Playing with your infant
Parents of children aged birth to 3 years:
Put some time aside to play with your child. Your child will move from ‘exploring objects’ to imitating you, to pretending to be you (Baby See, Baby do – this is role modelling). This is a great step forward in your child’s development as it indicates that they recognise you as somebody separate from themselves and somebody important that has separate feelings and thoughts about things.
- Play ‘copy my face’ with young babies. Babies only a few hours old will try to copy some of your actions like sticking out your tongue.
- For a younger child, hold a mirror in front of their face and watch their reactions.
- For an older child, give the mirror (preferably a light plastic framed one) and watch how they view themselves.
- Get close to a younger child – Play ‘clap a clap a handies’ and watch baby’s attempts to copy you.
- Put some time aside to play with your child. Role model building blocks and other games, but do not ‘correct’ the child if they cannot do exactly like you. It is important to let them learn at their own pace, but role modelling will help them develop.
- Use correct names for items, such as soother, bottle, etc – this will promote language development.
To find out more about the Key Messages to support your parenting see https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/0-5years/