Experts agree that a child is capable of learning more in the first seven years than for the rest of his or her life!
The learning process starts at the moment of birth, and baby needs your help to learn about his or her world. To encourage brain development, provide a variety of age-appropriate experiences – rather than a cot full of toys. At first your baby will discover and learn through stimulation of the senses of touch, hearing and sight…
In the early weeks, baby will like being cuddled and rocked, and prefer softness – enjoying the feel of your skin as he or she feeds, then beginning to gain muscle control and develop coordination when reaching out to touch your face. Touch will continue to play a major part in the learning process, and as movement becomes more controlled, baby will begin to reach for things that catch her or his eye, to touch, squeeze, and hold objects… and will begin to learn about texture or weight.
Sound is important in baby’s early experience, and hearing is quite well developed at birth. From very early on baby will turn towards a sound, or respond to music, voices, or to being sung to – often being distracted or soothed if upset. An early game to develop hearing skills is to use a bell, rattle, or ‘crinkly’-sounding toy to get baby’s attention then move the toy slowly as you shake or squeeze it to see if he or she can follow the sound.
The first ‘object’ that your baby will come to recognise is your face – knowing almost instinctively the difference between a face and an object. Your baby will watch closely as you talk, smile, make funny faces or blow kisses. In a very short time, he or she will be attracted by brightly-coloured things, or sharply-contrasting black and white objects. Slow-moving things – such as a mobile – will get her or his attention, as long as they are close enough. Later, encourage baby to ‘track’ an attractive object with his or her eyes, as you move it from side to side. Gradually, your baby will begin to master a very important skill.
As your baby develops more muscle control, you can help hand-eye coordination, manipulative skills, and cognitive (understanding about things) skills by taking part in play. Toys may be involved, but it will be the interaction with you that will be more attractive. Many little games need no equipment. ‘Round and Round the Garden’, ‘This Little Piggy went to Market’, ‘Peek-a-Boo’ ‘Row, Row, Row the Boat’, etc. will entertain baby over and over – and if you watch carefully, you will soon see ‘clues’ that mean ‘Again!’…. a communication skill learned!
When more toys and equipment are introduced, here are a few very wise precautions to take:
- Be sure that toys are age-appropriate – for play value, and in terms of safety.
- Always buy toys with internationally recognised labelling – CE, BS 5665 or BS EN71, or the Lion mark. And make sure that you remove plastic label tags and wrapping completely before giving a new toy to baby.
- Don’t leave your baby alone with a toy that has a loop attached for hanging on a cot or stroller.
- Check all toys and equipment regularly for damage.
- If baby is on a play mat, make sure that there is nothing nearby that could fall or otherwise cause an accident.
More about Baby Recipes
At babyrecipes.org there is lots of very useful information that is right here on our baby recipes website. There are easy to use baby food guides, making baby food and related topics to help you feed your baby with lots of care. There is a wide range of baby food information available to you which will better inform you when it comes to the health and safety of your baby. Learn about what baby food you should introduce to your baby and at what age. Find out more about what the benefits of individual baby food and how they can be good for your baby.
There is a great range of baby recipes for you to choose from. The baby recipes are easy to find and easy to follow with step by step instructions. When cooking food for baby you only want the best naturally. Our baby recipes provides the best food baby will need, full of nutrition and well balanced. Having a baby is an all consuming experience and this baby recipes website has been put together to help parents have a great resource to refer to as a guide or when you want to cook up tasty baby food from one of our baby recipes for your baby.