USDA Offers Home Repair Loans & Grants for Homeowners with Low Income

California’s housing crisis has put a strain on many individuals and families with low income. It’s critically important that homeowners with low income, particularly seniors, be able to make 

Click on the image above to open a PDF of the flyer.

necessary repairs to stay safely in their own homes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering financial assistance to meet this community need.

The USDA’s Home Repair Loan and Grant Program offers qualifying rural homeowners low-interest loans or grants to repair roofing, siding, flooring, insulation, electrical, and other health and safety hazards. The program provides grants of up to $7,500 for individuals aged 62 and over and loans of to $20,000 (with interest as low as 1%) for qualifying low-income homeowners of any age.

In Nevada County, annual income limits are $38,350 for a household of one to four people and $50,650 for a household of five to eight people (see table below).

To qualify you must:

  • Be the homeowner and occupy the house
  • Be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere
  • Have a family income below 50% of the area’s median income
  • For grants, be age 62 or older and not be able to repay a repair loan

Nevada County Income Limits:

 Household Size 1-4 People 5-8 People
 Maximum Annual Income $38,350 $50,650

To get your application started, contact Program Specialist Robert Canepa by phone at 530-217-6252 or by email at robert.canepa@usda.gov. USDA Rural Development’s nearest service center is located at 11661 Blocker Drive, Suite 120 in Auburn.To learn more about the Home Repair Loan and Grant Program’s requirements, check out the USDA website or download the flyer for more information.

School Safety Summits

The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office is hosting two upcoming Safety Summits for parents and guardians of local students. Learn how the Superintendent’s Office collaborates with first responders to prepare for and respond to crises in our schools.

This engaging presentation will include representatives from local law enforcement, fire services, and the California Highway Patrol. The panel will address issues such as wildfires, lockdowns, and shelter-in-place procedures.

Summit Dates:

Tuesday, March 5th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Nevada Union High School
11761 Ridge Road, Grass Valley

Tuesday, March 12th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Bear River High School
11130 Magnolia Road, Grass Valley

For more information, contact Safety and School Climate Coordinator Chris Espedal by phone at 530-478-6400 ext. 2047 or by email at cespedal@nevco.org.

Judges Needed for Directing Change Film Contest

Each year, the Directing Change Program and Film Contest invites youth throughout California to submit 60-second films about suicide prevention and mental health. The goal of the program is to engage young people in learning about these critical health topics through the medium of film. The films are then used to support awareness, education, and advocacy efforts in schools and communities.

Directing Change is currently seeking judges to help select this year’s winning films. Do you have expertise or interest in directing, writing, editing, acting, journalism, video production, suicide prevention and/or mental health?  Become a judge today! 

The process is simple. Judges must:

  • Participate in a brief 30-45 minute judging orientation (via phone or webinar) in February.
  • Review up to 12 sixty-second film submissions and complete an online scoring form for each. The judging period will take place in mid-March 2019.

The entire judging process will take less than 2 hours of your time and can be done online from home. Judges are recognized on the contest website and in the award ceremony program.

Learn more at the Directing Change website or complete the online application here.

The winning teams and their associated schools will win prizes, receive prevention programs and other resources for their schools, and attend the award ceremony at the end of the school year. See past submissions here.

Directing Change is part of Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement and statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. These initiatives are funded by counties through the Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.

Schedule Your Free AARP Tax Appointment

It’s time to start thinking about your TAXES.

Once again the AARP TaxAide volunteers are gearing up to provide tax preparation services and electronic filing of both Federal and California tax returns. The program serves people of all ages with middle and low income and is provided to Nevada County residents at NO COST.

The TaxAide group can prepare most common personal tax returns, including those that have salary, interest, dividends, itemized deductions, pension and IRA withdrawals.

Appointments will be available every Monday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, February 4th through April 8th. Reservations are required.

For more information or to schedule your TaxAide appointment, call 211 (or 1-844-319-4119). 

Happy filing!

 

Habitat for Humanity to Host Information Meetings

Nevada County Habitat for Humanity is holding two application information meetings this month for potential new homeowners.

Habitat for Humanity homes are for families with low income who need better housing and are willing to partner with Habitat. Habitat homes are built by volunteers and are sold to homeowners at no profit, with a 0% interest mortgage.

Application information meetings will be held on Wednesday, January 9th at 7:00 pm and Saturday, January 12th at 1:00 pm at the Grass Valley United Methodist Church. For more information, check out the flyer or call 530-274-1951.

