In the first 12 months of a baby’s life, they grow at an exponential rate both mentally and physically. Although most parents are busy dealing with a child’s many physical needs, it is important to also nourish them mentally and intellectually.
Here are some tips to incorporate into your baby’s daily routine to ensure they reach their full potential both physically and mentally.
Starts in the Tummy
Think about your baby before they’re even born. It’s important for all pregnant women to take folic acid and eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Studies are showing the beneficial effects of Omega 3 as well. It goes without saying to stay away from harmful substances like drugs, alcohol and cigarette smoke. While the baby is growing in the uterus, exposure to certain drugs can specifically damage the baby’s brain, even over the counter medication so always check with your OBGYN before popping any pills!
Read Read Read
During the early years of your child’s growth instead of focusing on the child’s “speaking” (i.e. expressive language), it integral to build his or her understanding of the spoken word (i.e. receptive language). Ditch that iPad for an old fashioned book which allows your baby to imagine and conjure up their own stories through interaction. Choose the biggest and brightest books from Liberty Books, BBQ2Nite Children’s section or head to Sunday Bazaar for fabulous second hand finds. Use sounds and expressions to make the story truly come alive and join your child in imaginary interactive reading.
Hush Little Baby
It is integral for babies and toddlers to be soothed, cuddled, reassured and nurtured. This helps build positive brain circuitry in the limbic area, which relates to emotions. When a baby is held calmly and is provided with a secure and pleasant environment, it signals emotional security to the brain, and also builds a sense of trust. So don’t listen to those old aunty tales of Godi Ki Aadat! They need to be held, loved and supported when they’re so little.
There is a fine line between being strict and being scary. All children need boundaries but don’t go overboard and frighten them into submission. Use positive and patient discipline techniques and manage your expectations. When an inappropriate situation comes up, such as hitting, get down to their level and using low serious tones state your rule clearly: No Hitting. Keep at it and the message will go home.