Before you know it, your baby will transition from being totally dependent on you to a walking, talking toddler. Baby activities are not just for fun, as well as bonding with your child, you will help them to reach important development milestones in language and motor skills. Baby development starts before a child is born, their neurological system begins to form during the first week of gestation, and by the time the mother reaches the fourth week of pregnancy, it is already in place. By 17 weeks the child you are carrying can hear everything that is taken place around you, so it’s never too early to start singing and reading to your baby and taking part in other activities to stimulate your infant’s development. Here are some wellbeing tips to care for babies.
Wellbeing Tips and Care for Babies
The physical and emotional health of your baby are essential to the overall well-being of your infant. Here are some wellbeing tips and care for babies:
Human Contact: This might sound like a no brainer, but we may not realise how important it is to maintain physical contact with your baby. This includes cuddling your baby, singing or talking to the child to stimulate hearing. You also want to encourage your baby to look at things because this will stimulate sight. When your little one is awake, make sure the baby can see your face. Research suggests that babies prefer designs and objects that look like the human face. At two to three months, smile a lot so the baby can copy you, make sure you hold the child close to you so the baby can see because they are born with 20/200 vision.
Stimulate the Senses: Infants start to explore and learn more about their environment during the second and third months of development. At this stage, expose the baby to different smells, sights, and textures, take the babies hand and rub it on things that are warm, cold, smooth, soft, hard or rough. When you are doing so, talk to the baby about what they are feeling. This kind of stimulation will help the baby learn about its environment and develop language and motor skills.
Plenty of Tummy Time: Babies need to spend time on their tummy to develop a strong body for movement including trunk and head control. At the end of the babies second month, start putting the child on its stomach. You should start by putting the baby on your lap or chest or holding the infant in your arms. You can advance to laying a blanket on the floor and placing the baby on it. You will find that infants don’t really like tummy time because its uncomfortable for them, so when your baby starts fussing, put the child back into a comfortable position.
Talking: You can start to develop your baby’s language as soon as they are born. In the first couple of months, imitate the sounds that your infant makes, talk to the baby in an upbeat and soothing manner with exaggerated facial expressions. Your baby will make certain sounds dependent upon its needs, this especially true when crying, so listen out for this. Between the ages of four and five months you can begin working on the child’s communication and language skills by listening to and imitating the babbling sounds that your baby makes. Let your child know that you are speaking to them directly by using the babies name or other cues such as “Hi, Baby.” Your child does not need to know what you are talking about when you are speaking to them but get them familiar with proper language by talking to your baby about the things you are doing. For example, if you are going shopping, you can say, “I am putting the green apples in the bag.” Spend time describing what you can see, smell and hear.
Security: A sense of security is essential to the development of your baby, it is important that they are reassured that their needs are going to be met, so when your little one cries, respond. You build trust and attachment by developing consistent caregiving and predictable routines. A regular schedule for things such as naps and feeding provides a sense of control. It is in a stable environment such as this where your child will develop into someone who is independent and secure.
The speed at which your baby develops is dependent upon you, the more you engage with your child, the more they will experience the benefits of this type of interaction. The most important part of a baby’s development is how they bond with their parents.