Your baby is born ready to learn. They want to get to know more about you and other special people in their lives. In the early months they will learn who they can trust and who makes them feel safe. They learn how to ‘tell’ you what they need.
The time you spend just being with your baby is really important, their brain development is stimulated by this time spent together.
As your baby’s ‘first teacher’ you are vital to giving your child the loving positive experiences they need. By responding to your baby and getting to know each other, you will be giving them the best chance to reach their full potential.
The ‘connections’ or ‘wiring’ in the brain are the foundations for building emotional and physical health. The building of this brain ‘wiring’ begins in the womb. Once your baby is born the rate of development increases. The more positive experiences a baby has, the stronger and healthier the wiring in their brain will be.
Babies are born to be sociable and want to communicate with those around them. Babies can show us what they need and how they feel from their earliest days.
Small babies use crying as one of their ways to communicate with us. It lets you know they need you. The days (and nights!) when they cry a lot are always tough! Remember - all Babies cry, although this doesn't make it easier when your baby is crying, there is advice and support available.
If the crying seems in some way different to you – is high pitched or your baby is making other sounds that you feel worried about then get some advice. Trust your instincts. If you feel worried that something is not right get in touch with your GP or 111 for advice. If their phone lines are busy and you think your baby is seriously ill or getting worse you should call 999.
If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. Emergency SMS is part of the standard 999 service which has been designed specifically for people with hearing loss or difficulty with speech.
Gross Motor Physical Development
Gross motor skills are the movements that use big muscle groups and will eventually mean your baby can roll, sit, crawl, walk, run and jump!
The gross motor movement development during the first six months is amazing. At birth a baby can not hold their own head up and as the months pass will eventually be rolling and maybe even begin to sit up steadily.
Giving your baby the chance to develop these skills and build these muscle groups begins with giving them time and space to do so.
As your child gets stronger you can hold them in a sitting position. Let them sit in the ‘v’ of your legs on the floor to develop their muscles and help them learn to sit.
Always be led by your baby - they will let you know when they have had enough and need a change!
Fine Motor Physical Development
Fine Motor Skills use the small muscles in the hand and wrist. Over time these muscles can allow your child to hold things, feed themselves, build with bricks, draw and write.
It takes time for babies to get the co-ordination to hold and control objects. Until they are around 2 months old babies are not even convinced their hands belong to them! Touching, stroking and showing them their hands and arms helps them begin to get the idea. Your baby will be fascinated and enjoy watching their hands as they realise they are a part of them and that they can use them to reach and hold things.
To begin with a baby will grab things with their whole hand. After this they can work towards using a ‘pinching’ action with their finger and thumb.
Problem Solving Skills
Problem solving skills describes babies beginning to think about and understanding their world. To do this they will need to experience new things to see and hear, and try new activities. In time this will help them remember how things work and understand their world.
To help your baby start to use their memory they need things to be repeated over and over. Try and do things in the same way so they know what is happening.
As the weeks go by your baby will love it when they get to understand their world. They will show you they are excited and enjoy knowing what will happen next.
Personal & Social Development
Personal and social development is how we describe a baby’s need to learn about who they. They learn about their feelings and their own likes and dislikes. It is about them developing relationships and learning social skills.
All the things you say and do with your baby lets them know that they are important to you. This is the beginning of building self-esteem. As you help them learn new skills and praise them for trying, you are building their self confidence.
If you are worried you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
Young people aged 11-19 can text Chat Health on 07480 635060.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.