How do you stimulate your newborn's brain? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-14-2012, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been playing the mimic game and reading her stories and showing her things, but I'm just wondering what ya'll are doing with your babes.


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#2 of 22 Old 02-14-2012, 08:40 AM
 
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Newborns really don't need much "stimulation" because everything is stimulation for them!  They are one giant sensory organ, and just being awake is enough!  When DS was a newborn, we really just held or wore him as much as possible, gave gentle touch massages and nursed, sang some lullabyes, etc. 

When he was a bit older (maybe 6 or 8 weeks) we started putting him on a play matt with high contrast cards for to the left and right for brief periods of time and exploring textures with him (I'm sure other things as well, that's all I can think of right now).


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#3 of 22 Old 02-14-2012, 09:20 AM
 
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ITA with nstewart.  Part of the reason why newborns avert eye contact is because they need to process what's happening and they need their brains to catch up with their surroundings.  I talk/sing to her when she's looking at me, but stop when she looks away.  I don't put anything else in her visual path (and I *never* move to get back in her line of vision - this is a difficult concept for my other kids, but they're figuring it out).

 

We don't "do" books until the kid is asking for them.  No videos or anything like that.  Basically, we just follow the cues of the baby and take it from there.


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#4 of 22 Old 02-14-2012, 09:27 AM
 
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I wear him and talk to him in a normal voice (in Spanish, hubby does English) about what I'm doing throughout the day ("I'm rinsing out the blender so the food doesn't get stuck to it... I'm turning off the water..." etc.).  I make sure to use proper vocabulary and not "baby talk".  He loves this and listens attentively.  

 

He can hold his head up pretty well on his own in the Moby (and he's not yet 4 weeks, woohoo!) so I take him to the park and he observes all the plants around him.  I make sure that if his gaze is fixed on something, I stand still so he can observe until he's done.  This helps him develop concentration.  

 

I also play music for him (all sorts: John Denver, Andrea Boccelli, Mozart, kids' music, Mexican music, etc.), and sometimes I dance with him so he can feel the rhythm of the music.  We've also started baby massage, mainly on his legs because it's too cold to undress him totally.  He also spends time on his back just looking around the house, cooing and babbling to himself while I am in another room (so important that they develop the ability to be alone and not always having mom hovering by).  He also spends time in front of a low mirror, although he hasn't shown a lot of interest in looking at himself yet (it will come).

 

I don't believe in overwhelming the baby with colorful plastic mobiles, toys, or baby music, when they are sooooo interested in the world around them and in their parents.  Oh, I also make sure we have a routine because that is hugely important for them at this point (and throughout the early years, actually).  


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#5 of 22 Old 02-14-2012, 01:33 PM
 
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Baby girl is worn constantly, either by myself or DH...hence, she sees/hears/feels what we see/hear/feel all day long.  At night, she sleeps either on my chest or on the bed on one side of me.  Both DH and I sing to her, kiss, massage, pat, or cuddle her all the time. 

 

We have lots of books, and are going to start reading to her at least once per day.  We don't do videos or plastic toys.  We do listen to Pandora frequently (usually music like The Beatles, Jack Johnson, happy stuff like that...), so we sing and dance with her, too.

 

We are trying to talk to her more (like how montessorimama described above)...sometimes I find myself staring at her for hours while she looks around or sleeps and then I realize I haven't said a word to her during those hours!  So we're working on that. innocent.gif

 

She's a pretty happy baby!  The only time she's not happy is either in the carseat or when she's getting changed.


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#6 of 22 Old 02-14-2012, 01:42 PM
 
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I recently read a book that quoted an study that showed the biggest indicator of a child's future intelligence and a bunch of other things was the amount of words spoken to them daily by an involved adult.

 

Also, I get the Baby Center emails and they have cute little things you can do with baby to "stimulate" them. E.g. one of the activities was to get multiple different fabrics and rub them on baby's arm while telling them about the fabric. Definitely not necessary, but kind of cute and fun.

