Ten Ways to Help Your Baby’s Brain Develop

1. Teach your baby to trust you by responding to him when he cries. Crying means he’s trying to tell you something. Never ignore your crying baby. Pick him up and try to figure out what he needs. By trusting you, he learns to trust the world around him.

2. Give your baby bright colorful objects to look at. Move objects slowly in front of your baby so he can follow with his eyes.

3. Babies love simple black and white designs. You can buy soft, patterned cards to put in the baby’s crib. Or make your own patterns on 3” x 5” index cards and hold them for your baby to see.

4. Provide gentle sounds for your baby. Turn on the classical music station or any quiet music. The music should be soft and soothing. In fact, loud noises may upset the baby.

5. Hang interesting shapes from a play frame or crib gym. Change them often so your baby has something new to look at. Put a baby-safe mirror in the crib.

6. Keep your baby near you. Babies thrive on loving attention. Encourage others in your household to stop often and talk with the baby. Smile when you talk to him.

7. Talk to your baby. Don’t worry if he understands or not. Tell him what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, read to him and sing. The more words a baby hears each day will greatly improve his intelligence, school success, and social skills. Don’t substitute the radio or TV for your words. Language, eye contact, and connection is what helps your baby’s brain take shape.

8. Looking at human faces is the most interesting activity for a newborn. Parents and relatives are his favorite faces. So, bend down to within 12” of your baby’s face. Let him study your face.

9. A baby can get bored just lying around. Move the baby’s bassinet from room to room so he can have different views.

10. Your baby loves to be carried. Babies like the rhythm of an adult’s movement. Being carried entertains him when he is awake. It gives your baby a perfect way to learn about the world around him. Your newborn needs lots of love and care. You can’t spoil him with love!