Tips for Newborn Learning and Development

by Brood

This blog post was written by our friends over at Earlybird, be sure to check our their app which provides parents & caregivers with playful learning ideas for kids 0 – 6.

Did you know that even before they’re born, babies start their incredible journey of learning language? Their little brains are already absorbing sounds, which become the foundation for how they’ll listen, speak, and eventually read.

Once they arrive in this world, they embark on a thrilling adventure of exploration and understanding through their sensory-motor system (aka their 5 senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch). From that very first touch, they’re learning and growing, connecting with the world around them and with their loving parents and caregivers. It’s pretty magical!

So, how can you best support your child’s development during these early moments? It’s as simple as play. The most profound learning takes place when they engage in joyful, meaningful, and interactive experiences. Play becomes a child’s laboratory, where they experiment with new ideas and discover the wonders of the world.

But you might wonder, how do you play with a newborn? It’s easier than you think, and you don’t need fancy toys or expensive toy subscriptions. These early moments are all about focusing on your baby’s language, motor and sensory development, and luckily, you already have all the tools at your fingertips.

Everyday moments and routines offer rich learning opportunities. Even though your baby can’t talk back, having a conversation with them is incredibly powerful for their speech and language development. Singing and reading to your baby are also wonderful ways to engage with them. And these don’t need to be kid friendly music and books. You can sing your favorite artist’s songs or read excerpts from what you’re reading right now. Listening to podcasts together, or heading out to a cafe to let your little one listen to the conversations around them are other simple, language rich experiences. All languages are good languages, and your little one will soak it all in.

Tummy time can be great for motor development. Holding your baby upright in your arms counts as tummy time, or you can lay them on the floor with high-contrast visual cards. In the early months, their vision is still developing, and high-contrast images are more easily seen, while also providing a great visual sensory experience as well. 

For delightful sensory experiences, expose them to different smells and textures. Take them on a nature walk in the rain or through a beautiful wooded area to experience new scents and sounds. Let them feel different textures with their hands and feet, like dipping their toes in water or sand at the beach or letting them touch a tree as you walk by.

These seemingly simple experiences are powerful learning opportunities for your little ones as they begin to understand and experience the world we live in.

If you’re looking for more simple play ideas for kids aged 0-6, you can download the free Earlybird app. It’s a great resource for inspiration. You can also use the developmental milestone checklists to help you understand what sorts of experiences your child might be ready for at each stage of their growth and development.

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We work and live on the unceded and occupied territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Since time immemorial, the original peoples of these lands have cared for their families and communities. We are committed to honouring their teachings, legacy and their sovereignty.


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