When we au pair for babies, or the very small children it often comes with added responsibility.
When we au pair for babies, or the very small children it often comes with added responsibility. Babies can only eat certain things and have to stick to their sleep schedules. Babies need to be stimulated as they are constantly learning, growing and developing their brains.
It is vitally important that the au pair is in tune with the little one’s needs.
Some fabulous ideas on how to stimulate babies – The first year of a child’s life are vital as far as their development is concerned, they are constantly being exposed to new sounds, tastes and experiences. It is our duty as their caregiver, to ensure that they are developing in a safe and secure environment. Some basic guidelines on how to interact with babies from newborn are as follows:
Make eye contact! Babies recognise faces from very young and it is so important that you connect and maintain eye contact with them as this helps build their memory.
Let the baby stare at himself in a mirror! If he/she is old enough for tummy time, then place a small mirror in front of him for him to look at himself. This is a great way to interact.
Sing/play music for the baby! Studies show that music stimulates a baby’s brain and actually helps it grow and develop!
Allow baby to have plenty of tummy time! Tummy time is proven to strengthen babies back, neck and core. It is a great exercise for baby to do and should be done multiple times a day.
Play peek-a-boo! This game may seem unimportant but it has actually been proven to be a great way to stimulate babies as well as teach baby about object permanence.
Allow baby to play with/feel different textures on their hands and or feet. This will create awareness as well as encourage them to explore new things.
From six months of age, the WHO suggests that babies start experimenting with solid foods. This can be a great way to explore and have fun with baby as he tries new tastes and textures. Be sure to communicate with his mom/dad about what foods they are happy to introduce to baby. Books! Books! and more BOOKS! Babies from a very young age should be introduced to books. They love sucking and chewing on the book to start, however as time goes on they will begin to really enjoy and interact with story books.
Walks! Babies love going for walks outside or lying outside on a blanket to enjoy the outdoors. Be sure to use sunblock/sun hats/sit in the shade though!
These are just a few ideas of ways to stimulate and engage with babies. They are only little for such a short time, treasure the time you get to spend with them! They are fully relient on their care giver, so be sure to give them the best possible care!