Concerns About Newborn Development
In general, the key events in baby development happen in a similar order, but the age they happen might vary among children.
You know your newborn baby best. If you have concerns about your babys development, including their movement and play, its a good idea to see your child and family health nurse or GP or a paediatric physiotherapist.
This is particularly important if youve noticed that your baby:
- doesnt seem able to do the things they could do earlier
- seems unusually floppy or stiff
- doesnt startle when theres a loud noise nearby
- doesnt seem interested in you
- strongly prefers using one hand more than the other.
What Is My Newborn Learning
Play is the chief way that infants learn how to move, communicate, socialize, and understand their surroundings. And during the first month of life, your baby will learn by interacting with you.
The first thing your baby will learn is to connect the feel of your touch, the sound of your voice, and the sight of your face with getting his or her needs for comfort and food met.
Even at this young age, newborns are ready to learn about the world around them. Your newborn loves to look your face. Newborns can recognize and respond to mom or dad’s voice by looking alert and becoming less active. The baby may try to find out where the sound is coming from by looking around and turning his or her head.
Encourage learning with smiles, soothing sounds, and gentle caresses. When you smile and talk to your infant, your face and the sound of your voice will become a familiar source of calm and comfort. Your little one will learn to associate you with nourishment, warmth, and a soothing touch.
Why Tummy Time Is Important
Tummy time happens when your baby lies on his tummy with weight on his forearms. Tummy time builds head, neck and upper body strength. Your baby should do it often each day.
Start tummy time soon after birth. In the first few weeks, try tummy time for 1-2 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Your baby can build up to 10-15 minutes, several times a day.
Back to sleep, tummy to play. While asleep, baby spends a lot of time on his back with his head in one position. This can cause flat spots on the back of his head. Tummy time helps prevent this.
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Toys For Children With Special Needs
Toys for children with special needs should match their developmental age and ability.
If your child is using a toy intended for a younger age group, make sure that it’s strong enough and will not get broken.
Children with a visual impairment will need toys with different textures to explore with their hands and mouth.
Children with impaired hearing will need toys to stimulate language, such as toys that encourage them to explore and discover how it relates to their environment.
How Can I Help My Newborn Learn
As you care for your newborn, talk, smile, and interact with your baby. Pay attention and respond to your baby’s cues. For example, watch how your baby moves or starts to coo back when you speak. Take turns “talking” to each other. This is how your baby learns to communicate.
In the first few weeks, you may want to introduce some simple, age-appropriate toys that appeal to the senses of sight, hearing, and touch, such as:
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Play Ideas To Get Newborns Moving
Here are some play ideas to get your newborn baby moving and to boost your babys motor skills development:
- Put a toy or rattle in your babys hand for your baby to hold.
- Dangle some fun, bright objects above your baby to encourage reaching. You can put toys within easy reach by attaching a frame over a pram or bouncer and hanging toys from it. Just make sure that your baby cant get tangled in the strings.
- Sing nursery rhymes with simple actions that encourage your baby to move their body.
- Give your baby time to play on the floor and move their body. Try not to rush your baby into doing things before theyre ready. Just enjoy watching your baby play.
- Give your baby tummy time. Put your baby on their tummy on a firm surface like the ground so they can practise pushing up on their elbows and lifting their head. Start with 1-2 minutes and build up to 10-15 minutes a day.
Some babies might not like tummy time at first. If your baby is unhappy on their tummy or being on their tummy makes your baby vomit, try putting your baby on your tummy or chest. You can try doing tummy time on a firmer surface later. Always watch your baby during tummy time and always put baby on their back to sleep.
Expose Your Baby To Patterns
Patterns fascinate babies, especially newborns. Id often place my babies in front of our vertical blinds with the window open to let the wind blow the blinds side to side. Theyd watch as the lines crossed and swayed back and forth, while slits of sunlight would peek through.
Your baby might also like watching ceiling fans as mine did. Keep the setting on low, and hell likely stay mesmerized by the movement of the blades. And read him books with plenty of patterns, especially bold and bright colors. A few suggestions include:
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Finding Baby’s Favorite Music
Good music = happy kids. Try lots of different music and find what your child likes. Some kids like childrens music while others squeal at the sound of Gwen Stefani belting out B-A-N-A-N-A-S. My kids happen to love the Beatles, which makes for some pretty enjoyable car rides for my hubby and me. Watch the video above of Katy Perry working her magic on a crying baby.
Why Not A Screen
When I was a kid, I didnt have a screen to stare at I had a window to stare out. This is when my imagination went wild! Daydreaming allows our brain the downtime to make connections it wouldnt otherwise make, and it enhances creativity.
I understand that not all digital entertainment is bad for kids. Some of our advanced technology actually inspires kids to be more creative! However, because of the babys developing brain, theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under two not using digital media at all, except for video chatting. Babies develop their creativity best in the three-dimensional world, using all their senses to grasp the world around them. According to studies, too much screen time can
- affect their brain development
- stunt creativity
- lead to other problems such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety
As much as we like to be on the road, Ive made it a goal not to let screen time be our go-to entertainment, especially while shes this young. So far, with some simple strategies, weve been able to hold it off!
