If someone had told me when I was pregnant that I could actively do things to help my baby reach their full potential while they were still in the womb to help their learning, I would have been amazed, surprised and really quite excited, but I also think that I might have not really believed them! After all, becoming a parent, let alone having an actual baby, feels quite far off when you’re still in your first trimester, doesn’t it?
Well, the staggering thing is that you CAN do something for your baby while they are still tucked up inside, and what’s more, you can actually make a BIG difference to their life outcomes as well.
You see, when you have a baby you become a parent (obvious, I know, but it’s something we overlook in advance of it actually happening!). Becoming a parent sadly doesn’t come with a manual. Often, it’s a case of learning on the job. All too often, we leave that learning until we are in the moment and dealing with a situation and we are surprised by how the other person reacted. This, of course, leads to tension, frustration, and resentment, which in turn can create unhappy experiences for our baby and put relationships under strain.
But we can start preparing for parenting before the baby is born.
We can start having conversations with each other about parenting, about how you think you will manage different situations. You can talk through scenarios, rehearse situations. The more you do this before your baby is born, the more it will help you both get to know more about each other. It will help you when those moments DO arise because at least you will have talked them through calmly before your baby is born. The Oliiki app has lots of ideas of things to discuss and reasons why you should discuss them, right from the moment you become pregnant.
But there are also things you can do with your bump that will help them grow and develop. You can talk to your bump. Simple, I know, but it actually makes a massive difference to their life outcomes (amazing isn’t it?!).
You can prepare things for your baby’s arrival… how nice would it be to make your baby a mobile that’s a little bit personal and can easily be changed if you want it to be? Or create their very first book, again, that’s something lovely that you might want to keep forever! The Oliiki app is full of ideas of things like this for you to do before your baby is born.
The science shows us quite how important this time is (the time from pregnancy to when your baby is two years old). During this time, your baby is literally primed for learning like at no other time in their lives. Their brain is firing on all cylinders and looking for learning at every turn and what you do each day provides that learning for them. Your baby learns from the experiences you provide them with.
When we understand what our baby learns from each activity we give them, each playful interaction we have, and each conversation or experience we give them, then we are much more intentional in the way we do the activities that will build our baby a strong brain and help them create really strong foundations for their future learning.
The learning that your baby does through the play that they do at this stage creates the foundation for all the rest of their life’s learning. And just like a house, the stronger the foundations are, the better the outcomes will be.
If all of this sounds super heavy and like a lot of work, but I’ve got some fabulous news for you - It isn’t!
You see, it’s in the tiny interactions you have each day, in the playful moments you share with your bump or baby that you start to create those experiences. Ensuring you understand the learning that your baby is getting from these experiences helps you become more intentional in what you are doing, and when you do that, you provide your baby with better quality experiences that they can learn more from. You provide them with focused interactions. This isn’t about teaching your baby, but rather about playing with intent and focus, with an understanding of the skills they are trying to master. And of course, the Oliiki app helps you with this so you don’t have to go it alone. It is a manual of activities and learning to help you give your baby the best start in life.
When you start parenting during your pregnancy, and you understand what your baby needs to be focusing on and learning, then you become more confident in your parenting and are able to help your baby develop the skills they need to thrive in life.