Bringing home a newborn baby can be an exciting and terrifying time for new parents alike. You are already a natural at caring for your baby. Here’s some parenting tips that aid your baby’s physical and language development.
1 to 6 Month Old Baby Tips
- Provide ways for your baby to see, hear, move freely and touch you. You should see your baby’s arms and legs move in disconnected ways. Slowly your baby will learn how to control her movements.
- Look into your baby’s eyes and smile in response to his smiles.
- Talk to your baby in soft tones and ‘baby talk’. Both the father, mother and other caregivers should communicate with the newborn.
- Gently change the sound of your voice. Make it slower/quicker, higher/lower, or quieter/louder. You should observe reactions from your baby’s face and body, and notice him interacting with you.
- Place your baby on her tummy and shake a rattle or bell in front of her. Slowly lift the rattle just a little and encourage her to lift her head and shoulders to watch it move. Doing so helps your baby follow the rattle with her eyes, and practice lifting her head and shoulders.
- Do skin to skin contact. Feeling, hearing and smelling your presence should provide your baby with a sense of calm and security.
- Help your child follow an object. When he sees it, move it slowly from side to side and up and down. You should see him try to follow the object with his eyes.
- Encourage your child to reach for a safe object. Try something like a plastic cup. You should see her try to grab or touch it.
- Cut out simple pictures of familiar things, people and animals. Try to get pictures showing lots of different colors, textures, scenes and faces.
- Talk about the pictures as your baby looks at them. You should observe how your baby listens to what you tell him and participates in his own way.
6 to 9 Month Old Baby Tips
- When asking a question, give lots of time for the answer. Count to 10 in your head. If no answer comes, then answer the question yourself. Try an easier question the next time.
- Say your baby’s name as much as possible. She/he will look to see who is saying it and will try to reach out to the person.
- Never speak or sing too loudly, as this may scare babies.
- Smile as much as possible and provide your baby with comfort and trust.
- Give your child clean, safe and colorful things, such as a wooden spoon or plastic bowl, to reach for and touch, or bang and drop.
- Make simple picture books, puzzles, hand puppets and dolls to develop your baby’s curiosity and help him learn new things.
9 to 12 Month Old Baby Tips
- Play hide and seek with your infant and see if he can find the objects you hide. You can hide something under a cloth, and say: “Where did it go?”, “Can you find it?”. You should see an increase in your child’s curiosity and willingness to find out what happened to the object.
- Tell your infant the names of things and people. She/he should show interest and soon will try to make relationships between words and objects or people.
- Show your child how to say things with hands, like “bye bye”.
- Point to eyes, nose and mouth on a doll. After showing one part on the doll, touch the same part on yourself and on your baby. Take your baby’s hand and have him touch the eyes, nose and mouth on the doll, you and himself. Slowly, the baby will be able to memorize and identify these different words and relate them to his body parts.