Childcare will be available by request. Please call 530-274-1951 to reserve your spot.

Details

What: Habitat for Humanity Application Information meeting

When: Wednesday, January 9th at 7:00 pm or Saturday, January 12th at 1:00 pm

Where: Grass Valley United Methodist Church, Wesley Hall, 236 S. Church Street, Grass Valley

Cost: Free. Call 530-274-1951 to reserve your spot.

Upcoming Forums Focus on Community Needs

The Nevada County Adult & Family Services Commission is seeking community input on the needs of people with very low income in Nevada County.

The commission is holding two Community Forums to learn more about community needs related to the broad issues of poverty, unemployment, education, health, nutrition, housing, homelessness, crime, transportation, delinquency, obstacles to self-sufficiency, and economic opportunity.

Individual community members and representatives of local organizations are invited to share their views and experiences. In Eastern Nevada County, the forum will be held on Thursday, December 6th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Truckee Government Center, 10075 Levon Avenue. In Western Nevada County, the forum will be held on Friday, December 7th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Nevada County Government Center, 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City. Each speaker will be given five minutes to present. A sign-up sheet for speakers will be provided at the door.

If you are unable to attend a Community Forum, you can still make your voice heard by completing a short survey online. There is a survey for individual community members and one for community organizations. If you would like a written form, contact Suzi Kochems by phone at 530-228-7811 or by email at suzi@silkconsultinggroup.com.

The mission of the Adult & Family Services Commission is to represent the community to the Board of Supervisors on issues regarding health and human services and family interests of all residents of Nevada County.  The information gathered at the upcoming Community Forums will contribute to the needs assessment process required as a part of the 2020/21 Community Action Plan (CAP). The CAP is part of the application process for ongoing Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding for supportive service programs.

Details

What: Community Forums on the Needs of People with Low Income

When & Where:

Thursday, December 6th, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Truckee Government Center, 10075 Levon Avenue, Truckee

Friday, December 7th, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Nevada County Government Center, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City

Salvation Army Offers Christmas Assistance

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is bringing holiday cheer again this year with their 2018 Christmas Assistance program.

The Christmas Assistance program is for children, seniors, and people with disabilities with low income who need a little help for the holidays. Sign-ups are November 12th through 14th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Salvation Army office in Grass Valley.

Those interested in signing up must bring proof of identity for all household members and proof of income. (See the flyer for more information on the types of ID and proof of income accepted).

Most importantly, bring your wish list to let folks know what gifts will brighten your holiday season. Make sure to include clothing and shoe sizes if you’re requesting gifts for children.

For more information, contact the Salvation Army at 530-274-3500.

Details

What: Salvation Army Christmas Assistance Program
When: November 12-14, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Salvation Army, 10725 Alta Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
What to Bring: Proof of identity for ALL household members, proof of income, your wish list!

Local Businesses & Organizations Offer Free Thanksgiving Meals

Thanksgiving pie

Whether you’re looking for a place to gather, dinner to go, or a warm meal delivered to your door, several local businesses and organizations are offering free Thanksgiving feasts for Nevada County residents. Here’s your guide to what’s available this Thanksgiving.

Interfaith Food Ministry

What: Thanksgiving dinners to go
When: During normal distribution times, starting November 10th and ending November 21st
Where: 440 Henderson Street, Grass Valley
Cost: Free for current IFM clients. (For information on becoming an IFM client, call 530-273-8132).
Contact: 530-273-8132

Old Town Café

What: Family style dinner
When: Thanksgiving Day, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: 110 Mill Street, Grass Valley
Cost: Free and open to anyone
Contact: 530-273-4303

Rainbow Market

What: Meals to go
When: Thanksgiving Day, 12:00 to 3:00 pm
Where: 16797 Highway 49, Nevada City (across from the Willo)
Cost: Free and open to anyone
Contact: 530-478-9777

Sierra Roots

What: Sit-down meal
When: Thanksgiving Day, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Where: First Baptist Church, Nevada City, 300 Main Street, Nevada City
Cost: Free for people experiencing homelessness
Contact: 530-264-5113

Thanks to Give

What: Home-delivered meals
When: Delivered on Thanksgiving Day
Cost: Free for seniors and adults with disabilities who are home alone
Contact: To sign up, email thankstogivegv@gmail.com

 

Get Your Free Flu Shot at Drive-Thru Clinic

Fight Flu

The Nevada County Public Health Department is conducting a free drive-thru flu shot clinic in Grass Valley on Tuesday, October 9th, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm (or while supplies last).

