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How to Help your Infant Learn and Develop

During the first year of a child’s life, they will learn a lot. This is an important time in their life when they will be taking in a ton of information. When your baby is born, their brain contains 100 billion neurons and during the first years of your baby’s life, they will develop trillions of brain-cell connections.

This is a pivotal time in your child’s life and there are many things that you can do to help them learn and develop. When you start working with your child at a young age, you can help their brain make those connections and help your child build a foundation for learning.

At Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, we offer a variety of child care programs that can also help your child in the early years of their lives. We even offer an infant program that your baby can begin when they are six weeks old. With locations in Plymouth, Minnetonka, Maple Grove, and Eden Prairie, you can find great child care close to home.

While our infant care program can help your baby learn, grow, and develop, building a great foundation for the coming years, there are many things that you can do at home to help them as well! In this blog, we wanted to give you some tips for helping your infant learn and develop at home. Read on to learn more and contact us today.

Connect With Them

Building a connection with your baby is important. From the time they are born, you should be developing a connection. When you spend time with your baby and give them human contact, you are helping them to develop motor and language skills. Building a connection with your little one can help them develop new skills, learn more about the world, and allow them to know and trust you.

Connecting with your baby can be simple. All you have to do is hold them close, talk to them whenever you can, sing to them, smile at them, and be goofy with them. When you interact with your baby and give them your attention, it can help them to develop and stimulate different senses. Sing to them to stimulate hearing. Make sure they can see your face to motivate sight. Hold them close so they can feel you and get to know your touch. These are all things that can help boost your baby’s development.

Let Them Explore

During the first few months of your baby’s life, they will be exploring a lot and working on stimulating their senses. They will want to touch different surfaces, different sounds will catch their attention. When you let your child explore with their senses they can learn more about their environment and develop their language and motor skills more. Talk to them as they feel different surfaces, describing the feeling of what they are touching. Name the objects that they hear and are paying attention to. This will eventually lead your child to connect a feeling or a sound to an object.

Talk to Them

While we briefly mentioned this when discussing the importance of connecting with your baby, we wanted to cover it more. Talking to your baby is extremely important and will allow them to talk to you. When your baby coos and babbles at you, listen intently and respond to them. This will help them develop stronger language skills, while allowing you to connect with them.

While you may feel silly doing it, talking to your baby in what is popularly known as “baby talk” is actually beneficial. According to an article from Scholastic, the actual name for this way of speaking is called parentese and involves exaggerated facial expressions, high-pitched voice, and drawn-out vowels. Talking to your baby in “parentese” can actually help them absorb all the sounds of language, which can help with their language development.

Make Tummy Time a Priority

Tummy time is another important activity for babies. Tummy time is essential for your little one’s development of movement and strength. When a baby has tummy time, they will begin to develop more motor skills and gain strength in their head and trunk. They will learn how to control their movements. This is an activity that you can start with your little one after their second month. Many babies are not fans of tummy time, so if your baby gets fussy tummy time should be over. You can try tummy time a few times a day to help your child develop those motor skills.

Use Your Hands

There is a reason why hand games and songs with hand motions are so popular. They help with your baby’s development! Activities that involve the hands and other motions including “patty cake”, “this little piggy”, and “itsy-bitsy spider” can help your baby better understand the meaning of words and capture their attention.

These hands-on activities can help your child learn how we physically interact with the world and others. These hand games, such as patty cake, can help your infant learn rhythm, follow instructions, and connect with you.

Respond to Their Actions

Your baby needs reassurance and response to their different actions. Whether they do something right and are looking for approval or exploring and want some reassurance, giving them a response can help them to make sense of the world. Respond to them in a positive and appropriate way. Cheer when they start feeding themselves, show praise when they begin to crawl. These responses help your child develop more skills and feel more confident.

Turn Off The TV

Since your baby is looking for a response, the TV can actually hinder their development. Human interaction can help your baby with language development and other skills. When your baby sits in front of the TV and tries to interact with characters, they are not getting the reassurance and response they need to learn and grow. Instead of having your baby watch TV, read a book to them or interact with them in another way. Even just letting them explore the living room while you watch them and giving them a response when they look for one is a better activity that will help with their development.

Spend Time With Them

One of the best things you can do for your baby’s development is to simply spend time with them and interact with them. Give them physical contact, give them your attention, give them reassuring words, and help them learn about the world around them. When you interact with your child face-to-face and give them that physical contact that they want and need, you can help them in their development. This is one of the most important things you can do for your child’s development.

At Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, we know that the first year of your baby’s development is extremely important. By following these tips, you can help your little one’s development in a number of ways. Your baby’s brain is developing a lot in the first few years of life and you can help them get the right start by providing them with what they need and allowing them to explore and learn. Be sure to also learn more about our child care center. Contact us today with any questions you may have!