's first birthday will primarily be for your enjoyment.  Since he will not remember his first birthday celebration, your photographs and video recordings will be important for capturing this momentous day.

       Party Planning Considerations
  1. What is your party budget?
  2. Make a list of people who must attend (family and dear friends).
  3. Make a list of people you would like to attend.  If resources allow, these people will be included in the celebration.  These are typically friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.
  4. Would you like to have a large or small party?
  5. Are you planning to have the party at your home or another location?
  6. Will the party be held indoors or outdoors?  If outdoors, do you have a back-up plan for poor weather conditions?
  7. Will you plan activities for children? Consider crafts, games, and/or other entertainment.
  8. Will snacks or a meal be served?
  9. Will you elicit help for others?
  10. How will invitations be created and distributed?
  11. Have food and pet allergies been considered as they pertain to guests and your baby?
  12. Will gifts be encouraged or discouraged?  Will charitable donations be collected in lieu of gifts?  If so, what items will be collected and whom will they benefit?
  13. What items do you already have on hand?  What items can you borrow?  What items do you need to purchase?
  14. Do you have family heirlooms that should be incorporated into the celebration to help add that extra special touch?
  15. Will the party have a theme?
  16. Who will make the cake?  Will you have a separate cake for your baby's delight?


A Baby by any other Name…
By Alicia Magee, edHelperBaby

           At nine months of age, your baby is so aware of the world! Babies are definitely becoming familiar with their home, life and family. The early signs of language are beginning to appear for your child. One word babies love-their name! It can be quite exciting when you say your child's name in conversation and see them look at you for the first time and see that baby understands!

       One very enjoyable way to play with baby and his or her name is with song. Babies love to hear stories and songs that include names. You may be rewarded with big smiles and laughter. Here are few easy songs to sing to baby (replace ‘baby' with his or her name):       

       Good Morning:       

       Good morning to ‘baby', and how do you do?

       Good morning to ‘baby' and how do you do?

       I am so very, very glad to see you!

       How do you do?       

       There was a Baby:       

       There was a boy name ‘baby'

       He was really sweet!

       Everywhere that ‘baby' went,

       He'd smile at the people we meet!       

       Down By the River:       

       Down by the river where the green grass grows,

       There little ‘baby' washes his clothes.

       He sang, he sang, he sang so sweet,

       That he sang the mama across the stream!       


Keeping Baby Memories
By Alicia Magee, About my child Keenan

           As Keenan grows, I am finding it very difficult to remember and record all the wonderful and amazing milestones he seems to be mastering daily.  My own mom kept a wonderful baby book for me, as the first child, but my two siblings have less in each of their books. I really want to keep a good record of not only his major accomplishments, but also of the daily routines and feelings, both as a memento for him to enjoy when he is older and for myself as a mom. I am working hard to make simple notes, keep small keepsakes and label photos. Some family friends have small boxes they have for each child and they put something important for the year (a magazine, trip itinerary, etc.) for each year of their child's life. They plan to give it to their daughters on the their 18th birthdays. I love ideas like these!       


Ask Your Own Question

Ask a Question

Give a Suggestion     Contact edHelperBaby
Note: All information on edHelperBaby is of a general nature for educational purposes only.
For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
Your use of this site indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use.