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First 5 California: Six Tips For New Fathers
By Camille Maben, Executive Director, First 5 California
Published May 31, 2018

Becoming a new father can feel a little overwhelming. There’s the lack of sleep, the added responsibilities, the loss of free time, and trying to balance it all. Fatherhood is one of the most wonderful experiences in life, and one of the most important for your child’s early development.

First 5 California has some suggestions on things you can do to make sure your child gets the best possible start in life.

1) Daddy time is critical time.

Giving your wife a break and taking over feeding and comforting your newborn will not only give your partner time to catch some z’s or even shower, but also will help you bond and become closer to your baby.

2) Baby talk may be the most important conversation you have all day.

Talking with your baby is one of the most valuable activities you can do. Studies show that children who are talked to on a regular basis throughout their earliest years will have heard 30 million more words than those who aren’t.

You can talk about your day at work, the trade your favorite team should have made, or what you’re making for dinner. And it doesn’t have to be one-sided. Listen to your baby and encourage their responses.

3) Learning another language can never start too early.

Studies show that children are born with the ability to identify sounds from every language, and speaking another language can help them in a myriad of ways. Dual language learners develop greater working memory, reasoning, flexibility, and problem solving. Knowing more than one language can also increase their career opportunities and keep them mentally sharp later in life.

4) Count on it.

It’s never too early to start working on math skills. Early exposure to simple math helps children develop familiarity and comfort with math, increases their confidence, sets the foundation for more advanced concepts, and helps with learning other subjects.

You can count fingers and toes, building blocks and shapes, or sing counting songs.

5) Make time for stories every day.

Reading to your children on a regular basis throughout the first years of their lives will build their vocabularies and language skills even before they can talk. It also can give them more information about the world and create a lifelong love of books and learning.

6) Sing a little song.

Singing to your baby will not only help their brain develop, but it also will strengthen the connection between you and your baby. Singing and playing music improves their rhythmic development and brings a sense of calm.

You can make homemade instruments from cardboard boxes or an empty plastic container, or just sing with only your voices.

Your interactions with your baby can help them the rest of their life and create memories you will cherish for all of your days.

More tips and information are available at http://www.first5california.com

Categories: Family | Local | National | News | News (Family)
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