 

This is a pretty cute book if you're looking for activities for yourself and baby to do. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594742197?ie=UTF8&tag=rookiemoms-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1594742197 I know it's a hard adjustment when you have your first (or at least it was for me) to go from always "doing" something to feeling like you're not "doing" anything. You're sustaining a life, but sometimes it feels like nothing got accomplished because you have no physical proof of it besides a living child. :-P


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#7 of 22 Old 02-15-2012, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lactatinggirl View Post
I know it's a hard adjustment when you have your first (or at least it was for me) to go from always "doing" something to feeling like you're not "doing" anything. You're sustaining a life, but sometimes it feels like nothing got accomplished because you have no physical proof of it besides a living child. :-P


yeahthat.gif Totally! I have no interest in "overstimulating" her...but I don't want her to be a lump, either! I do my best to interact with her, but I feel like I'm not doing enough. I'm not a very talkative person, so I always feel like I'm trying to remember to talk to her. I try to talk about what we're doing and read out loud, but I constantly have to remind myself!


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#8 of 22 Old 02-15-2012, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And that book looks fun, thanks for the suggestion, lactatinggirl!


First-time momma-to-be with my amazing man. Planning a homebirth and expecting a baby girl mid-January 2012. love.gif

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#9 of 22 Old 02-16-2012, 10:20 AM
 
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one word= SIBLINGS! jumpers.gif

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#10 of 22 Old 02-17-2012, 08:50 AM
 
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one word= SIBLINGS! jumpers.gif

Amen!!

 

My two year old will just walk up to her and yell at the top of his lungs "BAY-BEE!!" and then seems shocked that she isn't a fan.  And the five year old is in her facing smooching her all. day. long.  Poor babies can't catch a break when they have siblings!
 

 


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#11 of 22 Old 02-18-2012, 12:15 PM
 
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yeahthat.gif  Seriously, my 2.5 yr old is always in his face, touching him, singing to him.  It's pretty cute.  If Eli is crying, Camden immediately says he has to check on him or try to get him to stop.  Eli gets plenty of stimulation just from our daily life.  Lots of talking, watching us play, outings, etc.

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#12 of 22 Old 02-20-2012, 02:12 PM
 
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Amen!!

 

My two year old will just walk up to her and yell at the top of his lungs "BAY-BEE!!" and then seems shocked that she isn't a fan.  And the five year old is in her facing smooching her all. day. long.  Poor babies can't catch a break when they have siblings!
 

 


Bwahahaha.  My 2.5 year old does the same thing.  Especially if W is asleep.  Then he'll get right in his face and go "Baby are you asleep?  WAKE UP BABY WAKE UP."  W sleeps right through it typically.

 

He also has to be touching W all the time... kisses, pats, tickles, and (less sweetly) fingers in the ears (?!).  W is extremely tolerant of it all, which is good, because I'm not sure I could make G stop if I wanted to.


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#13 of 22 Old 03-27-2012, 03:23 PM
 
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What are we doing for stimulation now that our LOs are not newborns anymore?

 

I try to talk to  my girl as much as possible, look at her, touch her, listen to music, etc.  This is funny - we practice Rosetta Stone every night hoping that she will pick up some French too (no looking at the screen, just listening). I try to get her out of the house every day, which she seems to like.

 

The area of concern I have is that I do try to get some work done on the computer everyday, usually with her napping in her bouncer as I bounce it with my foot.  She's still doesn't sleep unless being held or in the bouncer being bounced, so I feel guilty about that time that I am trying to get her to sleep while I work.  That's unreasonable right?

 

Any other ideas for stimulation for our 2+ month old babes?


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#14 of 22 Old 03-27-2012, 08:58 PM
 
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I talk to W a lot...we have a morning 'conversation' when she first wakes up, and then I usually talk to her about what we're doing as we do it..."Time for a diaper change; do you want to wear the blue one or the yellow one?...maybe I'll just put a sleeper on you until we figure out what's going on today...let's go to the kitchen, Mummy needs her coffee!..." etc...

 

She'll usually go in the exersaucer and entertain herself (usually by pushing her toys on the floor) for 20 minutes while I drink coffee/get dressed/check email, etc.  I've been trying to do more tummy time, but she won't tolerate it for long, so I make sure to get on her level and interact with her...I'll also put her in the jolly jumper (she loves being upright and being able to move herself so she can see what's going on) or lay her on the bed while I fold laundry, tidy up, etc, and she's recently started trying to roll over (!!) from back to tummy...I figure she's gonna have it down in another couple weeks...We also listen to a lot of music (I have it going in the background quite often), and will dance and sing to her favourite songs.

