S.E.A. (Sleep, Eat, Active)
The first three or four months of a baby’s life revolve much around sleeping and feedings. This leads us parents to believe that “there’s nothing to this” and “I got this”. This is the universe’s way of preparing us for the inevitable fact that they will eventually “wake up”. This is an exciting time and yet for some it can be a period of questioning…Now what?
This was particularly exciting for me, as a mother. I was anticipating more interaction with my daughter and finally it had arrived! The moving, rolling, sitting and talking was a time for me to connect with her beyond the wonderful snuggling and feeding times. This was the time for us to get “active”.
It became very apparent to me, and all of those who had met her, that she was a “mover” and a “talker”. This was evident throughout the day with the exception of when she slept. Awake, she was definitely on the go and communicating with everyone around her. As a teacher, I knew it was my job to not only nurture this, but to encourage it for positive development and growth in all areas.
I noticed, that like a clock, she would sleep, eat and then there would be a period of “active time” and because she was moving her body more and was much more alert around this time (4 months) it was a perfect time for us to engage more in early play like activities. These periods of time were starting to get longer and the gaps between sleeping and eating were getting longer as well. If I kept to the assumption that she had already slept and she was done eating, now, any signs of uncertainty with her led to activities of some sort. She began teaching me!
However, the duration for each baby may be different, and I always began the cycle in the morning after sleep…eats…active or S.E.A., as I like to call it. This is also similar to the common EPS (eat, play, sleep) method, just starting with sleep. Getting to know your baby’s temperament and cues will allow you to have a cycle of sorts depending upon the amount of activity, sleep and feedings your baby is having.
Now, “active” is a word that is relative to your individual baby. Many are more calm and quiet by nature and follow a similar flow of sleeping, eating and active, but not quite as overtly engaging when awake. As you become more active with your baby, your baby will become more active with you. All babies, however, will benefit from positive and playful interactions of some kind at this age.
Active Ways to Help Promote Growth and Development
(4-6 mos. with an adult)
- Singing -face-to-face (helps mood elevation and speech and hearing development)
- Reading –your voice and tone in story and character like voice will encourage and promote a love for stories and early literacy skills. Both singing and reading also tend to provide comfort to an infant.
- Age appropriate toys, cloth and bath-time books, infant safe mirrors- are all wonderful objects to promote motor skills and visual connections. These are the objects you can have fun “with” your baby.
- Baby seats- many baby activity seats/exercisers and bouncy like seats are available to help engage your child in independent sitting and fine and gross motor skills.
- Stroller Rides-the outdoors are an environment like no other for the sounds, smells and sights are endless for your child’s development of the senses.
- Music and Movement-dancing with your baby is an activity that nurtures their sense of rhythm and movement, not to mention…how fun it is to do.
- Talking….yes, “talk” to your baby all day long. When your baby “talks” to you, respond with what they are looking at by name, sing it, name it, and repeat it. Be sure to tell them what you’re doing and have a conversation with them. If you are home with them all day long or have set times that you spend with them before and after work-this will actually become “common” everyday lingo for the both of you. Eventually…you may be hearing them “say” some of those very words.
Remember, though, that each child/parent and parents/child dynamic is unique and has its own journey. Finding what works for baby and family is the ultimate and common goal among us.
Do you have a favorite activity you like to engage in with your baby? Tell us about it below in the comment feed. Thank you for sharing.