Development begins from the womb, and as soon as a child is born, the environment around him is mostly responsible for his growth and development. Stimulating a newborn child helps development in various domains like social skills, cognitive skills, and pre-linguistic skills. Prelinguistic skills are instrumental to the development of language. Most children acquire the skills as they grow, but stimulation from the beginning helps in holistic development. There are a few ways parents can stimulate their babies who are as young as two months old:-
Exchange Social smiles –
Exchanging social smiles often helps in getting the communication started. Parents should often look at the child’s face and while smiling at her should initiate conversation.
While talking to your child, make eye contact, smile and communicate with your facial expressions as well as verbal language. Children listen very attentively to their mothers and caretakers. They love looking at and listening to their mother’s voice. Mother can talk, talk and talk to the child about anything in the world. Parents can use lights, or colourful and moving objects to get the child’s attention. This will be visually, auditorily and proprioceptively stimulating for the child.
Humming and singing-
Singing is a very stimulating activity especially when accompanied by movements of hands and feet. If the mother/ father swings while keeping the child in his/her lap, that becomes an enjoyable learning experience for her. Moreover, the rhythm and changes in the tone of the mother, help the baby try and imitate the same to some extent in the later years of development. In short, Babies love being crooned to.
Playing with a ball while the child is in your lap, is another way of stimulating a newborn to communicate. Mother can simultaneously roll a ball towards the baby and talk to her. It is a great activity to develop visual tracking skill. Playing with the child using finger puppets and hand puppets is also a stimulus for her to develop communication skills.