Babies and toddlers thrive when their world feels loving, safe, and predictable. Respond with smiles, words, and appropriate touch to help them see, hear, and feel your love. When you do this, you will help them develop a sense of security and self-control.
Create a routine for you and your baby. Try creating a list and prioritize important activities like feeding, rest, play, and time to decompress not only for your child- but for yourself too. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Don’t put the entire focus on just a one-time event or day. Keep expectations manageable. Always remember that routines CAN and WILL change with time.
Create a bedtime routine for your little one. Write it down or put it in your phone. Follow this routine as often as you can with your baby. Incorporate essentials such as diaper changes and changing into pajamas and add reading a story right before bed. Try the routine, but be open to adaptation – you may have to tweak it. Be kind to yourself – parenting is hard work!
Babies are learning language from the moment they are born. At first, to a newborn, speech is just sound. Then, day by day, they learn that sounds have meaning. Every time you talk, sing, or point to what you are talking about, you are helping to build their language skills. As your child gets older, talking to them and answering their questions teaches them about the world, and helps you get to know the fascinating person they’re becoming!
The home environment is ideal for talking, singing, and pointing out things.
Point out your baby’s body parts as you get dressed. As you put their socks on, point out “Here’s your feet!” As you feed your baby, talk about how foods taste, feel, and what foods look like. “This applesauce is tangy.” “That green avocado is mushy!” “That orange is round.”
When talking to your infant, use “parentese.” Parentese is the high, sing-songy, voice parents and caregivers use when communicating with babies. Parentese activates a baby’s brain – its high pitch and slower tempo engage babies. Looking at your baby, touching your baby, and talking to your baby using parentese are all ways that you can foster their development.
Using common tunes like “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, “Old McDonald Had a Farm”, and “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush”, sing about your day with your baby. Whether it’s eating, getting ready for bathtime, or settling down for bed, sing to your child using their names and what they are doing. Even a nonsense song is good for your child. “Here we go taking a bath today, bath today, bath today. Here we go taking a bath today, with the rubber duck!”