Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Requests From Our Readers: Week 23

This week we are talking about development with babies. Check out what our reader said....

"What activities can I do with my 3 month old to help him develop properly?"

What a great topic! Thanks for the request reader.

So help her out...
What do you do to help your baby develop properly without pushing him/her too hard?
What are some fun games/activities you can use to help your baby develop?
How do you gauge how your child is doing without freaking out?


Delia said...

I am no expert but with my kids I sing to them, read to them... I read anything at this age. They don't care if you are reading your magazine to them they just love to hear your voice. With my second I would make sure he was near us when I would read to my older son. Two birds with one stone. :)

I make a homemade black and white {and some red} card of simple shapes and lines for them to look at.

I also give them something to try to hold in their hand...when I think about it...just here and there. They eventually start to grip it more and more until they grab for it.

I like the rattle socks. When they kick their legs or arms out they are rewarded with a nice rattle sound so they start to learn that they are causing the sound and their body can move when and how they want it to.

Ohh...this is making me baby hungry. This stage is SO fun to see them discover themselves more and more. Have fun!

Jessie said...

I know that with my first, I read every baby book, and tried all sorts of exercises and things with her to try to get her to develop on (if not before) schedule... now that I'm on my third, I don't have as much one-on-one time, so I just do what I can. I think Delia is absolutely right on about reading and singing--babies love that, and it is an easy way to encourage learning at even the youngest of ages.

For my baby (who is 3 months old today), the biggest thing I try to do is take the time to just hold her, look at her, and talk to her. (That is surprisingly difficult with two older children, don't judge. :)) And listen to what she has to say, too. I love her sweet voice and facial expressions.

For more physical develoment--I also make sure to do a good amount of tummy time (which basically for me is as long as she can stand it... usually just a few minutes at a time several times a day, if I remember), to help her strengthen her arms and neck muscles. I also make her little legs run or pedal, as if she was on a bike, just to get her a little bit more active. She loves it when I pedal her legs, then suddenly stop and pull them straight, and I love the interaction we get from it. I also try to have a couple little toys around that interest her. I'll either put them in her hand for her to feel and listen to, or I'll dangle them in front of her to try to get her to reach for them. She should start grabbing at them any time now, if I remember right.

Another thing my bro-in-law (who's in school to become a physical therapist) told me was that bones are kind of like muscles in that they are strengthened when they are used, and during infancy it is crucial to strengthen their bones, as it will affect the rest of their lives. He suggested helping your baby sit and stand as much as possible. Especially since my baby is a caucasian girl, already at a high risk for future osteoporosis.

I think the best way to help your baby develop is just to love your baby, and know what is normal for them, and how to comfort them. Babies need a secure place, and that will probably be you. :) Don't freak out about things your baby does or doesn't do--if you're really concerned, talk to the doctor about it. When I had my first baby, I was really frustrated about the baby books I was reading--it wasn't like pregnancy, where they could tell me pretty much exactly what was going on with my baby in the womb at that time. Instead, I just read a lot of "around this time, your baby might be doing this, or maybe they aren't yet and that's ok..." which drove me crazy. It wasn't until later that I realized that it is because each baby really does develop differently, and it shouldn't be a huge concern (most of the time) when your baby does things out of the normal order. As long as you're taking your child to their well-check-ups, where your doctor can make sure the baby is on track, you can most likely rest assured that your baby is doing great.