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Set baby on the right path to better motor, visual
and auditory development.
When your baby was growing in your womb, you could feel him moving, pushing, shoving, turning and kicking. These actions will continue after he is born. If you lay him down on a flat surface, he will be moving his limbs, trying to turn his head, and attempting to wriggle around to find the source of a sound. Here are some ideas to help your baby in his motor, visual and auditory development in the first few months.
Help your baby learn how to control the movements of his head, body, arms and legs by positioning and playing simple games from birth, particularly through floor-based play in a safe environment. This is important as these movements will help your baby learn to sit, crawl, stand and eventually walk.
Let your baby spend some time on his tummy. This will strengthen his back and help him learn to crawl. Place some toys in front of him so that he will be motivated to stay in this position. Only put him in this position when you are around. Do not allow him to sleep on his tummy as it increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Support your baby's head by making a pillow using a folded blanket rolled from each end. Place a clean, rolled diaper under his knees to support his hips. Slowly and gently pull up the blanket so that he is raised to a sitting position. As your baby grows older, you may reduce the support on his head and neck.
Put your baby on his side, with a rolled blanket supporting his back and another supporting his front. Tuck your baby's legs in. You can lie down next to him and sing, talk or play finger games.
A newborn is unable to focus on anything further than 25cm from his face. It is thus important to structure his visual world to fit his range of vision. A stimulating and interesting environment will help your baby develop his vision which is important for him to explore the environment and acquire new skills.
Decorate the side of your baby’s cot with photographs of yourself or one of your children. This helps your baby learn to focus as he surveys the pictures and objects around him.
Hang a colourful mobile over your baby’s cot, or hang interesting toys on his pram or stroller hood. Ensure that the mobile and toys are properly attached. This gives your baby extra interesting things to look at and focus on.
Put interesting toys just out of your baby’s reach while he is having tummy time. This encourages him to move and explore.
One of the best ways to soothe a baby is by using your voice. What’s more, you can use different sounds to help develop his hearing and help your baby make the connection between sight, action and sound.
Hold your baby close to you and sing or coo at him/her. This will help your baby learn to focus through listening and turning his/her head towards your voice.
Use a noise-making toy to attract your baby’s attention while you move the toy slowly from one side of his face to another. See if your baby’s eyes follow the movement – this is called eye tracking.
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This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
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