Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: touch a finger

Reaching for any object helps baby’s brain develop hand-eye coordination. And there is one object that newborns especially enjoy grasping, your finger.

Allow your baby to hold your finger and to feel it. Encourage by saying “good girl” or “you’re so strong.”

For a change gently stroke the inside of her hand then slightly moving your finger away. She will quickly learn to coordinate the feel, reach, and grasp.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: talk, talk, talk

No matter what age your baby is you should be talking, talking, talking - when he is awake and interested in a "conversation. "

When baby is a newborn keep your voice soft and soothing, always keeping in mind your baby's need for feeling secure.

When baby starts oohing and aahing, it is time for you to start responding! Get a conversation going. For example if you are in the kitchen and he begins to babble, say “Yes, Mama is making dinner. Are you hungry?” Then wait to see if there is a response.

Talk and teach your child. Offer pauses so your child has a chance to respond. Be sure to ask questions in addition to making statements so your infant hears the sounds, intonation, and general patterns of language and conversation.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: walk & rub

Walk and rub is an especially fun activity to do with your newborn baby.

With baby in your arms and walk a few steps, then look into his eyes, then touch nose to nose and rub. Look into his eyes again and smile. Remember, infant stimulation is all about the connection between you and you baby, so touch is vital especially when your baby is a newborn.

Repeat this activity up to 15 minutes as long as your and your baby are enjoying it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Infant Stimulation includes Routine & Predictability

Build stimulating interactive fun right into your baby’s daily routine. Babies like routine, they like predictability.

Baby likes that he sees you first in the morning and that his bath is before he goes to sleep at night (routine). He also likes that when he cries you come and pick him up (predictability).

Predictability and routine are important parts of your baby’s cognitive development and therefore part of your infant stimulation program.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Security: give it to your newborn

Give your newborn the greatest sense of security you can. When your baby cries she needs something from you.

At first you will question what she needs: is it time to eat, is she hungry, does she need her diaper changed, does she have gas and need to be burped? But never underestimate the simple need for comfort. This little baby is dependent on you for everything including warmth, love, and security.

Stimulate her with as much warmth, love and security as you can. Yes, pick her up when she cries. Soothe her. Show her that she is secure and she is loved. You will never regret these actions.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: the power of a cuddle

Hold you infant in your arms. Rock her gently and whisper "I love you."

Research shows that infants who are cuddled, snuggled, and held actually grow up to be more secure and independent.

Naturally you will be holding, rocking, and snuggling your baby, but make this an actual 15 minute infant stimulation activity as often as you like . . . (every day?!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reminder: Key Principles of Infant Stimulation

Infant stimulation activities are fun, important, and influential to your baby’s development. However, these are not exercises in quantity but quality. Baby will benefit most when he is paying attention, therefore, when he is able to pay attention. He shouldn’t be crying, squirming, kicking, or sleepy when you decide to begin stimulation activities.

It is likely that baby is most attentive following his nap. Probably the best indicator as to whether it is a good time to begin interactive stimulation is that your baby is responding to the stimulation. Once he is no longer paying attention, begins to look away, concentrate more on his pacifier, or in any way shows distress (eg crying) it is time to stop.

Now how about you? How are you feeling? Yes, this is just as important! You should always be happy when interacting with your baby. It is okay to skip stimulation activities if you are not up to it. If you are in a bad mood or tired it is actually better to skip the activities for the day. Your baby will still learn many things today, he will still be stimulated, and he will still love you. Take a break and come back tomorrow!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: just touch

Present your baby with experiences that foster learning and growth. The best way for your infant to learn is by holding him and playing with him. The interaction is the thing!

Start with TOUCH, or tactile stimulation. Stroke you newborn often. Caress him across the forehead, down his cheek, across his neck, down his arm, and into his hand – repeat for the other side. Then bring him in for a cuddle.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Have you seen the new Babysmartees website? It is new and improved although the basics are still the same: Infant stimulation is the interaction between you and your baby and Babysmartees t-shirts were made to enhance your baby's visual stimulation.

