Being a parent is hard work!
  • When you feel stress building, talk to your partner, a family member, or a good friend about your feelings. It helps to talk with someone who is close to you. Ask someone to come and watch me so you can have a break.
  • Join a group of parents where they talk about ways to help children grow. To find out about parenting groups, call your local Smart Start partnership or the Smart Start Parent Resource Line at 1-800-367-2229.
  • Read about being a parent. There are books, magazines, newsletters and leaflets for parents. Remember to read about the section "How to Help your Crying Baby" at the end of this calendar.
  • There should be times when it is fund ro be a parent. If you are having trouble finding fun times, get help. Call the Smart Start Parent Resource Line at 1-800-367-2229.

      Help me be healthy.
At this checkup, I will:
  • I will be weighed and measured.
  • Have several immunizations.
Look at the Immunization schedule at the back of this guide to see a list of the immunizations I will get at this checkup. These immunizations help my body to build defenses against disease. I will need to have these immunizations if I a going to be in child care or pre-school and before I go to school.

Take my health journal with me so we can write down the date that I had these immunizations.


     I eat about 5-7 times a day.
Some babies, particularly breastfed babies, may eat more often on some days. Breast milk or iron fortified formula should still be my only food now. Do no put cereal or other solid food in my formula. My body is not ready for solid goods until I am 4 to 6 months old. Feeding solids too early may cause me to have allergies or to eat too much. My doctor might suggest that I have vitamin drops if I am nursing or was born prematurely. Talk to the doctor about this.

     How do you know I am hungry?
I might be fussy or suck my finger or a pacifier. It's ok to try to feed me. Nursing or iron-fortified formula is what I want. Water is not usually needed.

      Play with me.  It helps me learn.
  • Read to me every day.
  • Let me feel different objects by rubbing them against my hands. Let me feel some soft materials and some that are bumpy. I like to feel the different clothes you wear.
  • Tell me how special I am. Smile and talk to me a lot.
  • Show me bright colors. I can easily see the difference between black and white and red and yellow.
  • Put me in a baby carrier and carry me while you move around the house. Carry me in front of you. Talk to me about what you are doing. I like to see what is happening.
  • Look at me when you talk to me. I want to copy your mouth. Repeat the sounds that I make. I like the game of making sounds.

      Help me be safe.
  • Handle me gently. Support my head and neck when you hold me. Do no pick me up by my arms or swing me by my arms or legs. Do not shake me or throw me in the air.
  • Protect me from falls. Be careful not to fall with me in your arms. Do no leave me alone on a changing table, bed, or other high place. I could fall.
  • If you give me medicine at night, turn on the light and read the label every time to make sure you are giving me the right medicine and the right amount.

      Watch for me to:
  • Wave, kick, and squirm when lying on my back
  • Make sounds like uh, eh, and oh.
  • Look and stare at things. I look at you a lot.
  • Lift my head up and turn it sideways when I am on my stomach.
  • Turn t you and smile when I see or hear you.
  • Quiet down, move my eyes, or change my expression when I hear your voice or I hear some other noise.
Children are very different from one another. Don't worry if I am early or late in the ways that I am growing. If I were born prematurely or have some special needs, then It may take a little longer to do some of the things listed. Help me to learn new things. If you are concerned, talk to my doctor or nurse.

You may notice that I also:
  • Sometimes cross my eyes or have only one eye at a time. This is normal. I will do this until my eye muscles get stronger.
  • Gurgle, smile, and laugh when I am happy.
  • Have tears when I cry. My tear ducts are starting to work now.
  • Like to suck my thumb or pacifier. Sucking is a way to learn about my world. It is also one way that I calm myself down.
The above information was obtained from
Smart Start and the North Carolina Partnership for Children.


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