By the time your baby turns one month old, he will already manifest noticeable developments when it comes to his actions and responses to his surroundings. His movements become more fluid and start to display more control. He can now see up to eight to ten feet away, making him follow moving objects with his eyes, thus heightening his curiosity about his immediate environment.
Whenever you’re handling your baby, whether changing his diapers or getting ready to breastfeeding him, An-Marie Bartolome-Villarin, managing director of the Terrific Tots Preschool Program at The Little Gym in Taguig City, and mother to Santi, shares that it’s good to narrate to your baby what you’re doing.
Talking to your baby helps build language and vocabulary , even if he doesn’t understand what you’re saying yet. “The fact that they hear words coming out of your mouth already models to them what language is,” says Villarin. “And then of course they recognize your voice.”
Aside from familiarizing your wee one with the sound, tone, and cadence of your voice, as well as stimulating his auditory development, talking also helps build a bond between you two through such simple forms of interaction.
At this point in your child’s development, he will begin to reflexively grasp objects placed in his hands. A good way to enhance his tactile development, or his sense of touch, is to provide him with textured toys.
Villarin recalls a toy she used for her son when he was one month old: “There were soft parts, hard parts, furry parts, there were some made out of felt, and then some made crunching sounds, so he really liked that. Something he could touch and put in his mouth.”
Allowing your baby to experience different textures early on lets him gain information about the world, discovering for himself the variety of shapes, sizes, surface temperature, softness or hardness of an object, among others. Such toys also stimulate his fine motor skills , which include small muscle movements controlling the hands, wrists, fingers, and thumbs.
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An-Marie Villarin, managing director of the Terrific Tots Preschool Program of The Little Gym, Taguig City, and mother to Santiago
“The Magic 5” by Anna Santos-Villar, Smart Parenting July 2007 issue