So many parents seem to be wrapped up in the notion that the only way for their baby or toddler to learn or develop is by way of a purchased educational or developmental toy. Although there are some absolutely fantastic toys available today that have been well designed for this specific purpose and have been tested to actually develop your baby’s abilities, many parents don’t take advantage of day to day situations enough to use as an ongoing learning experience.
Learning at this stage of a baby’s life is not really a case of educating them, but rather a case of stimulating their senses to make them want to explore, think and use their bodies and in turn develop their core skills and capabilities at this very young age. Any form of learning or assistance to develop these abilities should be fun and sometimes the best opportunities are the ones that we miss in our everyday routines and the ones that don’t actually cost a cent.
All too often new parents find that their new responsibilities stretch them to their limits and they soon find themselves in a spiral of looking at everything as tasks that need to be done. The novelty of having a new baby seems to wear off and the reality of actually how demanding it can be sets in. For many the mere thought of adding consistent developmental learning periods to the mix is put on hold, to be returned to perhaps when their baby grows up a little bit more and they think can benefit more, after all, how much developmental direction does such a small baby need anyway. Newborn babies will absorb their new surroundings like a sponge. They will observe everything that they are exposed to. Their minds and bodies will be stimulated at every opportunity.
For many parents, one of the best ways to not only make each of the ‘tasks’ that you need to carry out each day, or more often than not, several times a day, less like a task, is by seeing the event as an opportunity to bond and stimulate you baby’s mind further. Touch and sound are the key factors here.
During nappy changing, talk with your baby, be expressive if you are talking them through their change, show them the items that you use and let them perhaps feel the ones that are safe for them to touch and explore.
Bath time is an absolutely fantastic time for a little relaxation for both parent and baby and really does provide a unique environment where you can introduce them to new experiences. The movement and feel of the water, items that float, filling items with water as well as all of the associated watery sounds that you can think of. For parents and young babies, bath time really is a terrific bonding and sensory stimulation time.
As you walk through the park, every object and thing that you pass is a stimulating event for your baby where you have the perfect opportunity to encourage your baby to see and observe the sights that you point out and pass by.
The possibilities are really endless when you start to think in this way and not only is the entire day one of stimulation for your baby, but also one of greater bonding, purpose and ultimate enjoyment from a parent’s perspective.
Thank you Karen Stewards for sharing this article with us