DEVELOPMENT TIP: Engage in skin-to-skin and eye-to-eye contact; massage your baby (learn how here); carry her in your arms or in a sling; feed her on request (at the ﬁrst sign of hunger). FEEDING TIP:
Small, frequent breastfeedings (at least eight feedings in each 24 hours) will ensure that your baby is getting enough to eat and help you build a good milk supply. Watch your baby for cues that she’s getting hungry—she may smack her lips or suck on her hands. Crying is a late sign of hunger. Don’t wait for your baby to cry before offering the breast; it’s harder for a crying baby to latch on well.
“What babies hear, see and feel in the early years affect how their brain develops. They develop best in warm, nurturing relationships.”
Relationships and feelings Make eye contact as you smile at each other Enjoy being played with, laugh and kick by 4 months Chuckle softly and laugh aloud by 3–5 months.
Out of step? Don’t seem interested in things around them Don’t show delight in being with people Don’t seem to know parents or other familiar people. Doing, seeing and hearing Enjoy looking at people and bright objects Enjoy watching people do things React to familiar things by smiling, cooing and excited movements Turn their head to moderate sounds such as a normal speaking voice by 3 months Look at their own hands and play with their fingers by 3 months. By 3–5 months: Hold on to an object placed in their hand and briefly look at it Lift their head and chest when lying on their tummy Quieten or smile at the sound of your voice, or if they see you Turn their head or eyes towards you when you speak from beside or behind them. By 5–7 months Learning to talk Roll from their back to their tummy. Make lots of little voice sounds such as squeals or grunts Take turns when ‘talking’ with parents Turn their head towards a person talking by 5 months. DEVELOPMENT TIP: Hold your baby on your chest so she can peer over your shoulder; provide ample tummy time to improve neck control; play with your baby’s hands; have “conversations” with your baby—make sounds and encourage your baby to repeat them; read books with large, colourful pictures. FEEDING TIP: Expect growth spurts during which your baby will want
to breastfeed more often. This is nature’s way of bumping up your milk supply to meet your growing baby’s needs. Ready for solids? Signs that your baby is ready include sitting up without support, controlling her head, bringing food to her mouth, and swallowing without choking. The AAP recommends babies be exclusively breastfed for the ﬁrst six months of life. If your baby seems distracted during feedings, you may have more luck breastfeeding in a quiet place. Most 4-month-olds can see more clearly now and are fascinated by the world around them.
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“Responding to babies’ cries warmly and consistently helps them feel safe and secure.”
Relationships and feelings Know familiar people and are unsure of strangers Are upset when separated from main carer Delight in playing ‘peek-a-boo’ games.
Out of step? Don’t show pleasure when seeing people they know well Don’t make eye contact Cannot be comforted by a parent or close carer. Doing Swap small items from one hand to the other Pick up items with their thumb and one finger Bang objects together Roll from their back to their tummy Get into a crawling position on their hands and knees Start to look at and feel objects before taking them to their mouth Start to hold food such as a biscuit and feed themselves Look in the right direction for things that have fallen down Start to drink from a cup held by an adult by 6–9 months Move around more and roll and creep on their tummy by 8 months. Hearing and learning to talk Turn towards quiet sounds Babble with sounds like ‘dada’ and ‘baba’ and then try to put babbling sounds together Recognise several words, e.g. looks for Daddy if ‘Daddy’ is said Copy sounds made by other people. DEVELOPMENT TIP:
Bounce to music; poke at bubbles; play with balls; “hide” objects.
FEEDING TIP: At around 6 months of age, most babies are ready for solid foods. Expect messy mealtimes! Exploring and handling her food is part of your child’s learning process. Don’t worry if more food ends up on the ﬂoor than in her mouth. It can take 10 or more offerings before a new taste is accepted.
Baby Market, the BIGGEST Baby Fair in Southeast Asia! (29Apr-1May, Singapore Expo Hall 4)