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  • The First Year

  • The Development of Young Children


    Parents and caregivers should begin taking an active role in their child's development from infancy.

    In the first three months, you are encouraged to:

    • Talk to your baby while you hold, feed or play with him or her.
    • Let baby look at and become familiarized with your face.
    • Respond to the baby's gestures, faces and sounds.
    • Give your infant colorful objects to look at, including books and pictures.

    When your baby is four to seven months, you are encouraged to:

    • Talk face-to-face with baby and copy his or her sounds and expressions.
    • Read books and listen to music with your baby.
    • Appreciate your child's increased ability to communicate emotions and desires.
    • Notice baby's interest in the world and his or her growing attachments.
    • Give your child toys to play with that stimulate hand-eye coordination.

    Up to One YearParents and caregivers of children eight to twelve months are encouraged to:

    • Provide a safe place for the baby to explore the world around him or her.
    • Play peek-a-boo and patty cake.
    • Teach baby to wave "bye bye" and to shake his or her head "yes" or "no."
    • Continue reading together on a daily basis.
    • Encouraging development in children ages one to two

       |   Parenting Matters