Spending time at home with a 0-2 year old

Are you wondering how to support your baby?

The best gift for your child is time shared with you. Babies learn about their world through relationships and interactions. You can help your baby to make sense of what is happening around them in lots of different ways.

Being with your baby

Positive early experiences can help your children in many different ways as they grow older:

  • Spend time with your baby, looking at them, talking to them, smiling at them and playing with them
  • Give comfort to your baby through skin-to-skin contact and by using calming, loving words.
  • Help your baby express themselves by putting words to their emotions. You don’t need to ‘fix’ their feelings; being with them is enough

Your baby needs you

By interacting with your baby, you are helping their brain to develop. You are your child’s best toy!

Get to know your baby and understand how they are feeling from what their body and expressions tell you.

Get to know your baby

  • Research suggests children play better (longer and more creatively) with fewer toys around them, so less is more!
  • Delight in their play and encourage their exploration and self-discovery
  • Play games that encourage eye contact and facial expressions such as clapping games and peekaboo

Support networks matter

To support our babies, we need to be supported as parents too.

  • Be calm and empathetic for your baby, you need to take good care of yourself
  • Prioritise connecting with your family and friends 
  • Share how you are feeling with someone you trust
  • Don’t be afraid to seek help from others such as your health visitor, GP or other trusted professionals

Follow your baby’s lead

Babies learn about their world through their relationships and interactions.

  • Notice what your baby is interested in (looking at, reaching for, signalling to). Comment on what they can see
  • Let your baby guide you. If they ask you for help then do so, but be careful not to take the lead
  • Copy what your baby is doing such as faces they pull
  • Your child will have lots of energy so active games and dancing can help them enjoy using that energy
  • Give your baby a voice by speaking as though your baby is speaking, for example “ooh I like that teddy, Mummy!”