Early learning.

Erica - posted on 05/20/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Hi there. I'm 20 weeks pregnant with my first child and, being an OCD perfectionist that always plans ahead, I want to look into some early learning tools and technics for my baby after he is born. So far the only thing I can find on the internet for young babies the the "Your Baby Can Read" program. I personally don't think this really works. I mean sure the baby might be able to recognize the words on the flash cards that come with the program after a while, but can they really read some other random word they've never seen before?? It just seems kinda sketchy. So anyway, I wanted to know what other moms have tried and what they think works best. My husband and I both have many family members with learning disabilities so I want to give our child as much help as I can as early as I can. Please be specific as to the age you started and how well your child did. Also what didn't work would be helpful too. Thanks!

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Karen - posted on 05/21/2011

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Reading is very important. Read to the little one every chance you get. I've heard sign language is good to teach babies. Do age appropriate activities. You can get abc, number posters, animal posters ect. to hang around his/her play areas. Educational shows have taught my daughter a lot. They are making toddler shows like Dora, Diego, Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi ect all preschool curriculum and I'm suprised at how much she has learned. She was counting to 10 at the age of 2 and now she can count to 18 for example. She's not a genius, I don't work with her, but she is learning. She knows all about bones/animals, shapes that I don't even know lol, colors, ect. She is going to preschool next fall just to learn abc's and mainly get the social interaction. We are stuck at home so it's the only way for her to get used to kids her age. The key is to teach them to have a love for learning and they will be fine.

LauraBeth - posted on 05/21/2011

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We read read read! from the time they could sit up (both at 3mo) we did the your baby can read flash cards and books not the DVDs! my son is now 2 can count to ten and knows his colors and can reconize his name and can spell the first 3 letters of his name (Gabriel) each child is so very different and learns at different times but anything you do for your little one helps them learn!!

Louise - posted on 05/21/2011

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I did not buy any special toys for my eldest son. He had the normal baby toys and then at 6 months I read to him every day. He loved books so much. By the age of two he was recognising words and by 4 he was reading alone. At school he was advanced in maths and languages and was soon on the gifted and talented register. He is now at university. I believe getting your children into books is a great start for them but your child has got to enjoy books. My second son had no interest in books at all and just wanted to do boy things and run around like a lounny. My daughter now aged 2.5 loves books and I get 12 new library books every week and she attends story time at the library.

When your baby arrives and you get to know it's charactor then you can decide which way to go. Do they like a story or do they prefer construction toys etc. Try and make learning fun and you wont go far wrong.

Nikki - posted on 05/21/2011

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Don't push and don't stress. All babies and children develop at different rates. As a baby, the most important thing you can do for your child is love them, lots of affection, cuddles, singing, reading and creating a safe and stimulating environment.

As they grow into toddlers, children learn best through play, by being able to explore their environment, new environments, having the props essential to create a great learning environment. eg, dress ups, blocks, books, music, puzzles, climbing equipment, art materials.

I am slightly paranoid about development, only because I have studied it, but I have learnt through my work and through being a mother that you cannot force these things. You need to encourage your child's interests and foster their learning by extending on their likes. You need to give them the space and opportunity to become inquisitive about the world around them because exploration is one of the best, and most important parts of being a toddler.

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The best thing you can do is be relaxed and enjoy your family. Talk to and read to your little one. Cuddle with your baby AND your husband. Let your little one explore his environment. Let him have plenty of free play. All that is important in childhood development.

TV/DVD programs are not necessary and research shows they may cause problems. Babies are hardwired to respond to other humans...not a screen. However, we live in 2011 so your little one will see TV. Don't stress about that, but don't intentionally sit him in front of it for the purpose of learning.

Here is an article called, "Can I Make My Baby Smarter?" I think you'll get some great info. http://www.babygooroo.com/index.php/2011...

I also have a book recommendation. My aunt gave me, "Brain Rules for Baby" by John Medina. I have a Master degree in education with a concentration in psychology and this book is basically a repeat of my childhood psychology classes.

In short? Your baby doesn't need products. Your baby needs you.

Janine - posted on 05/20/2011

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Read read read!!! I started reading to my son after he was born and now he loves books. (he's 20 months now). We have to read a stack of books before bed and nap and several times throughout the day. I'm a SAHM so i am able work with him alot on little things throughout the day. Talking alot to him. Repeating colors of things. I taught him sign language starting at about 6 or 7 months. Just basics like please, all done, thank you, more. I don't allow him to watch too much tv but we do watch baby Einstein's and veggie tales movies every once in a while. The baby Einstein movies are really great for babies starting around 3-6 months.

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