As a parent you want the absolute best for your baby. You research top-rated toys, explore the depths of mom blogs for advice, and discuss hot topics with your fellow new mommies and daddies. But the reality is none of that compares to one irreplaceable tool when it comes to your baby’s development.
It’s much simpler than you may think. The key to your child’s development is you. Dr. Gigi Chawla, senior medical director of primary care at Children's Minnesota, says, “It’s really not about the latest and greatest device or the latest and coolest toy. It’s about connecting with your baby and helping them learn through simple things.” Watch the video for more insight.
Disconnect to get connected
The best way to connect with your baby, and for your baby to connect with the world around you, is to disconnect. Put away the devices, place the toys back in the toy bins, and engage in face-to-face interaction. Your baby can learn an incredible amount of information from just you. The words you communicate with your child, as well as the relationship that develops during this back and forth, contributes greatly to language and communication skills, along with early brain development.
3 Tips to get started
- Talk. It's that easy! Tell your baby what you did today or narrate as you make dinner. The more words children hear and learn from parents and caregivers, the greater their chance of success through the preschool and kindergarten years, and the more benefits to their lifelong health and well-being.
- Read. If you've run out of stories of your own, grab a book! Books build listening, memory and vocabulary skills. Plus, when you read your child hears you using many different emotions and expressive sounds, which fosters social and emotional development.
- Sing. Singing helps nurture the building blocks of literacy. Hannah Kull, APRN CNP, from the West St. Paul Clinic of Children's Minnesota, says she enjoys singing to her children, especially in the car. Watch the video to learn more.
Want to explore more about face-to-face interaction? Read our new Ebook, The Importance of Child Learning Through Play: Ages 0-2.