No one has more influence on your new-born’s development than you. All of your interactions, even those that may seem ordinary, have the power to impact your baby in important ways. Along with providing good nutrition, here are some simple things you can do to encourage how he/she grows and learns.
Time activities right. Note the times of the day when your baby is awake and alert. That’s when they are most receptive to looking at things and paying attention to your voice, so it’s the best time for interaction.
Make frequent eye contact. This should be easy, as your baby sees best at a distance of 8 to 12 inches—just about the space between his/her face and yours when in your arms. And at this age, faces are their favourite thing to look at.
Hang a toy in the crib. Choose one with interesting shapes and strong contrasts (for example, black, white, and red). Your baby’s ability to see patterns is growing, making this great stimulation about now.
Calm their startles. If your baby seems to startle easily, try swaddling him/her in a blanket. The snugness and warmth will calm them with the feeling of the womb and make them feel secure.
Explore reflexes. You can bond with your baby through their reflexes. Realize, however, that these reflexes are just automatic responses. So, although the stepping reflex will cause them to lift their legs as if walking when you hold them upright against a firm surface, it in no way makes them more ready to walk. It’s just a fun way to interact and learn about the reflexes your baby came into the world with.
Come when they call. It may sound like simple advice to respond quickly when your baby cries and to check for possible causes: Is your baby hungry? Or wet? Or cold? Your responsiveness teaches them that what they communicate matters to you. That said, there may be some occasions when you’ve made sure your baby is fed and comfortable but he/she is still crying. Don’t stress. Have someone else hold or rock, or place them safely in their crib for a few minutes if you need a break.
Talk to your baby often. About what? Whatever you like: tell them about your day, makeup stories, or sing a song. Be sure to look at your baby while you’re talking so they can watch your face. You are laying the groundwork in their language development.
Watch for signs of overstimulation if you notice your baby turning away when you talk or play with them, back off a bit. This may be their way of expressing that they are feeling overwhelmed.
Hold your new-born often. It helps build emotional security, and despite what some people believe, you’re not spoiling your baby. Over time they will learn to regulate their emotions, but for now, it’s important that they know you can comfort them.
Walk and talk. Walk around with your baby and talk to them while holding them close in a carrier. The movement and body heat is comforting. Swaddling them in a blanket and rocking works in the same way.
Play copycat. Make some simple expressions and see if your baby tries to imitate you: stick out your tongue, smile, or produce a silly sound.
Set up a support network. Parents, Relatives, friends, neighbours, your baby’s doctor, and so on are people you can count on; knowing they are there to help you will make you feel calmer and secure, which will undoubtedly benefit your baby.