Friday, August 8, 2008

Developmental Post #18

This developmental idea/project comes courtesy of my sister. She just had a baby (full term) and yesterday she was telling me about a little project she made for him. I thought it was a great idea that would work well for preemies so I wanted to share.

As you probably know, when babies are small they can only see black and white. They like to look at high contrast pictures. Images such as checkerboards, circles, simple animal faces, etc. are a great way to keep a preemie interested and looking around. Here are some great, inexpensive ways to provide your preemie with some fun things to look at.

At home:
1) Paper plate faces - my sister took a black pen and drew simple happy faces on some paper plates and then hung them on her son's swing. This is a fast way to give your little one something to look at.

2) Paper mobile - create a simple mobile to hang over your preemie's crib, swing, diaper changing area or bouncy seat. Click here for some easy designs and instructions. Or create your own - you don't need to be an artist to draw faces, squares and circles for your little one to look at.

In the NICU:
When my daughter was in the NICU I cut out squares of paper with simple black and white designs on them. I covered each one in contact paper and then taped them to the sides of her crib. She really liked looking at them and I felt good being able to provide something simple and fun for her while she was in the NICU. Ask your preemie's nurse what is allowed in your NICU.

Developmental Tips are part of a weekly series. To read more developmental tips and ideas for preemies, click here.

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