The wonderful development of the small child from 0-3 years

The newborn child is a unique little person who communicates with you right from the start and absorbs impressions using his senses. During the first three years of life, the child must develop a wide range of competencies on a personal, social, linguistic and physical level. In order to achieve this, the child must have the opportunity to have bodily experiences and emotional experiences. In the following, we will point out important focal points in the child’s development and give ideas on how you can naturally stimulate the young child by including play and activity in everyday life.

The app Little person 0-3 years tells about the child’s development and gives ideas for stimulation

The app explains how you can build early attachment, stimulate e.g. rolling, crawling and crawling, challenging the fine motor skills of the hand, and helping language on its way. Pictures and video clips provide ideas for how you can naturally include play and activity in everyday life. Movement play and nature as a playground are two additional offers that give concrete ideas on how you can stimulate your child’s joy of movement and use nature from the child’s very young age.

A toy box abounds with ideas for toys within each age level, and a short development description within contact and language, gross and fine motor skills gives you the opportunity to get an overview of the child’s development. A logbook provides an overview of the milestones in the child’s development. Here you can plot when your child passes the individual milestones. You can supplement with descriptions of fun experiences from everyday life and upload pictures.

If you choose to register your child with name, gender and birthday, the app becomes more personal by including the child’s name in the text, and you will receive a push message when the child enters a new age stage.

This app is published by the publisher Skalmeje, which publishes materials about children and their development. It has been prepared by 2 health nurses who have a lot of know-how from working with children and their families both in terms of research and in practice over many years. The app is a further development of booklet Little person big development 0 – 3 years. In the following, you can read more about the child’s development and get an insight into what the app contains.

Hugs, eye contact and dialogue – give the child the experience of being loved above all else

Hugs, eye contact and dialogue

When your infant looks at you and squeals happily, you respond by smiling and babbling. If the child shows signs of tiredness, you caress the child, perhaps you rock him quietly so that he calms down. The child experiences being understood. Especially in the beginning, it can be difficult to read and understand the child. Just give yourself time to pick up on the child’s signals and try your best. When you listen to the child and try to understand him, you also give him the opportunity to develop. The child experiences that his own impulses are important when you react to his signals, and the interaction takes on the character of dialogue.

The child enjoys getting up, looking around, feeling his little body close to yours, feeling the movement and getting new visual impressions. The close contact has a calming effect at the same time as it gives the child a bodily experience of harmony. During the periods when the child has too much gunpowder in his body to accept close contact, you must take advantage of the moments when there is a small opening; )

Looking after a small child can feel a bit monotonous. Things repeat over and over again. But this very repetition is crucial for the infant and small child to feel safe. The security is based on the familiar and the repetition that the little one knows you and is happy to be with you and feels safe because the same thing happens today as yesterday. Feeling safe is a crucial prerequisite for development.

Gross motor skills and balance

Gross motor skills and balance

Gross motor development, popularly speaking, runs from top to bottom. The newborn baby cannot hold its head up by itself, but already within the first week, the baby learns to hold its head in the middle position, so that it looks up at you when you are fussing. In the period up to 3-4 months of age, the child gradually gains more head control. In stomach lying, the baby will go from just being able to lift his head himself, lift himself up and rest on his elbows at 3 months of age, and later lift himself completely up on outstretched arms. The rotation of the body begins early and eventually leads to the baby being able to roll around, often before 6 months of age. New movement patterns open up to new ones all the time, so when the child rolls from his back to his stomach, the next step will be to start getting up on all fours and practicing crawling, then crawling to things and trying to get up and practice walking.

The child learns with the body and develops while moving. See what the child expresses and let yourself be guided by the child’s budding movements. It provides inspiration for play and movement. A large part of the child’s gross motor development takes place from the prone position. Therefore, make it exciting for the child to be on his stomach, so that he gradually gets the experience of how he can free himself from the ground and lift himself up and look around. Some babies think they are “flat” because they are either on their backs or on their stomachs. Roll the baby around when you turn it on the changing table or when you play on the carpet on the floor, so that the baby gradually gets the experience of being round and can turn its little body. Above all, use yourself, your body and your voice in the play, and feel free to use toys to help make it more exciting.

Fine motor skills and eye/hand coordination

Popularly speaking, fine motor development goes from the middle outwards. From the arms and hands being in a pronounced flexion pattern after birth, the infant works his way up to having the hands in the middle position by 2 months of age, so that he can suck on them and get to know them, and then begin to observe them. These are all preparations for the hands to grasp what the eyes see at 4 months of age. And now things are going well with learning to hold the hands, changing things from hand to hand, and starting to use the index finger and thumb more in order to be able to grab the exciting little things that the eyes see. The pincer grip is often mastered by 9-10 months of age.

You can already start hanging up exciting, colorful and preferably light things that the child can follow with his eyes as he moves. Later, at 3 months of age, when the child shows that he wants to grab the toy, it is lowered so that the child can grab it, feel it with his hands and mouth, hold it and sense it. The toy must have a different surface and weight, so that the child has different sensory experiences, and it must of course be robust and suitable for the age, so that it is not dangerous for the child. Feel free to vary with rattles or other things that don’t get stuck at the other end, and aren’t heavier than the child can turn and turn them and gain experience with how things disappear if you don’t hold on. Later, the toy may have small ribbons etc., so that it entices the index finger and thumb forward. Balls are wildly stimulating for all ages as they move. So it requires that the eye follows them and the body/hands try to reach them where the eye sees them.

Language and rhythm

Right from birth, the child seeks eye contact. The newborn child is a wonderfully competent being when it comes to creating social contact and being in dialogue with its surroundings. Already early on, the child shows via his facial expressions when he is comfortable, and you can see hints of a small smile within the very first weeks. It is gradually replaced by a more conscious social smile at 1½-2 months of age. The small sounds that also come in the first weeks gradually turn into more varied babbling sounds at 2-3 months of age. At the age of 6 months, ba, ba, ba sounds appear and already at the age of 10-12 months, the first subject words with content such as “hey” or “mam” appear.

Take time to observe the toddler. Return the eye contact and feel free to exaggerate your facial expressions a little, as you now feel like when you say something. It doesn’t take long before the little one starts to make small sounds himself, which gradually develop into little babbling conversations. Just like the rest of us, some babies are very talkative, while others hold back. If this is the case, help the child a little on the way by touching them lightly around the lips and mouth while encouraging with your voice and facial expressions, and pausing in between to let the child speak … babbling : ) The little child has a latency period from when he perceives something, e.g. an encouragement to babble and respond with response in the form of sounds. As adults, we often move on to the next thing very quickly. You can slow yourself down a bit by making it a habit to tell the child what is going to happen. In this way, you prepare the child and at the same time slow yourself down a bit: “Hey Nikolaj, now I’m going to pick you up” or “look here, now you have to change”. It also opens up dialogue.

Think of yourself as a mirror for the child. Be happy and fun with your child, it gives energy to both you and the child. You must also be concerned. So tell your toddler, but avoid expressing anxiety and worry on your face all the time.

Lille Menneske 0-3 years can be downloaded via the App Store or Google Play. It costs DKK 25.

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