As with most things in the land of Celosia, I'm not talking about anything remotely "schoolish" for her. At the beginning, almost everything in life helps a baby learn. But I am a fan of enrichment, so what has Robin been up to?
In Glenn Doman's book, How Smart is Your Baby? (horrible title, good book, it is available at most libraries), there are different activities to do with your baby from birth onward. I like the initial red stage activities, I've pretty much skipped the orange stage with both of my kids, and now Robin is mostly ready for the yellow stage. Find some amazing checklists here to help you stay organized and for lots of other tips, visit DomanMom's blog.
I'm just going to jump in where we are right now. Disclaimer: I don't follow the program exactly, but it does help me to be mindful throughout the day about how I can play with Robin and what to include in her environment. So what does the yellow stage look like?
1) Touching lots of different and contrasting textures
2) Learning about objects (mostly fruit) through her five senses - taste, smell, texture, seeing the real thing, a picture of it, the written word, and hearing me say its name.
3) Seeing bits of intelligence every day (large, simple, clear pictures, one per 10 in x 10 in card)
4) Balance activities - tons of fun and both my kids have enjoyed these tremendously.
General ideas from the program I also like (paraphrased by me):
1) Keep baby in the least restrictive environment possible - sitting on my lap vs. sitting in a chair
2) Lots and lots of belly time - get the whole family on the floor with the baby often, or raise the baby up to your level (belly on bed and you on the floor so heads are level)
3) The main idea is purposeful interaction to help develop awareness, mobility, and language.
4) Let the baby move, move, move!
It can be very intimidating at first, but just pick something to add to your baby's life. You don't have to do the whole thing to be successful. Even if it just encourages you to talk to your baby more, look at books together, go on walks, etc, then you're doing a great job. With Raccoon I'd always feel guilty, like I wasn't doing enough, but even from the little I did he benefited. I'm not organized enough to be a full Doman mom, but the important thing is that we like what I do.