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childcare centres

Newborn to 18 months

SKIP - Ministry of Social Development

Babies cry when they need something. When they are very little they will often have an awake-time in the evening. This can be hard when you are tired too, but like all the other stages young children go through, things will settle down.

Babies use the five senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, touch and taste to learn about the world.

Babies often have unsettled times when they seem to cry more and be more difficult to calm. These usually happen around 8, 20, 32 and 44 weeks.

You can:

  • give lots of attention – your baby won’t be spoilt by too much love
  • respond to crying, although remember that some babies have a little cry before they go off to sleep – if this happens every time they go to bed wait a few minutes to see what happens
  • check to see if nappy needs changing or are they hungry, tired, too hot or too cold
  • comfort your baby by holding and talking or singing softly to them
  • pop them in pram or backpack and keep moving
  • give them a nice warm bath
  • take them out in the car
  • give them to someone else to hold (especially if you’re tired).

Note: If your child has a special need, they might take more time to reach the different stages and/or to learn new things. They will still need you to set limits and boundaries, and lots of opportunities to learn. You can ask your GP or paediatrician about people who can help with this.

Try to think of it as a short time in your child’s life when they need you a lot.