Check out the new Babysmartees website (

And please like our Facebook page

Top Ten Reasons for Infant Stimulation

1. The foundation of an infant stimulation program is the interaction between a parent and child; enhance the close and loving relationship between you and your baby by starting stimulation activities today.

2. The activities are fun! You should and will enjoy the activities as much as your infant. And wait until you see your baby’s reaction to the activities.

3. Infant stimulation activities do not require a lot of time. An activity should not last longer than 15 minutes.

4. Infant stimulation activities are inexpensive. The few things you might purchase (a Babysmartees t-shirt for visual stimulation, orange or peppermint extract for scent stimulation, or fabric for a tactical blanket) are minor costs.

5. The human brain has its largest growth spurt within the first year of life and a baby’s environment has the strongest impact on his brain. Create a stimulating environment during your baby’s first year.

6. Infant stimulation activities are fun and valuable even before your baby is born. Your baby is able to sense and respond to the world while in the womb. And guess what research has shown to be the best time of day for pre-birth stimulation activities? Fetuses are most alert in the evening between eight and midnight. So rest up from your day and learn an activity to do with the beautiful child you carrying.

7. A father’s involvement is just as important as a mother’s. Infant stimulation activities are perfect opportunities for father and baby to bond. While mom bears the responsibility for the pregnancy, the birth, and the feeding, both parents can be and should be doing stimulation activities with their baby.

8. These are activities that the whole family can enjoy with baby. There is no reason to limit infant stimulation activities to the parents and baby only, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles can learn and enjoy the program too! Just be certain they understand the goal and to always ensure that baby is enjoying himself.

9. Finding activities to do is easy! The Babysmartees Blog is dedicated to infant stimulation activities, so come back daily for new activities and ideas. If you would like to read about the research as well as the activities get a copy of "How to Have a Smarter Baby; Infant Stimulation – Proven Ways to Enhance your Baby’s Natural Development.”

10. With all the good reasons to do infant stimulation activities, I still think this is reason number one: sometimes day in and day out with an infant is not the most stimulating for you. I still remember how every day can feel the same. Having a variety of activities to do with your infant can change things up for you and help you get through another day without it feeling like you are reliving the same day as yesterday!

We're Back

The summer is over (it is official this Friday, September 23), school has started, and everyone is back to work including Babysmartees.

New posts begin today starting with The Top 10 Reasons for Infant Stimulation. Also check out the new Babysmartees website. We have relaunched with a new look and will soon include new products. Hope to see you here and there!!

Like us on Facebook! Lots of great deals, special events, and announcements!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was established to honor Americans who have died in all wars. May we remember the many who have died for our freedom . . . and their families.

Memorial Day also often marks the start of the summer vacation season. Babysmartees is embarking on a vacation this summer and will return in the Fall BIGGER and BETTER. May everyone have a safe and happy summer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: TOES!

“This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none, and this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home.”

This Little Piggy is a wonderful stimulation activity. There is language, interaction, expression, and touch . . . to the toes! You have learned to caress your baby’s head, face, and neck. And it is common to allow your baby to grasp your finger, but this fun game is all about the feet and toes. It is a whole new area of the body to stimulate.

Make sure you and your baby are having fun and be sure to give her a big kiss, on her toes, when you are finished!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: snuggling & cuddling

Hold you infant in your arms. Rock her gently and whisper "I love you."

Research shows that infants who are cuddled, snuggled, and held actually grow up to be more secure and independent.

Naturally you will be holding, rocking, and snuggling your baby, but make this an actual 15 minute infant stimulation activity as often as you like . . . (every day?!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: silly sounds

Never forget that infant stimulation is about enhancing the wonderful relationship with your baby through fun and play. And what better way to have fun than with silly sounds. Lay your infant on the bed or have him sitting in his carrier. Be sure he is in a good mood and so are you. Tell him what you are going to do "Are you ready for some silly sounds?" or "Mama is going to make some silly sounds for you." Then make a funny sound with your tongue or your lips (please check out the video for one idea). Make sure you are smiling and laughing and showing your baby how much fun silly sounds are. And as you will see in this video, do not be surprised when your baby comes back with his own silly sound or even repeats yours!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: making music

You may have heard about playing music for your baby, but how about making music? Tap out a rhythm on a drum, jingle some bells, or play a simple tune on the piano. See what effect different instruments and different tunes have on your baby.

