Parenting can be an incredibly rewarding experience, especially for first-timers who have just introduced a new addition to the family. It is well known that what happens in the first year of your baby’s life matters more than you think it would. In fact, a baby’s brain grows most rapidly in the first 12 months of life, making it the most critical period for learning. In today’s article, we have a look at how you can make the most of your new baby’s first year. Read on to find out more!
1. Say Cheese!
Nothing is cuter than a photoshoot with your little one. If you are a new parent, we highly recommend booking a photography session with expert child photographer Siobhan Wolff. If your bun is fresh out the oven, even better. Photographers often recommend that parents bring their babies in when they are 5-10 days old as that is when their still-forming bones are most pliable for posing. If your baby is a little older than 5-10 days old, fret not, for this is still the perfect opportunity to create lovely photographic memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life.
2. Venture Into The Outdoors
Exposing your baby to the outdoors is vital in helping develop his or her social skills that will prove to be beneficial over the course of their life. We always recommend that new parents bring their baby out to parks, gardens and other outdoor areas that will expose your child to nature and fresh air. Why not have a picnic with your little one on a patch of grass in a nearby park? Studies have shown that children who have regular access to nature often turn out to be better learners, making it all that more vital that your little one gets to explore the vast world that exists outside your home.
3. Play The Name Game
When it comes to teaching your baby words, it is important that you play the name game. What this means is naming everything around you as you walk around with your baby. It can be as simple as carrying your baby around the kitchen and saying “look at the table, there are so many bananas sitting on it.” or “that is our pet dog, his name is Fluffy”. Ensuring that you name everything around you will help your baby make the connection between words and objects, thus developing his or her mind in its early stages.
4. Introduce Them To Music
Did you know that exposure to music from an early age helps children learn sounds and the meaning of words? It can also affect your baby’s mood and help calm and soothe them. Singing simple nursery rhymes whilst changing your baby or rocking him or her to sleep is a great way to activate the neural pathways responsible for many skills. Dancing to music can also help your baby build motor skills and allow them to practice self-expression.
5. Prepare Meals with Baby
You may think that your baby doesn’t have a clue about what is going on in the kitchen, but research has shown that cooking around your baby can actually help with its mental development. In fact, why not cook a meal with baby, for baby? Homemade baby food is often a lot healthier than store-bought options, and you will be able to control exactly what your baby consumes. Exposing your baby to fresh, healthy ingredients will help create a healthy relationship with food that your child can apply to the rest of their life.
There are numerous activities that you can do with your baby before they reach their first-ever milestone. We hope that this article has given you a few ideas on how you can make the most out of your new baby’s first year.