Babies are wonderful!
They will go through many changes in the first 18 months of life, from being totally dependent on their adult parents or care givers to talking and walking on their own. Parents of teens sometimes reminisce about these earlier, simpler times.
Here are 12 of my favourite tips for helping you understand your little one better.
1. Making your baby feel loved is the single most important thing a parent can do.
2. Your child’s needs are simple at this stage of development so be sensitive to her cries for hunger, pain, discomfort.
3. All babies cry, and some cry for long periods of time.
4. Don’t worry about the old rule that you can spoil a baby by picking it up too much. Respond to their need to be soothed and feel safe.
5. For help calming a new born baby, I highly recommend “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Harvey Karp, M.D. Written for parents with babies under 3 months of age.
6. There is a fine line between joy and anger at this stage, so be cautious about over stimulating your baby. Five minutes is a good rule of thumb for ‘fun’.
8. Be sensitive to new fears and try to help your baby cope by slowly letting him/her approach these things until he/she is comfortable with them.
9. Talk to you baby as often as you can even if you think he/she can’t understand you.
10. Engage in pretend conversations and pause to let you baby have his/her say. You’d be delighted at how your baby’s talk has the exact cadence and intonation of English (or your language) even when the sounds don’t make sense to anyone.
11. Offer your crawling baby as many textures as possible for sensory stimulation and brain development. Going from carpeting to hardwood to tiles is great.
12 Keep your house warm enough so that your almost walking baby can scrunch little toes on warm floors. Bare feet can grip better than stocking feet and your baby will develop strong foot muscles.