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Updated: 49 min 46 sec ago

Chatting With Babies

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 14:36

Image Source: The Learning Child

Do you feel uneasy about talking with a baby because you fear they can’t understand what you’re saying?  Fear not, as brain research shows us that talking with infants is important in helping their brains develop, and in learning about language and communication, all before they can really understand the meaning of the words being said.  The more adults speak with infants the more neural connections, or synapses, are formed.  These connections need to be strengthened by repeated exposure to listening to language or else the brain will prune away the unused connections.  Use it or lose it is the phrase to remember.  Here are some ideas for making the most of time spent chatting with an infant:

  • Talk about the baby’s actions as they move. “Oh, I see you are crawling right along.  Soon you will reach me!”
  • Verbalize feelings. Put their feelings into words to help them learn to label what they are feeling and later when they begin to speak to use words to describe their emotions.  “Something has made you angry because you are all red in the face and crying.”  “You look so happy with that big smile on your face.  You really like your stuffed toy don’t you?”
  • Provide guidance to help babies achieve something. “I can see you want that toy by your blanket.  You can reach out your arm and grab it.”
  • Build positive relationships with the baby. The best way to do this is to use “serve and return” interactions with the child.  When an infant cries, babbles, or coos you can respond with an action or words that let them know they have been heard.  For example when a baby says, “Baa!” You can repeat that sound “Baa!”  This simple “serve and return” interaction helps build the child’s brain and puts in place a strong base for future learning.  Some other tips for building on serve-and-return interactions are to:  notice what the child is looking at; notice facial expressions; offer comfort and hugs when needed; take turns talking being sure to wait for the child to respond; and practice noticing when the child is ready to move on or end the activity.

When you take the time to converse with infants, speaking to them, then stopping to listen to them, and then speaking again, this is demonstrating how communication works.  It also helps parents and providers build strong attachments with infants, something which is crucial for all infants to survive and thrive.  Infants who have at least one strong, secure attachment with a caring adult, will be more successful at building and learning skills that will help them throughout their lives such as self-regulation and academic achievement.

By taking small moments of time throughout the day to chat with your baby you are building your child’s brain and setting them up for a lifetime of learning and acquiring skills that will help them deal with life’s trials and triumphs.

Sources: extension.org and developingchild.harvard.edu

LEANNE MANNING, EXTENSION EDUCATOR | THE LEARNING CHILD

Peer Reviewed by LaDonna Werth, Extension Educator, The Learning Child, and Jackie Guzman, Extension Educator, The Learning Child

Make sure to follow The Learning Child on social media for more research-based early childhood education resources!

  

New Child Passenger Law Takes Effect January 1, 2019

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 13:43

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Did you know car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages birth to 13?  Car seats and booster seats can provide the protection to keep children safe in the car.  However many parents are not always using the right seat or following all the steps necessary to safely buckle the child in the seat.

What follows are the changes that take effect in the child passenger law on January 1st.

For children ages 0-2:  Children must ride rear-facing up to age 2 or until they reach the upper weight and height limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer.  Infants and toddlers must ride in rear-facing car seats providing the best support for head, neck, and spine.

For children up to age 8:  Children up to age 8 must ride in a correctly installed car seat or booster seat.  Previously this was only required up until age 6.  Also, children up to age 8 must ride in the back seat, as long as there is a back seat equipped with a seat belt and is not already occupied by other children under eight years of age.

For children ages 8-18:  Children must ride secured in a safety belt or child safety seat (booster seat).

For children ages 0-18:  They are prohibited or banned from riding in cargo areas.

Childcare providers:  must transport all children securely in an appropriate federally-approved child safety seat or safety belt.

The violation of this new law carries a $25 fine plus court costs and 1 point is assessed against the operator’s driving record.

Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States.  Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.  Please become informed of this new law and learn how to correctly select and install a child car seat because three out of four car seats are not used or installed correctly.

Parents can get information and assistance on the proper use of child safety seats at Inspection Stations. Inspection Stations are permanent locations. However, most Inspection Stations require you to schedule an appointment.

To locate an inspection station located in Nebraska, click here!

To locate an inspection station located in Nebraska, click here!

If you are a childcare center and need help locating more information on car seat training, click here!

To learn more visit drivesmartne.org and safekids.org.

Source: https://drivesmartne.org/; https://www.safekids.org/safetytips/field_risks/car-seat

LEANNE MANNING, EXTENSION EDUCATOR | THE LEARNING CHILD

Peer Reviewed by Linda Reddish, Extension Educator, The Learning Child, and Leslie Crandall, Extension Educator, The Learning Child

Make sure to follow The Learning Child on social media for more research-based early childhood education resources!