Baby development happens easily and automatically. Nurturing a newborn baby is an art acquired by each parent (intuitively) and lovingly. Everything that we do with the baby e.g. cuddling, singing, feeding, changing etc etc, contributes to the infant development. In this post I will give you detailed information on how is baby development categorized and what can parents do to make sure baby develops in a fun way.
Fine Motor Skills Development
Fine motor skills are all about your baby’s hands and functioning of the hands. We adults can write, pick up needles open caps of bottles etc, but a newborn baby has not yet developed these skills. In the beginning the baby’s hand movements are random and they are not controlled. But a couple of months later the baby will try to move his hands with an intention of holding something or catching an attractive looking toy.
So what can you do to help develop the fine motor skills ? Make sure you give the baby free time and let the baby explore. Do not keep the baby swaddled and covered in a blanket the whole time. Keep the hands mitten free for few hours. Give your finger for the baby to hold while your are singing or cuddling. Let the baby feel the texture of your hand, hair and face. Look for toys which do not require fine skills like simple to hold rattles (It should fit in the tiny hands of your little one. So choose wisely).
Your baby needs more hands on experience. Make sure you provide Tummy Time for your baby. This gives plenty of opportunity for your baby to exercise every muscle in their body. You can help baby practice more by giving play time in “Play Gyms” specially designed for infants. (Make sure no string to too long for the baby to get caught in). Look for colorful play gyms with simple and colorful rattles. Small mirrors are extremely helpful for them to learn about their hands and legs.
Sit and play with your child in the activity and sound related toys, your infant may not be able to play with them as it is supposed to be played in, but your little one will be observing how it is played and your fingers while you are playing it. They slowly start imitating your actions.
Gross Motor Skills Development
Gross motor skills in infant development is generally relate to big movements like walking, jumping, picking something up etc. Yes it plays a very important role in nurturing a newborn baby. Baby massage helps tremendously with gross motor skills development. Regular massages before bath time and baby exercises is one way to develop the muscles beautifully.
Now another important thing is to give your baby some free time, and not keeping him or swaddled for the whole time. Make sure you give you baby some free time to move and explore their hands and legs.
A newborn baby generally tends to be in on the back for a long time while sleeping, while awake. You can frequently change your baby’s position when he is awake. For example, when the baby is awake you can give the baby a little tummy time. Tummy time really gives them a different perspective about their small world. Keeping them on sides while they watch highly contrasting mobiles or flash cards. Keep them in your arms for sometime. As your baby gets to rolling stage and starts trying to roll, motivate him by keeping his favourite toy near him. ( My little one would roll over soon if we keep a plate of food or a glass of water near him!! He loved to watch us eat and topple the glass of water and play in it.)
Social Development – Another aspect in nurturing your newborn baby
You are the reason your child learns social skills. You are your child’s first friend. 🙂 Parents are their inspiration always. When your baby is interacting with you and you with the baby, you are nurturing your newborn baby.
Your little one is also observing how you interact with others and learning the art of socializing. You baby is learning how to give and take, share, protect and how to treat by looking at you. It may not feel like this with the baby in the first few months, but when your little one enters toddler stage you will reap the benefits of what you have sown. All the rules of social engagement like saying Please and Thank you.
Toys that help you in nurturing your newborn in social development is soft toys, animal mobiles, puppet toys and dolls. You can play imaginary play with different animal sounds. You can make up stories with morals for your child. Make funny sounds and your child will fall in love with story time soon. And when he or she enters toddlerhood, they will have developed social skills and the best art of storytelling.
Intellectual Development – Crucial in nurturing your newborn baby
For the first three years of the baby’s life, your baby is like a sponge soaking up everything around him. Their brain is developing exponentially. Brain is absorbing all the thing around by observation. Exploring is their intuition, their play. All you have to do is provide the right stimulation and this stimulation can make your baby smart and a good learner for future. So how do we stimulate the baby’s intellectual development? Simple, talk to your baby, explain whatever you are doing If you are folding your laundry, describe each colour and dress. Show them how you are doing things around the house. While cooking describe all the ingredients and tell he how you cook (anything your special ingredient or technique). When you are dressing the baby, you can give commentary like “Now I am putting your right hand into the right sleeve of the shirt” etc.
In the beginning few months all the stimulation in the home itself is enough. After 3 months you can take the baby for walks in the park, explain what you see on the way. Describe cars, buildings etc. Provide all kinds of experiences.
These smallest things contribute more into nurturing your newborn baby. This kind of nurturing has happened over the ages, but sometimes we get too busy and we forget that these tiny babies are eager and want to soak up everything around them.
You can see the fruits of nurturing your baby in the later years when you see your baby expressing the same things and in the same way and when your little one is a quick learner and is curious about getting to know more and more and more. If you have a toddler, you would agree with me that the questions are never ending, but it is a good thing and try your best to answer every question in the best possible way. Consequently nurturing your toddler’s development.
So parents do what comes naturally!! You and your time with the baby is the best thing you can provide your child for brain development. All the other toys and all are just to help you create additional stimulations . But it is perfectly okay if you choose your own way of stimuli that suits your baby.