And do not feel limited by any lack of instruments in your home - put some beans in a plastic container, get a spoon and a pot, or ring some chimes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: and the extended family

How wonderful that other members of the family want to enjoy the activities that you are doing with your infant. What a great stimulator to hear other voices, see other faces, and smell other scents.

The most important part of having others enjoy the infant stimulation program is having them understand that babies enjoy extended periods of interaction. This is not a fleeting moment of play, but a focused period of stimulation.

So perhaps Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt and Uncle, and cousins, should observe what you have been doing, understand it, perhaps read this blog, or get the book How to Have a Smarter Baby, and they will have a great education in how to get directly involved in their new family member's health, happiness, and brain development!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: and siblings

Older siblings can be wonderful helpers in your Infant Stimulation Program. In fact, involving an older sibling in interaction with the baby is great way to smooth the transition of somebody new entering the family.

As siblings, they too need to build a positive relationship with one another. So teach your older child some infant stimulation techniques such as singing songs, talking to the baby, and general gentle playing. They probably will take to the "program" quite naturally!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: rythm and patterns

Round and round the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel.
The monkey stopped to pull up his socks, And Pop! goes the weasel.

Rhyming poetry and nursery rhymes introduce rhythms and patterns to your baby. And with this one, imagine the fun of the sound and facial expression when you get to “Pop! goes the weasel.”

Repeat the verse a few times and bring your baby in for a cuddle!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: how low can you go (or high)

Did you know that when your newborn hears a high pitched voice (the common way we tend to speak to babies) his heartrate increases which means he is happy, secure, and cheerful.

Change the pitch of your voice from high to low as you talk or sing. Offer your baby a variety of sounds, but be sure her reactions are positive. And keep smiling so she knows this is a fun game.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: take a walk

Okay this sounds basic, particularly as the weather warms up around the country, but I will have to repost this in January! Yes, take your baby for a walk throughout all the seasons. My son was born in January – if I waited for Spring that would have been 4-5 months inside! With a newborn! All day! Every day!

Instead, we bundled up and walked and walked and walked . . . every day. Even if baby is bundled up and the cover is over the stroller, the air is still different, the sounds are different, and the motion is different from indoor activities. This is a great time for you to point out some things, “Do you hear a bird?” “Do you hear a car?” “That is a stop sign.” “That is a fire hydrant.” “Do you see the dog?”

Naturally, in the nicer weather your baby will see more, probably hear more, and that fresh air always makes for some great naps!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: Just Wiggle a Finger

Never forget that you want your baby in a good mood when starting any infant stimulation activity. AND never forget that you need to be in a good mood too! The activities should be fun and interactive – always reinforcing your loving relationship with your baby.

So when you and your baby are ready, lay your baby on her back. Bring your right hand in front of her eyes (about 10 inches). Then wiggle your index finger up and down, followed by the middle finger, then the fourth finger, and then the little finger. Once she sees your fingers wiggling, continue to wiggle each finger while moving your hand slowly from side to side. As with all infant stimulation activities, continue for about 2-3 minutes, before she gets bored or tired.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: newborn in motion

Movement stimulation with your newborn is a key principle to an infant stimulation program. Your baby is learning to move himself, learning to move other objects, learning that other people and objects move! So simple, but he doesn't know yet. So it is time to have some fun! (And all this goes for your infant at any age, but the point is that it is never too early to start.)

Have your newborn sitting up in his carrier or whatever infant seat you use in the house.

1) Show him how you move: move your fingers, move your hand, wiggle your toes, stick out your tongue. Smile, frown, open your mouth.

2) Show him how objects move. Show him a rattle. Turn so it is horizontal, then vertical. Caress his skin with it.

