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Playing and connecting with your child


 Connecting with your child

​Your baby/child will grow best in everyway if they learn to trust that you will respond to their needs with loving care.      

Loving care can be shown by the way you speak to your child, the way you hold and touch them, and how you respond to their cry or calls for help.

All children enjoy spending time with their parents/carers, playing games, reading, going to the park, helping parent/carers with household activities and enjoying their parent's attention of them at structured activities.

By showing your child you enjoy being with them, have fun spending time with them and doing the things they like to do, you as the parent will help your child to become confident and feel good about themselves. This will also foster bonding and attachment between you and your child.

parents cudling with child  

Being a parent can be challenging at times as every child is an individual and is developing at his or her own rate. It is helpful to know your own child's stage of development so that you can understand their behaviour.

When a child is hungry, tired or bored they struggle to communicate how they are feeling to their parent/carer and often display such emotions as fussing, crying, becoming angry and for the older child, temper tantrums. During these times your child wants to be close to you and have your attention.

Your child and family health nurse will be able to explore any areas of concern you may have about your child's stage of development.

Raising children network resources:

 The importance of play

​Your baby/child will grow best in everyway if they learn to trust that you will respond to their needs with loving care. ​Playing with your baby/child is one of the most important things you can do. It is through play that babies and children do most of their learning.      

Play is essential for your baby's or child's brain development. Babies and children enjoy playing. It helps build their confidence and develop social and physical skills. Play gives your baby/child the opportunity to problem solve in a fun and safe environment.  

There are many different ways to play with your baby/child. These include structured play times, which tend to be organised and happen at a fixed time and place. For example: 'Story Time' at the library and playgroups.

Child playing with toy  

There is also unstructured play. This isn't planned and lets your baby/child play using their imagination and allows them to lead the play at their own pace. Unstructured play can happen anywhere at home, park or beach and it is important for you to give your baby/child the opportunity to be active and to explore their environment.

You may also find that sometimes your baby/child will be happy playing on their own and at other times they will love playing with you or other family members.

It is also never too early to start reading to your baby. Regular reading helps your child understand that books are fun whilst learning the rhythm and rhyme of language. It also gives you the opportunity for some quiet time together.

Raising children network resources:

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