Parents are their baby's first teachers and they learn more from loving interaction from you, and from their other caregivers. So the secret to a to helping your baby learn is you, and the interaction you have with your baby can help them become smarter.
Here are some examples of different activities you can do to interact with your baby and helping them become smarter:
- Time for a talk. Sound simple? That’s because it is. While some new parents feel a bit funny about talking to babies who can’t talk back, this isn't the same as talking to yourself. Whenever you take the time to talk to your baby while changing his diaper, tell him about your plans for the day or just comment on whatever it is that comes to mind. The nuances may be lost on him for a while, but he’ll definitely be listening and learning.
- Take a walk. Not only does taking a walk get you both some fresh air and you some exercise, but it gives you plenty more interesting things to talk about and describe to your baby. We’re both fans of front-pouch carriers or slings, as they offer you the close contact that is even more conducive for carrying on a conversation.
- Sing, sing a song. One of the classic Sesame Street songs says it perfectly: Don’t worry if you’re not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing, sing a song! Your newborn will not only cut you some slack if you happen to sing off key, but will instantly become your biggest fan.
- Imitate. Start by sticking your tongue out and you may be surprised to find that your newborn copies you. Move on to making some exaggerated facial expressions and repeating sounds your baby makes, and before long you’ll find that she’ll imitate you as well!
- Stay in Touch. Massage is a great way to stay in touch with your baby. Anyone who has ever had one will agree that it is relaxing. But beyond just relaxation, touch is a particularly important part of how young babies experience the world, and massage can be a true bonding experience—whether you make it up as you go along or buy a book on the art of baby massage.
- Read a book. The entire reading-with-your-baby experience is custom-designed to foster both fun and learning, from the close contact of being held, to hearing the sound of your voice, to watching the pictures and pages go by. In your baby’s first months, however, don’t worry too much about pictures, because it’s the time you share and the sound of your voice that your baby will care about most. In fact, we suggest you take this opportunity to read aloud whatever you find to be the most interesting, since it will only be a matter of months before your baby will expect to have a say in which book(s) you read!