Parenting Baby Steps to Lifetime Success

The lesson of "baby small" is that the earliest years of life set children on a pathway to learning and adulthood. Babies are born learners, and the world is their classroom. In the same way that a baby learns to hold her head up, roll over, sit up, crawl, cruise and then walk, she also learns to differentiate between voices, mimic sounds she hears, associate different words with objects and ideas, put her wants into words, and – in time – learn to express feelings through words.
How can parents set children on a path to being successful adults? First, realize that all experiences are learning experiences. When young children have the chance to safely explore their world, when their first efforts are met with patience and repetition and lots of positive feed-back, their curiosity, perseverance and self-confidence grows.

In this light, everyday become opportunities for brain development!

Bath time, for example, is an excellent opportunity to discover which toys float and which ones sink, and how bubbles feel different from water or air. Bath time is also great for singing songs, and is a welcome part of a bedtime ritual, along with story-time and cuddles. Talk… Touch… Read… and Play.

By praising a young child for attempting difficult things, not just for succeeding, parents help them learn to work through disappointments that will come later on. In all these ways, "Baby small" changes can lead to very big changes in a baby's life!

For more activities, check out babycenter where you can find fun ideas and watch videos to learn more about encouraging learning from a young age.