YOU AND YOUR NEWBORN
The US Government has tips for parents! This information comes to us from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Infants (0 to 1 year of age) quite naturally focus their vision, reach out, and explore the things that are around them. They develop skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye-bye”. These are called developmental milestones: they are achievements that involve memory, language, thinking, reasoning, listening, understanding, and even learning the names of people and things.
During this very early stage, babies also develop bonds of love and trust with their parents and others. The way parents cuddle, hold, and play with their baby will set the foundation for how baby will interact with them and others.
The following are some things that you, as a parent, can do to help your baby during this time:
Talk to your baby. Your voice is calming.
Answer when your baby makes sounds by repeating the sounds and adding words. This helps baby to use language.
Read to your baby. This helps to develop language and sounds.
Sing to your baby and play music. This assists in brain development.
Praise your baby and give lots of loving attention.
Spend time cuddling and holding your baby. This helps babies feel cared for and secure.
When baby is alert, play! Watch your baby closely for signs of being tired or fussy and then take a break.
Distract your baby with toys and move baby to safe areas when baby starts to move and touch [possibly harmful or dangerous] things.
Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Remember this: Parenting can be hard work! It is easier to enjoy your new baby and be a positive, loving parent when you are feeling good yourself.