Early Learning and School Readiness Instructional Coach & New Parent
I am so tired.
I can’t do this. When will I have time? Am I even doing this right? Which book do I read, the one with color or the black and white book? As a new mother, building my baby’s brain seemed daunting until I remembered that I could start just by talking to him. I found it easy to talk to him about getting dressed, changing his diaper, or washing bottles. At first, it felt strange when his little beady eyes looked back but didn’t speak. Then I found myself having full conversations with him. He may only be three months old but he coos and aws back with every sentence I say.
Watching him talk to me has truly been rewarding, and it all started with just a, “Hey baby, it’s time to get dressed.”
Once I realized how much fun it was to see him smile and engage during conversations, we started doing other things like reading board books, going on walks outside and talking about what we see, talking about grocery choices, and singing songs.
Once I realized that I was the only one questioning whether or not I was doing the right things to build my baby’s brain, it became fun. He may not remember going to the park or the Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary. He may not remember reading about the different types of plants at Grower’s Outlet, but all that vocabulary and environmental stimuli are building his brain. Each and every day more than 1 million neural connections are being formed. It’s amazing that just by talking to my baby, I’m building those pathways.
I have started to take the pressure out of making learning an event. Now it is just part of our everyday life. We play games like peek-a-boo, sing made-up, silly songs about whatever it is I am doing at that given moment and touch a variety of textured toys or items in the house. Simple walks down the hall from one room to another are stimulating and exciting for a brain that is growing.
From one parent to another, I want to encourage you. You can do this too. It doesn’t take a lot of time, money, or planning. It can start with a “Hi baby”. You have everything you need to be your child’s first and best teacher.