Layering information for your baby means to use more than one sense at a time to engage baby’s attention.
Let’s join George as his mum, Heidi, uses layering information to improve his attention span. She layers “looking” with “chatting” to help George concentrate for that little bit longer.
“Hello Mum! I am thinking very hard right now. I am not smiling because thinking deeply takes all my concentration. I can hear your voice speaking to me softly and see your wide eyes looking at me. I’m not sure what response you need from me right now but I can tell that you are wanting one.” Of course, Heidi doesn’t know if George is thinking these things, and he may not be thinking anything specific at all, but one thing we do know for sure…George is thinking!
“Historically, psychologists regarded attention as an property of individual development,” Smith said. “Our study is one of the first to consider attention as impacted by social interaction. It really appears to be an activity performed by two social partners since our study shows one individual’s attention significantly influence another’s.”
It seems that as care givers and parents we may increase our baby’s attention spans by improving our own!
“The ability of children to sustain attention is known as a strong indicator for later success in areas such as language acquisition, problem-solving and other key cognitive development milestones,” said Chen Yu, who led the study. “Caregivers who seem distracted or whose eyes wander a lot while their children play appear to negatively impact infants’ burgeoning attention spans during a key stage of development.”
To help George concentrate just a little longer, Heidi lingers, chatting quietly to him, looking deeply into his eyes. She is layering looking with chatting so she can hold his gaze for as long as George is willing to return it. Focussing moments like these create a calming effect. In today’s world of mobile phone in-attention, baby really benefits from focussed activity.
“When you’ve got a someone who isn’t responsive to a child’s behavior,” Yu said, “it could be a real red flag for future problems.”
Getting heavily involved in our childrens’ play is the perfect preparation for music lessons.