Stimulation is critical.
Written on November 16, 2006 by Kevin.
My wife a while back saw an old friend that recently had a baby. She saw her at a restaurant and after talking with her, she found out that this was her first time out of the house in a year. This really blew us away.
Is it really good for both the parents and baby to be stuck in a house for a year? Sure, the child probably had time outside of the house more than just doctor visits but if someone makes a comment like that, it's a good chance it's the honest truth.
We have made a very strong point to get Rylan out into the world to see and explore things. We take him to the park, museums, fairs, movies and obviously to Disneyland. We do this for a couple of reasons. The main reason is simply stimulation. Rylan loves to be exploring things and we want to have him learn about everything possible. As parents, we notice children and while not necessarily judging them, we notice that some children do not appear to be as alert as other children. Is it possible this is because they are not stimulated the way others are? My unscientific belief is that children who are not stimulated early in life will show signs of it later in life.
The other reason why we take Rylan to all of these places is because we want to enjoy new places with him. New places for all of us sometimes and others may be places we enjoyed as kids and we wanted to see again. We do our best not to let having a child effect the way we live our lives. Having a (planned) child should not effect you from doing everything that you had previously done. Sure, things are going to change and you have to approach things differently but with a bit of planning and luck, you can do everything you had in the past.
We understand fully that Rylan is not going to remember much if any of his first couple of years but that does not mean you have to keep him inside staring at his toys and a blank wall. Children need to be taken out and allowed to see the world. This has to show itself later in life. I can't wait until Rylan is my age and I can see how his personality and knowledge have developed.