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Pediatric advice on bonding and playing with your baby

Pediatric experts say that bonding with your baby is something that can happen as soon as he or she is born.Sometimes, however, it can be delayed because of postpartum depression, exhaustion or stress, or the need to keep the baby in the hospital for a little while longer.

Touch and eye contact will be a deep source of comfort to your baby and to you. Babies are programmed to focus their limited eyesight on human faces and respond to the sound of human voices. Your baby wants to listen to you talk even if you aren’t talking directly to him or her.

After the first three months or so, your baby will develop the ability to open and close his or her hands deliberately and will start making efforts to reach out for things that catch his or her attention, especially toys.Let your baby lie on his her stomach for brief periods to practice lifting his or her head, being careful to turn your baby over if he or she starts showing signs of sleepiness.

Evaluating toys for infant safety

When looking at toys to try to figure out if they’re safe for a baby, pay attention to the age recommendations on the package. They’re there for a reason. You might think your child is a bit more precocious than others, but no child is precocious all the time. For a baby, toys and all removable parts of toys should be no less than one and a quarter inches in any direction. There’s a device called a “choke tube” (not to be confused with the shotgun attachment of the same name) which you can use to test a marble, ball or other toy. You can buy these devices online.

So a toy should be big enough. It should also be sturdy enough that no small parts can be pulled, bitten or chewed off. Toys with batteries should have their battery cases closed with screws. Any toy meant to be ridden should have some sort of safety harness. And of course no toy should have sharp edges. There’s a reason why rattles are a traditional toy for babies — they help babies learn the connection between their movements and consequences such as noises.

A pediatric care center in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a center for pediatric medicine conveniently located west of Charlotte.It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area, has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If your family needs pediatric care, call today.