your baby's development from Birth to 3 months through
do much more than sleep, eat, and fill their diapers.
From the moment they're born, infants respond to their
environment - to mom's touch, to dad's voice, to the
pattern of the lights on the ceiling, to the sounds
of toys and music. These first months are a crucial
time for parents and caregivers to stimulate their baby's
development through one-on-one interaction. Babies enjoy
having interesting things to look at. They zoom in on
contrasting patterns, such as black and white stripes
and targets. Mobiles with bright objects hung over a
changing table or basinet will fascinate baby. Musical
toys selected just for babies will calm baby during
fussy periods. Soft rubber and plastic handles are great
for baby to get his hands on as he learns to grasp objects.
Toys provide a great way for you to focus baby's attention
and promote specific developmental milestones as you
have fun bonding and interacting with your little one.
the first few months of life your baby's body will begin
to "loosen up" from a tightly flexed posture
to a more open and relaxed tone. He will begin to stretch
his arms and legs out more, and develop the beginnings
of head control. Leg strength will increase and baby
will be able to briefly bear his weight while standing.
Here are some ways you can promote gross motor skills
through interactive play:
some face to face "tummy time" together
on the floor to strengthen baby's neck.
your baby underneath a play gym to give those swinging
arms and kicking legs something to connect with. Sit
next to your baby to cheer him on.
are soothed by gentle rocking movements, whether in
your arms or snuggled quietly in an infant seat.
baby to reach and roll by placing a favorite toy nearby.
baby's hands will gradually change from a tight-fisted
tone to more open and relaxed palms that are ready to
grab everything nearby. Baby will begin to purposefully
reach toward objects and will learn to suck on her fingers.
Here are some ways you can promote these fine motor
skills through interactive play:
time baby grasps your finger, or grabs a toy from
your hand, you make another connection with
fingers to toys, babies love to taste everything they
can get their hands on. Encourage your baby to explore
objects with all his senses.
baby's reaching skills by gently shaking a toy within
her reach. Be ready to offer more handy toys as baby
drops each one.
birth babies can see clearly around 10 to 12 inches
(about the distance from your breast to your face).
Baby's vision is perhaps his most perceptive sense at
this early age. Over these first few months your baby
will begin to focus on you, then follow moving objects
as they pass before her. Here are some ways you can
promote these visual skills through interactive play:
and light contrasting colors are the best way to stimulate
your baby's visual senses. Surround your baby with
these during his quiet alert time.
sure to stay close to your newborn baby as you interact.
Around 12 inches is the perfect distance away to engage
can practice baby's visual tracking skills by slowly
moving a toy, or your own smiling face, back and forth
before her eyes.
will easily catch your baby's eye. Engage your baby's
attention with gentle hand and finger movements when
you begin to interact.
and cognitive development
these early months baby will begin to smile spontaneously,
then smile responsively to your attention. Your baby
will begin to show interest in her surroundings and
learn to interact with objects and people. Here are
some ways you can promote your baby's social and cognitive
skills through interactive play:
will learn cause and effect. Show your baby how shaking
a rattle makes sounds. She will marvel as she does
this on her own.
baby will learn to manipulate objects around him.
Hold your baby near a mobile or other hanging toy
and let him learn to move the pieces around.
time can be a fun way to interact with your baby and
encourage social smiles and giggles. While you wash,
be sure to laugh, sing, talk, rub and tickle your
baby to promote responsiveness.
and language development
these first months you will notice your baby beginning
to react to sounds by startling and then eventually
turning toward noises. Your baby's cries will become
her first language and take on various meanings. Smiling
will turn to laughter and your baby will begin to "coo"
and "goo". Here are some ways you can promote
your baby's hearing and language skills through interactive
are intrigued when they create sounds on their own.
Show your baby the various sounds his toys can make
and he will thrill as he experiences the sounds on
music has a calming effect on your baby. Quietly sing
or hum along with a musical toy as you enjoy some
quiet time together.
caregiver's voice is comforting to baby. As you go
about your day, stay connected by talking to your
baby to let him know you are near.
will make your baby's playtime more fun. Hand and
foot rattles are a great way to thrill your baby as
she kicks her legs and waves her arms.