Tuesday, July 9, 2013

3 Ways to Boost Baby's Development At Home

Every child grows at a different rate and meets milestones at a different pace because there is a wide range of "normal" when it comes to growing up. But the biggest concern for most parents happens when their babies fall behind in reaching milestones or have issues with physical coordination.

According to Dr. Karl Rosengren, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, many children that are behind in their development such as not meeting milestones can benefit from consistent additional help at home. So what can you do to help baby's development and strengthen those much needed core skills needed for on track development?

1.)  Host a Sing A Long Time
The rhythm of nursery rhymes or song can help build an early form of coordination and assist with brain development. As an additional bonus try moving baby's arms to the beat or acting out the nursery rhyme as this can also improve brain development and also boost learning capacity later in childhood.

2.)  Take Time Out for Baby Wearing and Tummy Time
Baby wearing is a great tradition for families because it allows interaction with mom or dad to help stimulate sensory development and encourages baby's neck and upper body muscles to develop which can help protect them from health issues later in life. I also recommend at least 15-30 minutes of tummy time daily  to ensure that your child's muscles and basic motor skills are developing on track. I recommend laying baby on your chest and making cooing noises for parents who are trying tummy time for the first time. In addition according to the American Physical Therapy Association, babies who play or lie on their bellies meet motor milestones quicker than their peers so make sure you make time for baby!

3.)  Have a Ball
Encourage baby to develop hand to eye coordination by playing with balls at a young age. Rolling a ball can not only help with sight tracking but can also help baby's brain make coordination connections at a young age to encourage balance and motor skill mastery. Kim Graber, associate professor of kinesiology and community health at University of Illinois reports that babies love to play with balls and they can learn key skills from basic games.

If you're still worried that your child is not reaching milestones on track and are concerned it may be due to a sensory disorder or brain development issue, call my office at 689-6200 for a free baby development consultation to discuss underlying health concerns and ways to boost healthy brain development at home with simple exercises.