Promoting Your Baby's Development

  • Promoting your baby's development from birth to 3 months

    The foundation of a healthy relationship between you and your baby begins in the womb and continues as he grows. Build on this foundation through verbal and nonverbal communication.

    Touch me, baby! Keep your baby close to you and caress him with light strokes and kisses.
    Your newborn will feel safe, secured and loved. Let him grasp your fingers and touch your face.

    Freedom of speech. Language development begins even before your baby can understand a
    word, so talk to baby as often as possible. Use simple words and keep in mind that the tone of
    your voice conveys emotions as well.

    Let`s change your view. Changing baby`s position often will offer him a different perspective.
    Hold him facing outward, or with close supervision, place him on his tummy. Offer a colourful toy or
    make interesting sounds to encourage him to stimulate his mind. If baby gets sleepy, place him on his back to sleep.

    I`ll be there for you. The typical newborn cries for more than 2 hours on any given day. This is his way of telling you he needs a diaper change, a feeding session, or simply reassurance that you are nearby. Respond quickly to his needs and let him know you are there. This will help build a strong bond and give him the confidence he will need later on to do things on his own.

    Seeing red (and black and white). Newborns can see only inches away. High- contrast colors such as red, black and white attract your baby`s attention, and the visual stimulation helps his brain`s visual centre to develop. Nutrition also plays a role in obtaining excellent vision.



    Promoting your baby's development from 4 months to 6 months

    Playing and learning are synonymous at this age, but you don`t need expensive educational toys or the latest educational DVDs to promote your baby`s learning. Try one of these instead.

    Toys for tots. At this age babies enjoy colourful toys especially those that make sounds such as a musical toy or a small rattle. Be creative! Let your baby play with household items like plastic bowls or measuring cups. Watch out for toys with small detachable parts that your baby might put in his mouth. Put out only one or two toys at a time to help your baby focus. Encourage your baby to stretch out by placing a toy slightly out of reach, or turn his head by holding a toy that makes sounds out of sight.

    Peekaboo, I see you! Playing games are fun for both you and your child. Play peekaboo by covering your face with your hands, then removing your hands. Alternatively, you can cover your baby`s face with his hands. Ask,”Where are your toes?” Then touch your baby`s toes and say,” Here are your toes!”

    The great outdoors. A stroll through the park, a trip to the market, a visit to grandma and grandpa...these simple trips can be great adventures for a baby. Let your baby enjoy new sights and sounds.

    Time for my space. When your baby turns away, closes his eyes, or gets fussy, it may be a sign that he wants to take a break. Babies need their space too. Responding to your baby`s needs will help build your baby`s trust in you.



    Promoting your baby's development from 7 months to 9 months

    Your baby has started to explore on his own and  is on his way to becoming more independent.
    Keep playtime safe and fun with these ideas.

    Safety first. As your baby begins to explore, keep away choking hazards, breakable materials and poisonous substances from your baby. Cover all electrical outlets, install child locks on doors and cabinets, remove furniture with sharp edges from rooms where your baby plays. Put aside any lightweight objects that your baby may use to pull himself up, such as plants, potted trees and floor lamps.

    Baby, talk to me! Keep chatting with your baby. Tell him what you`re doing and give him time to respond, or wait for him to repeat the sounds that you make. He may not be able to answer just yet, but you can encourage him to join you in conversation.

    Cause and effect. Now is the time for baby to learn that he can make things happen! Push the buttons on a toy phone and listen to it ring. Squeeze the button on the stuffed toy and watch it shake or dance.

    Read to lead. Reading aloud is one of the simplest ways to boost language development. Start with picture books with colourful pictures. Make reading time more interesting with facial expressions, sound effects and different voices for each character!



    Promoting your baby's development from 10 months to 12 months

    As you count down the days until your baby`s first year, he gets more and more curious about his surroundings. Encourage him to learn, play and discover more new things as he walks his way into his toddler years.

    Conversation practice. Keep conversations going with your baby. If he wants his favourite stuffed toy, ask him what kind of sound it makes. Wait for his response before giving the correct answer. If he reaches for a book, ask if he would like to read a story. Ask more than “yes” or “no” questions. Ask your baby questions about the pictures too!

    Repeat after me. Repetition can reinforce the connections in your baby`s brain as well as build self- confidence. Play peekaboo one more time. If your baby wants you to read a book you`ve just read, read it with as much enthusiasm as you did the first time.

    Music. Music can help soothe, entertain and teach your baby. Learning numbers or body parts through songs is an effective way of teaching your baby. Find out your baby’s favourite lullaby or children’s song.