6 Surprising Things Moms Should Be Doing With Baby Right Now

Jeanne Sager | Jul 11, 2013 Baby

baby art tourWhen I heard the Toledo Museum of Art was giving tours for babies, I was tempted to roll my eyes. A 2-month-old? At an art museum? Do 2-month-olds even know what art is? Do they even care?

But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. I was that mother who walked her baby daughter through the store and described everything. I got more than a few strange looks for babbling away at a baby in a carrier who was too young to even pick her head up, but talking to her was the best (and only) way she was going to learn language.

The truth is, there are a lot of things you can -- and should -- be doing with your baby from day one that might sound a little surprising.

Do you do everything on the list? What else have you found yourself doing with your baby that you never would have thought of before kids?

 

Image via Toledo Museum of Art

  • 6 Surprising Things You Should Do With Your Baby

    1
  • Brushing Their Gums

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    Brushing a baby's teeth makes sense, but did you know you should brush their gums? BEFORE there are any teeth?

    It turns out babes have plenty of bacteria in their mouths, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends wiping baby's gums to keep that mouth clean.

  • Reading to Them

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    It may seem silly to read to someone who doesn't even look at the book in your hands and can't say a word. In fact surveys tend to show most parents wait until their children are toddlers to start reading to them.

    But studies have shown that babies who are read to tend to be more responsive and engaged as well as further along in language development than peers who aren't read to.

  • Talking to Baby

    4

    Of course we all talk to our babies, but how much? Do you explain what you're doing to them? How about when you're in the grocery store? Do you explain what you're buying, why you're there? To a newborn?

    You should. Doctors have found that babies can decipher speech as early as 3 months BEFORE birth. Once they're here, the more you talk to them, the more you're spurring development.

  • Introduce Them to Art

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    According to Dr. Kathy Danko-McGhee, director of education and the woman behind the Baby Tours at Toledo Museum of Art, art can actually stimulate the baby brain!

    According to Danko-McGhee, studying shapes, lines, and colors promotes early neuron connections in the brain.

    That can mean going on a tour at a museum that has a baby art tour OR just buying a coffee table book and perusing it with your baby.

  • Baby Massage

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    Before I had a baby, I thought massage was all about stress relief. And what kind of stress can a baby really have? They're waited on, hand and foot!

    But it turns out there's a ton of research extolling the virtues of baby massage, from helping a colicky baby relax to improving the parent/baby bond.

  • Let Them Play in the Dirt

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    We're so attuned to keeping our babies healthy that it's become habit to clean EVERYTHING in sight. But scientists and doctors have become increasingly concerned that we're making things TOO clean for our kids!

    So yes, a little dirt ... is good for your baby.

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