This is the third in our series of four articles on the first 1000 days of life. Research has proven this a critical and unparalleled window of time, which has a lifelong influence on an individual’s growth, brain development and relationships. Here …
Encouraging baby's development
Encouraging your baby's development starts from birth. Lots of kisses cuddles and love help your baby to feel secure and loved. Breastfeeding also instills that sense of love and bonding that your baby needs.
Gently stimulating your baby through social interaction, talking to him/her, toys and activities to play with and even your daily routine will all aid in your babys learning to understand things and starting to communicate.
Lots of love and encouragement and really enjoying the learning process is so important for your babys development now and in the early years. This includes communicating and such stages as first words and crawling and walking.
Listed below are some helpful tips to encourage your babys development:
• Chat to your baby, spacing your words so that she notices gaps between words. Soon she will be trying to immitate your talking.
• Sing to your baby, even if you don't have the most beautiful voice in the world, your baby will appreciate it and enjoy it. Not only will he be soothed by the sound and tunes he'll soon want to try and sing along.
• Try and hold your baby in a position where she can see your face. Newborns can focus on things about 25cm from their face.
•Hang a mobile over her cot for her to focus on the shapes and colours (a musical mobile is even better).
•Give your baby bright and colourful toys to play with, colours that contrast against each other will help them differentiate each area.
• Try lying your baby on his tummy, he won't be able to move around much at first, but it will strengthen his neck muscles. Make sure you're around and there are things around that your baby will want to look at, rather than just lying there.
• Listen to your baby's noises and respond to them. That way she knows she is being listened to and its the starting point of her communication skills.
• As he gets older start putting him on your knee so that he begins to support himself. It won't be long until he's sitting up on his own.
• Following a daily routine such as breakfast, playtime, lunch, naptime, dinner, bath and bedtime will help your growing baby to anticipate the next daily event. Your baby will also associate different objects to such events, such as the high chair for food time or towels for bathtime.
•Reading books and looking at picture books everyday and making it fun, helps associate reading and books with enjoyment. This will help to encourage reading and booktime as baby grows.
•To encourage crawling, put toys just out of baby's reach so she has to stretch to reach the toy.
• Work on understanding the meaning of your baby's different crying styles as this your babys early means of communication. He could be bored, hungry, tired or simply want attention.
- VIDEO: newborn to toddler milestones
- VIDEO: Watch baby Zac's first year in milestones
- PRINTABLE: Fun Milestone cards
- Little steps: Baby's milestones over 18 months
- Typical child development
- Why a mother's love improves their baby's health
- Baby's brain development and it's implications on raising a baby
- 3 Techniques to understand what your baby is saying
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