The drive-thru clinic is for adults and children three years of age and older. (If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the next month, please see your primary care or prenatal care provider to get your annual flu vaccination).

The clinic will be held in the parking lot of Twin Cities Church at 11726 Rough and Ready Highway. Participants will only be able to access the parking lot using the westbound lane off of Rough and Ready Highway; no eastbound access will be allowed due to safety concerns. This is a drive-thru only event; all participants will be required to stay in their vehicles. Due to safety concerns, walkups and bicycles will not be permitted.

The Public Health Department is hoping for a large turnout, not only to protect residents from the flu, but also to learn valuable lessons and enhance response efforts in the event of a large communicable disease outbreak or public health emergency. Public participation is essential to making this exercise a success.

For more information or questions, call 530-470-2658 or email the Public Health Department.

Details

What: Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic

When: Tuesday, October 9th, 12:00 to 4:00 pm (or while supplies last)

Where: Twin Cities Church, 11726 Rough and Ready Highway, Grass Valley

Cost: Free

Ages & Stages: 12 Months

ASQ 12 months

Hello Parents!

Your baby is 1 year old. Congratulations!

Respect is vital to parenting, but the word can confuse us, especially when it comes to setting limits with toddlers. Children need lots of opportunities to be independent and have their choices respected. They also need to know they’re not in charge. Demonstrate your authority in a kind, gentle manner and talk to your baby using positive language. Set basic limits and let your child make simple decisions. Give her two or three options, and let her choose. This builds up her confidence and self-esteem.

What to Expect at 1 Year Old

• Your baby’s babbling is beginning to sound more like talking–she says “mama” and she really means it. She is also beginning to learn the names of things.
• By now your baby may be moving around the house quickly. She may be standing by herself, walking while holding on to furniture, or walking well on her own. She loves to push and pull things and is getting stronger every day.
• Your baby is a busy explorer. She enjoys holding, stacking, and playing with toys. Your baby is using her fingers with more skill now. She will point with her index finger and pick up tiny bits of cereal with her thumb and finger.

Activities to Help Your Child Grow and Learn

• Your baby loves to go for walks and see new things. Talk to her about what you are seeing. In an open area, let your baby push her own stroller; she will enjoy the feeling of power as she moves something big all by herself.
• Play with blocks, shape sorters, and other toys that encourage your child to use her hands.
• Your baby is always learning from you. Show her how she should treat and respond to others through your own actions and words.

Resources for Parents

We have some great resources for parents in this community, including free and low-cost parenting classes. Sierra Nevada Children’s Services and The Nest are two great places to start. Check out 211’s Children & Youth guided search page for information about all kinds of local programs for families.

Or give us a call at 2-1-1 (or 877-847-0499). We look forward to talking with you!

Sources:
ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly and Ginger Fink

Magic Tricks with SNCS

Sierra Nevada Children’s Services is hosting its fourth annual Family Appreciation Day on August 4th. All families are invited to this free, fun event filled with activities, including games, arts and SNCS Family Appreciation Daycrafts, live music, balloon creations, face painting, a magic show, and giveaways galore.

Parents and kids alike can fill up on free sno-cones and popcorn or save room for lunch.

Local childcare providers and partner agencies (including 211) will be on-hand to provide information and connect families up to local resources.

And it’s all free!

For more information, call Sierra Nevada Children’s Services at 530-272-8866.

Details

What: SNCS Family Appreciation Day

When: Saturday, August 4th, 10: am to 1:00 pm

Where: Sierra Nevada Children’s Services, 420 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley

Cost: Free!

Sierra Stages Offers Pay What You Can Performance

Live theatre is magical. There is nothing quite like that first moment of a play, when the lights go down and the cool, dark theatre is transformed into a new world—a place with its own people, places, and logic.

Local theatre company Sierra Stages wants everyone in our community to experience this magic. On Thursday, July 19th, Sierra Stages is hosting a Pay What You Can Performance of their summer musical “Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach” at the Nevada Theatre. Based on the classic children’s book, the show is a fun, family-friendly musical for kids 4 years and older (and stars 211’s very own Micah Cone!).Tickets are first-come, first-served and go on sale at 6:00 pm at the Nevada Theatre box office. Doors open at 7:00 pm and the show starts at 7:30.

