While giving a baby loads of love is one of the most important things you can do to aid in her development, there are other things you can do to help with a baby’s development. As a baby grows, she is developing new abilities, skills, preferences and interests. How you interact with and care for a baby can influence her development.
Ensure the baby gets adequate sleep. Babies need the proper amount of sleep to grow and develop. An adequate amount of sleep allows a baby’s body and brain to grow and mature. Adequate sleep can also reduce behavioral issues and negative responses to stimuli, according to TinyLove.com. During the first year, full-term newborn babies require 11 to 16 hours of sleep per 24-hour period. While sleeping needs can vary from baby to baby, the older the baby is, the less sleep he generally requires.
Feed the baby the proper foods in the proper amounts. During the first few months, babies get their nutritional needs met through formula or breast milk. Special fats in breast milk and enhanced formula help babies’ brains to develop. On average, healthy babies require about 2.5 ounces of breast milk or formula per pound of their body weight every 24 hours. As the baby grows and develops, solid foods are introduced into her diet. By the time she turns one, most of her nutritional needs are met through solid foods. Proper nutrition allows a baby to thrive and her body and brain to grow and develop on track.
Stimulate the baby’s five senses. Providing the baby with something that smells familiar, like a blanket, giving him a massage, making eye contact with him, introducing him to new foods and talking and singing to him are all ways you can help him develop his senses and learn about how his world works, according to Parenting.com.