As your baby’s world gets bigger, help him take it all in

Blue Flower

You might not realize it, but your little one is becoming more and more aware of his surroundings. Help him engage in some simple ways:

Prop him up so he can watch what goes on around him. Even basic things like a fish tank or cars going by will help his cognitive development.

Look in mirrors. Put a non-breakable metal or plastic baby mirror in his view. Show him the mirrors around your home. The visual stimulation of the reflections is great for his growing brain.

Rock him in a rocking chair or porch swing. As you hold him, talk softly and look into his eyes. The motion may help develop his ability to focus on moving things as he gains the control he needs to move his eyes and head to follow interesting people or objects.

Have quiet times. Your baby needs some quiet time to babble, play, and explore his world, so turn off the radio, TV, or stereo. He will learn about language from the way you talk with him and the sounds you make.

Give him different textures to feel, such as stuffed animals, plastic toys, or pieces of terry cloth or rubber. Be sure that the pieces are not too small and that they cannot be torn off and swallowed. The variety of surfaces and textures will help develop his sense of touch and dexterity, and will get those synapses firing as he explores new things.

Sing or hum quietly to him before bed. This is not only a wonderful bonding moment, but it also calms him and may signal his brain that it’s time for sleep.