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The baby frieze will help parents think about developing their baby's brain before and after pēpi is born.

When baby is born, organs like the heart and liver will have finished developing – they just need to grow bigger. But the brain is not finished. It has millions of cells already, but most of them are not connected.

It is repeated experiences that help the brain connections mature and function properly.

Building baby’s brain

The most important thing parents can do for their baby is to love them and build a strong relationship with them. This is how baby’s brain is built and strengthened.

All the activities on the baby frieze show how we do that. Just by doing these simple things and repeating them, we build a healthy brain.

Part of preparing for a new baby is also to think about where pēpi will sleep, bathe, and be warm and safe. The frieze can be used to decorate one of these places.

You could ask parents:

  • How are you getting on with sorting out your baby’s space?
  • Can I have a look?

Be encouraging and helpful.

Mention the baby frieze and offer to give them one for the baby’s room. You could tell the parents that:

  • although it’s very attractive, it’s not just a decoration
  • there are many important messages on it
  • the messages apply to both babies and children – they aren’t just for the ages shown in the pictures
  • you’ll be able to refer to and talk about the messages in the frieze with them, throughout their child’s growth.

Getting started

You could encourage parents to start thinking about the messages right now. For example, they can:

  • say ‘I love you’ and ‘You are wonderful’ to baby
  • sing to baby
  • read baby a favourite story again and again.

Suggest parents try an experiment:

  • Read a story, say a rhyme or sing a particular song over-and-over again to their unborn baby.
  • Baby will recognise that story, rhyme or song after baby is born.

Encourage parents to decide where they want to hang the frieze and remind them that pēpi can hear them, and loves listening to their special voices.

How does it relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze – Kōrero mai, e aroha ana koe ki ahau – tell me you love

Six things children need – Te aroha me te mahana – love and warmth

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