Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article
Here are some suggestions from Bright Futures experts that may be of value to your family
Show your child how to use words.
Use words to describe your child's feelings.
Describe your child's gestures with words.
Use simple, clear phrases to talk to your child.
When reading, use simple words to talk about the pictures.
Try to give choices. Allow your child to choose between 2 good options, such as a banana or an apple, or 2 favorite books.
Your child may be anxious around new people; this is normal. Be sure to comfort your child.
Make the hour before bedtime loving and calm.
Have a simple bedtime routine that includes a book.
Put your child to bed at the same time every night. Early is better.
Try to tuck in your child when she is drowsy but still awake.
Avoid giving enjoyable attention if your child wakes during the night. Use words to reassure and give a blanket or toy to hold for comfort.
Have your child's car safety seat rear-facing until your baby is 2 years of age or until she reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the car safety seat's manufacturer.
Follow the owner's manual to make the needed changes when switching the car safety seat to the forward-facing position.
Never put your child's rear-facing seat in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger airbag. The back seat is the safest place for children to ride
Everyone should wear a seat belt in the car.
Lock away poisons, medications, and lawn and cleaning supplies.
Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222) if you are worried your child has eaten something harmful.
Place gates at the top and bottom of stairs and guards on windows on the second floor and higher. Keep furniture away from windows.
Keep your child away from pot handles, small appliances, fireplaces, and space heaters.
Lock away cigarettes, matches, lighters, and alcohol.
Have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and an escape plan.
Set your hot water heater temperature to lower than 120°F.
Use distraction to stop tantrums when you can.
Limit the need to say “No!” by making your home and yard safe for play.
Praise your child for behaving well.
Set limits and use discipline to teach and protect your child, not punish.
Be patient with messy eating and play. Your child is learning.
Let your child choose between 2 good things for food, toys, drinks, or books.
Take your child for a first dental visit if you have not done so.
Brush your child's teeth twice each day after breakfast and before bed with a soft toothbrush and plain water.
Wean from the bottle; give only water in the bottle.
Brush your own teeth and avoid sharing cups and spoons with your child or cleaning a pacifier in your mouth.
Talking and reading with your child
Preparing your other children for a new baby
Spending time with your family and partner
Car and home safety
Setting limits and using time-outs
8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Phones: 7:30am - 5:00pm
8:00 am - 12:00pm
Phones: 8:00am- 11:30am