Here is an idea of some of the things to expect from your baby between the ages of birth and 6 months. Your baby responds best to a warm, loving environment. Holding your baby and responding to their cries are essential in building a strong, healthy bond. Remember, you can’t “spoil” a baby.
By the end of the first month your baby:
- Moves head from side to side
- Prefers the human face to other shapes
- May turn towards familiar sounds or voices
- Responds to loud sounds
By the end of the second month your baby:
- Tracks objects with his eyes
- Makes noises other than crying
- May repeat vowel noises, such as “ah” or “ooh”
By the end of the third month your baby:
- Reaches for dangling objects
- Grasps and shakes hand toys
- Tracks moving objects
- Begins to imitate sounds
- Raises head and chest when put on tummy
- Brings both hands together
- Interested in circular and spiral patterns
- Kicks legs energetically
- Holds head up with control
By the end of the fourth month your baby:
- Babbles and amuses self with new noises
- Responds to all colors and shades
- Explores objects with his mouth
- Recognizes a bottle or breast
- Communicates pain, fear, loneliness and discomfort through crying
- Responds to a rattle or bell
By the end of the fifth month your baby:
- Pays attention to small objects
- Experiments with the concept of cause and effect
- Can see across the room
- Begins to use hands in a raking fashion to bring toys near
- Begins teething process
Some activities that you can do with them would be:
- Encourage Eye Movement. Move your face or a toy slowly from side to side so baby can follow it with her eyes.
- Make Faces. Mirror the faces that your baby makes.
- Stimulate the Senses. Provide objects to grasp, poke, feel, shake, and opportunities to discover how things smell, sound, feel, taste and look.
- Make Time for Cuddle. Does your baby like lots of stimulation or just a little? Sad or upset babies may need some extra comfort and love after their needs are met, and they may need to let out their feelings in your loving arms.
- Play peek-a-boo, a giggly game that builds closeness and teaches children that even though you go away, you will always come back.
Here are some toy ideas to encourage your baby’s development and exploration
1. Busy Bee Playmat by Small World – This mat is made up of 9 different squares that have shapes and animals on them. Your baby will love the bright pictures and different textures of this mat. It has a rattling bumblebee and crinkling butterfly which attach to a squeaking flower with flexible fabric fastener for a stick-on, pull-off activity. There are patches of slippery satin, bumpy corduroy, plush velour for tactile exploration. A baby-safe mirror for self discovery, cute black-and-white worms dangle from two corners and black satin ribbons attach to crib rail, play yard, or car seat. Also Reversible. $21.95 U.S. Birth – 18 months.
2. Lamaze Soft Toys (Freddie the Firefly, Spike the Dinosaur, Stretch the Giraffe) – This whole line of toys is great for babies aged 0-18 months. The bright colours, different fabrics and noises will keep them entertained for ever. Lamaze makes about 15 different animals in this line. Some are rated for birth and up and others that have textured rings and more intricate parts are for 6 months and up.
3. Fisher Price Peek A Boo Piano – This toy can be clipped onto the crib and then used for floor play later on. Your baby can kick the keyboard to make music and a will get a peek-a-boo surprise from the soft birdie by kicking the piano keys. $50 U.S. Birth – 18 months.
4. Lighthouse Seaside Stacker – This toy has many developmental benefits. It is bright and each ring has a different texture and pattern. When your child gets older can use the stacker to learn how to remove rings and put them back. The rings are soft and will not hurt of they decide to throw them at a sibling or parents, which they will. $ 30 U.S. Birth to 1 year
5. Me in the Mirror by Sassy – Babies love to see themselves in the mirror. This toy would be perfect for the side of the crib or floor during tummy time. This Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award Winner encourages language development by helping your baby make the visual connection between sounds and mouth movements. Stimulates vision and touch. Rewards tummy time by giving your baby a reason to push up. Four bright toys include rolling ladybug, bird with bell, squeaking sun, teething ring on ribbon. Slants downward to offer a baby’s-eye view to your newborn. $ 14.95 U.S. Birth – 2 years