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Slideshow: 5 things on your baby’s mind the first year
Every parent wishes that they could read their newborn’s mind. We took out our crystal ball (aka Lovevery’s child development experts) and found out what will be on your baby’s mind.
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1. “I love to look at black and white”
Babies rely mostly on their eyes for learning in the very early months. When infants are stimulated visually, the connections between their eyes and brain strengthen.
Giving your baby a variety of high contrast images to look at from 0–4 months will leave them riveted! Start with simple black and white images and then when your baby looks away quickly, show them more complex images. Your baby may stare at the images for up to a few minutes at a time.
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2. “I’m fascinated by cause and effect”
Your baby’s brain is building brain connections with each and every experience they have. The best experiences are ones that are based on real life (rather than bells and whistles toys that don’t quite relate to how the world really works).
Show your baby what is in your home by taking them on a household tour over and over. Find all the places where there is water. Turn on and off all the lights. In the beginning you can do the light switch for them, later your baby can try for herself. Your baby will learn how objects work and what can be done with them, how processes happen in a sequence, and why it all matters.
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3. “I understand some things better if I put them in my mouth”
Babies want to put things in their mouths so that they can learn about them. Until around seven months old, hands and fingers aren’t as useful to a baby for exploring objects because their finger control is so limited. Babies’ mouths are home to some of the most developed senses they have during their first year of life.
Some ideas for different safe textures for your baby to explore with their mouth include silicone teethers, infant spoons, soft books, and a ball. Research consistently points to unrestricted exploration being valuable to babies’ brain and motor development in the first year, so think about mouthing as an opportunity for your baby to learn about everyday objects, not just teething relief.
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4. “Talk to me”
It may feel a little strange to talk to someone who doesn’t talk back to you, but it matters a lot to their development. Talking with your baby about what they’re seeing and doing each day helps build cognition and vocabulary.
Narrate everyday actives in your life: “I’m thirsty, let’s go get a glass of water in the kitchen. Look, here are the glasses in the cupboard. Let’s get cold water out of the refrigerator. Can you feel how cold the water is?” If your baby makes any kind of vocalization, pause and respond. Then see if they talk back to you.
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5. “I’m all about concepts this year”
Your baby is forming sets of associations in their brain, as well as concepts that help make sense of those associations. For example, babies are mesmerized by the ability of one object (like a hat or bag) to hide or contain another object (such as a ball). Between months six and nine, your baby’s brain will start to recall objects from one appearance to the next (a concept known as “object permanence”). Understanding concepts helps your baby build spatial understanding, memory, and the ability to think abstractly.
Practice concepts like containment, object permanence, and “same” vs “different” with your baby. Exploring objects with your baby that can be contained, hidden, grouped, separated, or placed “above” or “below” reference points are all ways of building conceptual knowledge together while keeping things interesting.
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There is no greater time of learning than the first year of life.
Your baby’s brain is changing so rapidly with every new sight, sound, and experience. Toys and resources that help their brains grow are so important.
Lovevery’s Play Gym and Play Kits were designed by child development experts to provide babies with exactly what they need during each stage of the first year. Tap below to help your baby play with purpose with toys from Lovevery.
Read more like this on the Lovevery blog.
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