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0 to 12 Months Old

Babies learn quickly. They are learning to love and trust familiar caregivers. Babies become attached to parents and others through consistent, loving responses such as holding, playing, feeding, soothing, talking gently and lovingly, stimulating, creating bedtime and bath time routines, and prompt attention to their needs. Babies begin to respond to a range of different (but equally valuable) types of parenting styles that each parent provides.

Most parents have different ways of parenting. It is helpful if parents share information about how they are parenting the child while the child is in their care. In addition, parents need to be sensitive to their baby’s emotional reactions, ability to adjust to changes when going from one parent to the other, and mood. It helps when parents talk about these things when making or changing schedules.

Babies cannot remember things they experienced over time – in other words, “out of sight, out of mind.” Therefore, it is important that they have frequent contact with each of their parents and have a stable schedule and routine. On the other hand, babies do have "emotional memories" of conflict that can have long‐term negative effects, so parents should not argue when children, even babies, can hear the arguing. Many babies are sensitive to the tension between the parents at exchange, time, so if you cannot be pleasant to each other, you may need someone else to help with the exchange times.

At around six months, babies can recognize their parents and other caregivers and may become uneasy around strangers. Regular caregivers understand how the child signals the need for food, comfort, and sleep. When away from parents or significant caregivers, babies may become anxious and have eating and sleeping problems. However, being away from one parent or caregiver and in the care of the other parent to whom the child is bonded should not be a problem for most babies.

Babies have basic sleep, feeding, and waking schedules. It is important to keep the baby on these schedules. Parents should work out their own plans so they do not interfere with the baby’s normal routine. Also, in creating parenting plans for this age group, parents ought to think about the special needs of breast‐feeding babies. Nursing mothers may want to express milk and send bottles with the baby so the father can feed the baby during his parenting time.

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.