All babies are clever
Babies are miraculous creatures, they keep surprising us with their natural ability to learn and acquire skills.
When you’re home alone with a tiny baby, you might not be sure how to spend your time together. Here are some suggestions from a mom who is getting to know her baby. Gentle stimulation will help your baby make sense of his world.

Babies love music
When I was pregnant with my son I used to play lots of music, but I had my favourites including a John Legend album, Get Lifted.
I noticed that whenever I got desperate for my son to fall asleep I would simply play the John Legend CD and before you know it he’d be peacefully sleeping.
Babies love music so play a whole lot and see what works for your baby for which occasion.
My son, Qhamani, is now eight months going on nine and I find that kwaito songs make him give a little jump and giggle. 
Take home tip: It’s important for children to be exposed to music because it helps them by promoting language development, creativity, coordination and social development.

Conversation with babies
Babies naturally have enquiring minds so they are always looking and staring at you. The truth is you are a big player in their universe, so make their world a little bit exciting. Try making shapes with your face when you talk to baby, make different sounds with your voice but don’t forget to have little pauses in-between allowing the baby to absorb it all and reply with his own sounds.
Repeating little made-up rhymes encourages their sense of familiarity. For example, whenever you change his nappy, say your own little nappy rhyme. Babies like to see you smile and in turn they smile back as soon as they can.
Take home tip:  Having conversations with babies helps sharpen their observing and listening skills.

Colour bright
Surround your baby with interesting objects and patterns, but not too much or he’ll feel overwhelmed.
Plastic books that you can put inside the bath while they wash them are a plus because not only are you encouraging them to love books but you are also improving their sight.
My baby loved his colourful mobiles with music that you can play, works like magic to keep him occupied.
Take home tip: Bright colours are very helpful to improve babies’ ability to recognise things, they enjoy bright toys and bright clothes.

Dancing for your baby
This is a secret I discovered shortly after my baby was born. I was so sore from having had a C-section. My sister stayed with me for a while, and she used to dance while changing my son's nappy and each time she would do a little dance while he watched and stared and later he smiled each time she danced. When she left  I started playing some Dizzy Gillespie and tapping with my tap shoes on. Qhamani watches my every move and I feel like I’ve got my groove back since I have  not done tap dancing since I left drama school.
Take home tip: Don’t be shy to express yourself freely with your baby – especially when no-one else is watching. You’ll both benefit from the free expression of your creative self.


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