Year One – Post 8 | Quality Time with Baby
All he does is poop and sleep! How am I supposed to have quality time with him? Well, let’s look at a simulated schedule for some quality stimulation time for baby.
Early morning may not work for you but it may be good for baby. You may be getting ready for work or rubbing the sleep out of your eyes, but you will only need a couple of minutes to say some “oos” and “ahs” and let your baby study your face after he has been fed. Place your face 12 to 18 inches from his if he is a newborn to two months of age. Stick out your tongue, blow air through your lips, smack your lips, widen your eyes and scrunch your eyebrows…just make faces. You have just performed a major motion picture for your baby.
While you are getting baby dressed, talk to your baby and tell them everything you are doing. For example: “Here is your shirt. It is a soft, blue shirt. Over the head, first this arm, next the other arm, and pull it down your tummy. Let’s tickle the tummy!” This is so important for your child to hear speech – he is learning your language.
If you are taking your baby to daycare, say some nursery rhymes and sing in the car…your baby thinks your singing is great (even if no one else would agree)! If you are home and need to run to the grocery store, talk to your baby as to what objects you are putting in the grocery cart. “We need some apples. Here they are. Big, red apples. Yumm. Milk and yogurt. Oh, they are cold.” You should even let your baby touch the grocery items. If your baby is eating solid foods, name each food he eats. Play “airplane” with the spoon and observe your baby watching the spoon and anticipating each bite. “Here comes the food…weee!”
When bath time rolls around in the evening, naming your baby’s body parts as you wash them and again, telling the baby everything you are doing, will give him the benefit of learning all of the sounds and words that he will have to know. Research has suggested that a baby needs to hear a word 800 times before they start to recognize it. Of course bedtime is the perfect time for reading simple picture books with bright colors, rhyming words and a predictable outcome will help your child with reading and writing skills in his academic years. So, you can make quality time with your baby by blending words, songs and books into his daily routine.
– Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series