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The first few months of a baby’s life are so important. Their brain is learning constantly and it will learn and grow faster than any other time in his/her life. When I was in college, I took several classes on child development and I was always amazed at the rate at which a baby learns and how they learn. I am going to provide you with a few activities that you can do with your baby to give them the best start!
1). Talk to your baby. Respond to your baby’s coos & smiles! Talk to your baby in what is known as “Motherese”. This is that high-pitched voice that we use with a baby. That almost-annoying voice of “Well hello baby! Pretty girl! Mommy loves you!” We draw out our words, we talk in high-tones, we have exaggerated expressions. This is not something that is taken lightly. There is actual a reason for this. Almost anyone who talks to a young child will just naturally speak in this child-directed speech, or ‘motherese’. Our other kids talk to our sweet baby girl in this voice, too. It is natural and it is great for your baby! Studies suggest that this speech is used to help children identify where words begin and end, and provides them with the clues needed to help them develop language skills of their own.
2). Make eye contact. Did you know that when a baby looks into your eyes, it gives them the “energy” of a cup of coffee? Looking into his parent’s eyes is powerful! It provides them with such a feeling of security and wonderment! Although they don’t have their eyes open too often as a newborn, be sure to grab that moment when they do! (Don’t be concerned if they don’t look back into your eyes. This can happen as late as three months). Infants will recognize a face very early on and recognizing your is very important. When you child looks at you, they are learning to recognize you and remember you. So ‘stare lovingly into their eyes’ every time that you get the chance!
3). Be silly & let them imitate you! Baby’s as young as two days old can imitate simple facial movements. This will set them up to be problem-solvers. So blow raspberries at your baby, stick out your tongue, pucker up your lips… and watch your baby try do it, too!
4). Tell your baby what to expect. When you are going to do something, talk to your baby and tell them what you are doing. If you are going to change their diaper, say “Ok, sweet baby. I am going to change your diaper now. You will feel fresh and clean!” Use every chance that you get to talk to your baby. This will not only promote speech, but it will teach cause & effect as well. Did you know that having the TV on can actually DELAY your child’s speech? Turn off the TV and get down and spend some great one-on-one time with your baby. (find more activities to promote speech here) A 20 minute stretch is probably all that your baby can handle before needing a little rest time, so cherish that twenty minutes and teach your baby.
5). Let your baby take in the view. I used to put our baby’s in their bouncy seat and put them in front of our all-glass door that looks outside. Did you know that being outside can improve their overall vision by 2%? The bright colors of the outdoors is great for their development. So, if your baby is finished eating and ready for some ‘fun’, let them look outside. This teaches them, at a very young age, to be happy with simple things. They don’t need their Mamas or Daddy’s to help them achieve every smile. They can get this all by themselves. Use this time to fold laundry, get dinner done or enjoy a good book for 15-20 minutes once or twice a day. You could take your baby on a walk and get your baby outside this way, too.
See more ideas on my Pinterest boards!
See part two with 5 MORE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR BABY SMARTER
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