The first year of a baby’s life is the busiest, the most challenging and by far the most beautiful because this is when the two of you meet outside the womb and get to know each other gradually. No matter how silly it may sound but know this: you are your child’s first playmate and that comes with both plenty of responsibility and a super fun way to bond with your bundle of joy. The stronger the bond between a mother and her child is, the healthier will baby’s development be. In playing, children learn about the world around them, themselves, other people, their parents… they shape up and learn how to build confidence, basic skills, and relationships with those around them. In setting the base of their development properly, the parents are helping their child’s well-being in the long run.
For all the new parents, we’re laying out a little help book to give them an idea of the way their child’s development should go in terms of play and development.
From birth to 3 months
Developing hand-eye coordination happens in the first three months of your newborn’s life; this is when they are reaching for things, touching them, feeling them and ultimately learning how to hold them. This is how they learn stimulation; and here are some great playthings:
- Anything with a face on it – pictures, dolls, stuffed animals
- Transparent scarves or cloths that can be used for peek-a-boo
- A safe, unbreakable mirror positioned at the right height so that the baby can see themselves
- Plastic, safe measuring spoons or bracelets without loose parts
- Brightly coloured cloth with different textures
From 3 to 6 months
Your baby is developing both fine motor and gross motor skills at this age. This means you’re your newborn is starting to use hands and fingers and they are moving arms and legs. They’ll be fascinated with their own hands and the fact they can move them when they want to. To help your baby’s development at this stage, use toys like:
- Peek-a-boo scarves
- A mat for the baby to lie on while playing; a smart investment would be getting your baby high-quality baby play mats from Australia as they are made of best materials and are colourful which is stimulating for the baby at this age
- Pieces of brightly coloured fabrics or interesting textures like silk, fake fur, terry cloth, etc.
- Doughnut-shaped objects large enough to grasp and don’t have any sharp edges
- A play arch with toys hanging above; the baby can lie on their back and kick or bat at the toys
- Toys making interesting sounds like chimes, rattles, and shakers to intrigue the baby; still, make sure there are no sounds that are too loud because the baby’s ears are still too sensitive
From 6 to 12 months
The second half of the first year brings an interest in how things work; the baby wants to touch things they can see around them, and probably put them in their mouth. Toys that are of interest to babies at this age include:
- Board books
- Little pails, cups, and similar unbreakable containers
- Stacking and nesting toys for the baby’s continual interest
- Large building blocks
- Soft toys
- Softballs big enough to fit the baby’s mouth; don’t buy balls with any mechanics in them or plug/pin segments because they can be dangerous
- Riding toys
- Bath toys
- Toys that support “visual tracking” like a ball ramp, or a push-and-go rolling toy
Words, playtime, music
The first year won’t involve too many actual toys. The focus should be on singing, speaking, reading, rhymes, improvised toys and games you can easily turn into the routines of your day. Come up with a feeding tune, a diaper-changing tune or rhyme, or try a song while you are giving your baby a bath. Read books to your baby on a daily basis if possible and encourage babble. Babbling helps the baby distinguish different sounds in their own voice. Play these language games on a daily basis until they become real words or sounds that have a meaning to your baby.
Dear parents, we do hope this little tutorial helped you get a clearer picture of what may be helpful for your baby’s development. Good luck!
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