Hello new Dad! First of all, congratulations! You must be feeling overwhelmed and excited, and wanting to give your new little one a head start in life. Here are a few development-boosting tips you can start on day one.
Talk and read to your baby as much as you can
Babies start hearing when they are in the womb. Now that your baby is in your arms, you will soon notice that she/he recognizes you by your voice. Speaking to your baby is not only comforting to them, it also helps boost their cognitive skills.
Talk to your baby often and narrate the things that you do. Though your baby doesn’t follow every word that you speak, they start getting the gist of it soon, and begin putting together words and sentences long before they are able to speak. Babies love to hear, and love being heard.
Respond and interact
When you respond to a baby’s vocalizations and actions, they are motivated to interact more, and in turn, will start making developmental connections more quickly. When your baby starts talking, you will be surprised to hear her/his narrations. Often, they recollect a lot from things you talked about much earlier.
Massage accelerates all-round development
Babies need human touch. Research says that massage helps babies learn—it actually aids in the formation of tiny permanent connections called synapses in the baby’s brain cells, which in turn boost cognition. But that’s not all—the benefits of massage are many!
Several studies have shown that massage improves:
- Mind and body awareness
- Positively affect hormones which control stress
- Reduces tantrums
The technique is simple: you can massage your baby every day for about 10 minutes, using gentle but firm strokes. Use this time to bond with your baby: talk, sing, and interact. Avoid massage when your baby is hungry or sleepy, and it’s best to wait for about 45 minutes after a feeding, to allow them time to digest.
Take your baby out & about
Whenever you are able, take baby out on a stroll to see nature, other people, and new and different places. Even a stroll around the block is beneficial! Since everything is new to them, it arouses curiosity and stimulates growth. A variety of stimuli trigger varied responses for their development.
Vitamin D is also crucial for infant development, and it is abundantly available in the sunlight. Though you and your baby can get vitamin D from supplements, research says natural sources such as sunlight are the best.
Spend time with your baby
Babies learn faster when you play with them. Caring relationships from infancy onwards build the brain—research says emotions and intelligence develop together. Spend as much time as possible with your baby. Soon your baby starts responding much more than you can imagine, and that joy is unmatchable to anything in the world.