Most parents want to do everything they can to help their baby develop, and there is plenty they can do to help their child learn.  Experts say every song sung, every word spoken, every time eye contact is made or baby gets a cuddle serves a developmental purpose.   Their little brains are like sponges, soaking up everything as it is all new information to them. 

Everything you do that is responsive, affectionate and loving is supporting the baby’s development. The baby who is not getting that is not going to thrive or develop normally.  During the first year, baby is developing in many ways; physically, cognitively and emotionally — but in the early months the most important aspect of baby’s development is a sense of confidence and connection with his parents.

The first year will be marked by developments in fine motor skills like picking things up, moving objects from hand to hand — and gross motor skills such as crawling and walking. Although your baby will be cooing, babbling and possibly even saying a few words during the first year of life, language skills don’t really take off until the second year.  But you’ll be laying the foundation for these skills, and others, from the day baby is born.

According to Meri Wallace, author of Birth Order Blues and Keys to Parenting Your Four Year Old, a parent’s role in a baby’s development is vital.  While you likely can’t speed up development, by keeping baby in a crib all day or not interacting with them can delay their development.  You don’t have to constantly work at it either, plan things into your daily routine.  Sing them a song while doing the dishes, exercise those little legs while they’re on your lap. 

Simple interactions keep them learning and don’t have to be overwhelming to them or their parents.  And don’t forget to enjoy that precious little angel!

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