Tickets truly are “pay what you can.” Sierra Stages will accept any amount of money, as long as it’s in U.S. currency. Cash or check only (no credit or debit cards will be accepted). Limit two tickets per person.

The Pay What You Can Performance is supported by a generous grant from Community Players Trust—helping to keep community theatre alive and thriving inJames PWYC Performance Flyer Nevada County—and is part of Sierra Stages’ commitment to making sure that theater remains open and accessible to every member of our community.

For more information, call 530-346-3210 or check out the Sierra Stages website.

Details:

What: Pay What You Can Performance of “Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.”
When: Thursday, July 19th at 7:30 pm. Tickets on sale at 6:00 pm.
Where: Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City
Cost: Whatever you can afford (cash or check only, please)

Summer Programs at Nevada County Libraries

The Grass Valley Library in collaboration with Grass Valley School District Child Nutrition Services and the Nevada County Public Health Department are offering free, healthy lunch to all kids ages 18 and under this Summer. All lunches will be served at noon Monday through Friday until August 14th. In addition to lunch, there will also be activities for youth, including games, art projects, and science experiments. No registration is required. just show up- 207 Mill St, Grass Valley. 

Hit the Town with Summer Youth Bus Pass

Summer Youth Bus Pass

Gold Country Stage is offering a Summer Youth Pass for kids ages 6-17 years old. For $25 kids can get unlimited rides from now until August 31st.

Bus routes cover Grass Valley, Nevada City, and Penn Valley, so whether you’re interested in a frozen treat out on the town, a movie at one of our local theatres, or a dip in the pool, Gold Country Stage can get you there!

Passes are available at the Transit Services office at 13081 John Bauer Avenue in Grass Valley or at Tinloy Station (near the Gold Miner’s Inn) on the first two weekdays of the month (the next dates are July 2nd & 3rd).

You can find more information on bus routes here. Or call 211 for help planning your trip.

FREED Youth Program is the Latest CRAYYz

Creative. Resourceful. Adventurous. FREED’s got a new mantra for youth and young adults with disabilities this summer.

FREED Summer Youth Program 2018 with Full Calendar

FREED, a resource center for people with disabilities, is kicking off the summer with a new slate of activities bringing young people with disabilities together with a focus on fun. The Summer C.R.A.Y.Y.z (Creative, Resourceful, Adventurous Youth and Young Adultz—pronounced “craze”) program offers a variety of regular fun peer events, including an Artistic Hour (Mondays from 3:00 to 4:00 pm), a Leadership Team (Wednesdays from 1:00 to 3:00 pm), games, movies, and time out on the town.

The fun and games are just a small part of FREED’s goal to assist young folks with disabilities to become strong, independent adults.

The organization’s new Youth Transition Program is designed specifically to connect transition age youth and young adults (ages 14 to 24) with information and services that will help them increase their independent living skills as they move from high school into adult life and responsibilities.

The program helps youth and young adults develop independent living and leadership skills through individual goal setting, peer support, application assistance, advocacy, and more.

For more information about FREED’s Youth Transition Program, contact Shaylin Bautista-Vega by phone at 530-477-3333 or by email at shay@freed.org.

Ages & Stages: Your Baby at 10 Months

Ages & Stages Header Image

Hello Parents!

Welcome to 10-12 months! By now your baby is very busy and is starting to move around the house more. She may be crawling, standing by herself, walking while holding onto furniture, or walking well all on her own. If you have steps in the house, she may be trying to climb them. You’ve probably noticed that she loves to push and pull things. She’s strong, she’s mobile, and she’s curious: Now is a great time to “babyproof” everything around the house! Make sure to lock or block your cabinets. If you have stairs at home, think about teaching your baby to go down them on her belly feet-first.

What to Expect at 10 to 12 Months

• Your baby may be ready to try soft finger foods, like small pieces of banana. Make sure soft foods are cut into very small pieces so she can swallow them easily.
• Children at this age are just beginning to notice when two things are alike, especially shoes, socks, or toys. Hold one of the shoes or socks and ask your child to look for its match. This is a great way to promote problem solving.
• Spend a lot of time encouraging wanted behaviors rather than punishing unwanted behaviors. Use positive language and tell your child what you want him to do.
• Praise your child with hugs and kisses and recognize good behavior. Help your child recognize and understand his feelings. Give words to his feelings, like: “I see you are very frustrated” or “I can see you feel sad.” This helps your child become aware of his feelings and teaches him how to express them in a positive way.

