It's an exciting day when baby discovers how to use her hands.
Around the age of four months, the development of binocular
vision - the eyes learning to work together on depth
perception - makes reaching and grasping possible. Mom
may have to put away her dangly earrings for the next
several months, and parents who wear glasses must be
on the alert for babies who grab and fling these intriguing
objects to the floor. Give baby interesting things to
hold and explore with his hands at this age: lightweight
rattles that are easy to grasp, a plastic or rubber
ring to hold with both hands, toys that make noise when
you squeak or shake them, small plush animals or dolls.
Rattles that attach to babies' ankles add excitement
to kicking. At five to six months, babies begin to enjoy
more time on the floor. Surround your baby with plenty
of interesting toys to open up a whole new world of
floor play fun you can enjoy together.
these months baby will gain more upper body strength
and balance so he can progress toward sitting. Baby's
interest in his surroundings will prompt him to roll
to the side and eventually all the way over. Tummy time
will be more fun for baby as he begins to push up and
eventually starts to scoot forward. Here are some ways
you can promote these gross motor skills through interactive
begin to purposefully wave their arms and kick their
feet. Give baby some play time in a bouncer seat so
he can learn how his movements make him bounce.
baby will begin to respond to your playful interaction
by waving his arms and legs. Foot and wrist rattles
will reward his antics with interesting sounds. Clap
and cheer baby on and he will respond with more excitement.
your baby to reach and roll over by placing a favorite
toy next to him just out of reach.
can now enjoy some more floor time with baby as she
learns to push herself up on her elbows. This newly
acquired position gives baby a better view of her
baby will soon begin to tummy-crawl. Place some toys
just out of reach to spur your baby forward.
accuracy steadily improves through these months until
he can reach out and grab toys precisely. Your baby
will transfer objects back and forth between hands and
play with toys in a more purposeful way. Baby's sensitive
fingers will learn to explore different textures and
smaller objects. Here are some ways you can promote
these fine motor skills through interactive play:
curious baby's little fingers will be intrigued by
movable toy parts, gadgets and varying textures. Show
your baby the fun features on each new toy.
begins to reach out for anything and everything placed
within his reach. Keep baby's hands busy by engaging
him with a toy whenever you are on the move together
in a baby sling, stroller or car seat.
fun floor-time exercise is to dangle a favorite toy
in front of baby to practice his hand coordination
two-handed grabbing skills will mature into a skillful
one-handed reach. Challenge your baby with two toys
at once so he goes for one with each hand.
begin to explore various body parts. One of the first
is hands and fingers. Little finger puppets make this
even more fun, and your own fingers can join baby
in this playtime.
objects back and forth between hands is an important
coordination skill at this stage. Keep babies hands
busy with favorite toys to enhance this learning.
time to read through activity books together. These
are great for practicing baby's reaching skills.
baby can now see clearly at a greater distance. This
will enhance his interaction with you and his surroundings.
Baby develops better binocular vision which makes his
play with toys more accurate. Your baby will try to
make frequent eye contact with you to connect during
playtime. Here are some ways you can promote these visual
skills through interactive play:
visual tracking skills improve during this stage.
Moving mobiles are a great way to enhance this skill.
Watch as your baby follows the hanging toys in a full
colorful lights will draw your baby's attention. These
are even more fun when baby can activate lights and
music on his toys.
play is a fun way for baby to begin to explore her
own features as well as yours. Keep several mirrored
and cognitive development
these months babies will show more decision-making during
play. She will attempt to pick up two toys at a time
and take more time to study and understand each toy.
Baby will respond more to your interaction and begin
to mimic facial gestures and moods. Your baby will laugh
more responsively to your stimulation. Here are some
ways you can promote your baby's social and cognitive
skills through interactive play:
baby plays, he begins to exercise his decision-making
skills. As baby is engaged with one toy, place another
before him. Watch as he decides to put aside one toy
in favor of another, and back again.
your baby the features of each new toy to help him
discover toys are not just for chewing on.
will respond more socially to your antics. Take as
much time as you can everyday for interactive play
and watch your baby's responsiveness and communication
baby will begin to communicate to you her need for
relief from teething pain. Keep plenty of "teethable"
toys on hand to soothe baby's aching gums.
and language development
will begin to use body language to express their needs.
Baby sounds become more varied as your infant explores
her vocal abilities. You will see your baby respond
more readily to your voice, and turn more accurately
toward interesting sounds. Here are some ways you can
promote your baby's hearing and language skills through
can use sounds to engage your baby in play. Toys that
rattle, squeak, crinkle or beep will help your baby
focus in and locate objects by their familiar sounds.
your baby learn cause and effect by showing her how
to make sounds with each toy.
"find the toy" with your baby by making
some familiar toy sounds out of baby's sight. Keep
making noise to help your baby learn to focus on and
or sing to your baby as you move about your day. This
will help baby recognize and be comforted by your
love to "sing" along with their caregivers.
The more you interact verbally with baby, to more
he will learn to imitate your speech sounds.
and music are perfect ways to delight your baby while
in the stroller or car seat