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How Big Is Baby
This is a fun little rhyme to repeat with baby as they grow. Take your babys hands into yours and say how big is baby?, how big is baby?, and then gently spread out your newborns arms wide saying SO BIG.
You can repeat a few times. As your newborn grows they will begin to complete the gesture on their own.
When Should I Start Playing With My Newborn
During their first month of life your baby will learn so much just by interacting with you on a daily basis. The best news though, is that you can start playing with your baby at any time- the sooner the better.
Theres no need to worry about a set time for activities with your newborn. Instead, take the time to talk, sing, and interact with your baby all throughout the day.
The lullabies that you sing to them, how they try to look at you while theyre laying on your chest, and the soft touch that you provide while holding them, is all stimulation.
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Let Your Baby Get Used To Sounds
A babys sense of hearing is the strongest at this stage. Even the slightest sounds can cause a baby to turn around or behave in a different manner, causing him to respond to it as well. At times, a specific sound could cause a child to laugh or even shout out as a way of communicating with it. Use different objects to make sounds, including plastics and steel utensils. A box of wafers can turn into a small toy that he can shake around and listen to the sound. Give him an empty box which can be slammed or kicked to make sounds.
Dont Give Them Multiple Toys At Once
Dont just throw all those toys in the car seat at once and hope they stay entertained for hours. There is a little strategy involved here. Start the journey with one activity such as a couple of blocks. Maybe even take the mobile away while she is playing with something else. If babies have too many options, they will lose interest with all of them. Give them a chance to really focus and engage with one toy or activity.
Play Find The Puzzle Piece
Hide all the puzzle pieces to an ABC puzzle like this before you start nursing. Or have older siblings hide them.
Put the empty puzzle next to you, whether you nurse or bottle feed. Then, have your toddler run all over the house looking for one letter at a time and bring them back and put them in the puzzle.
TIP: Hide them pretty out in the open the first time you play this. You can make it trickier next time!
Give lots of high fives and praise and say something like, Yes! You found F. F says /f/ for /f/ /f/ /fffff/rog and /fffff/ish.
Use Random Objects Around The House
What a baby needs more than anything is more stimulation in the form of different objects to play around with. You can place his fancy toys or blocks or gather some plates from the kitchen, take a few old objects out of the cupboard, plastic containers from the shelves, and arrange them all around your little one. As you start creating towers from them or putting one object inside the other, your babys brain will kick into action and he will use those objects in every way possible.
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Simple Ideas For How To Entertain Toddler With A Newborn
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In this post, you will learn 34 tricks and tips for coping with a toddler and newborn, especially during baby-feeding times!
We had 4 kids in 5 years, and the hardest part of every newborn was always the toddler.
The clingy, confused, barely verbal, highly active, giant, older baby who does not understand why it takes you 45 minutes to feed the baby or why he cant thrust his elbow into your chest for leverage to get up and down off your lap.
I wont lie and say these tips for feeding your newborn with a toddler around will make these few months EASY but something in here can definitely make your life easier.
If you still feel like a hot mess, pour some more coffee and hang in there. The early weeks with a newborn and toddler are insanely hard, but you can do it!
Billions of women before you have done it and itll all be a big, precious, happy blur in hindsight.
NOTE: Weve nursed, bottle fed, and combined the two. Regardless of how you feed a newborn, you have to sit there and feed the baby. Its really hard to get up and deal with your toddler while you are feeding a newborn. Haha so this list of ideas is perfect for keeping your toddler busy while you take care of your newborns needs no matter how you choose to feed the baby!
Turn The House Into A Disco
Just like their listening skills, most babies tend to respond positively to music. Human bodies are innately built with the sense to recognize rhythm. Try playing a popular song that has a nice beat and you will see your baby rocking himself or bouncing around with excitement. Hold your baby on the shoulder and dance around with him in front of a mirror, watching him smile and laugh with glee. Clap as the music plays and your baby will attempt to mimic you as well.
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Remember Its A Season
As with most things in parenting, the newborn-with-a-toddler-running-around months are just a season. As you know, that newborn wont be a newborn very long. The first day or two home will be the hardest. Its pure survival mode.
Here are my 12 best tips for surviving the season of life with a newborn and a toddler. After that post, go check out my 20must haves for a toddler & newborn to make sure youre prepared with the right gear.
Its hectic and messy and exhausting, and yes, frustrating at times but, try to let a lot of extra things go. Focus on taking care of your little ones basic needs and taking care of yourself.
Get sleep, eat well, try to get them napping at the same time ASAP. Preserve your toddlers afternoon quiet time even if they outgrow sleeping or if its just a little time.
A sibling is the best gift for your little ones! Just keep telling yourself that even when you feel like youre loosing your marbles!! The best part is theyll be best friends in no time
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Try White Noise At Night
White noise can help to replicate the sounds your baby heard in your womb and may help keep her calm. Your white noise machine may need to be at a fairly loud volume to work, and can also act as a sound barrier, helping to block outside sounds from your babys room.
White noise is often very helpful for children who are very alert and curious to help them calm their minds and fall asleep.