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State College, PA 16801
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Toys for Birth to 12 Months Buying Guide
A lot can happen in a year, especially with a new baby in the family. So let's take the first year in chunks. Your baby is learning from the very start. Around two months old she'll start to take an interest in funny faces and peek-a-boo games. By four months she'll be playing with her fingers.
The First 3 Months
Babies learn best through play that is simple and repetitive. Games like peek-a-boo, with a back and forth exchanges are fun for her. Until your baby is two months old, play will remain fairly simple. Try holding her nine to twelve inches from your face while moving your head and making funny faces to help her vision develop.
Your baby's brain is being flooded with stimulation all of the time so she'll tire easily during the first year. One minute you could both be happily playing and the next she could be fussing or falling asleep. Remember to give her lots of breaks when she loses interest. Sometimes even making eye contact with another person will tire her out. Try holding her head to her chest and gently rocking her while she takes a break. She'll be ready to play again as soon as she starts looking around or making happy sounds.
Talking to your baby throughout the day will help her to acquire language and stay engaged. You can encourage her coos and giggles by responding as if the two of you are having a conversation! This sort of simple, back and forth "dialog" will strengthen the bond between you.
When your baby is around six months old, you can help her memory by pointing out familiar people and things wherever you go. Let her spend lots of time playing on the floor. Unstructured play is just as important for her developments as play together. Offer her simple toys to develop her grasp and place toys just out of her reach so she'll have to move to get them. By this point she's able to distinguish several hundred words. Spend time reading together and point out lots things in the pictures that are interesting or familiar.
Luckily, the most important thing you can do to stimulate your baby's development is also the easiest. Give her lots of love, kisses and attention! Showering your baby with affection will keep her feeling safe and secure. You can make everyday tasks like changing, feeding and bathing into play by singing songs, making faces and responding to her coos and gurgles!
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