Activities to Help your Child Grow and Learn

• Find time to go to the library or bookstore and pick up new books with your child. Story time is a great time to cuddle up and read together. Talk about what you see in the book and take turns pointing out pictures and turning pages. This is a great way to promote language development and work on your child’s fine motor skills.
• Your child can help with small jobs like putting toys away. Include him in these small daily activities and let him know that he’s an important part of the family.

Resources for Parents

We have some great resources for parents in this community, including free and low-cost parenting classes. Sierra Nevada Children’s Services and The Nest are two great places to start. Check out 211’s Children & Youth guided search page for information about all kinds of local programs for families.

Or give us a call at 2-1-1 (or 877-847-0499). We look forward to talking with you!

Sources:
ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly and Ginger Fink

Celebrate Screen-Free Week

Get ready to put down your phones, tablets, and other screen devices the week of April 30th through May 6th. Join our county and the nation in celebrating Screen-Free Week 2018. The Nevada County Public Health Department, the Nevada County Libraries, UC CalFresh, Bear Yuba Land Trust, NEO, and Sierra Harvest have joined together to bring you and your family a week of FUN!

Screen-Free Week is a fun way to step back and evaluate your family’s screen time. It is estimated that preschool children spend between two and five hours a day using electronic media. Including watching TV and looking at social media, 8-18 year-olds consume an average of 7 hours a day.

We know too much screen time can adversely affect kids’ development and behavior.  Overdoing it can reduce the amount of sleep your child receives, increase their risk for obesity later in life, and, in young children, negatively affect brain development. In people of all ages, screen-time can make it harder to fall asleep and takes time away from walking, cooking, family time, and just daydreaming.

Join the campaign to unplug, and spend the week reading, daydreaming, playing, hiking creating, exploring, and connecting with family and friends! All kinds of activities are planned for the week, including a game night at NEO for teens to kick Screen-Free Week off on Friday, April 28th; free books at the GV and NC libraries on Monday, April 30th; a story walk in downtown Nevada City hosted by the libraries; a 2-for-1 plant sale at the Food Love Project Farm, hosted by Sierra Harvest on Saturday May 5th; and much more!

Check out the calendar of activities and sign a Screen-Free pledge card to join the fun.

Ages & Stages: Your Baby at 8 Months

 

Hello Parents!

We hope you and your baby are enjoying new things.

This is a very active period for your baby, so safety is important. Keep small objects out of her reach and make sure to stay with her when she’s on the changing table, on a bed or couch, and when you’re giving her a bath.

Your baby is building his own personality, so you probably know his favorite foods, toys, and songs. (You’re most likely also starting to know what he doesn’t like, too). Encourage your baby to try new things to promote his development. Celebrate with a smile or clapping when he achieves something new, like rolling over or standing up.

Talk with other parents and your child’s doctor about the milestones your child has reached. They can also let you know what to expect next.

What to Expect at 8 Months

  • Your baby is now able to follow simple instructions. Try giving her directions, like “Hold the diaper,” “wash your belly,” or “show me grandma.” When she responds, make sure to let her know you notice: “Thank you for holding the diaper,” “Oh, there’s grandma.”
  • Your baby may be standing now. Place some of his favorite toys on a low table or on the ground so he can stretch and work on his balance.
  • Your baby wants your attention, and she will make different sounds to get it. Let her know you are there and listening: “Oh you’re sad. Let me help you feel better”, “You are tired, time for a nap.”
  • Ask for behaviors that you want in a positive way. For example, instead of saying “don’t stand” say “time to sit down.”

Activities to Help your Baby Grow and Learn

  • Read to your baby every day. He may like one book in particular, and that’s great; children learn by repetition. Name the colors, animals, or objects you see and ask the baby to point at them with you.
  • Place a toy or a piece of cereal in a container or a plastic bottle with no lid. As your baby works to get the toy or the cereal out, she will learn about the idea of ‘in’ and ‘out.’ Another way to show your baby ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ is to get a big box that she can crawl in and out of.
  • Encourage your baby to help you with simple tasks like picking up toys or putting away clothes. You can sing a cleanup song as you do this. This is a great way to make your baby feel included and build a sense of responsibility.

Most importantly, enjoy watching your baby grow and learn!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening all children for general development at nine months. The Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a great tool to see if your child’s development is on track. For more information about the ASQ, see our Q&A on ASQ (https://211connectingpoint.org/a-qa-on-asq/) or give us a call at 211.

