!"#$% &$(")*% (+% ,-..+(% /),% *$&#% "*0% /$"0% 1/$*$2$% 3+-4$%5)6()*7%/)8%+%5"3)*7%/)8%0+1*9%"*0%8"#$%,-$%(/"(%/),%&"%,$"("*0%,(+55$%"$%,$(%"(%"*%"*75$%(/"(%1)55%#$$.%/),%/$"0%6+8%65+.:.)*7%6+1"0;<$5.% ,($*7(/$*% (/+,$% *$&#% 8-,&5$,% 1)(/% 5+(,% +6% 7"8$,% (/"( !"#$%&(%)#*%+,)*2+52$%8+2)*7%/),%$3$,%="*0>%$2$*(-"553>%/),%/$"0?%6+8%,)0$%(+,)0$%=#*+1*%",%@("&#)*7A?%1/)5$%/$4,%.+..$0%-.%+%53)*7%+*%/),B"&#;%C/$*%/$%6+&-,$,%+*%"%(+3>%8+2$%)(%B"&#%"*0%6+(/%"B+2$%/)8;Make it a point to talk to your infant about everything. “Now I’mgoing to take off that wet diaper.” “Daddy is starving. What shouldI eat?” Remember though, if your baby turns away when you’retalking, it may be her way of saying, “Quiet please.”Be attentive to what kind of sounds your baby likes best. Someinfants love music with strong beats, while others prefer softermelodies. And don’t be shy about singing. No matter how in or outof tune, she’ll like your voice best of all.<+50%3+-%B"B34,%(+3,%)*%(/"(%+.()8"5%2),)+*%"*7$>%"*0%(3%(+%6)*0(+3,%(/"(%/"2$%/)7/%&+*(",(%=B5"&#%"*0%1/)($?%"*0%B)7/(%&+5+,;D5"3%5+(,%+6%("&#)*7%7"8$,%(/"(%)*2+52$%8+2)*7%"*%+BE$&(%%,5+1536+8%,)0$%(+%,)0$%1/)5$%3+-4$%("5#)*7%(+%3+-%B"B3;%F6%/$4,%"1"#$"*0%"5$(>%/$455%6+55+1%1)(/%/),%$3$,;G$,.$&(%3+-%B"B34,%&-$,;%<$455%($55%3+-%1/$*%/$%*$$0,%"%B$"#B3%(-*)*7%"1"3%+%&3)*7;%H3%(+%6)*0%(+3,%(/"(%8"#$%7$*(5$%,+-*0,%1/$*%(/$3%8+2$;%H/$,+-*0%1)55%0"1%3+-%B"B34,%"(($*()+*%(+%(/$%(+3%"*0%(+%/$%/"*0,;I"6$(3%),%.)+)(3%*-8B$%JK%!"#$%,-$%"55%+BE$&(,%"$%(++%B)7%(+6)(%)*%/$%8+-(/;
Your baby has greater control over her body. She may be able to roll both ways, become bet- I’m in ter at reaching and grasping, Control and will begin to sit with assis- tance. She will also be able to use both hands to explore.what to expect between 4 and 6 months: Your baby learns how things work and that he can make things happen. He uses his I Can Do It! new motor skills to pick up and explore objects in new ways. He will watch you to learn what to do. Your baby loves to anticipate what will happen next. She will look to you with excitement, letting you know What’s Next? she wants to do it again. It gives her a sense of control when she knows what to expect. Your baby will want to explore his food and help feed himself. Touching and tasting different All By Myself foods is an important part of his learning. Feeding him- self builds his self-confidence.
Place your baby in different positions—on her back, stomach andsitting with support. Each gives a different perspective on theworld and a chance to develop different skills such as rolling,creeping and crawling, and using both hands while sitting. what you can do:Play reaching and grasping games. Hold enticing toys just withinher reach and encourage her to grab them.Give him a variety of toys with different textures, shapes, weightsand functions. Join in his exploration of them.Show him different ways to use things: switching objects from onehand to another, shaking, banging, pushing and dropping.Speak to her while getting ready to feed her, whether it’s bybreast or bottle. This lets her know comfort is near and helps herlearn to wait.Play peek-a-boo; pause briefly after you’ve “disappeared” to giveher time to think about what will happen next.Establish routines. As much as possible, keep everyday routinesin the same sequence; for example: dinner, bath, stories, lullabies,sleep.Let him play with your fingers and explore the bottle or breastduring feedings. This may get messy; but it is an essential partof his learning as he discovers what different foods and liquidsfeel and taste like.As he grows, let him handle finger foods and encourage him tofeed himself by giving him his own spoon.
