Little Gems Example
Your baby is learning to...
- Turn their head towards a familiar voice
- Lift their head and turn from side to side
- Show a preference for human faces
- Recognise by sight and smell their primary carer
- Suck on their hands or fingers
- Watch their own hand movements
Talk to your baby regularly throughout your day. Point out things that are happening around them (the cat meowing, the birds singing while you are hanging out the washing, a noisy car going past). Always try to give your baby warning before moving them or taking something away from them. Just by saying 'I am going to change your nappy now', gives your baby notice of what is about to happen to them. This helps your baby to feel comfortable and secure.
Place a number of interesting things around your baby's room, or hanging above their cot (such as a mobile) to encourage your baby to begin looking around. Make sure that objects are close enough for them to see (babies at this age can only see things placed about 30cm away from them) without being a direct danger. Babies see best in contrast at this age, so lots of black and white mobiles and toys are great stimulation.
Babies should be given at least 10 minutes across the day of tummy time from birth (lay your baby safely on a mat or blanket on the floor, face down). This helps to strengthen the muscles in their neck as they look up and around 'tortoise-style' to see what is happening around them. As your baby continues to practise, their muscles will become stronger, eventually leading to your baby being able to push their chest up off the ground with their hands. This is important in the lead up to your baby being able to crawl.
Preference for People
Babies at this age love to see and be close to people's faces. Hold your baby close to your face and talk to them. This is especially good during feeding times as you can really spend some quality time just gazing at each other, smiling and relaxing together. Start to show your baby different facial expressions to create interest and wonder.
Someone I Love
Babies begin to become reassured by the smell and sight of their main carers. You will notice that your baby begins to take an interest in who is holding them, and when distressed will calm down more easily when they are with their main carers. To support this, you can place a small muslin cloth in your baby's cot that has been close to you (for example, it may smell like your washing powder, your perfume or your breast milk) for added reassurance for times when they are alone.
Taste Testing My Hands
Babies begin to explore their environment from the moment they arrive, and their first point of call is their own body. Fingers and hands provide reassurance and stimulation for the first few weeks.
If you watch your baby, you will notice how fascinated they are by the movements of their hands. Your baby doesn't yet understand that they are controlling their hand movements, so hands become something really interesting to watch as they move past your baby's face. Placing interesting objects where your baby can see them will encourage reaching later on.