Learning Guide Birth – 4 Months

Learning Guide Birth – 4 Months

 

Little ones, big changes

Your little one is changing around the clock during these first four months. Even if they seem like they are just lying around all day, they are actually learning and developing at an incredible speed. The items we've selected for this age range are intended to support your baby through these first months. Of course, the most important element of your child’s early development are not toys - it is you!  Your presence, conscious communication, caretaking and adoring attention are truly the most essential elements that support your growing baby’s well being and growth.  

 

In the eye of the beholder

Your baby’s visual abilities will change rapidly in the first months of life. We can assist their development by giving them items to look at that will give their eyes and brains a workout - without overwhelming them. We can support their discoveries by giving them visual stimulation in the way that they need it.  Here are some tips:

  • Show contrast rather than color.  Start with high contrast vistas - think black and white. These will be easiest for your little one to really see and enjoy. Slowly bring in more colors over the first few months. By 4 months most babies will be seeing in full color. 

 

  • Keep it close. Babies this age have the best vision at 8-12 inches from their face. 

 

  • Use slow natural movement. Eye tracking is developing over these first few months. Choose mobiles without mechanical movements and move slowly when you are showing things to your baby.

 

  • Keep it simple. Sounds, lights, and other sensory input can all be very overwhelming for a little one. Even too many different patterns can overwhelm them.

 

  • See it from their perspective. This is a great practice, whether your little one is 2 months old or 22 years old.  In this case, literally, make sure what they are seeing is interesting!

 

  • Give them space to work.  Set up a “discovery space” for them, ideally on something cozy on the floor with a floor mirror nearby. 

 

  • Stand back. Be a quiet presence so that they can focus, literally and figuratively. Take the time to just observe them, you may notice longer and longer periods of concentration. Observing will help you see what they are interested in and ready for.

 

  • Give them real face time.  Your face will be the most intriguing thing for their eyes to explore. Give them lots of real life face time.

 

  • Natural beauty for the win! Let your little one feast their eyes on the beauties of our planet. Lay down together by a window or outside to gaze up at leaf patterns or show them the glories of your garden. 

 

In the hands of the beholder

As your little one grows they will be able to use their hands as well as their eyes to explore their world. Tactile mobiles and baby gyms are a fantastic way to support this learning, and you can start introducing them around three months. 

 

Give them a break

Young infants have their own way of letting us know they are done with a particular activity.  If they are overwhelmed, or just ready to move on you will see them turn their heads away from the item that they are finished with. So if you are shaking a rattle for them, and they keep turning their head away from the rattle, they are saying “give me a break!” 

 

Give yourself a break

Parenting has some really steep learning curves, and each new baby brings their own lessons into your life  - especially that first one. Do what you can to rest and give yourselves some TLC during these first months. It will benefit them as well as you.