The early years of a child’s life are often referred to as the formative years. 90 percent of brain development occurs from birth to 5 years of age. You can enhance your child’s ability to succeed in life if you provide a positive, stimulating, and loving environment to to grow up in.
Your baby begins the learning process at birth. When you hold your infant in your arms, caress, and talk or sing to him or her, you create a sense of safety and secureity. Making eye contact with your baby, rocking the child, or helping him or her grasp your finger, are all ways to encourage age appropriate development. By the age of 2-4 months old,your infant will be smiling at you, and trying to communicate with you by cooing and watching your face as you speak. Encourage this response by talking, reading, singing and explaining things to your baby. My baby and I had an entire playlist of songs that we sang together while driving down the road. While I did most of the singing, my baby cooed at the sound of my mostly off key voice. Mundane errand running became a time of anticipated fun for us!
By the age of 6-9 months, smiles are spontaneous and frequent. Kids are so much fun at this age. Babies approaching 6 months of age have discovered the wonders of their own hands and feet. If you play with your baby by clapping his or her hands together or tickling and counting tiny toes, the response will probably be delighted laughter, or at least a chortle. A child, if given a rattle, will probably hold on to it and squeal out loud when hearing the sound it makes. 6 month olds love mirrors, so let your baby see a reflection while you point to the refected image and say your baby's name. Upon approaching the 1 year mark, your baby will love splashing in the tub, sitting up on the floor surrounded by toys, playing peek-a-boo, and trying to stand without assistance. Be your baby’s cheerleader! Your infant will delight in your approval.
Once you establish a well-rounded and motivating environment for your child, learning will probably proceed and develop faster than you can imagine. A video camera can be your best asset if you want to capture your child’s milestones. The milestones come quickly as your baby bursts toward tomorrow with a gusto that will captivate your heart.
It seems I woke up one morning, and my little baby had become a sweet, but defiant toddler. Toddlers, with their penchant for the word no, and irrational behaviors, will challenge you to your limit, so be prepared. Practice consistent redirection and positive reinforcement. When you catch the defiant one displaying an appropriate behavior, let it be known how much it pleases you. A gentle, but firm approach to discipline will guide your toddler toward the calmer preschool years.
Early years are the most important years in the life of a child. If you provide your youngster with an environment that is conducive to learning, you will equip that future adult with the tools needs to conquer the challenges of early childhood. The lessons learned in the first five years will follow your child wherever he or she goes. Our job as parents is to assure those lessons are positive, confidence building experiences. Those early lessons will serve our children well, and give them the confidence they need to face the challenges of the future.
Please be aware that the articles on this site are written by mothers who are discussing their own experiences and their own opinions. They do not, and are not meant to, represent professional advice and should be read with that point firmly in mind.
Our children’s welfare is paramount; if you are ever in the slightest doubt about any aspect of caring for a child you are urged to seek qualified, specialist advice from a professional advisor.