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Never forget that your baby with Down syndrome has the same needs as any other newborn. Of course this involves the usual routine of feeding and changing, but we also recommend a huge dose of cuddles, hugs and a lot of love!
Stimulation, playing, touching, talking and smiling are so important in the
development of every baby. By stimulating your child you will help them to become
aware of you, the rest of the family, their surroundings and the day-to-day noises
around your house and neighbourhood. But give your baby time to respond – on
average, babies with Down syndrome take about nine seconds longer to react.
Smile at your baby. Like every other child, he/she wants to know that you love him/her.
It will not only encourage and reassure him/her, but will make you feel much better
too. Be affectionate with your baby – blow at all parts of his/her body. Tickle, rub and
pat him/her as physical interaction will encourage bonding. Give him/her a daily
massage with a light oil – it’s great for the skin and sensory development.
Babies with Down syndrome tend to be quieter and cry less than other babies but this
doesn’t mean that you should leave your baby alone for too long. Involve them in your
daily routine – they’ll respond to the sound of your voice, the noise of the TV and the
smell of cooking at teatime. Bring them from room to room with you, talking as you go.
Gently rock your baby in your arms – it’s actually good for his/her balance. Always
encourage, praise and cuddle him/her whenever you can.
Encourage eye contact by talking and singing to your baby while feeding them – this
will help their development and is a good form of both stimulation and bonding.
It’s also helpful to put mobiles or chimes where baby can see and hear them.
You should give your baby some playtime lying on his/her tummy everyday. This will
encourage better head control and will contribute to stronger neck and back muscles
in the future. It’s always a good idea to give your baby the chance to experience
Lastly, be sure to make your child curious as to what’s going on. Make noise nearby,
where you can’t be seen, so that baby will become curious and want to get up to see
what you’re doing. This may encourage improved muscle tone.
|Read to your baby. Use simple books that contain one picture and one
or two words on each page.
Sing nursery rhymes, helping your baby to join in with the simple hand
Talk to your baby in simple sentences. Label the things in the baby’s
immediate environment, pointing out and labelling the objects that
you have in the bedroom, kitchen or house.