From bump to age two your baby’s brain is making millions of connections every second. It’s such an important period in brain formation, and the little moments – like singing a nursery rhyme, baby massage and offering comfort when needed – all help shape and wire their brain.
These everyday interactions parents have with their little ones are key to their future development and success. We know how busy life gets, but those precious moments when you, your family and friends focus solely on your little one, for even a short amount of time, switch a light bulb on in their brain and help them grow and develop.
Moments that Matter Bradford
We want to help parents recognise how babies are born ready to relate and communicate from the moment they are born. To show small things we can all do to help little ones’ brain development, we’ve created the Moments that Matter campaign.
We were only able to do this with the help of real families from across Bradford and we’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to all of the parents, children and grandparents in the making of our videos.
Our parents told us they don’t need to see Instagram-perfect parenting because life simply isn’t like that – and we agree!
Your baby’s first relationships shape what they learn about who they are, about their feelings, and about others. These nurturing and unique bonds lay the foundations for their future relationships. There is no ‘right’ way. When do you and your baby feel most connected?
Whether happy, excited, sad or grumpy, babies learn about feelings through the way they are mirrored back to them. Be curious about your baby’s feelings and gently mirror them using your face and tone of voice. Copy your baby and watch them copy you. And enjoy that baby giggle in a game of peek-a-boo!
By the age of two babies learn so much, whether this is to walk, talk, eat, play, or even ride a balance bike. It’s incredible the amount of learning they do!
Positive early experiences are essential to help children’s chances of future achievement, success and happiness. So, soothe your baby when they are upset, and delight in your baby’s joy and excitement as they explore this brand new world. What will they learn today?
We have 10 amazing little moments to share with you. These are all real moments that made a difference to our beautiful Bradford babies. And that’s all it takes.:
Moment #1 – Talk to your bump: babies start hearing sounds from just 16 weeks, and by about 26 weeks they can hear your voice! What would you like to tell them about your day?
Moment #2 – Baby massage: between feeds is ideal or after bath time. A nice warm room and a 10p-sized amount of olive oil is all you need! Gently stroke your baby’s body and get to know each other. How does your baby respond to touch?
Moment #3 – Rubbing noses: stroking and touching your child’s face makes them feel safe and loved…and if you do it at sleep time it might help them nod off! How does your baby show you when they are ready for rubbing noses?
Moment #4 – Blowing raspberries: when your baby is ready for play, they will love the funny noise of blowing raspberries. It’s a lovely bonding activity and will be the best conversation you’ll have all day. We promise!
Moment #5 – Sticking your tongue out: for babies it feels funny and interesting as they begin to learn about controlling their body. Babies love to copy – even new-borns have copied this behaviour!
Moment #6 – Sing songs with some actions: time to enjoy being together having fun. Bite-sized learning that takes just a moment. With songs or nursery rhymes with actions, children learn words, counting, physical actions, social skills, listening and rhythm.
Moment #7 – Blowing bubbles: a fun activity to enjoy together. Indoors or outdoors, keep a small bottle of bubbles in your nappy bag for moments on the move too! From tummy time to toddlers…and beyond!
Moment #8 – Dancing: whether musical statues or freeze dance, dancing stimulates almost every part of your baby’s brain. They started dancing before they were born – all that rocking and swaying – so it’s no surprise they love a boogie.
Moment #9 – Pass the ball: rolling, catching, kicking and throwing a ball is a great game to enjoy together. From the moment your little one can sit up it will help their hand-eye co-ordination and sense of timing.
Moment #10 – Where are you: babies get positively giddy with the feeling of being found and learning that something they can’t see still exists. This game also tells your little one “I’m here for you” every time you leave.
For more ideas on playing and communicating with your baby or toddler at home, watch the Big Little Moments videos, visit the Words for Life website, or download our handy booklet You Are Your Baby’s Best Toy.
Moments that Matter Bradford is a campaign by Little Minds Matter – Bradford’s Infant Mental Health Service. We loved working with Bradford families to make our videos, and really hope you enjoy watching them and sharing some moments that matter with your little ones.