7 Ways to Promote Your Baby’s Development
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Parents want what is best for their children, and that includes ensuring they’re hitting all their developmental milestones. Unfortunately, though very mindful and concerned about their newborns, parents sometimes are not familiar with the development changes in their children. This could be an obstacle to parenthood and assisting their child’s development and growth in the earliest years.
To put things in perspective, babies go through numerous developmental milestones at different ages. Still, parents must understand what these are and what they mean to encourage their child’s overall development and well-being. It’s not about just being around your kids and being concerned for them. It is more about finding ways to engage their cognitive, emotional, and behavioral instincts to help them grow as more intelligent, sensitive, and passionate human beings.
But things are very challenging for new parents, especially when they receive their first baby; there is a huge possibility that their excitement to become parents will soon get overshadowed by a lack of parenting skills. Having an elderly at your assistance in such cases is a huge blessing. But not everyone is equally gifted. For all those parents who face new challenges daily regarding their child’s development and don’t want to compromise the care of the newborn to any extent, seeking informational, emotional, and legal assistance should be normalized and encouraged.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to promote your baby’s development, whether you’re just starting to learn about these milestones or need ideas on improving your child’s skills. This article will assist you in achieving your parenthood goals just the right way.
The Different Stages of Baby Development
As your baby grows, they’ll go through different stages of development. And it’s essential to provide the right kinds of stimulation during each step to help them thrive.
In the earliest stage, babies learn best through exploration. So, offer them plenty of toys they can touch, feel, and explore. Around 4 or 5 months old, they’ll develop more hand-eye coordination, and you can introduce some basic puzzles and toys.
Between 6 to 12 months old, your baby will be becoming more mobile, so make sure to provide a safe environment for them to explore. And continue offering plenty of age-appropriate toys to help their physical and cognitive development.
As your baby enters their toddler years, be sure to keep providing stimulating activities—but also start to give them more independence. Let them explore and experiment on their own within a safe environment. And continue providing age-appropriate toys and activities to help them grow and learn.
In short, paying ample attention to your toddler’s development stages is very important because it can improve your child’s well-being and overall health competency. According to statistics, toddlers and infants who have been maltreated are six times more likely to have developmental delays.
7 Ways to Promote Your Baby’s Development:
1. Read, talk, and sing to your baby every day
As simple as it sounds. Sing, read and talk to your baby every day. Let them see you reading or singing to them. Singing is an excellent way for your baby to learn language skills. Participate in interactive activities with your baby as often as possible. Play small and interesting games involving physical and emotional exercises with them and ensure they’re not too tired by the end of the day so they can sleep well at night.
2. Give your baby plenty of tummy time
Babies spend most of their time on their backs, which is not the best position for development. Studies show that tummy time can help develop your baby’s head and neck muscles, balance and coordination skills, and reflexes. Tummy time will also help your baby learn to push up on their arms to lift their head up. So give your baby lots of tummy time when they are awake – try a few minutes every day!
3. Encourage your baby to reach for and grasp toys
Encourage your baby to reach for and grasp toys- If you’re at home, try hanging a few toys from the side of the crib or changing the table so your baby can grab them when he reaches for them. You can also try putting a few toys in front of him on the floor and encourage him to move toward them and pick them up with his hands.
4. Respond to your baby’s babbling
It sounds like you want your baby to know what you’re saying! Responding is an excellent way for babies and parents to spend time together. When your baby babbles, respond by saying the first thing that comes into your head. It doesn’t have to be anything specific. Just make sure it doesn’t rhyme or have a predictable pattern. For example, you can try “You want milk?” or “Do you want me?” Your baby is likely to respond to it after repeated attempts.
5. Help your baby roll over, sit, stand, and walk
There are many ways you can promote your baby’s development. For example, you can help your baby roll over, sit up, stand, and walk by taking a few easy steps. To help your baby roll over, place them on their back and gently guide them in the direction of their hands or feet. To allow your baby to sit up, prop them against something like the couch so they don’t fall backward.
To help your baby stand from a sitting position, place one hand behind their back for support and, with the other hand, gently push down on their arms until they’re standing on their own two feet. You can also assist in learning how to walk by having them hold onto the furniture as they try stepping forward on each leg.
6. Play peek-a-boo and other simple games with your baby
Peek-a-boo is a game that doesn’t require any expensive equipment or complicated rules. Just play with your baby and talk to them, so they can start associating words with the facial expressions you’re making. When you cover your face with a blanket, say Peek-a-boo! Then uncover your face and exclaim I’m back!
If you want to introduce more complex games:
- Try playing patty cake with your little one.
- Keep it simple at first by just shaking hands and clapping together.
- Gradually increase the game’s complexity until you’re slapping hands between claps and moving around in different patterns.
7. Avoid TV and other screens
Avoid TV and other screens for at least the first two years. Infants should spend time in a carrier, on their lap, or in an activity center rather than watching TV, playing with tablets and smartphones, or sitting in bouncers. As they get older (after age 2), children should be limited to two hours of screen time per day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids under two years of age not watch any screen media because it can disrupt their natural sleep rhythms, leading to difficulties later on with sleep patterns and even emotional problems like anxiety and depression.
Every parent wants their child to be ahead of the curve, and there are multiple things you can do to help promote your baby’s development. Read to your baby, talk to your baby, and expose your baby to a variety of stimuli. Ensure you’re providing ample opportunity for your child to learn and explore.
Of course, don’t push your child – let them grow at their own pace. Just by being a loving parent, you’re helping your child develop and grow. You can do much to promote your baby’s development – it just takes a little effort. Try out some of these above tips and see the difference they make.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.