We have no doubt that you love your baby or that you’ve wanted the very best for your child from the moment he or she was born. Indeed, you’ve probably thrown yourself into this article in a desperate attempt to understand your baby’s development and to assist him or her in any way that you can. Even though your role as a parent should be one of support, encouragement, and influence, you must also take the time to appreciate your baby’s early days and to draw inspiration from his or her innocence. The good news is that there are countless ways that you can help your baby to learn, and many of them involve bonding techniques and activities you already share with your child on a daily basis.
Achieving milestones can come as a terrifying prospect to parents, but it’s difficult to be daunted by tips such as these!
Don’t be afraid to start early
You might feel a little silly chattering away to your weeks-old baby, but engaging your infant with language is one of the best ways to encourage speech from those earliest moments. Your child will quickly pick up on the rhythm of conversation as you babble, sing, and rhyme, so involve your child in everything you say. Describe what you are doing, ask questions, provide answers, and turn simple noises into a dialogue between the two of you. Your child will come to feel like an integral part of your home’s conversations and gather confidence in speech and language recognition. Besides, who doesn’t love having an excuse to sing nursery rhymes at the top of their lungs?
Play is an essential part of an infant’s development, and a good selection of stimulating toys will introduce a variety of concepts. Toys allow children to develop an imagination, practice social skills, improve manual dexterity and cognitive skills, and increase their awareness of cause and effect while learning about colors, shapes, textures, and sound. A baby play mirror bought from a specialized online store such as www.skiphop.com is a great place to start your baby’s voyage of discovery. By gazing into that mirror, your baby will begin to engage with what he or she perceives to be another child until your baby recognizes his or her own reflection one day. This is such an important lesson for a child to learn, and it is so easy to teach.
Share a book
If you love nothing more than enjoying a good book, we have some great news for you; reading is going to form an integral part of your baby’s upbringing, encouraging the development of language, social skills, imagination, and family bonding with those humble first pages. A love of literature and a passion for books is one of the greatest gifts that a parent can give to a child. Similarly, taking the time to read a bedtime story will ensure your child develops a keen interest in the world around them. Stories can introduce themes of similarity and difference, familial roles, and environmental issues, and they are great fun to tell. Create a bond that can never be broken by making up your own stories this evening.
Let’s get physical
From tummy time and those lazy afternoons spent rolling around a baby activity gym to hours of crawling, shuffling, and standing, physical activity is vital for healthy development. From the moment he or she is born, your child will begin to reach physical milestones, such as holding his or her head up, rolling over, sitting up, and eventually walking. Part of your role as a parent will involve encouraging such movement as you wiggle toys just out of reach and move furniture to accommodate a cruising toddler. Now is the time to build obstacle courses, mirror your baby’s action and encourage their reciprocation, and follow your child’s lead. Even simple games of peekaboo and patty cake can aid physical development, so it’s time to get playing!
There’s a lot to be learned from the great outdoors and the environment around you. From colors, shapes, textures, sights, and sounds to more advanced topics of weather, animals, transport, and people, venturing outside can introduce your baby to a wealth of enriching experiences. Whenever the weather allows it, go for a walk, and be sure to discuss the sights, sounds, and smells that you’re encountering. If you can, ride various forms of public transport and take trips to interesting and stimulating places that will excite your baby’s senses. Don’t forget to point out objects that will excite your child, and encourage conversation as your baby becomes better able to communicate.
Helping your child to learn does not need to seem daunting. In fact, we’re betting that you already play many of these games during those precious moments with your child. As a parent, it’s up to you to set your child onto the right path and ensure that he or she has an enriching, enjoyable childhood that will offer the very best start in life. You may not be very good at math, science, or literature, but the lessons in play, social skills, language, and movement that you can pass on from birth will prove invaluable throughout your child’s formal education and beyond.