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5 Simple Ways to Help Your Newborn Learn

Updated on December 28, 2010

In the first few months of life, an infant requires only a few simple things to help them learn and grow. The most important, of course, is you, the parent, and the time you spend holding, touching and talking to your newborn. In addition to quality time with parents, infants benefit from a stimulating and carefully planned environment. Dr. Carol Cooper, author of Baby Milestones, offers this advice to new parents: “It may not always be obvious, but your baby is busy developing new skills at awesome speed.” She suggests adding a few items to your newborn’s routine to help him or her learn new things:

Play music:

Babies love to hear new sounds. You don’t need to stick to just classical, either. Everything from blues to opera will delight your little one’s new senses. Just be sure not to play it too loudly to avoid damaging your baby’s sensitive ears.

Give face time:

A newborn can only see a few inches in front of them. In addition to spending lots of time staring into your baby’s eyes, place pictures of faces, photos of family, or stuffed animals with happy faces near your baby. Another way to help an infant explore the world around them is to add an unbreakable mirror to your baby’s crib.

Take a look around:

Allow your baby to see new things. Hold him or her face out once in a while. During tummy time, place brightly colored soft toys, such as blocks and rattles in your baby’s line of sight. Even young babies will be able to follow dangling objects with their eyes, so place mobiles above cribs and changing stations and add hanging toys to your baby’s car seat.

Get touchy-feely:

Babies explore their environment through their sense of touch. Provide your little one with blankets that have different kinds of textures, soft stuffed animals, soft blocks and other baby-safe toys for your baby to grasp and feel with their little hands.

Move around:

Most infants don’t like spending too much time in one place. Use a sling or baby carrier to keep baby with you as you move around the house. Place a bouncy seat near you during meal times and when you perform chores. A baby gym can offer a break for babies who are ready for a little exercise.

Of all the toys you can give to a newborn, none is more important than time with you. Though a few simple toys can make your home an ideal place for learning and growth during your baby’s first few months.

For more information on infant development, consult Baby Milestones by Carol Cooper or visit her website


A happy baby begins with the right environment.

Stimulating Baby Gear


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