Raising a baby for the first time is both exciting and challenging.  This is a time for developing the bond that will last a lifetime providing the child with the inner resources to develop self-esteem and the ability to relate positively with others.

Handling Newborn baby

Wash your hands before handling your baby. Newborns don't have a strong immune system yet, so they're at risk for infection. Make sure that everyone who carries your baby has clean hands.

Support your baby's head and neck. Cradle the head when carrying your baby and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.

Never shake your newborn, whether in play or in frustration. Shaking can cause bleeding in the brain. If you need to wake your infant, tickle your baby's feet or blow gently on a cheek.

1-6 month baby tips

  • Slowly move colorful things for your baby to see and reach for. A simple toy can attract your baby’s interest by the sounds it makes.
  • Smile and laugh with your baby. You should see your baby smile in return.
  • Talk to your baby and copy her sounds/gestures. You should see your baby slowly focus on your face and try to imitate you in return.
  • Help your child follow an object. When your baby sees it, move it slowly from side to side and up and down. You should see your baby try to follow the object with his eyes.
  • Encourage your baby to reach for a safe object.  You should see your baby try to grab or touch it.

6-9-month-old baby tips

  • Say your baby’s name as much as possible. Your baby will look to see who is saying it and will try to reach out to the person.
  • Never speak or sing too loudly, as this may scare the baby.
  • Smile as much as possible and provide your baby comfort and trust.
  • Give your baby clean, safe, and colorful things, such as a wooden spoon or plastic bowl, to reach for and touch, or bang and drop.
  • Make simple picture books, and puzzles/dolls to develop your baby's curiosity and help him learn new things. To make a simple puzzle, just glue a picture on a piece of cardboard or other material and cut out the sections.

9-12-month-old baby tips

  • Play hide and seek with your child and see if your child can find the objects you hide. You can hide something under a cloth, and say: “Where did it go?”, “Can you find it?”. You should see an increase in your child’s curiosity and willingness to find out what happened to the object.
  • Tell your child the names of things and people. Your child should show interest and soon will try to make relationships between words and objects or people.
  • Show your child how to say things with hands, like “hi”, and “bye”. Soon your child should try to imitate you and wave “bye-bye” on his own.
  • Point to the eyes, nose, and mouth yourself. After showing one part to yourself, touch the same part on your baby. Take your baby’s hand and have your baby touch the eyes, nose, and mouth on you and on your baby. Slowly, the baby will be able to memorize and identify these different words and relate them to his body parts.

1-2-year-old toddler tips

  • Give your child things to put into containers and take out. Your child will try to take them out and put them back on her own, which is great for the development of eye-hand coordination skills.
  • Try to talk about different realities with your infant, such as nature, pictures, and things from the surrounding environment. You should see your toddler move around and be willing to explore the environment.
  • Watch what your toddler does and name it: “You are filling the box.” Your toddler will be happy to show you what he learned and will gain self-esteem.
  • Play with your toddler and offer help: “Let’s do it together. Here are more stones to put into your box”. These discoveries should make her happy and more confident.
  • Use every opportunity to engage in a conversation, including when feeding or bathing, or when working near your child. Soon your toddler begins to understand what you are saying and be able to follow simple directions.