What you can do and observe
- Provide ways for your child to see, hear, feel, move freely, and touch you. Your baby will show calmness and comfort, and will slowly establish trust with you.
- Slowly move colorful things for your child to see and reach for. A simple, homemade toy, like a shaker rattle, can attract your baby’s interest by the sounds it makes.
- Smile and laugh with your child. You should soon see your baby smile in return.
- Talk to your child and get a conversation going by copying her/his sounds or gestures. Smile and laugh with your child. All family members can “coo” and copy the child’s sounds. You should see her/him slowly focus on your face and try to imitate you in return.
- Help the child follow an object. When the child sees it, move it slowly from side to side and up and down. You should see the child trying to follow the object with her/his eyes.
- Encourage your child to reach for a safe object you show her/him, such as a plastic cup. You should see her/him trying to grab or touch it.
- You can cut out simple pictures of familiar things, people and animals. Try to get pictures showing lots of different colors, textures, scenes and faces. Talk about the pictures as the baby looks at them. You should observe that your baby is listening to what you tell her/him and willing to participate in her/his own way. Her/his facial expressions change as you take her/him through a storybook. You can also invent simple stories out of pictures or photos from magazines.
- Place your baby on her/his stomach. Sit near her/him and slowly walk your fingers toward her/him. Then quickly and gently tickle the baby, and say: “here come my fingers, here they come, closer and closer, they got you”. To change the game, make your fingers creep slowly or quickly, or wait different amounts of time before tickling the baby. You should see the baby show delight by laughing or squealing.