Infancy and Toddlerhood
Guiding Questions for Discussion
Is your child born? What was your birthing method and the setting of your birth?
What methods of birth and settings did you consider? Will you choose medicated or
nonmedicated delivery? How did you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of all birthing methods?
What will you do to prepare for birth? What will be your mental state and how will you prepare physically and
spiritually to handle contractions and birth?
Who will attend the actual childbirth? Will you video the event?
How will you celebrate the newcomer? How did you choose a name?
What happens to the newborn after birth? What medical, neurological and behavioral assessments are
How is the newborn helped to adjust to life outside of the womb? What will you do as parents to assist the
newborn with this adjustment?
Describe the newborn’s physical appearance? What are some possible complications of childbirth –
and complications after childbirth?
What are your newborn’s sensory capacities?
How much did pregnancy and birth cost you and your spouse?
Will you breast feed or use formula? Why? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both?
Some people breast feed up to 3 years and some up to 6 years. How long will you breast feed your baby?
What are the critical things you need to know about newborns during the first 3 months of life?
How will you interpret the signals of the baby? What are the eating and sleeping patterns?
How will you learn about the baby’s preferences for foods, locations, people, toys?
How will you begin to develop the baby’s temperament and personality?
What are the effects of the environment on your baby’s growth and development?
Will your baby have special rooms or environments in your home? Describe them.
What else should you know about early physical development?
Will your baby sleep with you or in the room with you and Dad? Will there be a crib or bassinet?
How will you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of having baby sleep in your bed?
Are there dangers of putting babies in cribs early on? If you do decide to use a crib,
how will you lay your baby?
What other toys, cribs, supplies, furniture is necessary?
Describe brain development during infancy? How will you promote your baby’s brain and
How will you test your baby’s reflexes?
How will you assess and support your baby’s motor development?
How do baby’s develop language? What will you do to promote language development?
Will you use baby talk and motherese? Why or why not?
What are some tests you can use to assess your baby’s language and cognitive development?
How will you assess your baby’s ability to process and understand information in infancy and toddlerhood?
How will you use the six developmental priming mechanisms to pave the way for normal
cognitive and psychosocial development and help make your toddler ready for school?
What theories and stages are important for you to consult in this developmental period of
infancy and toddlerhood?
How will you assess the emotional characteristics of your baby? What will you do to encourage
the development of balanced emotions and an even temperament?
How will you and spouse divide up responsibilities and roles for nurturing the baby during
these critical first three years? What will be your specific roles and responsibilities?
How do infants gain trust in their world and form attachments?
How will you and Dad communicate with your baby?
When will there be family time for parents and baby together?
How will you contribute to your baby’s emerging sense of self and development of competency?
How do toddlers develop autonomy and standards for socially acceptable behavior?
What will you and spouse do to encourage this aspect of development?
How will you deal with the “positive twos” that your child will go through?
Will you mother or father stay home for a while with baby? For how long? How might parental
employment and early child care affect infants’ and toddlers’ development? Explain the rationale for
your decision about going to work or staying home with baby? If you decide to work what will you do
with the baby? If you decide on daycare, how will you select a good daycare program?
Your baby is now 3 years old, what educational preparation and support are you providing?
What educational materials, toys, games, etc, do you have in your home environment?
What will be your baby’s nutritional program? Will you allow the child to eat junk food? Candy?
Does the toddler yet have an immune system?
How often will your baby get medical check-ups?
In what social environments will you place your child in these early years, if any?
What support systems will you establish to help with the socialization and nurturing of your child?