What Is My Baby Learning? After learning to recognize your voice, your face, and your touch, and to associate them with comfort, your baby will start responding even more to you during these months — and will even give you a smile! Babies this age spend more time awake and become more curious about their surroundings. They are getting physically stronger and better able to coordinate movements. Encourage the learning process by talking to your little one, responding to his or her vocal expressions, and providing colorful age-appropriate toys. You'll now see your baby's personality emerge. In the first month or two of life, newborns depend on others to initiate interaction. But by the end of the third month your baby will engage you with facial expressions, vocalizations, and gestures. Your baby will carefully watch your facial expressions and listen to your voice, responding to you with coos and gurgles. At around 2 months, your baby will respond to your smile with a smile. Between 3 and 4 months, most infants can squeal with delight and laugh out loud. Babies will start to open and shut their fists, opening up new possibilities. They can hold a rattle placed in their hands. They'll soon discover that they're the one that made the rattle make noise! Babies also start to explore their surroundings with their hands, reaching out, swatting at, and grasping for a favorite toy. They'll also begin to notice their hands and feet, and they'll become a source of amusement. They enjoy staring at their hands, playing with their fingers, and bringing their hands or a toy to their mouth. How Can I Help My Baby Learn? Respond to coos and gurgling with sounds of your own. Encourage your baby to keep using his or her voice. In this way, your little one learns about language and back-and-forth conversation. Provide colorful toys of different textures, shapes, and sizes for your baby to hold and explore. This is a good age to introduce an infant gym with interesting objects that dangle for your baby to swat at. Or hold a toy just out of reach for your baby to reach for, swat, and grab hold of. But don't string up toys on cribs or other baby equipment — your baby could get tangled in them. Watch for signs — fussing, squirming, or crying — that your little one might be ready for a break. Some Other Ideas Other ideas for encouraging your baby to learn and play: Gently clap your baby's hands together or stretch arms (crossed, out wide, or overhead). Gently move your baby's legs as if pedaling a bicycle. Use a favorite toy for your baby to focus on and follow, or shake a rattle for your infant to find. While awake, let your baby spend some time on his or her tummy to help strengthen the neck and shoulders. Always supervise your infant during "tummy time" and be ready to help if he or she gets tired or frustrated in this position. Never put a baby to sleep on his or her stomach. Infants should sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Make different facial expressions for your baby to imitate. Talk to your baby and let your baby respond. Read to your baby. Keep in mind that babies develop at different rates, and there is a wide range of normal development. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about how your baby sees and hears, or if you have any questions or concerns about your baby's development. Back to Articles Related Articles Choosing Safe Baby Products Choosing baby products can be confusing, but one consideration must never be compromised: your little one's safety. Read More Communication and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old Your baby is learning to communicate through facial expressions like smiling or frowning as well as crying, squealing, babbling, and laughing. And those sounds are early attempts to speak! Read More Movement, Coordination, and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old The reflexes they had just after birth start to disappear as babies this age gain more control over movements and interact more with their environment. Read More Your Child's Growth From the moment parents greet their newborn, they watch the baby's progress eagerly. But how can they tell if their child is growing properly? Read More Your Baby's Growth: 1 Month Put away those newborn clothes. This month your baby will grow at a surprising rate! Read More Medical Care and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old You probably have lots of questions about your baby's health. When should you call the doctor, and what medical care should you expect for your baby at this age? Read More Sleep and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old At this age, babies generally have their days and nights straightened out. Many infants even "sleep through the night," which means 5 or 6 hours at a time. Read More Your Baby's Hearing, Vision, and Other Senses: 1 Month Your baby is experiencing the first sights, sounds, and smells of the world through all five senses. What are your baby's responses to light, noise, touch, and familiar faces? Read More Learning, Play, and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old Your infant will learn to sit during this time, and in the next few months will begin exploring by reaching out for objects, grasping and inspecting them. Read More Learning, Play, and Your 8- to 12-Month-Old Your baby is learning more about the world through play and is beginning to use words. Keep those toys and games coming! Read More Learning, Play, and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Kids go from babies to toddlers during this time, from first steps to walking well. They also make major strides in language and communication. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. 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