By two months, your little is already leaps and bounds ahead of where she was at birth. With a few playtime tweaks from here on out, you can give her a leg up on upcoming milestones.
2 months in:
-Show excitement when your baby makes a sound. -Repeat sounds she makes back to her (but use plenty of clear language, too). -Talk about what you’re doing as you feed, dress and bathe her. -Play with toys at her eye level, so she keeps her head up.
4 months in: -Have quiet playtimes when you read or sing to your baby. -Put toys nearby, so she can reach for them or kick her feet. -Place a rattle in her hands and help her hold it. -Hold your baby upright with her feet on the floor and sing or talk to her.
6 months in: -Use “reciprocal” play—when she smiles, you smile. -Repeat her sounds and say similar (but simple) words—if she says, “bah,” you say, “bottle” or “book.” -Point out new things and name them. (This also works with pictures in magazines.) -Put your baby on her tummy or back with toys just out of reach to encourage rolling.
9 months in: -Play games with “my turn, your turn,” like peekaboo or hide-and-seek. -Describe what your baby is looking or pointing at. It’s not just a ball; it’s a round red ball. -Ask for behaviors that you want rather than focusing on those you don’t. (For example, “time to sit” instead of “don’t stand.”) -Teach cause and effect by rolling balls and pushing buttons on toys that make noise.
12 months in: -Keep reading to your child every day—take turns labeling pictures. -Build on what your child says. (If she points and says, “dog,” respond with, “Yes, that’s a big brown dog.”) -Show her how to draw lines, and praise her when she tries to copy them. -Play with blocks or shape sorters that encourage her to use her hands. -Sing songs with actions, like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Wheels on the Bus.”
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