EVERYDAY ACTIONS THAT IMPACT BABY’S DEVELOPMENT: As the baby grows up, they are awake much longer and we are at a fix as to what to do during the wake time. My 6 month old hardly ever sleeps during the day except for his afternoon nap.
Babies’ brains are developing rapidly. We as parents want to do things that enhance the brain development of the child. Therefore, we put a lot of thought into what activities to do with our baby.
This is also one of my primary concern. In my motherhood journey I have found that there are many day to day activity that we do with our baby. And these activities have a potential to bring about a huge impact on your baby’s development.
I have listed below some everyday activity that we all do that impact your baby’s development.
These are activities that are part of my daily routine. Nothing different or extra than what any parent would do! The impact these activities have on your baby’s development may surprise you!
EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES & HOW THEY IMPACT YOUR BABY‘S DEVELOPMENT
Eating and baby’s development :
For the last 6 months your baby has either been breastfed or formula fed. Now is when we start introducing new food for the baby.
We are all excited when we are given something new. Be it a new dish, a new toy, a new gadget. Just about anything new.
Introducing solids can be exciting for the baby as it is new too! The baby is now tasting food of different flavour and texture.
Research suggests that the skills required to suck while breastfeeding and to eat solids ( even mashed or pureed foods) is a whole different skill for a baby.
Tips to Help Baby feed themselves:
- Let the baby eat at his own pace.
- Allow him to explore food.
- Don’t force feed the baby.
- Don’t feed the baby in a hurry.
- It’s alright if the child gets messy.
- Let them explore the food in their own way.
This will in turn help them learn how to feed themselves. The earlier they learn the easier it is for you. You can sit next to them and have your meal too!
Meal time is also a good time for interaction. You can talk to your baby about what they are eating. You can also ask if they are enjoying the food. And talk in a relaxed manner. This way you can also avoid using gadgets while feeding your baby.
A happy and healthy relationship with food is very important for a healthy and happy baby.
Baby Bath time:
We bathe our babies everyday. But, have we ever thought about how it benefits a baby than just fulfilling its fundamental duty of keeping the baby clean?
Research studies have found that bath time can be used effectively as a destressing time of the day. So, don’t just make it a mundane task.
Tips to help baby enjoy bath time
- Make bath ready in lukewarm temperature.
- Put in some bath toys for baby to play.
- Most babies love to be in the water. Let your babies spend some extra time in that bath tub.
- Let them splash and play with water.
- Massage the baby a bit while he is enjoying.
Bathing reduces your baby’s cortisol levels, helping him relax and prepare for a good night’s sleep. This is why babies tend to sleep well after a nice warm water bath.
I have recently started putting my baby into the bath tub with warm water just to let him play. He enjoys it. He drains all his energy by playing. This results in a good night’s rest.
When the baby sleeps well, mommy can sleep well too!
Cuddle plays impacts baby’s development:
Who doesn’t love to cuddle a baby? Who doesn’t cuddle their own baby?
Babies love touching your face and exploring it. My son puts his hand on my cheek and babbles and coos. It appears as if he is fascinated by it.
Do you know how to play with your baby..
There are many ways you can play with your kid. Playing with him does not necessarily need to include a particular toy.
We have outlined below some of the simple and common ways..
- Cuddle with your baby by hugging him tight.
- Kiss him lovingly. On his nose, totes, cheeks, forehead.
- Talk to him with a lot of exclamation
- Repeat doing things which make him laugh.
- Find his tickle spots and tickle him.
- Blow on his tummy and neck
- Lift him up in the air.
- Clash utensils and make sounds for him to listen.
- Use toys and hand or sock puppets and have a ventriloquism concert.
These are things that most of us parents do. Do you know how this impacts your baby? Read on!
By playing like this you become your baby’s toy and playmate all at the same time. Through this kind of play your baby feels your love. The baby is able to bond with you through your touch. Therefore, your baby also feels secure.
“Playing and connecting with our babies gets their brain development going,” says Roni Cohen Leiderman, Ph.D., dean of the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development at Nova Southeastern University and co-author of Let’s Play and Learn Together. ”
By now, you may have noticed that your baby is able to differentiate you (mother/father) from the other family members or strangers.
My son smiles wide the moment he sees me. He also starts screeching at times when I leave the room. Even if I had just been sitting there without engaging with him.
This is why it is important that we as parents need to spend time with our babies. They recognize us, love us, want love from us and yearn for our touch.
Writing or drawing on your baby’s hand impacts baby’s development
Writing or drawing on your baby’s hand and helping him do the same on your hand. This can stimulate the senses of the baby.
The concept of using your babies’ index finger to draw shapes on your hand will not only help in his fine motor skills it will also be something your kid will love.
This can later translate into writing or drawing on sand or any other texture that stimulates the child’s senses.
As your child grows these movement form the foundation for writing skills in your baby.
Talking to your baby impacts development:
Your baby loves to hear you talk. By now you have realized that your child enjoys and responds well to high pitched voices and varied voice tones. As much as it is important to talk to your baby in proper sentences, it is also important to imitate the babbles of the baby. You will see that your baby enjoys it.
Remember to pause and let your baby communicate too.
Don’t know what to talk? You can voice their daily routine. You could also point to various parts of their body and name them.
Talking to your baby helps immensely in brain development. Research says that between 0-3 yrs, brain development is most rapid. When you talk, a lot of words get added to your child’s vocabulary.
Research suggests that parents who talk a lot to their children tend to form stronger language and conversational skills.
You will do good in reading one of our most sort after articles on How- To TALK to your baby to encourage language development.
You play a big role! It is only from what you talk, the baby absorbs all he needs to speak his first word! Amazing, isn’t it?
Impact of reading to the baby:
At 6 months your baby will start reaching out and touching the pictures on a book. They will also babble and coo when you read.
Reading aids in the baby’s development in a holistic manner. Because reading aids social, emotional and language development.
This is so important that we have spent time writing in detail on the benefits of reading to your baby and how to choose a Book for your baby in our article DO YOU KNOW HOW READING BENEFITS YOUR BABY?.
And if you are feeling awkward talking to a new born since you wont get an adult response back. you can read our post How to Read to your Baby: 7 Simple Techniques.
Impact of singing to your baby:
Babies love to be sung to.
Wonder why they sing baby to sleep? The rhythm, helps them relax and settle down, especially during bedtime.
Singing not just settles your baby, it helps you relax too.
“The act of singing to your child emotionally settles you, and there is this thing called synchronicity, where your baby and you end up in the same emotional space.
It’s quite magic.” says teacher and school choir leader Marie Van Gend, who has a PhD in music, singing lullabies is an ancient and instinctual art.
Singing or music isn’t just playing a digital playlist on spotify. It is important that you are the one singing to your baby.
Because along with the music, the child feels your warmth as you hold him and hears your voice. All this put together is what helps the baby relax and helps you bond with your baby.
Playing with your baby using play toys:
Playing with your baby holds prime importance at this stage. It is through play that their senses are stimulated for brain development. This will in turn pave way for your baby’s development overall.
Anything and everything your baby can get a hold of is his toy.
At this time babies start mouthing. By now, they not just suck their thumb or put their finger into their mouth. They also love to put everything they can hold in their mouth.
Give them teethers which they can hold by themselves. Babies enjoy putting different textures in their mouth.
My son loves to put clothes in his mouth. He enjoys our fingers to a teether. Make sure your fingers are clean when you let your baby chew on your hand.
Tip: Dont stop your baby from putting things in his mouth unless it might choke him or it is toxic or unclean.
Because, mouthing is normal. It shows that your baby has started growing interest in exploring the world around them.
Soft toys: Give the baby soft toys to play with. Babies this age enjoy things that they can hold. What’s more safer than a soft toy? Your baby can roll over the toy and he won’t get hurt!
But being a momma, by now you realize that your baby is more interested in the everyday things around him and not just that fun, new toy you got him
Impact of taking your baby for walks:
My son loves going out for walks. You can use a baby carrier, pram or you can just carry the baby in your arms.
