Parents: How you can support your child’s early development

By Kieran Whitley

There are many different toys, props and activities that you can use to aid your child’s development. 

But the most important aspect of development is for you to work and understand YOUR child’s individual and unique needs.

Healthy development is successfully working with your child, at their own pace, allowing them to show you what they require. There is so much information available in this day and age.

But never forget that the most important source you need to listen to is your own child. And the most important thing that you can give your child is your time, your full attention and your love. 

TUMMY TIME: AN ESSENTIAL ACTIVITY FOR YOU AND YOUR BABY

Tummy time helps to strengthen your child’s head, neck and upper arm muscles. It also helps to build the strength and coordination needed for rolling over, crawling, reaching, and playing (this is vital as your child spends so much time on his or her back).

You can start with tummy time from new-born (provided there have been no complications with birth) and you can do this for 1 – 3 minutes, responding to your child’s needs and reactions. 

SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO? 

Lie with your baby on the floor, with a towel rolled under their chest and arms for support. Tummy time can also be done by sitting down in a reclined position and holding your baby over your chest/shoulder with their face close to yours. As the baby gains more strength, you can go further down into a reclining position.

As the baby gets a bit older you can also start doing tummy time by placing the child over your lap. Make sure tummy time is only done when your child is awake and under full supervision. 

Flower Valley’s role: 

Flower Valley Conservation Trust is putting emphasis on childhood development and looking at working with children from in utero (through our Early Childhood Development Home Based Programme) through to 5 years.

We are very appreciative to Regina Broenner from the Creative Skills Factory. They are running a series of workshops with the Flower Valley teachers to help observe and work with the developmental milestones and the unique needs of each child.