 

Thankfully my sister and her 2 kids (20 mths and 3mths) live a few blocks away, so we usually get together a couple times a week; my nephew LOVES 'his' babies :)

 

I've also started reading to her; when she's wide awake and in my lap it's picture or touchy-feely books, and sometimes when she's nursing at night I'll read whatever book I have on the go (currently books on attachment parenting :) )

 

 


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#15 of 22 Old 03-28-2012, 12:15 PM
 
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Hannah those are great suggestions, I was vaguely considering getting one of those "gym" things that you lay baby on to grab at toys over head, but an exersaucer sounds like a better idea.  I will also make sure I have music on all the time and keep a book close by to read aloud.  I am so paranoid I don't do enough. 


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#16 of 22 Old 03-28-2012, 12:54 PM
 
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Hannah those are great suggestions, I was vaguely considering getting one of those "gym" things that you lay baby on to grab at toys over head, but an exersaucer sounds like a better idea.  I will also make sure I have music on all the time and keep a book close by to read aloud.  I am so paranoid I don't do enough. 



The floor baby gym is MUCH better for your baby! Physical therapists cringe at the exersaucer because it can cause hip issues by putting them in prematurely, too long (more than 5-10 minutes, really), and doesn't allow for as much physical development because of being confined. The floor gym allows baby to strengthen so many more muscles and can be very entertaining for them as well.

 



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#17 of 22 Old 03-28-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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Glad you said something greenmama, I was just looking at reviews for both and was leaning back towards the mat. If my guilt will allow me to use it! Lol!


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#18 of 22 Old 03-29-2012, 11:19 AM
 
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DD2 (9 weeks) loves the floor gym. We have this one http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2737988 and I just hang all the toys up and let her sit there and bat at them. She also likes cooing at herself in the mirror and I use it for tummy time, but she often just rolls over and starts playing with the stuff again. 

 

element2012, there's nothing wrong with you putting her in the bouncer and doing some work on the computer. You need time to yourself too. DD1 is an early riser, but DD2 likes to sleep until like noon. She gets really crabby if I try to keep her awake, so I'm just going with the flow of it. We wake up, change her, nurse (and she falls asleep), and I put her in the swing and do the things I need to do (like cleaning house, a bit of me time, etc.) until she wakes up, gets a new diaper, nurses and falls asleep again. After she wakes up the second time she's mostly up for the day. I felt guilty for a while about using "electronic mothering" to soothe her, but it's not like that's the only thing I use. She spends plenty of time on the floor playing, in the wrap, etc. It's just nice to have somewhere where she can sleep while I accomplish things. Give yourself a break. 

 

 

Honestly, all of you first time moms need to give yourself a break! I know it's easy to worry about all the things you need to do to make your child smart, but just by being in this world they're learning so much it would put you into overload. I wish I could go back to myself when DD1 was a baby and just tell myself to chill. I spent so much time worrying about whether or not I was doing the right thing that I didn't get to properly enjoy her being a baby. 


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#19 of 22 Old 03-29-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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Honestly, all of you first time moms need to give yourself a break! I know it's easy to worry about all the things you need to do to make your child smart, but just by being in this world they're learning so much it would put you into overload. I wish I could go back to myself when DD1 was a baby and just tell myself to chill. I spent so much time worrying about whether or not I was doing the right thing that I didn't get to properly enjoy her being a baby. 

ABSOLUTELY!  With my first I was trying so hard to do everything perfectly all while I was in this horrible PPAD fog.  No screen time, no crappy food choices, nursing at every peep, reading to her all the time, etc.  I was so strung out worrying about HER that I didn't take time to worry about ME.  Now that I'm on my third kid my whole goal is make sure I don't kill the baby.  Seriously.  It might sound cliche, but it's true.  It's ok if you can leave 'em in a swing for a bit.  It's ok if they sit at the computer with you.  The days are long and the years are quick.  Having a newbie is such a blip in their lives...enjoy them by enjoying yourself.
 

 


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#20 of 22 Old 03-30-2012, 08:33 AM
 
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The days are long and the years are quick.  

 


 

Love that!!!


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#21 of 22 Old 04-02-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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LG and AQ I appreciate you both so much!  Hugs!  I think first time moms know they're being unreasonable, but yet we fret over everything anyway.  


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#22 of 22 Old 04-03-2012, 12:08 PM
 
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Quote:
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I think first time moms know they're being unreasonable, but yet we fret over everything anyway.  

We were there, too...and fretted just as much.  This is one of those hindsight things. :)
 

 


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