First Year of Baby’s Life

Fran
Lucy Lazarony
November 25, 2020

So much change and remarkable developments occur in a baby’s first year of life. Let’s take a look at all that is developing as the baby grows from a newborn to a one-year-old. In the first year of a baby’s life, his or her brain will double in size. Much of this growth occurs in the part of the brain known as the cerebellum. The cerebellum is in charge of physical development and motor skills. And as this development happens in a baby’s brain, the baby will learn to control his or her body and movements.

In the first year of life, a baby learns to hold up his or her head, roll over, grasp objects and even stand up. In addition, the visual cortex, the part of the brain that helps us to see, changes rapidly. And a baby begins to recognize faces. Next, the limbic structure, which is the part of the brain that controls emotion and long-term memory starts to develop and a baby is more aware of the world around him or her.

Wondering how your little one is doing? Here are some healthy signs that he or she is doing just fine. But it’s always a good idea to have health insurance for your baby, especially the first year. Good news is that you can buy anytime outside the Open Enrollment Period, during your baby’s first year. Here’s more information to help you determine if your child is healthy.

Healthy Signs of Development

Healthy signs include the following: Your baby looks into your face and tries to mimic your expressions. Peek-a-boo is a favorite game. Your little one has a healthy appetite and is growing between visits to your pediatrician. Your baby responds to familiar faces. Your baby makes babbling sounds and a whole range of sounds. Your baby starts to lift his or her head, to roll over and to crawl. Close to his or her first birthday, the baby is able to pull his or herself into a standing position.

Language and Your Baby

Babies learn about language when they are just a few months old. Newborns use body language, sounds and facial expressions to express what they need and want. What can you do to help your baby’s language development? Talk softly to your baby in a calm and soothing voice. Use normal speech and words when speaking to your baby. Respond when your baby makes sounds, including babbles and coos. Let your baby know that he or she is heard. Use your baby’s name when you speak. Your baby’s crying means he or she needs something. So investigate what may be wrong. Is it a dirty diaper? Or is it time for a feeding? Your little one is letting you know.

Self-Confidence and Your Baby

A newborn begins to develop self confidence when he or she feels safe and loved. What can you do to help your baby grow more confident? Comfort your baby when he or she cries and responds to needs for bottles and diaper changes. Hold your baby close and speak softly to him or her. Cheer and smile at your baby as much as possible. Let your baby know that he or she is loved.

Health Insurance and Your Baby

Remember to buy baby health insurance for your baby. Otherwise, it will cost you more. Babies see doctors frequently their first year. You are eligible to buy this health insurance at any time during the year following the birth of your baby.

Health care services for newborns are among the most expensive of medical expenses. Getting health insurance for your baby can help pay for these expenses.

Compare Health Insurance Plans

If you are worried about how you will pay for baby health insurance. Check out the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in your state. This program provides low-cost and no-cost coverage for infants as well as children and teens. If you qualify for this program, it will lower the health insurance costs for your baby significantly.

Life Insurance and Your Baby

Another way to plan for a baby's future is to buy a life insurance policy for baby and for Mom and Dad. This way should a parent pass away the baby will be financially provided for and be able to meet important life goals such as going to college. For baby, a life insurance policy with a savings component is an easy way to save for college. Yes, babies can have a life insurance policy!

With life insurance, the policyholder picks a designated beneficiary and pays a premium. The life insurance policy is paid following the insured person’s death or can be cashed out, depending on the type of policy you buy.

Other College Savings for Baby

It is not too early to save money for your son or daughter’s college education. And there are plenty of savings options to consider.

U.S. Savings Bonds are one way to go. U.S. Savings Bonds may be redeemed federally tax free for higher education expenses and these savings bonds are backed by the full faith of the U.S. government.

With Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), you can make tax-free withdrawals to pay for qualifying higher education expenses and also kindergarten through 12th grade expenses. With ESAs, there are a broad range of investment options available. But be aware with ESAs, the maximum investment allowed is $2,000 per beneficiary per year. Contributions have to be made before the beneficiary turns 18 and the account can only be used until the beneficiary turns 30. And there are income restrictions with ESAs as well. Only married couples earning between $190,000 to $220,000 or individuals earning between $95,000 and $110,000 are able to contribute.

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings account designed to be used for the beneficiary’s education expenses. You can use the money in a 529 plan for a variety of educational expenses including college expenses and kindergarten through 12th grade expenses. All U.S. residents and all income levels can open 529 plans. And depending on the plan you use maximum investments can exceed $500,000 over the life of the 529 plan.

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