One of the most exciting things for parents is watching their babies develop as they grow. However, most parents don’t realize that a baby starts developing from the time the fetus is in the womb.
That’s why it’s so important to talk to, sing for, and connect with the baby before and after birth. You can only expect your little bundle of joy to develop milestones if you foster the development process.
Below are five handy tips to ensuring that your baby meets their milestones.
1. Be A Nurturing Source of Security
Sticking to routine feeding patterns is essential. Whether you’re breastfeeding or feeding your baby using the best infant formula money can buy, make sure you have a set routine for feeding times and naps. This gives your baby a natural sense of safety and security.
They say creating a structured environment fosters independent children, and it’s most important to develop long-term routines between 10 to 12 months. Start reading to your baby every night, and make sure that the bedtime ritual happens around the same time each day.
2. Talk to Your Baby and Turn off the TV
During the early stages of development, babies benefit far more from human interaction than many parents realize. So, start speaking to your baby in a soothing voice from pregnancy onwards. As much as you should do the talking, you need to listen to your baby as well to catch new sounds or cries that they’re making.
The use of alliteration helps with speech development when the baby is four to five months old. Saying ba-ba-ba repeatedly will allow the baby to mimic and sound out the syllables.
Try to narrate your everyday life to your baby as they grow older, using simple language. This is far better than putting them in front of a TV, laptop, or tablet as the lack of genuine human interaction can hinder their development.
3. Tummy Time
From two months onwards, tummy time is essential for a baby. If you’re afraid to place your baby on their tummy on the bed, start by placing them on your chest first. Also, babies don’t enjoy tummy time for too long, so signs of irritation signify that today’s session is over.
4. Play Interactive Games and Use Interactive Toys
At six months, a baby’s fine motor skills begin to develop. Allow your little one to chase roll-about toys. Age-appropriate toys that offer some sort of surprises are also great.
Peek-a-boo is an all-time favorite game to teach babies that objects can disappear and reappear and it’s ideal for babies at the six-month months. From this age on, you should also encourage the baby to pack toys away.
5. Being There
One of the most essential components of parenting is being there to support your baby’s development. Talking to your baby, supporting your baby, and being there as a reliable source of comfort and encouragement is essential.
For the first three months, shower your baby with hugs and affection. From four to six months, work on increasing tummy time and crawling. From six to nine months, introduce your baby to playing with toys.
Between 10-12 months, it’s time to ask stimulating questions and promote reading. After 12 months, ensure that you make reading time more enticing and interactive.
The best way you can foster your baby’s growth is by being a responsive parent. If you follow these tips, you can rest assured that your baby will meet all of their developmental milestones. Remember, you might not always get it right, but no parent is perfect, so be kind to yourself.