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Sensible Stimulation

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Research shows that babies do best in a moderately stimulating environment, rather than one that's highly complex, which may overwhelm and discourage them. Since babies this age like to reach for objects with different textures, shapes, and sounds, help your child manage the inflow of new information. Rotate his toys so that there are just a few in front of him at any given time, and make sure he gets a little quiet time on his own to experiment with each new thing and discover what's special about it. If you let him work a little bit to reach the toy, figure it out, and then share it with you, you'll give him a chance to experience the joy of doing it himself. That sense of mastery will fuel his desire to keep exploring.

Many babies this age are just as fascinated by simple household objects as they are by their toys. So why not give your baby pots and pans to play with instead of big, complex playthings that discourage the active exploration he needs to learn and grow? If you decide to let your baby loose on the cookware, designate a specific cupboard in the kitchen that's safe for him to discover. Play it safe by keeping the rest of the cupboards secured.


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