Having a baby for the first time is both exciting and nerve-wracking. An expectant mother is often overwhelmed with the emotional rollercoaster that envelops her whole psyche for nine months. An educated and well-informed parent will be more confident in handling his or her newborn. In that spirit, here are three ways to stimulate your baby’s development.
Babies who are cuddled more during infancy grow up to be more secure. Carry your baby with you when it is awake. There are many ways you can wear your baby that will leave your hands free. A baby sling, wrap or pouch is ideal. You can transport your baby facing away from you to observe the world or towards you when he or she needs more security. Some mothers nurse their babies in a wrap to provide more privacy in a public setting. A full body massage can be soothing and calming to a fussy baby as well.
Visual stimulation is a significant part of a baby’s growth as it helps his or her optic nerve cells develop throughout the first year. A healthy, alert newborn is often stimulated by gazing at a caregiver’s facial features within close range. Bright, contrasting-color mobiles can work too. White, black and various shades of gray are colors that a young infant can distinguish within its first few weeks, which lends itself well to gender neutral baby gifts.
To encourage a child’s early language development and an affinity towards reading, a parent can start communicating with a baby through songs, stories and conversations while he or she is still in the womb. Babies who are showered with attention during their waking hours absorb a lot more knowledge from their environment and may become early talkers and readers. You may be wonderfully surprised when your toddler starts echoing familiar-sounding words you repeatedly uttered without realizing that he or she was paying attention.
Even though babies do not arrive with an instruction manual, many resources exist to help a parent navigate the confusing world of child-raising. Securing the right foundation for a newborn is a great first step.