Create free space for children's own ideas!
Babies develop incredibly quickly. You will be amazed how quickly your tiny little baby turns into an independent little child. Enjoy this exciting time and try to be there for your baby as much as you can. For it is only by having support and trusting their parents that children learn to express themselves and follow their own paths.
Spending time with babies does not just mean actively engaging with them – simply "being there" is also a vital part of this. It is therefore neither necessary nor beneficial to constantly talk to babies, play with them or have them sit on your lap. You can also be completely there for your child by quietly observing them or simply positioning yourself close to them. You will then give your baby the reassurance that they are not alone and at the same time encourage them to develop the skill of occupying themselves.
By contrast, constant holding or playing games often leads to "dependency". The child demands more and more of this and quickly gets bored as soon as the usual level of attention is lacking.
Provide an interesting environment!
In order to learn how to play independently, your child also needs to have suitable things to play with. In particular colourful, bright objects or things which move will quickly attract baby's attention. Out in the open these are often falling leaves or shadows; indoors exploring furniture or household objects can also be an exciting activity. But you can also get active yourself to make your baby's world even more exciting. Here are a few tips and what you should look out for when doing this:
- Hang up mobiles: Make mobiles from colourfully plastered cardboard boxes or household objects – make sure you affix them at "reaching height" so that the objects cannot get into the mouth!
- Make your own toys: Create something a bit different, e.g. with colourful rattles made from plastic bottles (filled with sand or lentils) or dolls made from leftover fabrics.
- "Baby-friendly" environment: Make sure that all objects within baby's reach are also really suitable for babies.
- Less is more: Do not overwhelm your baby with toys! If there are too many things to take in, your child will quickly feel overwhelmed and lose interest in exploring things.
- Demonstrate instead of explaining: Particularly in their first year, babies only learn through imitation, not through explanations. If your child is unsure, simply demonstrate to them how they can play with objects.