Baby’s vision needs to be stimulated for good future motor and cognitive development. At birth, the baby's vision is one of the least developed senses, because inside his mother's womb he was surrounded by darkness. The law of the development of any living organism tells us that the necessity creates the function, and the function creates the organ; since the newborn baby’s vision was not needed until the time of birth, the development of the eyes was not a priority.
The view of the little ones improves every day, but there are some ways we can actively contribute to this process, depending on the stage of growth and development in which they are.
At the age of one month, babies are able to perceive different colors, but they do not yet have the ability to distinguish shades. Stimulate your baby with intense color monochrome toys and clothes.
At two months, the baby can notice the differences between colors and some shades. Most babies are attracted mainly by the primary colors like yellow, red and blue in bright shades.
At the age of four months, babies begin to distinguish distances and begin to assess how far their favorite toy is situated. It is the perfect time to install the carousel-designed baby sets, or the various hanging toys on top of the crib that the little one can stretch to touch.
At 5 months, playing Hide and seek is the favorite game of many babies, and it is also a wonderful exercise that teaches them about the permanence of the objects, about the fact that they continue to exist even when they are hidden behind a screen (obstacle). You can hide your baby’s favorite toy under a blanket, giving the little one the pleasure of rediscovering it. The Peek-a-boo game (hiding your face with the hands and then unveiling it to the baby, accompanied by the words "peek-a-boo") has the same goal, developing even the baby's safe attachment and the dramatic abilities, which will help strengthen empathy and resilience that are so useful in the later years.
At the age of 8 months, the baby does not say many things yet, but his memory is constantly developing. The animal shaped toys and pictures can now be named by the parent, accompanied by imitation of the sounds they usually do. Also, we can show to the baby pictures of the family, asking where is the grandmother, sister, etc. and giving him the opportunity to identify each relative and to indicate them by pointing his finger.
Toys containing mirrors - of course, secured for babies - offer them the opportunity to discover their own facial expressions, to learn and to focus their attention. Studies have shown that mirrors stimulate the emotional and social development of the infants.
From crawling to walking
Starting with the first roll from back to belly and belly to back until the baby manages to walk, both -parent and child go through an adventure of almost a year, sometimes it can take longer. From the age of 3-4 months up to 15 months, the baby goes through the preceding stages that train him for the moment he will be able to take the first steps alone: dangling the legs, pushing and bouncing against hard surfaces. All you have to do as a parent is to help him gain self-confidence by playing and appreciating every success and effort.
Stage one: sitting. Sitting without any support requires strength of the neck muscles, coordination and balance to be able to hold the head. To help the baby strengthen his muscles later in the 4-7 month period, the parent can roll and pass a small ball to the baby. There are some babies who can go straight from sitting to standing and walking.
Second Stage: crawling. Babies get up on all fours and move forward or backward (between 7 and 10 months), it is possible to witness the various methods of the baby to creep on the belly. It is important for the little one to be left freely, providing him with a blanket or floor carpet for babies, placing various toys in different corners to encourage him to move as much as possible to get them.
Stage three: standing up. As your baby gets stronger, he'll start to pull himself up by grabing onto furniture or parents. You can help him get up and sit down and raise his knees.
Stage four: Walk with help. As the baby begins to get up and develops the first notions of maintaining the balance (8-9 months), it can be supported by the parent under the arms (attention, if you hold the baby by th hands, his body position it is not the correct one), sustained when he rises and when he sits down. He will start walking alongside the furniture, walls, and it is important that the home is perfectly safe. Between 8 months and 1 year, the little one gains confidence in his strength and balance and will try to take the first steps. The parent can turn this process into a game, by standing on the floor and help the baby get up, counting the seconds that he can stand without any support and appreciating each effort with maximum enthusiasm. It is better not to prevent the baby’s falls, this way offering him the opportunity to develop the reflexes in these situations; it is important to make sure that there are soft areas on which the baby can land, like cushions, blankets, plush toys or soft inflatable mattresses.
Fifth stage: first steps. The average age of the first steps is between 9-15 months; walking requires self-confidence, so the support and encouragement from the parent is essential. The parent can sit on the floor near the baby, guiding him with much patience, without hurying or forcing him. You can call him to you at small distances that can be slowly increeased.
Stage six: walking. The average age for independent walk is between 12 and 15 months. Warning: using prewalker chairs with wheels is NOT a good way to encourage the child to start walking, instead it is harmful and even dangerous, many children reaching Emergencies because of the accidents involving these devices. It is important to keep encouraging the small ones and to ensure all the surfaces they come into contact with; for outside activities it is good to consider appropriate footwear, the use of back harnesses to avoid injuries and to strengthen the sense of balance.
The appearance of teethThere are many prejudices related to the appearance of the first teeth, the most common wrong idea being that this is a signal for ending breastfeeding and switching to solid food. This concept is false, given that some babies have their first tooth at 3-4 months, when it is obvious they are not yet ready to have solid food, and others may have their first tooth at 1 year age, when they possibly already got used with food.
Most children are prepared to diversify their diet around the age of 6 months, whether they have teeth or not. The finger toothbrush or toy toothbrushes in attractive colors stimulates blood flow of gums, facilitates tooth eruption through the gums and is meant to help the baby during this period, which can be a painful and stress-causing for both - infant and parent.