Many questions are often raised with regard to how to handle the mental development of babies. Issues like whether a baby should be left alone to learn naturally or to provide mental stimulation are often a subject for debate. In fact, doctors and parents would oftentimes focus more on monitoring the physical growth of the baby, and so the mental developmental aspects are left to a lesser degree of importance, that is, until the baby grows older.
The fact is that brain development starts from the time the baby is already out in the real world. It is very important to have constant interaction with the baby throughout the different stages of growth. As the baby physically grows, so does his brain development. Interactions do not always have to be accompanied with efforts to teach the baby. Since the baby normally has no basic understanding of any formal learning, it will always rely on consistent interaction with their mother.
Developing a bond
Developing a bond should be the primary objective of a mother as she interacts with her baby. As days go by and turns into weeks and then to months, the baby would slowly try to learn a few things around him. The very first thing that the baby will do is to try to establish a routine or pattern of behavior. For instance, crying, being lifted from bed, being fed, being rocked gently, hearing familiar sounds. When these things become a consistent sequence of patterns, the baby would be able to get better acquainted with his mother. In the absence of a mother, the baby care giver can assume the role and should follow the same procedure.
Stay beside the baby
During the early stages of development, it is important to stay beside the baby at all times. That’s because that is also the stage wherein the baby is beginning to study his environment, trying to see and remember familiar things and objects and places, trying to be familiar with a voice or sound.
Stimulation is really important
As the baby grows older, basic infant stimulation can be applied. But first, mothers have to make careful observations about their baby. If the baby seems attentive when being spoken with, then it can be a good opportunity to show some stimulation. Eye contact and tracking is critical if the mother wants to be successful. Without proper eye contact, or if the attention of the baby is elsewhere, then infant stimulation should be stopped immediately.
Infant stimulation can be done by presenting to the baby a few objects, such as a toy or rattle. It is important to buy toys that can act as stimulants at the same time. Studies show that babies in their early stages are unable to distinguish and identify different colors. Because of this, there are many soft toys that are black and white in color. These are good stimulants and can easily get the attention of the baby.
Another good means of providing the baby with some very, very basic teaching is through close communication. Again, consistency is important. Speaking out words and putting emphasis on parts of the word is important. Saying words in a mild manner would help the baby to start building on his own language base. Emphasizing on the vowel sound and consonant sound can also be done. Sooner or later, you would start hearing the baby’s attempt to slowly pronounce the words on their own.
The learning abilities of babies can really start at a very early age. It is already inherent for babies to being learning about their environment early on. It is therefore important to be with the baby during those stages. Learning can be done naturally, meaning, let the baby do some self discovery. It can also be done via stimulation. Making sure that the baby has his attention to the mother before the mother introduces some basic stimulation is an essential technique that will ensure the baby gets to learn something new from time to time. The most important thing here is that there should be consistent accompaniment and bonding between mother and baby. This will develop trust and babies would more likely to pay attention when the mother speaks. Establishing a routine would also help the baby adjust sooner to his environment.
|The information presented is not intended to, and does not in anyway, constitute or replace a medical advice, and it should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem. The information is provided for educational purposes only, and is based upon the authors’ personal experiences or point of view. If you think you have a health problem, please consult a qualified medical professional..|