Infant Development - What should you be doing to help your baby develop?
The process of infant development
We’re all works in progress. Psychologists now believe that, even after our brains are fully developed in our 20s, we continue to change and evolve throughout our lives - at least if we’re paying attention! However, the first year of life is clearly in many ways the most crucial and consequential period in your child’s lifelong development process.
During the first three months of life, your baby is learning facial expressions and to use his or her muscles. In months four through six, he or she may be rolling over, babbling, and grabbing at objects. By the end of the year, your child may be crawling, and will likely be feeding more independently.
How can you support your infant through his or her development process? It’s different for every child, of course, but there are a few ways you, as a new parent, can help things along.
Connect with your child
Make sure you spend lots and lots of time bonding with your baby. This includes lots of touch, talking or singing to your child, and letting him or her know you’ll be there for support whenever it’s needed. Not only does this let your infant know that he or she is not alone, but it helps instill your values of caring and compassion as you set this little person’s first and most important example.
Model a sense of safety and security
Being a new parent can be stressful, and it’s important that you take care of yourself so you can be a calm, present, and reassuring force in your child’s world. Take extra care of your own emotional well-being so you can be a source of strength and equanimity when your baby is in distress, and help him or her through difficult times. This will show your child that the world is essentially a safe place and that pain and discomfort will pass, given patience, time, and human connection.
Provide toys, games, and other sensory stimulation
The best toys and games will engage your child’s senses and provide opportunities for him or her to use those developing senses and fast-growing hands. Instead of putting your child in front of a screen, provide some brightly-colored, hands-on activities, or go for a walk in nature. An environment filled with laughter, song, and engaging activities will help make your infant’s development smoother and more fun for all involved.
It’s tummy time!
Make sure your infant spends time on his or her belly, either on your lap or on a soft blanket, so that he or she can get those young muscles working. By three months, about an hour a day is optimal. Your baby may not seem to enjoy this at first, but with your patience and encouragement, it may become some of the most rewarding time you spend together.
It’s all connected
Providing the right environment for infant development means being aligned with your own values of community, sustainability, and ethical behavior. As a positive force in the world, you will model the right behavior to help your child learn, grow, and understand that everything is connected and our mission in life is to take care of each other.
That’s why Ruby & Poe provides high-quality, ethically sourced, vegan baby products for you and your family, so you can pass along the values that matter most, have a better experience doing it, and make the most of the most significant moments in yours and your child’s lives. Have a look around!