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Infant Development and Learning – It’s Never Too Early To Start

Lise Eliot
It's never too early to incorporate learning into your baby's day. In fact, research has shown that babies begin learning well before they are even born! Here are some tips to ensure your infant is getting the right kinds of interaction to promote physical mental development.

Parents Play A Key Role:

For babies, parental interaction is their whole world, so moms and dads play a pivotal role in influencing a child's cognitive, language, motor and social-emotional development. Through repeated, positive experiences, parents and other loving caregivers can have a lasting positive impact on their child's brain development

Nurture Language and Sound:

Language development opportunities are critical, especially in the first few years. Engage your baby in face-to-face interaction so he can: hear language being spoken, listen to the written word read aloud, and practice associating objects with words. Music is also a great way to help babies learn language, presenting new words in a fun and memorable context. Singing to your baby provides this experience without undue stress or overstimulation.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind:

Don't forget about your child's physical development, which is crucial to her ability to learn. (They say you have to crawl before you walk for good reason – crawling actually stimulates cognitive development!). From the third month of life onward, a baby's limb movement increases significantly as she begins to crawl, stand and walk, so make sure she has a safe place to move and age-appropriate toys to grasp, push and pull.

• VTech's infant line has a number of products that will help get your child moving and promote infant coordination and motor skills. The 3-in-1 Zebra Scooter actually progresses with your child as they learn become more mobile.

Eyes on the Prize:

As anyone who has ever looked into those big, wide eyes knows, babies are very visual, especially beginning around four months of age. As your child grows and discovers the world around him, he'll start to recognize different colors, textures, designs and shapes. Help him along by surrounding him with bold, vivid examples that engage these new optical abilities. One great time to do this is during bath time. VTech introduced a full line of bath toys that engage baby with sound, colors and numbers and make bath time more fun.

Repetition Drives It All Home:

None of these tips are one-off solutions; rather, they are part of a routine you can easily incorporate into your baby's day. The mind develops through repeated experiences, and the earlier you begin, the better. Find ways to make these tips fun for you AND your baby, because learning is always better with a happy, motivated child.
Meet VTech's Expert Panel
Deborah Sharp Libby
Early Childhood Language and Reading Expert
Eric Klopfer
Platform Learning Expert
Lise Eliot
Early Childhood Mental Development Expert
Helen Boehm
Psychologist, Author, and Parenting Resource Expert
Carla C. Johnson
Science and STEM Expert
Francis (Skip) Fennell
Mathematics Expert