 

Sources:

ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly and Ginger Fink

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/Milestones

Ages & Stages: Your Baby at 6 Months

Hello, Parents!

Welcome again. Time has passed and you are able to see big changes with your baby at this point in her development. You also may have new concerns or questions; about your parenting skills, about your child’s development, about routines, or about your child trying different foods and concerns about allergies. Reminder: It’s always okay to ask questions and talk to other parents.

What to Expect at 6 Months

  • Your baby knows his name and may use his voice to let you know when he needs attention. The baby squeals and is beginning to babble to you and others. He may make sounds like “mama” or “dada.” He is also learning to respond to “bye-bye.”
  • Your baby gets stronger every minute. She now holds her head up and looks around at everything that’s going on. She is learning to sit up, at first using her hands for balance.
  • Your baby’s grasp has relaxed now. He likes to reach and grab nearby objects, holding and banging objects and even holding something in each hand!
  • Your baby knows you very well now; the different tones of your voice will sometimes make her react with a smile or with tears knowing that you are happy or upset with her.

Activities to Help Your Baby Grow and Learn

  • Crush ice into very small pieces that your baby can eat safely. Let them explore the cold ice as it squirms around in a bowl. The crushed ice and cool fingers will feel good on their gums and new little teeth.
  • Fill a small container or tray with water and play with it together. As the baby touches the water, talk about how it feels using real words to promote language. “Oooh, the water is so cold.”
  • Rock, walk, or dance and whisper sweet words in your baby’s ear. Whispering to your baby helps her to calm down and provides another way to talk in a quiet and loving voice.
  • When your baby is awake and alert, turn off the television and other household sounds so that he can only hear your voice. This helps your baby hear the sounds of words more clearly or recognize other noises like the rain, the wind, or a bird. Ask the baby, “Can you hear the rain? Can you hear the bird?”

The ASQ (Ages & Stages Questionnaire) is a great, fun tool to help your child grow. The ASQ can also help you identify any areas where your baby may need some extra support to succeed. Remember, if you have any concerns about your child’s development there is no harm in reaching out.

Call 211 for more information.

Sources: ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly and Ginger Fink

Ages & Stages: Your Baby at 4 Months

Hello, Parents!

Parenthood is a journey like no other. Your child is special and truly one of a kind, just like your experience as a parent.

During this journey, you may worry about your child’s growth, health, and behavior and wonder if you are doing all the “right” things to help her develop. Doubt is inevitable (welcome to parenting!), but no one knows your baby better than you. Trust yourself, and remember that it’s okay to reach out; there are all kinds of great resources in our community to help you along the way.

Here’s a quick list of what to expect from your 4-month old and a few activities to try with her.

What to Expect at 4 Months

  • Your baby is communicating with her whole body. She’s moving around, making noises, and crying when she needs something.
  • Your child smiles spontaneously, especially at people.
  • Your baby copies some movements, like smiling or frowning.
  • Your baby likes to play with people and may cry when playing stops.
  • Your baby is beginning to babble.
  • Your baby may begin to be aware of his voice and may test it or play by making different noises.
  • Your child may start reacting with excitement when she sees or hears you.

Activities to Help Your Baby Grow and Learn

Physical play is a valuable tool to support your child’s development. Activities that use physical movements allow children to use their energy, recognize their own capacities, learn new things, and socialize. Playing also benefits your child’s health. Even from a very early age, children use play to understand the world around them.

Here are a few activities to try with your 4-month old:

  • Place your baby on your lap or a firm surface facing up. Pull your baby up slowly by her arms. Then gently lower her in an up-and-down game. This will help strengthen her stomach and neck muscles.
  • Talk to your baby while changing her diaper or giving her a bath; let the baby know what you are doing. You can also sing to your baby and play gentle games, like splashing on the water or playing peek-a-boo with a washcloth or your hands.
  • Place your baby in different positions, like on his stomach or his side. This will allow him to move his arms and legs in different directions, strengthen his body, and give him a more interesting view of his surroundings.

Have fun and remember: you are the most important person in your child’s life!

Want more information? To learn more about your child’s developmental stages, check out the Ages & Stages Questionnaires online or give us a call at 2-1-1 to speak to our Ready to Grow Specialist, Lorena Chappuzeau. Call 211 to connect to a wide variety of resources, including child safety information, childcare, parenting classes, health services, and more.

Sources: 
ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly & Ginger Fink
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention