You are so important in the outcomes for your baby!
From conception to two, your baby’s brain is developing at an amazing rate. In the first years of life, more than 1 million connections a second are being formed. The experiences you give your baby every day literally shape their brain!
“Children’s development at just 22 months old
has been shown to predict their qualifications at 26 years”
All that seems quite heavy and stress inducing!
Well, the wonderful thing is - it doesn’t have to be!
For your baby, play is learning, and learning is play. So how you interact with your baby from the time they are a bump onwards makes all the difference. And the amazing thing is, it’s the tiny things you do each day that make the biggest impact.
So here are 6 ways you can start helping your baby be fabulous today!
1. Know that it’s in the little things you do every day that your baby gets the most learning
Talking to your baby and telling them what you are doing as you are doing it surrounds them with rich language in context. They’ll hear the sounds of the words and as you speak and seeing what you are doing at the same time. That will help them learn the words that you are using, and learning those words in context makes them have meaning, which in turn helps your baby learn them faster and better, building stronger pathways in the brain around those words.
2. Speak to your baby in that natural ‘sing-songy’ way
What this does is slows down the words and drags out the vowels. This allows your baby to concentrate on the vowel sounds. This will help them sift out the vowels they need for their language and those that they don’t.
3. Remember your baby needs to learn everything
Learning happens from the simple to the complex. Tiny skills learned today are built on to enable your child to understand complex skills later. Play is the best way for your baby to learn, so make everything into an exploratory adventure, let them be curious. Talk to them about what they are doing but also ask them questions. Listen for the answers.
4. Learn about your baby
One of the most important things you can do for your baby is to tune into them. Learn about your baby. They will be sending you tiny bits of communication. By responding to those, you are building your baby’s brain. This is called serve and return. From the earliest of days, your baby sends a kick in your tummy, you respond by lovingly stroking where they kicked. Your newborn as you change their nappy catches your eye, you respond by smiling and talking to them. If you haven’t noticed it yet, start looking out for it! The way you respond will be building their brain.
5. Use the things around you as points of discovery and exploration
Rather than buying heaps of toys, use the things around you as points of discovery and exploration. So much learning can come from Tupperware and some wooden spoons. Add in a bit of water, and it’s a learning explosion! Be inventive, get the clothes pegs and use them for sorting or for building up muscle strength in their finger and thumb which later will be needed for holding a pencil successfully. See, learning starts with the simple and builds to the complex!
6. Understand the learning your child is getting from the play you are doing
When you do that, you start to realise quite how important the tiny things you do each day are for your baby’s development.
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