Does putting a pair of headphones on your pregnant belly playing classical music produce a baby genius? Every parent wants their child to be at the top of the class, and it’s never too early to start stimulating and interacting with your little one. Here are some ways to keep infants engaged once they’re born:
- Use auditory stimulation: Talk to Baby, imitate her sounds, and play music so she is used to a wide range of noises.
- Show colorful images: Infants are best able to see images in black and white as their retinas develop, so exposing them to brightly colored objects or images will begin training them to interpret intensities of different colors.
- Find toys with a variety of textures: Let your baby learn smooth vs. rough, soft vs. hard, and other contrasts by holding or touching different types of (safe) objects.
- Encourage movement: It’s easy to keep your infant in a playpen rather than following her around the room, but crawling and walking as early as possible improves vision and balance. When Baby is old enough, place her on her belly to prompt her to move around.
The bottom line
The research is slim on precisely which techniques are the most effective for educating your little genius, so it doesn’t hurt to experiment! Babies don’t necessarily have a huge propensity for advanced mathematics or postmodern literary criticism at such a young age, so try to keep it simple.
- Heather Haring, OTR/L. “What’s so important about crawling?” MedCentral. OhioHealth, 4/1/2009. Web.
- Jay L. Hoecker, M.D. “Is it OK to play Baby Einstein DVDs for my 6-month-old? Can this kind of programming promote a child’s development?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 4/12/2014. Web.