As we have shown in the previous articles, your baby’s cognitive development is one of the most important phases of his growth. However, it can also be on of the most delicate, what with the problems that can occur. Hence, you as a parent has a very important role to play in ensuring that his development goes well. So, in this article, we will take a look as some of the ways you can help your little one go trough successfully.
How does your child’s cognitive development go?
Before we proceed further, let’s take a quick look at the cognitive milestones that your child will achieve in his first year.
Birth to one month
Responds to loud sounds like ringing phones or vacuum cleaners
Focus his gaze on objects a foot away and follow moving lights
Recognize your face
2 to 4 months
Begins to pay attention to new faces
Follows moving objects and people
Turn his head from side to side to better hear sounds
Creates different cries for different things
Show excitement when seeing a feeding bottle
6 to 8 months
Able to distinguish people based on appearance, voice, and touch
Recall memories about people and objects even if these are not present
Knows his name
Able to play with toys correctly
Make simple plans
9 to 12 months
Able to point to hidden objects
Knows that you won’t “disappear” when you leave the room
Respond to simple requests and makes his own requests
Responds when you say “no”
Imitate actions like talking to the phone
As have been mentioned several times already, while the above are the usual times at which these developments appear, every child develops as a different pace. Hence, you as a parent need to be patient about his growth.
So, what can you do?
As it turns out, there are actually a lot of things that you can do to help your child improve his cognitive skills. Here are some suggestions that you can try.
1. Stimulate his senses
Sight and hearing are some of the first of the senses that you child develops. Hence, these are the ones you can focus on during his early months. For instance, instead of a dull white mattress, you can opt to use a quilted one that features a variety colorful shapes. This will help his eyes focus onto such colors.
When it comes to sound, there is a variety of implements that you can use, such as musical toys. It is worth noting that the common belief that playing classical music to make your kid smarter is all but a myth, as there are no evidence to show that this is the case. In fact, you can use just about any music to stimulate your baby’s hearing, as long as it’s not too loud.
Another sense that you want to actively stimulate is your baby’s touch. In the quilt idea above, for instance, you can also make it have different textures that he can feel when he crawls around. Once he gets older, you can make a simple toy box that contains a wide variety of materials that he can feel around and bang to listen for different sounds.
2. Hone his creativity
Even at his young age, your child is already learning how to interact with and manipulate his surroundings in different ways. Thus, you can also stimulate his creativity. When buying toys for him, choose those that can be played in a variety of ways, as this will get him looking for even more ways to play with them.
Art is also something that you would want to introduce early to your kid. Give him plenty of crayons, child-safe paints and sheets of paper and let him doodle away. Of course, you could also teach him the basics. And while listening to classical music might not do a lot for him, learning to play musical instruments will surely spark his music skills.
3. Let him explore the world
Of course, your home can offer only so many things to do for your young one. Hence, it is always a good idea for both of you to go out and explore. Visit places where he gets to interact with a host of new things, such as children’s museums. Zoos are also a must visit, as kids really love animals.
Of course, just visiting is not enough. Make it into a truly engaging experience for him by asking questions about the things that he saw. And be prepared, as he will likely throw in some questions of his own.
This is just the tip of the amount of things that you can do to help your young one’s cognitive development. But, as he grows, he will become a bit more independent. Hence, your biggest role would be to be right behind him, guiding him as he develops.