Saturday, 14 September 2019

Getting Your Baby Involved in Daily Routines (6 months – 1 year)

Babies are capable of so much more than what we give them credit for! And they want to be involved in your daily routines…so why not let them?

I’m brainstorming ways in which E.’s (currently 10 months) independence is cultivated. I’m thinking of small things that she can do, with a little bit of help. If she works on these, she will soon learn how to do them independently. And these help her fine motor development, confidence, gross motor development, hand-eye coordination, and understanding cause and effect relationships.

Some of the things she enjoys/might enjoy doing:
  • pulling the drapes before bedtime (from my lap, as that’s easier)
  • brushing teeth in front of the mirror (I placed the mirror on the wall, next to the changing table and I let her sit, while keeping a close eye on her)
  • wiping her face with a wet cotton pad (maybe in front of the mirror)
  • wiping the table after lunch (with my help, but I let her place her hands on the cloth next to mine and wipe)
  • pulling the bib off
  • bringing a clean diaper from a low drawer (we have a small basket with two diapers next to the changing table)
  • putting clothes in the hamper (a bit later for us)
  • turning lights on/off (from my lap)
  • choosing clothes from two options
  • pouring her own water from a tiny pitcher (I’m modelling it for her, but hopefully soon we’ll take that step)
  • choosing the books I’ll read and the toys she wants to play with (we rotate toys, so they’re not too many, and she can choose them from her shelf. Everything is visible and within her reach)
When letting kids help, keep these things in mind:
  • keep the tasks simple, but not too simple;
  • don’t use tasks in a negative way – like “Clean the table, because you made a mess”;
  • if your baby isn’t interested in doing the task, wait until next time and see. Keep modeling it, and eventually it might spur her interest;
  • have patience – the tasks will take time to master and they might be messier, but it’s worth it.
What tasks does your baby enjoy?

She usually sits down facing the mirror to brush her teeth. The basket in the lower left corner has two diapers that she can choose from (different drawings).

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