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Helping Your Newborn Learn

Overview

There are lots of ways you can help your newborn learn and communicate.

  • Learn your newborn's cues.

    You can recognize when your baby is most alert and receptive. Newborn communication can be subtle. Look for signs—such as bright eyes and wiggling arms and legs—that your baby is happy and eager to interact. Pay attention to the sound of your baby's cries. Eventually you can distinguish between them and respond appropriately. For example, you'll learn which cry means "I'm hungry" and which cry means "I'm bored." This helps teach your baby to communicate.

  • Interact a lot with your baby.

    This includes talking and reading to your baby, and offering new and interesting things to look at. For example, show your baby pictures on the wall. Talk about the people and things in the pictures. Take your baby outside for walks, and talk about the things you see. Toys that newborns are most likely to respond to include brightly patterned mobiles, mirrors (unbreakable), and soft toys in bright colors or patterns.

  • Play soft music and sing to your baby.

    Toys that make soft, soothing sounds are also appropriate.

Credits

Current as of: August 3, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
John Pope MD - Pediatrics