• When do babies start talking?

    Of all the milestones that babies reach during their first two years of life, talking is one of the most exciting. New parents can hardly wait to hear what their little ones have to say! In the meantime, there are a lot of questions. When do babies start talking? For that matter, what counts as talking? How long will you have to wait for your baby’s coos and babbles to turn into words?

    • Babies communicate before they talk. As soon as they’re born, babies communicate with their parents and caregivers by crying. Soon, you’ll understand what your baby’s different cries mean, but this is only one way that babies let you know what they need. They grimace and squirm, and by about two months, babies start cooing and gurgling. By four months they babble and may even try to copy your sounds and respond to your speech, and as this back and forth increases, by about six months your baby may use particular sounds to respond to your questions. Six month old babies have refined their babbling, and use more m and b sounds, as well as squealing and blowing raspberries. By about nine months, your baby will probably be making a lot of “mamama” and “bababa” sounds, will look at you when you call his or her name, and will hold up arms to be held.
    • Every baby is different. Generally, babies speak their first words between nine and 12 months of age. However, this is just a range, and babies develop at different rates. While it’s helpful to have an idea of the typical timeline, it’s also good to remember that your baby will do things on his or her own schedule.
    • Toddlers develop speech quickly. Once they say those first words, things escalate quickly. By the end of their 12th month, babies can usually say a few words, like “mama” and “dada,” and can respond to short requests. By 18 months they can say several simple words, and by two years they’ll be able to string together short phrases. 18 to 24 month old babies learn new words every day, and by two years may know as many as 50 to 100 words! A three year old is likely to have a vocabulary of more than 200 words, and is beginning not only to speak in sentences but also to speak more clearly. At this stage, children begin to understand symbolic and abstract language, as well, and this development is furthered by imaginative play.
    • You can facilitate language development. Talk to your baby, naming things during play, mealtime, and bath time. Use names, so that your baby begins to associate names with faces. Speak slowly and enunciate your words, and repeat words so that they’ll stick in your baby’s mind. Sing songs to your little ones, read books and nursery rhymes, and narrate your day together. Encourage your baby’s attempts at speech, and praise imitation. Listen to your little one, and respond to what’s being communicated.
    • Know when to worry about speech delay. As long as your baby’s babbling is progressing, don’t worry too much about timing. However, if you suspect a problem, talk to your pediatrician. If language development seems to stop or regress, your baby is not babbling or gesturing, or words don’t begin to emerge by about 15 months, have your child screened for problems. A hearing test may be needed, or a visit to a speech-language pathologist. You might also want to consider developmental screening, to rule out autism spectrum disorder or cognitive disability, which can delay speech.

    A healthy life for your child begins in the womb, and at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Tips and Advice Every New Parent Should Consider

    Are you about to become a parent? Congratulations! You’re about to enter one of the most exciting and overwhelming times of your life. It pays to get some guidance from people who have been there, so we’ve compiled some tips and advice from experienced parents to help you through those early days.

    • Expect it to be challenging. Many people think that having a baby will just mean incorporating that new little person into their existing lifestyle, but this is rarely the case. The first year of parenting is a major adjustment, because having a baby means your life and schedule have to go revolve around the baby’s needs instead of yours. Even an easy baby requires a lot of maintenance, and you’ll spend most of your life feeding, changing, comforting, holding, rocking, and doing whatever else is required.
    • Take naps. You’ll often be advised to sleep when the baby sleeps, and this is excellent advice. Babies don’t sleep very much, and you’ll find it difficult to care for a baby when you’re sleep deprived. It may be tempting to spend your baby’s nap time cleaning house or catching up on your favorite TV shows, but this is unwise. Let everything else go for a little while, and go ahead and nap when you can.
    • Take a shower. When you’re a new parent, self-care tends to fall by the wayside. You may feel like you’re in a fog and suddenly realize that you haven’t had a shower in days. Don’t let this happen! Showering daily, even if it’s for a quick five minutes, can make you feel refreshed, which helps you stay on top of all the things you need to do.
    • Take a walk.
    • Don’t keep things too quiet. If you want your baby to be a good sleeper, don’t shut down the house while he or she is sleeping. Doing this will train your baby to be a light sleeper who wakes at every noise, and this is definitely not what you want.
    • Do what works for you. Advice is wonderful, but too much advice can be overwhelming. Take a breath and trust your gut, doing what works for you and your baby. Breast-feed or bottle-feed, swaddle or don’t, use cloth diapers or disposable. As long as your baby is happy and healthy, keep doing what feels best for your family.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It goes without saying that you and your partner should share in the responsibilities of parenting. Beyond that, there are probably many people in your life who will help if you just ask. While you’re in the survival mode of early parenting, accept offers of food, childcare, house cleaning, and anything else anyone in your life is willing to give.
    • Enjoy it! While parenting is a lot of work, it’s also a lot of joy. Reveling in your amazing newborn will give way to delighting in your quickly growing child, and it will all pass much more quickly than you think. Take time to bond with your baby, celebrate each age and stage, and make mini-traditions that will create wonderful memories together. Be mindful of the moments, and spend time just enjoying your baby.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How to Be More Patient with Your Kids

    Parenting is a roller coaster, rewarding yet frustrating, blissful yet infuriating. You love your children beyond all reason, yet sometimes being patient with them feels like an impossible task. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Learning to be more patient with your kids can be a difficult task, but it’s totally worth it. Recent research has found that children with parents who are supportive, nurturing, and, yes, patient, do better in school, are less likely to be depressed, cope more effectively with stress and adversity, and literally have more brain growth. If knowing the benefits of being more patient makes you want to work towards that goal, here are some tips to help you get there.

    • Set yourself, and your children, up for success. Often, bad behavior from children is the result of unmet needs. Children who are tired, hungry, or overwhelmed are far more likely to act out than they normally would. You’ll have less cause for impatience if you work around your child’s needs and schedule. Don’t run errands at naptime or mealtime, and take care to pay attention to the meaning behind the behavior.
    • Identify triggers. Do you tend to lose patience in the mornings, when everything is hectic, and your children fail to quickly get ready for the day? Get ready for the morning the night before, so that things will go more smoothly in the morning. Do tantrums from your child trigger you? Learn to listen to your children, getting down on their level so that you can look them in the eyes and repeat back key phrases, letting them know you understand. Redirect negative behavior before it gets out of hand.
    • Take care of yourself so you can take care of your kids. Eat well, rest well, and take a time out when you need a break from the children. Sometimes, stepping out of the room will be enough to help you regroup, other times you will need to take a night off to feel refreshed and better able to cope. Just as your kids will be less likely to try your patience if their needs are met, you’ll be better able to maintain that patience if your needs are met. Try to keep things in perspective, understanding that your children’s brains are not fully formed and they’re still learning.
    • Don’t hesitate to call for reinforcements. This could mean asking a friend or family member to keep the kids for a little while so that you can take a breather. It could also mean seeking help from a social worker or your child’s pediatrician. Therapy for your children can help mold their behavior; therapy for you can help you find coping mechanisms of your own.

    Patient parenting can lead to a happier, healthier family, and at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.