jerrybrown –

A lot happens in the first year of life, and parents play an important role in this. Here’s what you need to know.

Babies come into the world seemingly helpless and unaware. Yet, within a very short time, your little one will become more alert and engaged. Her vision will improve and she’ll use all her senses to get to know the world around her. Soon she’ll start smiling and laughing, reaching for things, and rolling over. Later she’ll enjoy pureed foods and even begin to feed herself small bites. By her first birthday, you’ll wonder how the year went by so quickly!

The first year of life is a crucial time for infant development. So it’s important for parents to be aware of milestones their babies should reach. Parents also need to know what kinds of activities and experiences will encourage their infants to grow, learn, and explore.

Body- and brain-builders for babies

Give your child new things to look at and hold. Even very young babies love to look at bold patterns and moving objects. Delight your baby with brightly colored toys, rattles, and soft books. He’ll also love to gaze at a mobile hung safely above his crib. Rotate the items every few weeks to keep things interesting.
Share lots of face time. Get close to your baby and smile, coo, and laugh. Read her stories, tell her jokes, even recite poems – it doesn’t matter what you say at this point. She’s only concerned with the sound of your voice and the different expressions you make. Also, use her name in conversation. By the time she’s 7 or 8 months old, she should start to recognize her own name.
Touch, hold, and cuddle your child often. Despite what other people may try to tell you, you can’t spoil a baby by holding him too much. Babies thrive on the comfort and security of their parents’ arms – it’s how they learn to trust the world around them. Some babies even love having a gentle massage with lotion after a bath.
Imitate the sounds and expressions she makes. As she starts to communicate more (not just with cries), your baby will vocalize and make faces to get your attention super p force jelly. Although she might not mimic you just yet, she’ll love it when you repeat the things she does.
Play peek-a-boo. Even when your baby is too young to take part himself, he’ll enjoy the surprise element of this fun game. It’s also teaching him the natural give and take of social interaction.
Put on some music. Babies love to hear the different sounds and rhythms of all sorts of music. You could try soothing lullabies, rollicking kids’ songs, or even a CD by your favorite band. If you listened to a certain CD or type of music more than any other when you were pregnant, your baby might even recognize it now. As she gets older, she’ll start to sway, bounce, and even clap to the beat.
Don’t forget tummy time. Many babies don’t like being on their bellies, but it’s necessary to help develop the muscles for rolling and crawling. Give your child something interesting to look at while he’s on his tummy. Always supervise while your baby is in this position and never place him on his tummy when it is time to go to sleep.

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