Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Babies are Portable-Take Them With You!

Now that your baby's here, don't feel you have to stay on the sidelines and sit home day in and day out! You don't need to find a sitter or leave the little one with grandmas, either. Babies are remarkably portable. As soon as your own doctor and your little one's pediatrician give the OK, start taking baby with you around town.

Hauling a baby takes a little bit of getting used to, but you will quickly get the hang of it. You just need to keep baby's needs in mind when you plan your trips. You have a car seat, of course, and you may need a place to put the child when you're not driving, like a stroller or infant carrier. Remember extra diapers, a change of clothes, and a bottle for feeding time if need be. Take what you need to keep baby comfortable and you'll be on your way to a successful outing.
Remember to plan your trip to accommodate the little one's schedule. Be sure you can be in a position to feed at feeding time, change diapers when needed, and allow the baby to sleep at nap time. With practice (and a bit of maturity), your baby will learn to adapt to the new circumstances and inadvertent schedule disruptions more easily. That's one great advantage of hauling your baby around on errands and outings. Babies who travel like that are more flexible and more able to deal with changes in their circumstances.

Best of all, babies who experience the world in this way are learning all of the time. Your baby will have new experiences and see new things on each trip that you take together. If you're like most parents, you understand how important it is to talk to the infant. As you discuss and describe the things you see, your baby is absorbing new words and new ideas. The little one's knowledge of the world expands rapidly, and later on, the child will make connections between printed words and mental images more easily. This will provide a firm foundation for reading skills.

So pack up the little one and go grocery shopping or to the mall. Take baby to the zoo and the park. It's not too tough, provided you plan to meet baby's needs, and the benefits are enormous. You'll help the little one learn to be more flexible and adaptable. You will also be building language skills and readiness for reading down the road. Believe me, it's worth the effort!

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