We all want the best for our children; from the moment that squirming bundle is placed in your arms, the love and joy that you feel will never, ever be paralleled. It is only natural to want the best for your little one, and most parents will stop at nothing to ensure that their child is receiving the very best education, undertaking the most stimulating activities, and getting the most out of every moment. It is a scary, competitive world out there, you know, and promoting your baby’s development is just one of the tasks that you will undertake in your role as a parent. If you are more than a little daunted, allow us to reassure you; chances are, you are doing an amazing job already. However, for those still doubting themselves, the tips below are just some of the ways you can ensure your infant is on the right path.
The perfect aids for promoting and supporting your baby’s development
Promoting your baby’s development – what a terrifying concept for anyone without a childcare qualification or master’s degree in child psychology. Fear not, though. Helping your baby to develop requires very little; nurturing and positive experiences, a stimulating array of toys, infant activities, developmental activities, a balanced diet, and lots of love will help your baby to develop valuable life skills, and to reach, and surpass milestones with ease.
Communicate with your baby
Regardless of whether your baby is of an age to natter back or not, it is essential to build a rapport with him or her as soon as you first lay eyes on each other, and to create the bond that will stay with you for life. Talk and sing, use plenty of eye contact and cuddles, in addition to playing interactive games such a peekaboo and patty cake. While you may feel a little silly chatting to an unresponsive baby as you browse the supermarket shelves, you are creating and nurturing an unbreakable bond every time you open your mouth, or make an effort to show your baby your facial features.
Introduce the world
Your baby will learn a great deal from the world, and from the objects he or she interacts with. During those very first weeks and months, ensure that your child is introduced to a variety of textures, shapes, colors, and sounds, as well as songs, rhymes, and words. Whether you are reading books or singing nursery rhymes, have created a sensory corner stocked with toys of every kind, or have endeavored to take your child to playgroups, the interactions that your child has in those first months will stand him or her in good stead for the rest of their lives. Your child is coming to grips with his or her senses, so encourage interactions of every kind to enable your child to understand the world, develop social skills, and learn where he or she fits in.
Let’s get physical
Your baby’s physical development is as important as his or her cognitive development, and can be nurtured in a variety of ways. From just a few weeks old, your child should be introduced to tummy time, periods spent on a play mat or beneath an activity gym, and a variety of textures, colors, and shapes. These kinds of activities will encourage reaching, grasping, focusing, kicking. and squirming. Additionally, you will soon notice your baby wanting to take part in games, and that your baby is becoming an interactive human being. Later on, consider baby walkers, ride on toys, and pushalongs in order to strengthen your child’s muscles, improve balance, and take steps towards walking.
Nurture your child’s imagination
Your child’s imagination will allow him or her to understand how the world works, develop a sense of self, and build confidence, as well as introducing social and language skills that will create and nurture friendships and relationships. It is important, therefore, that you allow your little one to play games, tell stories, and create characters and worlds as he or she grows up. Books, music, rhymes, and imaginative play, including home corners, dress up clothes, and puppets, will form part of this emotional education. There are so many toys designed to aid cognitive development, language and communication these days, that you will be rather spoiled for choice.
Raising a child can seem like the most daunting task imaginable, particularly as you are awaiting your baby’s imminent arrival with little clue what to expect. While some developmental and physical milestones may seem to happen overnight, others take a little longer – cognitive and motor skills, language and communication, and social skills occupy a world that is seemingly impenetrable to parents, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Know this though, as a parent you are doing all you can to ensure your baby survives, thrives, and excels at every point in their life. Enjoy the ride – this one’s amazing.