Sunday, May 08, 2005

Child's learning curve.

By Mylea

Infants learn from everyday routines that we as parents establish for them. Some companies are trying to capitalize on the learning curve of infants by making flashcards. This seems like a good idea for repetition purposes, but since babies are constantly learning, their everyday environment is the best place to learn. It is said often that a child's brain is like a little sponge. Their desire and ability to learn is programmed at birth, so the use of flashcards and other outside influences may actually interfere with the natural learning process of a baby. There are many fun and healthy ways that we as parents can encourage the learning process in our infants. Take for instance diaper change sessions this is a good time to encourage language development by talking to them throughout the process.
When feeding your baby use different facial expressions to help baby learn how his expressions affect others. These seem like simple things to do and they are. We must remember that this stage in our child's life every experience is about learning. When babies are awake, they need objects to play with that can stimulate their learning process. Tiny rattles shaken in different directions causes the infant to try to follow where the sound in coming from. Toys need not be expensive, if you use a little creativity you could probably find dozens of objects with different textures that you could introduce to baby. What you will soon notice and this takes some careful observation on your part baby will start to repeat certain actions to convey his needs. This action could be putting his hands in his mouth when he is hunger, or playing with his toes when he is happy. Remember that each baby is unique, so what another baby needs are for one action may be entirely different from your baby. This is why careful observations on your part in necessary.

Babies when older like to experiment with sound; this is also an opportunity to develop more language skills. If they are squeaking on a toy, emphasize the sound by saying the word squeak. When banging on things say the word bang, bang, by doing this the baby is associating a sound with a word. Help baby develop tactile skills, let him touch a piece of sticky tape and watch his reaction. Other ideas are a piece of velvet, while feeling say soft or for a piece of sandpaper say rough. Choose similar words to describe the same feel and to show diversity in wording. Stay in tune to your child's needs, if he starts to turn away, this usually means he has had enough and need a break. Older babies also feel the need to climb, if you have stairs in your home you see them start to take an interest in them. Now you have to be creative and develop an exerciser so that baby can satisfy this need without being hurt. Using padded cardboard boxes or well padding board to build a climber would satisfy this need. Help baby at first learn what to do until he can figure out the problem of getting down by himself.

Remember to only help if the child seems to be getting tired or frustrated, do not automatically rush in to rescue allow time for him to problem solve. Baby, because of not having well enough hand control to explore things with their fingers will result to putting everything in their mouth. It becomes very important to keep things around baby very clean; objects they explore in this manner should also be smooth. Ready-made toys can make our lives easier, so do not pass up the opportunity to introduce your baby to them. Still, you need to observe the level of frustration that is stemmed from not being able to figure out a certain toy. Sometimes, you may even have to put-away the toy until baby matures a little more, introduce the toy again later. Whatever toy your baby is using, whether ready-made or homemade, SAFETY FIRST.

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