Creating a Responsive Learning Environment for Early Learning: From Birth Through 3 months
The successful development of competent infants is the parents' belief that they can influence their child's mental development. The table below gives specific suggestions to families on activities for creating a responsive learning environment most appropriate for infant from birth through three months.
|Respond to infant's activity and signals (e.g., awakening and looking); offer objects for baby to look at.||Establishes feeling of inner locus of control, ability of child to affect the environment.|
|Respond to distress signals (crying) and give attention to cause. Crying it out is definitely not recommended.||Establishes a code of mutual expectancy.|
|Breastfeed if possible, for the benefits to both the infant and the mother. If you must bottle feed, change positions for each feeding (e.g., right arm holding baby, then left). This happens naturally when breastfeeding.||Encourages development and coordination of both eyes.|
|Change position of crib in room.||Increases visual stimulation.|
|Place mobiles over crib, patterned with a variety of shapes, colors (make your own); use patterned sheets, clear bumpers; change position and surroundings of infant.||Develops visual complexity skills, nourishes growth of intelligence through heightened interaction with the environment, stimulates curiosity.|
|Rock infant while holding next to chest for 10-minute periods; pick up infant and place on the shoulder. Rocking chairs are most useful at this age.||Infants handled in this manner show more visual attention than other infants.|
|Allow bare-skin cuddling, yours and baby's; rub baby's skin with nubby towel when drying; tickle, squeeze, and pinch a little in games; give baby "feely" objects, put them in hand (e.g., velvet, silk, sponge).||Stimulates sensory development; baby learns about feeling.|
|Turn lights on and off for visual stimulation.||Infants are normally overly sensitive to bright sunlight; care must be taken not to create discomfort.|
|Provide a variety of sounds and speech patterns (musicbox, radio, variety of rhythms, voices).||These are important prelanguage experiences.|
|Sing songs to your baby throughout the day and end with an evening lullaby. Move baby's arms and legs to rhythm of songs on occasion.||Intimately and familiarly introduces music and rhythm; soothes baby.|
|Play vocal games, imitate baby's cooing, introduce real words by naming body parts and toys.||Familiar sounds are of high interest to infants; builds vocabulary, initiates conversation, establishes babies' perceived control of their lives.|
|Allow lots of different smells.||Stimulates olfactory sense.|
|Introduce the playpen or a hard, broad surface, not carpeted. It allows baby to move from room to room with you. Cover the floor with a plastic mat and turn baby loose on tummy. Keep temperature up so that baby can play without restrictive clothing (85 degrees F). Play on floor with baby, be near; encourage movement (e.g., rolling over, creeping.||Allows intellectual stimulation.|
|Place baby in an infant seat or baby swing and move it from room to room as you do your chores.||Allows visual, intellectual stimulation while having security of nearness to caregiver.|
|Carry baby in front pack or other soft carrier when possible.||Allows parent to do chores and talk to baby while baby watches, listens, and naps next to heartbeat.|
© ______ 2008, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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