Remember, a newborns attention span is fleeting so these are activities to do throughout the day, over the course of a week for different body parts, and of course the variety of objects is endless over the course of months. But definitely watch for the amount of time he is focusing on movement stimulation. It will expand and watching that development is awesome.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Infant Stimulation Acitivty: smell

Have you thought about stimulating baby with smells? A newborn's sense of smell is well developed. She is capable of distinguishing smells he likes and those he doesn't. But smell is not merely a pleasant sensation, it has also been found to be important for motor growth promoting involuntary and skeletal movements. In other words - your baby sniffs and automatically has a reaction!

Offer your baby some pleasant smells: mom's perfume and dad's cologne. Put on cotton ball and wave under baby's nose 3 times. Watch for baby's reaction (if you do not wear perfume or cologne try to identify something similar that identifies each of you via smell - perhaps mom's breastmilk or dad's deodorant - as long as it is something pleasant)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: Face to Face Part 2

Two months and on is a great time to actively show and explain a range of facial expressions. Draw faces on small white paper plates that show smiling, frowning, laughing, crying, and surprise. Show your baby the plate with the laughing face then say "laughing." Then you do a laughing face for your baby and again say, "laughing." Repeat for each plate or until your baby has indicated that she has had enough (she starts to look away, gets fussy, or is crying).

You can also use the plates at other times as a quiet stimulator: put a plate on the side of her crib to enhance visual stimulation.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: Face to Face Part 1

Are you surprised to learn that eye-to-eye contact, especially with a newborn baby, is a stimulator? Your baby will examine the expression in your eyes as well as on your face. Expressions are an important stimulation to babies.

To get your newborn to focus on your eyes try this stimulator in a room with dimmed lighting. Maintain face-to-face contact and allow baby to examine your face and find your eyes. Make sure you have eye-to-eye contact to ensure your baby is looking at your eyes.

Allow baby to examine your eyes and, again, see the expression in them. This should only last a few seconds as newborns have a small attention span and you can repeat a few more times. For older infants . . . well, that is our next blog!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: roll a ball down

This is a fun variation for rolling a ball with your baby. Set her up in front of a board (or other incline) and let her watch as the ball rolls down the ramp. Once she has seen this a few times help her hold the ball at the top of the ramp and allow her to let it go.

If it seems time for a change, alter her position so she is sitting at the bottom of the incline. This way she can view the different perspectives - the ball rolling away from her then the ball coming toward her.

Be sure to smile and clap and show how much fun you are having.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: balance ball

Balance balls can be a great tool for playing with your baby. Have your baby lay on top of the ball on his back so he can see you. Roll the ball gently and be sure you are smiling and showing him what a great time this is.

Eventually place your baby face down on the top of the balance ball and roll the ball gently back and forth. Once your baby is able to sit you can place him in a sitting position on top of the balance ball while you bounce it or roll it back and forth.

It is fun to put this activity together with a song such as Rock-a-Bye Baby or Row Row Row Your Boat – and roll the ball to the beat of the song.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Infant Stimulation Activity: swinging (outside)

Spring is springing, so if your local park has baby swings get over there as soon as the weather permits and, of course, when your baby is able to hold her head up. The fist time swinging outside is a wonderful milestone. Bring your camera; bring the camcorder.

Get your baby comfortable in the swing and allow her to get accustomed to it, and then begin slowly swinging her back and forth. Tell her “You’re swinging. Back and forth. Back and forth.” Wait for her reaction and be sure she is enjoying it. The excited sound of your voice will help.

Your baby is not only enjoying the motion, but is also feeling the sensation of a breeze on her face as well as the fresh scents of spring. Mention the breeze, “Do you feel the breeze?” and touch her cheek. Ask if she smells the fresh air, and then show her how to sniff. This might also be her first time to see a number of other children interacting. There is a lot going on, so be sure to watch for signs of over stimulation (cranky, crying, generally not enjoying what you are doing).

When you are finished swinging, give her a big hug and tell her how proud you are of her.