Studies suggest that babies who are stimulated reach developmental milestones and become independent earlier. They have keener senses, better muscle coordination and have a more secure self-image. On the other hand, babies who are not stimulated are found to grow up at a distinct disadvantage in their first grade in school. This disadvantage may linger for years.
Babies who are nurtured in an intelligent environment grow up to have better personalities and more advanced intelligence level.
Your baby’s brain is being shaped as she is growing up – starting from her first days of life. Her brain consists of a hundred billion brain cells called neurons.
These neurons interconnect with one another, like roads and bridges. The more connections the neurons make, the smarter your child becomes.
The formation of these connections are triggered when your baby is exposed to an environment that is rich with colors, sounds, smells, movement, as well as your touch. The simple act of talking to your baby, rocking her to sleep, wiggling her fingers, and wrapping her in fresh-smelling clothes actually builds your baby’s brain.
Infant stimulation games consist of activities that stimulate her senses and jumpstart her intellectual as well as physical learning. Infant stimulation can be fun for both you and your baby. Your baby is not the only one who learns, but you also get to know your baby better, and hone your skill to be her effective first teacher.
The following are game ideas for you 0-6 month old baby. you Feel free to make variations, but be sure that you use safe toys, environment, and movement:
Below are ways you can stimulate your infant in the early stages of her life:
0 to 6 months
- Build trust. Pick up and hold your baby in your most loving way. Talk and smile to her, and show her that she can trust you and others in the future.
- Sway your baby. Put your baby in your lap as a cradle and rock her rhythmically from side to side as you talk or sing to her.
- Make sounds for your baby. Clap your hands, snap your fingers, make unusual sounds in different positions around your baby’s head, play soothing music.
- Sing your baby simple lullabies You have plenty of choices some of which can be in your mother tongue.
- Sing nursery songs to your baby. Make your baby sit in your lap, and bounce her gently to the rhythm of the music. Bounce her a little higher when you say one particular word.
- Dance with your baby. Hold your baby securely against your chest; dance slowly and smoothly across the room.
- Tie a string across your baby’s crib and attach soft colorful toys, pictures, rattles, etc. Make sure she can see the toys. Move the toys gently and talk to her about each one. Stop when she shows that she’s tired by turning her head away from the objects.
- Dangle a toy attached to a stick in her mobile, and change it every few days.
- Make your baby look. Use bright color small object such as pom-poms or cuddly toys. Get your baby’s attention by holding the object around a foot above her face. Slowly move the toy from side to side. Slowly lift the object up and down so she can see it moving from near to far. You can also touch your baby’s cheek with the toy.
- Make your baby see. Move your baby’s head to show her simple patterns or something pretty. Hold your baby high on your shoulder to encourage your baby to explore with her eyes. Or put her on her chest on a pillow so her head and arms are free. It would also be a good idea if you talk to her about the object she is looking at.
- Show your baby your facial expressions. Cradle your baby in your arms, and make her look at you. Gaze into his eyes, speak or sing her name softly, and show her your facial expressions such as a smile, a stuck-out tongue, raised eyebrows, and more.
- Make your baby see you talk. Hold your baby close to your face and lips. Happily talk to her. When she makes a baby sound, respond to her by repeating her sound.
- Play peek-a-boo. Lightly cover your baby’s face with a baby blanket. Talk to her so that she hears you as her eyes are covered. Pull the blanket away saying “peek-a-boo!” Cover your own face sometimes.
- Teach your baby to hold. Show your baby a small toy, and then touch the inside of her hand so her fingers close around it. Hand it to her when she drops it. Speak lovingly to her every time you give her the toy.
- Give your 3 to 6 month old baby objects to explore by touch safe household objects such as non-fuzzy clothes, plastic cups, keys, etc.
- Give your baby an infant massage. Your touch is almost a language for infants. It deepens bonding, and some research has shown that it increases immune functions, improve muscle development and greater production of growth hormones.
- Make your baby begin to remember things. Show her a toy, then turn her away so it’s out of sight. If she turns back to find it, let her have it. Hug her to show that you are pleased.
- Express happy feelings to your baby. Hold the baby near your chest, hold her over your head saying “up”, then lower her saying “down”, then hug her. While doing this, let her know that you’re happy to play with her.
- Teach your baby to roll over. Sit behind your baby’s head when she’s lying on her back. Hold a toy above his face. Slowly move the toy away, towards the side, making sure that your baby is following it with her eyes. When she turns over to see or reach it, give her a hug.
Make your baby do the baby cycle. Gently and slowly move her legs in a bicycling motion, while talking and smiling and encouraging her to wiggle his legs without your help. Soon, she’ll be pedaling by herself!
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