Excite The Senses
In the second and third months of baby development, infants begin to explore and learn more about their environment. “At this stage, allow your baby to experience different textures,” Wible says. “Let her touch a variety of surfaces, and expose her to a variety of sights and smells. Take her hand and rub it on things that are rough, soft, smooth, cold, or warm, and talk about what she’s feeling.”
Talk To Your Baby
As soon as your baby is born, you can help her start to develop language. “In the first one to two months, imitate your baby’s beginning sounds, talk to your baby using “motherese” — soothing, upbeat talking with exaggerated facial expressions — and listen for differentiated sounds and cries that indicate needs,” Miller says. When your baby is 4 and 5 months old, you can work on her development of language and communication skills by listening for and imitating beginning babbling, like “ba-ba,” “ga-ga,” and “da-da.” Use your child’s name or other cue words, like “Hi, Sweetie,” to let her know you’re speaking to her directly.
Enhance Baby Activities With Toys
Around 6 months, when a baby has the motor skills necessary to sit up and grasp or retrieve objects, introduce interactive toys that facilitate baby development. “Toys that roll will stimulate a baby to go after them and encourage her to move,” Wible says. “This is also a good time for colorful toys, pop-up toys, and things that surprise.”
Turn Off The TV
During their first 12 months, babies don’t need TV or computers, Spinks-Franklin says. In fact, these screens can hinder baby development. “Babies develop language and other skills best by direct human interaction because they need immediate feedback,” she explains. “The feedback they get from TV is artificial.” For example, while watching a television program, a child who calls an object by the right or wrong name will not receive appropriate praise or correction from the characters. But when engaging in a baby activity like reading a book with a parent, a baby will hear the parent say, “Yes, that’s right!” or “No, that’s actually a cow,” Spinks-Franklin adds.