If you want to make sure that you are aiding your baby’s development as much as possible, then tummy time is incredibly important. You also need to make sure that you are helping them to explore and stimulate themselves through their environment and the toys that they play with. If you can do this, then you will soon see that it is possible for you to give them the tools they need to speed up their developmental process.
Tummy time comes with many cognitive benefits. Baby play mats are ideal here because they give your child the chance to learn things like cause and effect. Regular tummy time is encouraged between the ages of 6 weeks and 4 months. When babies are born, their reaching and grasping skills will be dominated by their reflexes. This means that their reactions are automatic, and they have little control over them.
You may notice that your child has the urge to grasp anything that you put into their hand. By giving your baby tummy time, you encourage them to move, grasp things and kick. This helps them to stimulate these reactions and it also works wonders for their motor function and back support. One of the most important aspects of tummy time would be gross motor development. Play mats are big enough for a child to stretch out, giving them the chance to play on their front, sides and back. Play mats are also ideal for tummy time as it strengthens their back, arms, neck, and the development of further motor skills, including crawling and walking.
Stimulation & Exploration Through Toys
Soft toys are ideal if you want to try and teach your child about stimulation and exploration. Soft toys give your child the perfect balance when it comes to developing their sensory skills and it also helps to encourage emotional growth as well. Even from a young age, infants can easily grasp different sizes, colours, textures and more. Just like adults, babies are also able to experience anxiety.
The world is one big scary place, but one way for you to bring them some comfort would be for you to give them their favourite furry friend. Soft toys give your baby a lot of reassurance and they are ideal if you want to teach your baby how to self-soothe. When buying soft toys for babies, it is important to ensure that they are suitable for children under 12 months of age.
Variety is Key
Variety is key if you want to support your child’s stimulation and development. As mentioned above, soft toys are ideal as they provide comfort, but at the same time, you want to make sure that you are giving your child access to a lot of different textures. You want them to be able to touch different surfaces, and you also encourage them to put things in their mouth. Some teethers are designed with rubber parts, and wooden rings so your child can go from one texture to the next. Your child will soon learn that they find one texture more favourable than the other. This increases their general understanding of the environment around them. Toys help babies find ways to soothe themselves.
Making sure that your baby has access to all of the right developmental toys is crucial if you want to support their overall development. By using this guide and by understanding the way that babies are able to learn, you can then take the right steps in making sure that you give your child the encouragement and the support they need on their learning journey.
Remember that a lot of the above tips can be combined to give your child an all-around stimulatory session. You might want to put them on a playmat for tummy time, and then give them a cuddly dinosaur to reach out for. You might also want to place them on their back while on the playmat and give them a teether, so they can explore different ways of soothing themselves with their toy.