Birth - Age 3 Behavior

What questions should I be asking my child's caregiver?

DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT MY CHILD'S BEHAVIOR?

  • It is important to ask for specifics when talking with your child's provider. What are the behaviors, when are they happening, what does the provider do when this happens? If a provider states that your child was "fussy", ask what your child is like when they are fussy.
  • Many times, for young children, routine is a major factor. Discuss with the provider some ideas for creating a routine that is easily adaptable to each environment and for your child.

HOW DIFFERENT IS MY CHILD'S BEHAVIOR FROM THE OTHER CHILDREN AT THIS AGE?

  • Discuss with the provider if this is a typical infant-toddler behavior or if it is something that many of the other children are doing too. This may mean that the provider can make some adjustments to help all of the children in their care.
  • Many children act differently, depending on the setting and what they are being asked to do. Typically, when concerns are raised about babies, it is usually due to their development. Keep in mind that all children are unique in their development and that each child will have a different timeline.

SHARE WITH YOUR CHILD'S CAREGIVER WHAT HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL AT HOME

  • You know your baby the best. Discuss things that you have noticed work with your child or things that you would like to try with the provider. This will help routines to be consistent across environments and will feel familiar to your child.

WHAT ARE YOUR AGENCY BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS?

  • There are nation-wide ranges of development for young children that can be found on the website for Zero to Three. However, keep in mind that all children develop at different paces. This is neither good nor bad. Monitor their development and share any concerns that you have with your pediatrician, home visitor, and/or child care provider.

HOW ARE YOU TEACHING AND REINFORCING APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR?

  • As children grow, they will eventually begin to self-cope with their world. However, as infants and toddlers, they require the adults around them to provide safety, security, and nurturing to help them cope. This can include holding your child, talking or singing, and ensuring that all other needs are met (i.e. dry diaper, fed, not sleepy, etc.). Caregivers can also start validating their child's feelings by labeling their emotions for them.
  • It is important to know how your child's caregiver is responding, supporting, and encouraging your toddlers appropriate social behaviors

ARE THE CLASSROOM RULES AND CLASSROOM BEHAVIORAL EXPECTATIONS POSTED WHERE MY CHILD CAN SEE THEM?

  • Providing a routine for young children is very important. As your baby grows and develops, using picture schedules is a good way to have your baby start to recognize symbols.

ASK YOUR CAREGIVER HOW HE WOULD LIKE YOU TO COMMUNICATE WITH HIM.

  • Parent involvement is extremely important to babies and their continued positive development. However, sometimes it is tricky to communicate with other caregivers or professionals that interact with your child. Some strategies include face-to-face meetings, email, text messaging, phone calls, daily logs, and messages being passed. Negotiate with the other person on what is easiest for both of you.

THE NEXT STEP

  • If your child's development continues to delay and you have strong concerns about their well-being, you can be connected to home visiting programs in Ingham County.
  • The home visitor will screen your child for development and welcome you and your family into services.
  • Should your family and/or your child need additional resources, the home visitor will refer you to more services in the community.
  • Make sure that you feel that your needs are being met and do not be afraid to disagree.
  • Feel free to ask a friend, family member, or trusted individual to attend meetings or assessments with you.

Sources

Michigan Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Infant and Toddler Programs
Zero to Three, National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. Helping my child at home.