Did you know that all baby’s senses are fully developed before birth except for the sense of vision. This will take another 7 years to fully develop.
We all know how a new-born baby’s eyes are very “vague” for the first few weeks. It is best to hold objects about 20 – 30 centimetres away from baby’s eyes for him/her to see it. A baby will prefer his/her mother’s face above anything else, especially so if it is a smiling face. Moms will often intuitively move their heads up and down or from side to side as they talk to their baby. This will help baby to focus on its mommy.
Before being able to distinguish between different objects, babies focus on contrasts. There is no better contrast than the parent’s eyes. Think about the contrast between the white and the darker pupil of the eye and make sure you keep eye contact with your baby while feeding him/her.
Babies love to look at reflecting objects. Never discard of an old CD. Stick two old CD’s together so that the shiny parts are showing. Hang this onto a string above baby’s cot or where you change your baby’s nappy. Babies are fascinated by the reflection of the CD. Another idea is to use reflecting silver Christmas decorations. Silver balls, especially those disco like ones, as well as silver tinsel work wonderfully and add to baby’s astonishment.
Of all the colours red has the shortest frequency and are therefore the first colour for baby to recognise. Moms are advised to wear the brightest red lipstick they can find whilst feeding their baby as the baby will stare intently at his/her mommy and will love the mother’s smile.
Do not buy expensive mobiles (I know they are tempting). Baby will soon be bored with it. Rather collect anything red around the house: a red serviette ring, a red curler, a red pencil, a red bow that was stuck onto your Christmas gift – be creative. Hang these items from one of the hangers you use to hang your socks and underwear on and replace the items from time to time.
Start off with contrasting stuff: e.g. black dots on a white paper plate or/and a smiley face drawn onto another piece of white paper. Find some black and white drawings of zebras or lady bugs on the internet laminate them and use them to entertain your baby. Then replace these with shiny, reflecting objects like the CD’s or Christmas decorations. Even a stainless steel teaspoon with a hole in it, will do. After some time you replace the reflecting stuff with red items. And after the red you may use green items to hang from the underwear hanger!
As baby grows older and smarter he/she will start reaching out for the items hanging from the mobile and you will have to be very careful that your baby will not get hold of e.g. a piece of tinsel. By now you will need to hang this further a little bit further away so that it is out of baby’s reach.
For more interesting ideas on how to stimulate your new-born’s senses and how to make the most of these very first months, consider doing the 5 week BabyGym foundation course. More information on the website: www.babygym.co.za or mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next courses will be on Wednesday the 11th of April or Saturday the 14th of April.
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