Baby's early development
The right conditions
Babies need their parents to survive, but also to grow up properly! It's by interacting with your child that he or she will develop the ability to move, grasp objects and discover the outside world. Your baby needs a safe environment that's adapted to his motor skills. So, yes, you'll have to hide your vases and lock your cupboards, or at least for a while...
The must-haves for an awakening baby are :
- The play mat: a large, soft play surface that insulates from the cold.
- The arch: to stimulate sight and motor skills. The arch also allows your baby to be relatively "autonomous", as he doesn't need you to pick up any falling toys.
- The bouncer: a little armchair for observing your baby's surroundings. Handy when you need to go about your business, or even to feed him at the very beginning of diversification.
From 1 to 4 months
During the first month, your baby is slowly waking up and becoming aware of his body. His vision is still blurred, but he can distinguish colors, even the color of a playmat on which he is lying. He listens a lot and recognizes his parents' voices, which he heard a lot in the womb. You can play and make vocalizations, whispers, onomatopoeias (you know when you look a bit gaga when talking to your baby?!), smiles, chirps, caresses... when he's in your arms, lying on his back on his playmat, in his bouncer, in the bath or during diaper changes.
The aim? To exchange ideas, help him discover new sensations and forge a bond with him.
At this age, your baby tires very quickly. He can look, but it wears him out. If he turns his head away, it's not that he doesn't want to see anymore, but that he needs to rest. So don't hesitate to put him back in his crib for a well-deserved nap. Of course, when your baby is hungry, he's also less receptive. You'll soon learn to decipher these signs, which it's important to respect so as not to over-stimulate him... After all, it would be a shame to miss naptime!
From the age of 2-3 months, you can stimulate his head hold (very important!) by placing him on his tummy on his play mat from time to time to play with him. Soon, I promise, he'll give you a poker face worthy of Al Pacino!
From 4 to 8 months
Your baby is starting to use his hands.
It's off to the arch, the rattles, all those toys that make noise, can be grabbed, put in the mouth and are terribly interesting!
Your child also discovers the world through taste and the mouth. Some babies even suck... their feet. Don't be offended, just let him have his fun! Vary the positions for your baby on his playmat. On his back or on his stomach to train his head. Are you busy? Put your baby in his bouncer on the floor and let him watch you. Place the arch above him for the duration of the game. The arch is a great advantage for both you and your baby: at last, toys that don't fall over and need to be picked up! I've also heard that some babies love washing machines...
Finally, it's time to discover his own body. You can support this learning process with a series of riddles: whose little nose, whose little hands, whose little legs? And, as in the first few months, make sure you respect these periods of fatigue by leaving him alone regularly.
Want to go further? We recommend the following readings: