Be a Good Teacher for Your Baby
Babies will learn by exploring things around them. You’ll need to show your baby how to listen to, look at, touch or smell something new or different. Hold your baby so they can see things. Help the baby hold objects like it’s socks or a rattle. As the baby grows, give it safe objects to feel, shake or put in their mouth.
· Be your baby’s teacher. It will see how you react to things. When you get excited about a toy or object, it’ll get excited too. As it grows, show it how things work—for example, how doors open and close. Talk about what you are doing. Here is an example, “I’m putting food into the pot to cook it.”
· When a baby is learning something new, it helps to show it again and again. With your support and help, this can be fun, and your baby will like trying new things.
· Protect your baby from disapproval, teasing or punishment. A baby doesn’t understand right from wrong. They don’t know what things are dangerous for them to do. Watch to keep it safe. Remove it from situations where it can be hurt or injured.
· Talk and sing to your baby. Even before it is able to speak, this helps them develop language skills. Babies learn best when you talk to them.
· Read to your baby from the early months of their life and continue this habit as it grows.
Babies Have People Skills, Too
From the beginning, your baby is interested in your face. It notices your expressions and tone of voice. It will react to your emotions. For example, when you say something in a soft and loving way, it will relax and feel more secure.
Scientists have learned that babies show emotions as early as one month old. Scientists have also learned is that feeling good can help babies learn better.
Why? Happy babies are more alert, attentive and responsive. Babies remember things better when they are at ease and happy. The way you talk and hold your baby can help them feel happy.
Babies who are alert while feeling good are more likely to look at things, explore and play. They will pay attention more. For example, the baby will try to make new things happen with toys or make sounds with people. This can help them remember and learn new things.
Brief periods of distress or difficulty can occur. These will not harm a child. Short periods of negative emotions can be helpful for your baby. You should do something quickly to help it feel better. From this, the baby will learn that you care about what it tries to tell you. Long periods of negative emotion, can do harm.
In the first month, the negative emotion that occurs is a response to distress or pain. Later, it will show sadness and anger. Next comes fear. All people have these emotions to protect themselves. Help your baby be ok with having emotions. Respond to their emotions in a warm and loving way.
You can tell what your baby is feeling by changes in their facial expression. You can also see what the baby is feeling by their posture, movements and the sounds they make.
Learning to Communicate
It will be months before your baby says its first word. Babies start learning about language much earlier.
Even in the first few weeks, your baby will be learning about language. Babies can tell the difference between other sounds and speech. They can tell the difference between the voices of men and the voices of women. A baby can tell the voice of its mother from the voices of other women. Scientists think babies are able to do this because of the way certain parts of their brains work.
Babies can also communicate long before they speak. They use movements and sounds to let you know what they want or don’t want. Most people refer to these as a baby’s “signals”.
Right now, your baby can tell you if it needs something by fussing or crying. It can also let you know when it likes something or someone by looking intently. The baby will learn best how to tell parents what they like or don’t like when they begin to see that parents respond to them in positive ways.
Even before they can speak, you need to talk to your baby. Even though there are differences between people, babies whose parents talk to them will talk sooner. They also have larger vocabularies. Talking to babies gives them language skills that will help them learn better when they get to school. Hearing words on the TV or radio is not very helpful to babies learning a language. Your baby benefits from having you up close talking, smiling and singing.
Babies Cry for Lots of Reasons
Crying is the way newborns communicate. Your new baby cries to let you know it needs or wants something.
The first thing to try when baby cries is to feed it. By noticing when it wants to be fed and when it doesn’t, you will learn which cries mean that it is hungry, uncomfortable or wants attention. Sometimes they will want to be held. Sometimes all they want is a dry diaper. Sometimes they are tired or bored.
As you get to know your baby, you will sometimes be able to tell the difference between each kind of crying. You can then try to give them what it needs.
Taking care of your baby will help it feel loved and secure.
Smile, talk and touch your baby as often as possible. Do this when you feed them, change their diaper or give them a bath. Your baby will learn that it can rely on you to take care of it.
Ways to Soothe Your Baby
Sometimes babies cry even when they have been fed, make sure to have clean diapers and are healthy. If your baby is crying because it needs comfort, there are many things you can do. Every baby is different.
Here are some things you can try to find out what calms your baby.
– Rocking your baby in your arms or while sitting in a rocking chair.
– Stroke your baby’s head very gently, or lightly pat their back or chest.
– Make a soft noise to let your baby know you are there and you care.
– Talk to your baby.
– Sing softly to your baby or play soft music.
– Wrap them up in a baby blanket (but not too tightly).
If your baby keeps crying after you have tried everything, keep calm. Babies know when you are upset. No matter how stressed you are, do not shake your baby. Shaking your baby could cause blindness, brain damage or even death.
If you need a break, call a relative, friend or neighbor to help. All babies cry. You will not be able to comfort your baby every single time. That does not mean you are a terrible parent. Do the best you can to comfort or sort your baby.
Here’s a simple tip to help your baby cry less—them. Research shows that babies who are carried more often don’t cry as much as other babies.