Engaging with your infant to

support them as they grow

When you have a baby or toddler in the house, you can sometimes feel under a lot of pressure. Having to deal with sleepless nights, feeding, keeping them warm and comfortable can feel overwhelming. And many of us worry that we’re so busy looking after all the practical things that we aren’t giving them the attention they need.

But your attention is the best gift you can give your wee one. By playing and chatting with them and comforting them when needed you’re helping their brain grow and making them feel safe, cared for, and connected to. Sometimes you may feel you don’t have the time or energy to give them that little bit more.

Don’t worry, babies and toddlers may be complex little people, but their needs are fairly simple. All the little interactions you have together throughout the day help them, so just try to be consistent and give them the time you can. The more interactions you can have with them during the day, the better. It’s great for their development and will help make your daily tasks more fun.

In this section you’ll find lots of information and engagement tips to give them the foundations they need to become confident, happy and emotionally healthy people.

What the professionals say

“You don’t need expensive toys, or to always do the right thing. Just being with your child and responding to them is all they really need.”

James McTaggart, Early Years Educational Psychologist

"Your baby has a brain that is built for conversation! Long before they have words, their brain is experiencing everything that happens between the two of you as an interaction. They discover so much in the course of that conversation, like how much you love them and how trustworthy you are and what they are good at and what the world feels like. It is just amazing how much babies pick up in ordinary interactions. That's because human brains are wired even in babyhood to make meaning out of those interactions."

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, Developmental Psychologist and Research Scientist