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  • Just a few minutes after his late-day nap, your little darling is ready for round two of playtime fun. “Keep him active during the peak of his awake time to maximize learning on his own,” Dr. Padua-Bautista suggests. Activity mats designed to stimulate sensory and motor skills are perfect for your baby’s solo play. Or let him tinker with his favorite toys in his playpen while you do light chores in the same room. This is the part of his day when you need not hover and interact with him the whole time.

    Your baby’s “alone time” is an essential part of his day. “It’s the time your baby can learn and explore at his own pace—without pressure from grownups,” Dr. Padua-Bautista says. Plus, it encourages independence, she adds.

    ♦ Beatriz Padua-Bautista, M.D., internist and family doctor, Quezon City and Laoag City

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