You think you need all the new gizmos and gadgets, but guess what? Infant development experts like Jill Stamm, author of Bright From the Start: The Simple, Science-Backed Way to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind (Gotham; $26) says that how YOU interact with your baby is the key to her emotional and intellectual growth. So, as she grows be sure to:
Talk It Up
When she starts making sounds, repeat them back to her, then add to it. You can even tell your baby what to say to encourage exploration on her part. “Say, “Cold!” when you take her inside to the air-conditioned room, for instance.
Give Her a Hand
As your baby’s motor skills develop, let her touch and handle a variety of textured and smooth objects. All kinds of items will fascinate. Try velvet, fur, silk, terry cloth, squeaky toys, cloth books and crinkly paper.
The number one way your baby learns is through fun engagement with you. As she gains physical control, play floor games with balls and other toys, recite nursery rhymes and sing songs, play peek-a-boo and memory games and get silly! Make facial expressions and gestures she can try as she learns to express herself.