Human babies are born very immature and helpless, but they develop very quickly and their individuality emerges in fascinating ways. Parent’s role in this development is very important and there are many ways in which you can help stimulate your baby and bring out the best in him.
Understanding this development and knowing when their baby passes important milestones helps equip parents better in their supportive role. However, each baby in an individual and may not reach milestones exactly on schedule. Genetics and personality can influence when your baby reaches a milestone.
Some babies develop more quickly than others. It is not clear why rates of progress differ; trends can run in families: a toddler who is late in becoming dry at night may have a parent who was also later than the average. Even so, all babies acquire skills in the same sequence; for instance, your baby will sit before he can stand.
Parents often think that passing a milestone is a measure of intelligence, but this is not the case. Intellect has little bearing on, say, walking. In reality, a child’s personality is more important than his IQ. If your baby is placid and laid-back, he may not practice new skills with the same enthusiasm as a baby who is determined to be independent.
Environment can also have a large bearing on your baby’s development and providing the right amount of stimulation is important:
- too little stimulation means that your baby might not develop to their full potential. Poor environment leads to poor learning. The stimulation a baby gets must match his needs.
- too much stimulation can be bewildering and a ‘hot-housed’ baby will not learn new skills any faster, because his brain is not ready to take in so much information.
A baby’s physical growth is inextricably linked with his intellectual, social and emotional development. Babies learn through play and imitation and your positive feedback is essential.