Your baby will make lots of different sounds to you, to other people, to her toys and I’ve Got to whatever else inspires her. Something All of this vocalizing is the to Say foundation for speech. The more you respond, the more confident and eager she willwhat to expect be to keep “talking.” between 4 and 6 months: At 4 months, your baby is eager to explore every aspect of the world around him. He It’s All in learns through his senses. the Mouth Mouthing objects is just another way to “know” an object. It often has less to do with hunger or teething. Four-month-olds still aren’t using their thumb to grasp things; and, as they shift from Hand it Over two-handed to one-handed play, they will hold things by pressing their fingers against their palms. By 4 months you have a good idea of how your baby is different or similar to other babies his age. During the I am a Person next few months he will become very good at letting you know his likes and dis- likes, as well as his interests.
Listen when she talks and look right into her eyes. When shepauses, respond, and then wait. This turn-taking teaches her howto have a conversation.Start lots of conversations and see if she picks up your cues. But what you can do:don’t forget about reading her signals. When she doesn’t want totalk, don’t push it. She may need a break.Make certain that any object your baby gets his hands on is cleanand safe for mouthing. That means it must be big enough not tofit entirely into his mouth, and smooth enough not to scratch orirritate.Offer toys with lots of variation in shape and texture. Bumpy,smooth, round and square are all distinctions that can be madeby mouth.Offer your baby toys that are easily grasped, with lots of handles.And make sure they’re light enough in weight for your baby tohang on to and big enough not to fit into her mouth.Keep in mind that while your baby can hold onto a toy and evenreach for it, she can’t yet purposefully open up her hand and letit go. When a 4-month-old drops a toy, it isn’t because she meantto drop it!When your baby turns away, arches his back, or starts to cry dur-ing play or at other times, don’t take it personally; it may be hisway of saying that he needs a break from this intense interac-tion. It might be the perfect time for a refreshing pause, like hold-ing him close and singing a soothing melody.Think about your baby’s personality. Does he like noisy environ-ments or prefer quiet? Is he a jump-right-in kid, or a let-me-wait-and-see kid? There is no single right way to be. You just need tounderstand and respect who he is.
Your baby’s brain power grows I’ve Got as he experiments with toys in Brain Power more complex ways.what to expect between 6 and 9 months: Your baby is increasingly mobile—creeping, crawling I Can Move and even pulling herself up to and Shake stand. Your baby’s ability to use his I’m Good hands and fingers is With My increasing every day. Hands Your baby begins to under- stand that people and things I See You! exist even when she can’t see them.
Provide a variety of safe toys for the bath—containers, rubbertoys, plastic bath books, plastic ladles. Join his exploration andshow him different ways to use the objects.Show him how to take a cup of water and pour it over the ducky what you can do:to let him watch what happens. Help him fill up the whale andsquirt the water out.Create an environment that is safe for exploration. Make sureonly safe objects are within her grasp and that anything shemight use to pull herself to standing is sturdy and fastened downto support her weight.Remind yourself that babies develop their motor skills at very dif-ferent rates. Sometimes early crawlers are late walkers(why bother walking when she can get to where she needsto go so easily on all fours?). Development is an unfoldingprocess . . . not a race.During the next few months he will begin to hold things betweenhis thumb and forefinger. This makes it much easier for him todo things with his hands, like feeding himself.Play back-and-forth games. He’ll love to hand you things that youhand back to him. This can go on for hours, and it’s a great wayto learn give-and-take!Now that your baby can pick up lots of things, make sure hedoesn’t get his hands on objects he can choke on – anything thathe can fit entirely into his mouth.Play peek-a-boo. Even though you’re hiding your head for just amoment (and in a very obvious way), this kind of game ispractice for saying good-bye in other settings.Play disappearing and reappearing games, such as find the miss-ing toy (hidden under cloth, table, etc.) or drop an object andwatch her try to locate it.
Your baby begins to be uncertain or fearful around strangers or even family Who, May I members he doesn’t see very Ask, Are often. Becoming quiet or even You? distressed when meeting someone new is quite typicalwhat to expect of 6- to 9-month-olds. between 6 and 9 months: Your baby begins using sounds Now Hear and gestures to communicate This! her wants and needs. Your baby becomes a great imitator. Imitating is not only I’m a Copycat a great learning tool . . . it’s lots of fun. Inquiring Your baby is intensely curious Minds Want and wants to spend almost to Know every waking hour exploring.
