Every baby develops rapidly during their first year of life but at their own pace. That understood, there are still several things you can do as a parent that will help your baby develop faster.
Tummy time will teach your baby to play. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that babies shouldn’t sleep on their stomachs because of the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. However, it’s a good idea for your baby to have plenty of tummy time while they are awake.
Tummy time helps the baby’s upper body and neck muscles develop. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated you can begin tummy time as soon as your child comes home from the hospital and increase that amount as they grow. You can also put toys in front of your child in order to encourage them to crawl.
You can dance with your baby. All you need is some good music. You should hold your baby close to you as you dance. Dancing helps a child develop a love for music and strengthens the bond you share with them.
Once your baby is approximately six months old you can start playing peek-a-boo with them. Begin by saying the words “hi” and “bye”. This will help your baby learn to say words. They may even start repeating the words after you.
Singing is a great way to calm down a crying baby. It’s also a great way to prepare them for a nap. Singing teaches children listening skills and emotional regulation. You can sing the lyrics to popular lullabies to them or make up your own words.
Fun With Faces
Babies explore their world through touch, which is one reason why you should let your child feel your face and the faces of their stuffed animals. Say the names of each body part as your baby touches them. You can also guide your baby as they touch your face and make facial expressions. This teaches your baby that you can use your face to communicate.
Massage is another way you can help your baby relax. Place your baby on a blanket, undress them down to their diaper, and massage their body using gentle but firm strokes. Massage teaches your baby body awareness and helps you bond with them.
Have Your Baby Play With Boxes
Many people buy their babies blocks to play with. Blocks are great because they help babies develop their motor skills, but they can accomplish the same thing by playing with boxes. Wrap a few boxes in wrapping paper and give them to your baby to play with.
Your baby will have a lot of fun taking the wrapping paper off of the boxes. They’ll love the sound of the ripping paper. Additionally, you can stack the boxes and watch your child have fun knocking them over. You can also help your baby stack the boxes again.
Follow the Leader
Babies learn a lot by imitating the people around them. You should start by doing things that your baby can easily imitate, such as waving your hands, clapping your hands, or opening and closing your hands. This not only teaches your baby to imitate you, but it also helps them improve their memory skills.
Snap pictures of your family members and friends and put them on an index card. Tell your baby to name of each person on the card. This will help them develop their language skills while also improving their memory.
You will need a small, colorful toy such as a stuffed animal or sponge ball in order to try this exercise. Hold the toy in front of your baby’s face. Wiggle it and have your baby follow it with their eyes. This will support your baby’s visual development.
Bath time isn’t the only time your baby can play in the water. Fill a plastic tub with water and put toys inside of it. You can also add some non-toxic bubbles to the water. There are many benefits to be reaped from water play. It not only helps your child develop their motor and problem-solving skills but also supports social and emotional growth.
When your baby reaches their first birthday, you can start playing “Find It” with them. Play this game while they are sitting in their highchair. Show your baby a toy and then cover it with a washcloth. Watch to see if your baby reaches for the toy. If they don’t, show them where it is and try again.
The Find It game helps children develop their problem-solving skills.
You’ve probably been told that it’s not polite to point. However, pointing is a great way for babies to learn. You can point at things and say what they are. Even if your baby isn’t talking yet, this is still a great way for them to learn. As time goes on they’ll be able to identify what you’re pointing to.