Overwhelmed with the numerous educational toys for infants? Relax and know that all your little one needs is your comfy lap, your voice, and a fun little book to share.
Trust Your Instincts. Experts sayit may not be the videos or educational toys themselves that have not proven to evaluate their effectiveness in helping baby brain development, but more a matter of what the videos replace: Good old-fashioned one-on-one parent-to-baby contact.
"It may be as simple as the fact that for every minute a baby is in front of a screen, they are not engaged with a loving, familiar caregiver ... and infants learn from loving adults," says Jill Stamm, PhD, author of Bright From The Start: The Simple, Science-Backed Way to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind From Birth to Age 3.
There is nothing wrong with some limited time with the educational toys, just try to find a few minutes a day for one-on-one reading with your infant.
As a parent or care giver, it’s important to understand the value of reading one-on-one with infants as young as just a few weeks old. Why? By reading out loud and sharing a fun book with your infant, you can help fuel listening and memory skills. As time goes on with daily reading, this will build upon future language and reading skills in later years.
In my child care program, I like to include infants with the toddler group reading. However, I also take a few minutes during the daily routine to read one-on-one an infant on your lap. During this time, I let him explore the pages at his own pace as he hears my voice speaking the words from the book. I suggest finding a time in the day when it’s quiet, so there are limited distractions. The types of books I find work best are small short story books, touch and feel, washable material, or board books. The main idea is for your infant to have an opportunity to hear you talk with spoken words while exploring the colorful pictures. This is not only important for your infant’s brain development, but a time to bond one-on-one with you as well.
I love this quote from kidshealth.org, “Jacob loves books. His mom knows this because when she sits down to read to him every night, he waves his arms excitedly.
His favorite page of "Goodnight Moon" shows a cow jumping over the moon. He squeals and reaches for the book every time he sees it. When she is done reading, his mom usually lets him hold the sturdy board book, which he promptly sticks into his mouth.
Jacob is only 6 months old, but he is already well on his way to becoming a reader.”
Enjoy reading time with your little one,