Introduce your baby to new people from the safety of your arms.Ask the new person to approach him slowly.Give the new person one of your baby’s favorite toys or books tohelp engage him. what you can do:Prepare your extended family and friends for your baby’s newwariness and make sure they understand that it isn’t anythingpersonal.Become your baby’s interpreter. If she points to her bottle, ask,“Do you want some juice?”Encourage communication and motor skills by describing whatshe is doing. When she throws a toy down, you can say, “Okay,you don’t want the car. But you’re looking at the bear. Do youwant to hold him?” Then put the bear within her range andencourage her to get it.Play copycat games. Make a sound and give him time tocopy you.Push a button on the jack-in-the-box to make the clown appear,then wait for him to do it. This teaches him cause-and-effect andthat he can make things happen.Follow her lead on what interests her and encourageexploration.Think about the way your baby explores things. Does she explorea book, for example, from beginning to end, page by page? Doesshe turn it upside down, flip the pages quickly or look at one pageagain and again. There are no “rights” or “wrongs.” Some babiesmay find books so delicious that they’ll want to chew on them fora while. That’s okay, too, as long as they’re safe.
At around 9 months, babies begin to develop an awareness Look I that things continue to exist, Found It! even when they don’t see them. This is called “object permanence.”what to expect between 9 and 12 months: Separations may become more difficult. As your baby’s Good-Byes new physical independence Are Hard increases, so does her emo- tional dependence on you. Your child becomes more inde- pendent as he uses his body to Watch Me move away from you—creep- Move ing, crawling, or even taking baby steps. Your child understands more than she can say and can even I Get It! follow simple commands such as “Go get your ball.”
Play hide-and-seek games that will help him master object per-manence. After you show him the ball, hide it behind the couchand encourage him to hunt for it.Talk to him when you move out of his sight so he knows you arenear. This will reduce his anxiety and may help him play alonefor a few minutes. what you can do:Be patient! Babies often become very persistent as they develop“object permanence.” They remember the toy they had yesterdayand they want exactly the same thing now!When saying good-bye, use positive language—with your wordsand body. Children take their cues from you. So, with a smile, tellher that you will really miss each other, but that she is going tohave so much fun with Miss Marie. And when you come back, likeyou always do, you’ll read your favorite book together!Give her a picture of you. Make an audiotape of yourself singingsongs or reading a cherished book.Offer him a “safe base.” He needs to know you’ll still be therewhen he decides he’s gone far enough. This sense of securityhelps him feel safe to venture out again.Avoid walkers. They can be dangerous and can interfere withmuscle and joint development.Recognize his need to practice new skills. If he refuses to liedown for diaper changes, you can say “You don’t want to lie downnow that you can stand all by yourself! Okay, we’ll do thistogether. You hold the diaper while I fasten it.”Put her actions into words and build on them. “You’re holdingbear. Does he want a drink?” and hold out a cup.Use visual cues to help build comprehension. Ask, “Where areyour shoes?” as you point to them.
Your child uses his gestures and vocalizations to communi- I’ve Got cate. He may point to the juice Something and say “juju” to show you to Say what he wants. He may push the cracker off the highchair and say “nuhnuh.”what to expect between 9 and 12 months: Your child may become more I Want What selective about foods (and I Want! everything else!) and want to eat on her own. Your child discovers “No!” and Just Say No! uses it with great abandon. Your baby loves to explore, but Keep Me Safe she still needs grown-ups to keep her safe.
Help him show you what he wants. Present two toys and ask,“Which do you want?” Encourage him to respond by pointing orreaching. If he looks at or talks to one toy more than the other,say, “You want this one!” what you can do:Play back-and-forth games. Roll a ball to your baby and encour-age him to roll it back. These games promote his social developmentand lead to the back and forth of conversations.Offer her choices because yesterday’s favorite food may berejected tomorrow. Be patient and experiment with foods to helpher find what she likes.Allow and encourage her to feed herself. She can practice usinga spoon and drinking from a sipper cup. She will be proud to bein charge of her feeding when you give her the chance. Of course,she’ll need some help.Learn to distinguish what your baby means by “No!” It can be hisway of declaring his independence. When he kicks and shouts andshakes his head, “No,” as you lift him into the car, he may be say-ing, “I’m the boss of me!” He may be sharing his likes and dis-likes—”No peas . . . more carrots.” Or, he may be telling you,“I’m too tired to cope,” as he protests, “No” when you carry himto his crib.Create a safe home. It helps to get down on all fours to see yourhome from your baby’s viewpoint to make sure no dangers arewithin reach. Install baby gates, outlet covers and other safetyitems where necessary.Create a stimulating home without having to spend a lot of moneyon expensive toys. Make sure each room contains things thatinterest her, like big, colorful books in the family room or a drawerfull of plastic containers in the kitchen.