The following pages discuss normal childhood growth and development as well as important topics such as reading and traveling with your child.
As your child's medical home, Interlachen Pediatrics, wants to be a partner in your child's wellness.
When patients come for well-child exams, frequently parents are told the child's percentiles. Pediatricians follow the growth of children carefully and you will see we "plot" the height, weight, and head circumference as they grow. Although we may tell you your child is at the 50%, what we are watching is the actual rate of growth, not the specific percentile. A child whose height measures at the 50% only means that out of 100 children his age, 50 are taller and 50 are shorter. A child who measures at the 90% is not "more healthy" than one at the 40%. Many factors such as genetics and feeding practices may influence what percentile a child plots. If you have further questions, the physician or nurse practitioner will be happy to go over your child's growth curve at the next well visit.
If you wish to plot your own growth curve for your child, you can download a copy at http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts
Reading to Your Child
Reading aloud is the most important thing parents can do to help their children love books and begin school ready to learn. It's never too early to start — reading to infants helps stimulate brain development. Below are recommendations of what infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers like in books. Each section is followed by Dr. Aguilar's personal favorite picks (including Spanish books and stories about going to the doctor).
Get Ready to Read! is a literary screening tool that can be used to assess your four year old's pre-reading skills. Please visit the Reading Rockets web site for more tips on reading together as a family. Also check out your local public library for more book selections.
Make reading a part of your child's everyday life — and have fun!
What Infants Like In Books
Board books with photos of babies; Brightly colored board books to touch and taste; Books with pictures of familiar objects such as balls and bottles; Small books sized for small hands
Dr. A’s Picks
- Baby's Animal Friends by Phoebe Dunn
- Baby's Bedtime by Nikki Grimes
- Big and Little by Melanie Walsh
- Busy Baby by Naomi McMillan
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
- I Love Colors by Margaret Miller
- Look at Your Baby Face! by Madeline Carter
- Moo, Baa, LA LA LA by Sandra Boynton
- No Diapers for Baby! by Denise L. Patrick
- Peekaboo, Baby! by Denise L. Patrick
- Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
- Smile, Baby! By Denise L. Patrick
What Toddlers Like In Books
Sturdy board books they can handle and carry; Books with photos and pictures of children doing familiar things (sleeping, eating, playing); Rhymes, rhythms, repetitious text — books they can learn by heart; Books about making friends, food, animals, trucks, etc.; Goodnight books for bedtime
Dr. A’s Picks
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
- Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
- Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Book by Seuss
- Early Morning in the Barn by Nancy Talfuri
- Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
- Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell
- Freight Train by Donald Crews
- The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
- Have You Seen My Duckling? By Nancy Talfuri
- I Spy Little Book by Jean Marzollo, et al
- Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino
- Jonathan and His Mommy by Irene Smalls-Hector
- The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, et al
- Maisy's Colors by Lucy Cousins
- A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman
- Rain Feet by Angela Johnson
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
- This Is the Way We Go to School by Edith Baer
- Thomas the Tank Engine by Christopher Moroney
- Truck by Donald Crews
- Where's Nicky? By Cathryn Falwell
What Pre-Schoolers Like In Books
Books that tell stories; Books with simple text they can memorize; Counting books, alphabet books, vocabulary books; Books about different places and different ways of living
Dr. A’s Picks
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
- Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
- Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban
- A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams
- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
- Curious George by Margret Rey, H.A. Rey
- The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble
- Eloise by Kay Thompson
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
- If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Felicia Bond
- Jamaica Tag-Along by Juanita Havill
- Jump Frog Jump! By Robert Kalin
- Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus
- Lisa's Airplane Trip by Anne Gutman, Georg Hallensleben
- Love You Forever by Sheila McGraw
- Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
- Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
- Mr. Pine's Purple House by Leonard P. Kessler
- No, David! By David Shannon
- Olivia by Ian Falconer
- The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant by Jean De Brunhoff
- The Stray Dog by Marc Simont
- The Three Pigs by David Wiesner
- Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
- When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry... by Molly Garrett Bang
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- Abuela's Weave / El Tapiz de Abuela by Omas S. Castaneda
- Bein' with You This Way / L'alegria De Ser Tu Y Yo by W. Nikola-Lisa
- My Colors / Mis Colores by Rebecca Emberley
- Taking a Walk / Caminado by Rebecca Emberly
- With My Brother / Con Mi Hermano by Eileen Roe
Books About Going to the Doctor
- The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor by Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain
- Chris Gets Ear Tubes by Betty Pace
- Clifford Visits the Hospital by Norman Bridwell
- Corduroy Goes to the Doctor by Lisa McCue, Don Freeman
- Doctor Maisy by Lucy Cousing
- Elmo Goes to the doctor by Sarah Albee, Tom Brannon
- Franklin Goes to the Hospital by Sharon Jennings, et al
- Griffy Giraffe's Accident by Jennifer E. Sheehan
- Pooh Gets a Checkup by Kathleen Zoehfeld, Robbin Cuddy
- Pooh Plays Doctor by Kathleen Zoehfeld, Robbin Cuddy
- A Visit to the Sesame Street Hospital by Deborah Hautzig, Dan Elliott
Infant Air Travel
Children under the age of 2 years travel free on most airlines, but this means that they may have to sit on your lap if the plane is full. When you make your reservations, try to avoid a full flight.
- There are FAA-approved child restraints. Check on this when purchasing your car seat. It is best to let the airline know ahead of time that you will bring a child restraint.
- If possible, reserve a bulkhead seat (just behind the bulkhead that separates coach and first class), since it has the most room. Ask the airline if they have bassinets that attach to the bulkhead wall.
- If you can, schedule your flight to avoid the busiest times of day at airports (8 to 10 AM, 4 to 7 PM).
- Give yourself plenty of time -- arrive at the airport and check in early so that you can get the baby settled before others board the plane.
- If you are traveling by yourself and won't be met at your destination, a portable stroller is a lifesaver. You can generally fold it up and take it on board with you.
- If you have to change planes, be sure to schedule additional time for the connection.
- For takeoff and landing, put the seat belt just around you and hold your baby on your lap or put it in a front carrier. Don't place the seat belt around the baby.
- Remember that your baby's ears may plug up or hurt on takeoff or landing due to the change in cabin air pressure. Swallowing helps equalize the air pressure: you can help keep your baby's ears clear by nursing or feeding when the plane is climbing and descending.
- Diapering can be a hassle on the plane. Try to double-diaper or use ultra-absorbent disposable diapers just before you board the plane, and then change in the airport bathroom after the flight arrives. (If you do change diapers on the plane and are using disposable diapers, you can use an airsickness bag to dispose of them.)
- The flight attendants can warm food and bottles for you. Be sure to also bring small snacks your baby can nibble on and play with: Cheerios, bagels, etc.
- Be sure to clean up your seat area before you deplane.
- Given all the equipment you have to carry when you travel with a baby, it is easiest to let other passengers deplane before you.
- Car rental agencies generally have infant seats available with their cars. You need, however, to reserve the seat when you reserve the car. It is also wise to call ahead to the local agency where you will pick up the car to confirm that the car seat is available.
Written by Kate Capage