During the early months of your infant’s life, you may think that feeding, sleeping and diapering are the only activities that are shaping your child. However, infants are constantly learning , taking in everything they see and hear. Odds are that you’re providing enriching experiences without even realizing it. See all the opportunities your infant has to learn from you and what you can do to make these moments especially remarkable.
Nursing or bottle-feeding is a primary way to bond with your baby. By cradling and nourishing, you’re letting your child know that they are loved and protected. The connection you forge during feeding is as vital to your infant’s well-being as the nutritional benefits of the food itself.
Try: When it’s time to feed, sit in a quiet room and focus on your infant. Babies can only see up to 10 inches away, so be sure to hold your child close and talk (or sing) to them.
Speaking in “parentese” helps your baby’s brain learn. When you stretch out words and articulate them clearly in a high-pitched voice, it signals your baby’s brain in a way that normal speech may not.
Try: Keep your words simple and speak in full sentences as often as possible to help your child learn about words and sentence structure. Repeat phrases slowly and clearly as it takes a lot of repetition to build early word memories. Get up close and exaggerate the movements of your mouth by stretching out your ‘ooos’ and ‘eees.’
Hygiene is an essential part of allowing your baby to have a sense of routine, stability and safety. Bathing your baby or brushing their gums are just some of the many ways you can incorporate touching and bonding to enhance your infant’s emotional development.
Try: Narrate what you’re doing as you change or clean your baby. Having the familiar sound of your voice can be a comforting element that your baby may unknowingly associate with this clean routine.
Saying goodbye is a tricky part of this early stage in your infant’s life. As separation anxiety kicks in at 6 to 8 months, it’s pertinent that you avoid sneaking away from your child to ensure that they do not feel abandoned.
Try: Saying, “Goodbye, I’ll be home soon,” suggests that this farewell is by no means permanent. Although your baby may not fully understand the meaning of your words, they will still get used to this routine and overtime he or she will have confidence that you will be back. Keep in mind that it may not eliminate all anxiety at first and trust that this key challenge is essential in your child’s life.
Babies are forever-learning and growing; understanding more about the world around them than we may realize. Nourish your infant with these tips and find any opportunity to encourage the cognitive and emotional growth in the process.
For more information about your infant’s cognitive development, contact Celebree Learning Centers today.