Being a new parent is stressful as you wonder whether you are doing enough to keep your child on track developmentally. While no parent is perfect if you can avoid these 5 early parenting mistakes then you can help prevent your child from falling behind developmentally.
1. Not talking to their child enough. Parents sometimes are not aware of the need to speak to their baby. Numerous studies have shown that speaking to your child from birth is a great way to develop your child’s language skills. Your baby should be hearing roughly 30,000 words over the course of the day. Commonly, parents are not giving their babies the attention that they need to develop their language skills.
2. Using television as a substitute for human interactions. Babies need direct human interaction and feedback to learn about their surroundings. It is a common myth that watching television can help a child develop their language skills. Studies have shown that watching television does not help develop language skills as it does not give your child the direct feedback she needs to learn to associate objects with their respective words.
3. Not reading to their baby during the first year. Many parents make the mistake of waiting until their child starts talking to begin reading stories to them, it has been shown in multiple studies that reading to your children right from birth helps with their early language development as it vastly increases the number of words your child hears at a young age. It has been shown that children’s books have three times the variety of words compared to everyday parent talk so by reading to your child you will be exposing them to more words which will help with their language development. At first your child won’t be very responsive, but reading exposes your child to many new sounds and emotions that are necessary for early language development.
4. Not playing enough games with their child. As early as 4 months it is important to start playing different games with your child such as peekaboo and patty-cake. These games offer an opportunity for you to bond with your child while also developing humor and language skills for your child. These fun games help develop a child’s language skills by exposing them to different facial expressions and noises that you make while playing with them.
5. Not singing to their child. As a parent it is fantastic if you sing regularly to your child because it provides an opportunity for your child to be exposed to a variety of sounds while also soothing and relaxing her. Singing to your child is a fantastic way to bond with your child while also helping develop language skills.