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Childhood Milestones

Many parents are anxious about the development of their children.

They want their children to develop according to some norms, keep up with these norms and probably even to pass them. But if you can find a lot of books and articles about when a child should do his first steps or pronounce first words, the questions like “When should a child learn to ride a bicycle?” or “When should he learn to tie his shoelaces or blow his nose?” are usually left without answers. In this article we try to answer the most popular questions. Just keep in mind that every child is an individual and we propose only common frames for this or that event in a child's life.

Bed: A child should sleep in his crib beginning from the age of three months -- not in the parents’ bed. If you don't do this in time, a child may have difficulties falling asleep in his crib. The longer he sleeps with you, the more difficult it will be to break this habit.

Buy a big bed for a child when he is two. At this age, many children try to get out of their cribs. This may be very dangerous.

Pacifier: If you gave a pacifier to your baby, it's better to get rid of it by the time your baby is 18 months old. The use of a pacifier until this age is considered to be harmless. Children who use pacifiers until 3-4 years can have problems with speech.

Training: Begin teaching letters, numbers, colors and shapes at 6 months. Don't think it's too early. This information is kept in the mind even if understanding comes later. Training should be in the form of a game with the help of pictures, verses and toys.

Friendship: Find a friend for your child when he or she is able to sit without assistance. It is better if they are about the same age. Children are much more interested in communication than their parents realize. At the age of 2-3 months, they notice and react to other children. At 9-12 months, they can offer each other toys and repeat some actions.

Pets: Don't get any type of pet before your child is 2 years old. At this age, a child can watch fish in a tank or bowl. If you want to get a cat or a dog, it's better to wait until your child is 3-4 years old. Don't expect a child to take care of a pet if he isn't at least 8 years old.

Duties: Begin to teach your child to pick up his toys, put dirty clothes in the basket or bring napkins to the dining room table at about 18 months. At first, he'll need your help, but you'll be surprised how quickly he will learn to do everything independently. As your child grows, add new duties to these, like watering flowers, wiping the table, making the bed, taking dirty plates to the sink and so on.

Dentist: Take your child to the dentist no later than six months after the first tooth appears. Later visit the dentist every six months, especially if your child has problems such as spots on the teeth.

Slides and swings: A child can go down a slide at 15-18 months. As your child begins to walk with confidence, he develops the ability to control his body and to keep balance. It's clear that for thefirst several times he'll need your help and support. At this age, a baby can also sit on a low swing with a back.

Bicycle: Get your child a tricycle when he's about 18 months. And even if the skill to push the peddles comes later, your-child can ride it back and forth pushing with his legs from the floor or enjoy riding when you push the tricycle.

Begin teaching your child to ride a bicycle when he's 4 years old. At this age many children can keep balance and have good motor skills.

Santa Claus: At the age of 3, the majority of children are indifferent to Santa Claus and many of them are afraid of a huge bearded man with a sack. If your child is afraid of Santa Claus, don't insist and postpone the visit with him for a year or two.

A nose: Teach your child to blow his nose at the age of 3. At this age, children like to imitate grownups, besides they like getting compliments. That's why you should show your example and don't forget to praise.

Shoelaces: A child should be able to tie his shoelaces when he begins kindergarten. Shoes with Velcro are more convenient but they don't stimulate the development of small motor activity and as a result, it will take more time for your child to learn other skills such as writing.

Swimming: A child can learn to swim independently at the age of 4. Children under 4 usually don't have well developed skills and coordination of movements.

Chewing gum: Don't give chewing gum to your child until he's 5 and it's better not to let him have this product until he’s even older. If he's under 3, he can choke on it. If he's under five, then he most likely swallow it instead of chewing.

Allowance: You can allow your child to have an allowance when he starts going to school. This is a good chance to teach a child to count, save money and to make the right choices when making priorities for purchases. However, don’t bribe your child with money for good behavior.

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