Tips to make baby enjoy a Stroll
- Make the baby comfortable.
- Ensure that the baby is not sweaty or feels too cold.
- During walks, they will enjoy watching the birds, the animals, the plants fluttering in the breeze.
- Walk slow so you baby can observe his surroundings.
- Point to the items and show to your baby.
Like us adults, babies also need fresh air and light. This will enable your baby to get plenty of oxygen. The moving objects will stimulate them.
Taking the baby for walks is a lovely way to distract a cranky child. It distracts and calms them down.
Well, think of it this way. The baby feels the same way we do when we are stuck inside the house. A breath of fresh air does wonders.
Impact of tummy time:
By now you would know that your baby rolls over and is able to lift up his head.
The benefits of tummy time are many. It strengthens your baby’s body for the next set of skills. Your baby’s shoulder and neck muscles are strengthened.
It paves way for the upcoming milestones like crawling and walking.
Tummy time has proven to help relieve gas in a lot of babies. It helps in calming down colicky babies.
Tip: Put toys in front of them, at a distance at which they can reach for it. Watch and enjoy your baby move to reach for the object that is placed in front of him/her. Encourage her and give her another task to reach out to once she has completed one.
Impact of mirror time:
By now your baby finds it amusing to watch himself in front of a mirror. While standing in front of the mirrior, cuddle and speak to your baby.
Mirror time eventually helps your baby enhance their visual senses. He also get aware of his own body. his hands and legs.
I remember reading a research article that said babies at this age love looking at images of babies. Now you can guess why they enjoy mirror time.
My little boy tries to communicate with his reflection in the mirror. He points and pats the mirror and tries to move closer to it.
Now you see that this encourages and improves eye hand coordination and initiating movement.
Positive affirmations and baby’s development:
What are positive affirmations? It’s nothing but telling your baby how much you love them and motivating them.
How do we feel when someone tells us how much we mean to them? Doesn’t it just lift us up out of any mood that we are in?.
Think about someone encouraging you when you feel you cant do it anymore. Doesn’t it motivate you to try one more time, this time with more confidence?
The same applies to a baby. Though your baby may not really understand what exactly you are saying, he understands love and happiness in your voice.
Notice how your child reacts when you smile at him and speak lovingly. Also notice the way he reacts when you yell at him.
The baby doesn’t smile. He may just stare at you. This is proof enough that your baby understands the emotions behind your tone.
Positive affirmations can do wonders. It can boost your baby’s self confidence and esteem big time, which will be visible later in life. Tell your baby that he is precious and loved.
Positively affirming your baby is like a long term investment. The more your baby hears statements like, “you are special”, “you are capable of anything” etc, the more it syncs into your baby’s mind.
This will help your child throughout his life. Statements like “Dont give up” “keep trying” etc can be of immense help when he faces obstacles in life.
If you like to know how to help your kid face challenges you can read out trending blog post 11 Practical ways to help your child face challenges.You might think that your kid is just an infant and challenges are for grown up children. You will be pleasantly surprised to know that it is wise to start as early as possible.
These positive affirmations can in fact mold your baby’s development and personality, on the whole. He could turn up to be an extremely optimistic person and positive person.
Being a new parent can be overwhelming. A baby can take up a lot of time leaving you exhausted.
It leaves you too tired to do anything extra for the baby let alone for yourself. Especially when your partner is working and you have very little to no extra help.
We have tried to cover this topic in our article 15 Easy Practical Parenting Tips – For New Parents. However I understand that the heavy lifting needs to be done by you and there are no short cuts.
Worry not! Hang in there. Things we do everyday aid them a whole lot in the baby’s development.
We are constantly focused on the complicated things we like our babies to do and the milestones they are to achieve. Enjoy the simplest things you do for your baby everyday.
You don’t have to do anything extra, just give the everyday things your best. Do whatever you do for your baby with joy and contribute to your baby’s development.
That’s all it takes to help your baby grow healthy and happy!
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