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Healthybaby because baby is soaking it all in
Your baby may be living in the now, but loving and consistent limits can help teach them about “later.”
As a result of all their hard work to prepare for speech since birth, this is when most babies experience a vocabulary explosion. Baby may know anywhere from 50 to 100 words, next up: two-word sentences!
As your toddler wades deeper into the language river, the world of comparisons open up, beginning with this/that, big/small, long/short, and high/low. But the two most challenging comparisons are before/after and good/bad.
Ask your child to pick a small favorite stuffed animal, and lie down with the animal on their belly. On the count of three, ask your child to take a deep breath in, expanding their belly (notice the stuffed animal rise), followed by a deep exhale, deflating their belly (notice the stuffed animal sinks down). Try this a few times to help your child get the hang of it. To help your child breathe in, allow them to smell an essential oil at the start of the exercise. This may feel more natural to a child and can enhance their overall experience.
Deep breathing is a powerful relaxation tool that can support individuals throughout development. This exercise is really focused on the mechanics of diaphragmatic breathing — learning how to breathe in deeply, allowing the chest or abdomen to rise, and breathe out, allowing the chest and abdomen to deflate. This specific type of breathing is associated with numerous health benefits, such as heart health, better adaptability to stress, greater energy and focus, and improved sleep.
Nursery rhymes and songs are a great way to practice the patterns of sound—and including hand motions or pictures makes the experience even richer.
Sing “Old McDonald” or the “Wheels on the Bus” and see if baby can fill in the name of each animal.
Set other everyday activities to music—like a bath song for body parts or a getting-dressed song for words like reach, stretch, wiggle, and balance—to practice a specific word or phrase. Make the songs fun and keep narrating routines throughout the day (just as you have been from Day 1). Ask baby to name or sing the body parts as you soap them with Our Body Wash, or to sing “This Little Piggy” as you use Our Moisturizing Cream on each toe.
Adults play the leading role in facilitating opportunities for baby’s repertoire to expand. The more complex words you introduce to baby, the easier it will be for them to learn more.
A whistle can be a helpful communication tool. No, not for you to get baby’s attention, but for baby to work on their oral motor skills. This includes coordination of their lips, cheeks and jaw with airflow, and muscle strengthening.
Ideas for whistle play:
Harmonica: Unlock baby’s musical talents by helping them use their air flow to alter sounds. It’s also a workout for their lungs, hands, and general body as they use positioning and balance to get into it.
Beginner Whistle: Starter brands like Ambi Trumpet, Tommy Toot, or Soft Toot Train can help baby develop strength in blowing. These require very little air to work and can encourage practice.
Kazoo: Teaching baby to hum first can make using a kazoo slightly easier. Once they can imitate your hum, put the kazoo in their mouth and have them keep humming. The vibrations are stimulating to the lips and a fun new experience for baby.
Practicing oral motor activities benefits language development, feeding, and respiration. So, maybe what you’re really missing is a pair of earplugs, though soundless activities like a pinwheel can also help your toddler develop their oral motor skills.
Silliness is seriously good for baby. It can help to promote problem-solving, critical thinking, and other executive function skills like working memory, attention, and inhibitory control. Being silly with baby grows flexibility and curiosity, and can help them see situations through a new and more complex lens. It can also lighten the mood in a moment of tension or fear; shift attention from a reactive state to a more receptive one; and create moments of connection. Let your silly flag fly and find opportunities to flex your funny bone for the benefit of baby’s development.
Yes on all three? Great! One or more No’s? Let’s talk about it.
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