Becoming a parent is both exciting and nerve-wracking. You suddenly find yourself responsible for the well-being of another human being. The internet and people around you might have a lot to say about how you should raise your baby. It can be bewildering for first-time parents with no experience.
In this fast-paced and hyper-competitive era, you will come across moms boasting about their child’s smartness. Their entire conversation will revolve around how fast their toddler understands things or how they speak. Do not let this silent competition overwhelm you.
We have prepared the perfect list to help you raise a smart baby. Continue reading to make parenthood a smooth ride.
1) It Begins In The Womb
Healthy moms are likely to give birth to healthy babies. Mothers must avoid activities and foods that can harm the baby’s development during pregnancy. A few things to stay away from are:
– Smoking and secondhand smoke: smoking while pregnant can lead to low birth weight, risks of defects, respiratory problems, and an increase in your baby’s heart rate.
– Intake of drugs: Your baby has a chance of being born addicted to the substance you have been using (neonatal abstinence syndrome).
– Alcohol: It can cause growth and central nervous system problems, along with risks of hearing, vision, and heart defects.
– Raw foods: Eating raw eggs and fish can increase your risk of food poisoning.
2) Look For Any Abnormal Signs
Parents must stay vigilant about any unusual signs and symptoms. Conduct research to learn about the illnesses that may affect newborns, including infectious diseases and birth injuries like several types of cerebral palsy, Hepatitis A and B, and Jaundice.
Vaccinating your child against all such diseases is the wisest decision. Also, try scheduling regular visits with the doctor to monitor your child’s growth and development.
3) Play With Them
Leaving your baby alone to play with toys is a common practice today. Parents usually see this as an opportunity to get some chores done. However, such playtime does nothing for the baby’s emotional growth. Such growth comes only from human connection.
Parents are the first people a newborn interacts with. Playing with your baby is more than just having fun. It allows children to develop socially and cognitively. Sit with your baby and initiate interactive play. Doing this will allow your child to learn emotional understanding and empathy. Building a strong bond with your baby is necessary for them to learn how to build relationships in the future.
4) Invest In Developmental Toys
Toys are not just a tool to distract kids. They can assist your child during developmental stages in life if used smartly. Nesting cups and building blocks encourage problem-solving skills and supplement hand-eye coordination.
You can introduce your child to puzzles and construction sets as they become preschoolers. These will help them develop logical thinking and learn about spatial relationships.
Sensory play is the new trend in the toddler world. It allows them to engage all five of their senses. Some examples are exploring color with rainbow rice and playing with scented dough. Such activities help build motor skills, support language development, and encourage scientific learning.
5) Converse With Your Child Properly
We have all seen adults talk to their kids by mimicking a baby’s voice. They also avoid meaningful conversations and ignore questions. All parents must realize that conversing with their babies using the correct language is necessary for their growth.
It allows them to learn new vocabulary and improve verbal communication. Engaging in conversations can also help them understand non-verbal cues. Moreover, your interest in what they say can lead to higher self-confidence and esteem.
Ignoring your child’s questions is the worst thing you can do to their development. Over time it will stop your baby from being inquisitive. They will not learn how to think outside of the box. Take your time explaining things to them. Answer their questions without making them feel silly.
6) Appreciate your kid Often
You will probably be listening to “mom and dad, look, I made this!” when your child joins preschool. The painting might not be impressive, but you must appreciate them for it. Let your child know that they did a great job making it. Doing this will increase your child’s confidence in his abilities.
The next time they will be encouraged to participate in such an activity and do better to receive more appreciation. Giving a disappointed look will demotivate them.
7) Provide Reasoning For Everything
Children are used to hearing a lot of no. However, they rarely receive an explanation for it. Parents find it a waste of time to give reasoning behind their instructions.
Doing this takes away your child’s ability to question things. It might teach them the right way to act but will not add to their smartness. Hence, try explaining to your child why you want them to follow instructions. It can be anything from not touching a hot cup of tea to not watching TV a lot.
8) Cover The Basics
A baby’s development depends highly on its health. Nutritious food and adequate sleep will ensure your kid is ready to learn new things every day. These will give him the energy required to face minor challenges.
Food is necessary for optimal brain development. Ensure you feed your newborn the right amount of milk at regular intervals. As they grow, make them habitual of eating vegetables and fruits. Teach them to snack on nuts and healthy snacks instead of junk. Such habits develop at a young age. Hence, begin early.
Sleep is a tricky matter when it comes to newborns. They might be difficult sleepers and wake up throughout the night. Find ways to help your baby sleep peacefully. Consult a doctor regarding it if it is necessary.
There is no set recipe for raising a smart child. You can mix and match to find the perfect balance that works for you and your baby. Remember to not stress over finding this balance, and do not be too hard on yourself and your little one.
Societal pressure might seem a lot to handle sometimes. However, prioritize your baby’s well-being over anything. Obsessing too much over making your child smart can adversely affect their emotional well-being.