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Ask the Experts: Interacting with baby Ask the Experts

Ask the Experts: Interacting with baby

My newborn seems a little young for toys or games and isn’t especially interested in anything other than sleeping and eating. When will she become more interactive? 

A: You are absolutely right: Your baby is still very young. For now, she just wants to get used to the world around her, but that will soon change.

Five weeks after the due date, your baby’s brain will change drastically for the first time. (Believe it or not, it will undergo 10 more significant changes in your daughter’s first 20 months of life!) This mental change will allow her to be more aware of her surroundings. For the first time, you’ll see she actually wants to interact on another level. After having made her first leap in her mental development, you will see that she looks at some things longer and more frequently. Hence, it’s up to you to observe and find out what special things appeal to your baby now. Once you know, be sure to hold your baby in front of the objects, so she has the time to focus her eye muscles on them. Then, slowly rock her. Did you know a child perceives the world better if she is slowly moved around?

The games get more challenging and exciting for every leap that your baby makes. If you’re curious, you can learn more about the next nine leaps—and how to respond to them—in my book The Wonder Weeks.

Frans Plooij, PhD, dad of one and co-author of The Wonder Weeks: How to Stimulate The Most Important Developmental Weeks in Your Baby’s First 20 Months and Turn These 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward