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Encouraging Independence: Top Tips and Advice

With a newborn baby around, it may seem like you will never have any time to yourself – feeling the constant need to spend every minute with them, either snuggled into you, or playing with them on their baby gym. However, encouraging a little independence, even from a young age, can be a great thing to do.

As they grow, they will be more inclined to spend time on their own, immersing themselves in whatever toy takes their fancy and enjoying their own company. Before that time comes, it may seem like they cry every time you leave the room and attachment issues may set in. Luckily, there are ways to improve the situation, by changing the way in which you do things and providing plenty of toys that promote independence.

If you give them some dedicated attention throughout the day, either with cuddles, tickles, playing with their toys or reading them a story, they will more than likely be more accepting of the times that your attention is elsewhere. You can’t spend every waking moment with them and, if you take them everywhere with you, to the kitchen or the loo for example, they will never learn to adjust to spending a little time on their own.

Provide her with toys that she hasn’t played with for a while. Rotate the toys that you have so that she doesn’t see certain ones for a while; when you rotate them and offer these ones to her, it’ll feel like completely new toys for her to play with.

Toys that help to promote independence vary with age and stage of development, but they can be anything from a baby gym, where they can learn to grasp at objects while improving their vision and co-ordination, to shape sorters and building blocks that can absorb their attention for a while.

Independence comes in many packages and, as your baby grows, they will demonstrate more willingness to do things themselves. From feeding themselves using a spoon for the first time, to insisting that they put the toothpaste on the toothbrush, it’s not all about providing them with plenty of toys to play with.

You can help to encourage independence through various means, many of which are bound to be ongoing rather than an immediate development. Your babe in arms doesn’t have to be in your arms all the time – encourage some solo play and promote independence and she will become a well-rounded child in no time.

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