Early Learning at Home- Baby activities 0-13mos.

You’ve heard that babies learn from the womb and if you’ve sung to your belly, called your baby’s name and had a few cozy chats with him or her, you’re on the right track.

After they’re born their brain develops rapidly until the age of 5. You know the rest. New kid: brand new brain. A clean slate ready to absorb every possible language, gesture, rhythm action, you name it. That’s a huge responsibility as a parent and it’s a tough place to be in if you think you have run out of ideas on how to stimulate you kid, like I did (so I cried, lol.)

But cry not, parents. There’s vast information on early learning with resources for parents.

🔘Vroom for instance, is an app that gives you ideas for daily activities, using your daily activities as a setup to build your baby’s brain. Babies learn from anything you’re doing!

Vroom showed us that we didn’t have to put more on our plate, it’s about what we already do; trying to make those moments worth it.”

🔘 Avoid TV, they are thought to create mental junk since they don’t learn real life lessons (you know, looking at other people and exchanging thoughts) and can make your kids anxious. Here’s why is not the best entertainment or learning source for babies and toddlers and here are some intuitive toys for babies to engage with on their own.

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🔘 Here is another great app called BabySparks (thank you Pru for this one!)

This one gave me a great understanding of my baby’s abilities according to his age. From crawling exercises to using tools to reach objects under a chair! Very stimulating, truly.

Environment and daily living provides a lot of this stimulation, but just as a exercising or learning a new language can improve physical or cognitive skills, early stimulation can help improve many areas of a child’s natural development. The more that parents can do at the beginning of a baby’s life, the greater the benefits.

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🔘 Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child and National Scientific Council on the Developing Child  showcases Three Core Concepts in Early Development that is worth watching. It gives us a much better understanding of how early experiences are built into our bodies and brains, for better or for worse.

🔘 Zero to Three provides resources on early development, from very early. For example, here is this graphic on how everyday parenting choices can add up to big differences in development over the early years of a child’s life. The “Missing” First Year: Parents Underestimate How Much Children Know and Feel from Birth. 

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🔘 Lastly, take advantage of local events for families. Sure most things seem more appropriate for older (walking) kids but don’t doubt for a minute that your little one is learning from their environment.

Exposure to many environments, sounds (hopefully not too loud :)) and different parents’ social interactions are the perfect recipe for the best brain development.

That said, know that your attitude and predisposition to interact with your own baby is ESSENTIAL. If you’re feeling down or you think you have PPD find a mental health professional or reach out to PPD Moms hotline here. Your mental health is the window to you little one’s mental health.

If there’s anything you’d like to add, please comment below. It takes the village to learn about all these things, let’s share and connect.