Tips to Boost Your Baby's Memory

Baby begins to develop her memory from the moment she is born. There are lots of things you can do during her first year to help strengthen her memory skills. Here are some of our tips and suggestions for enhancing Baby's memory.

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Alexandra Grablewski

Enforce Consistency

Help Baby's memory development by keeping her surroundings consistent and creating daily routines. Make her playtime predictable. If she plays with the same toys in the same room at the same time every day, she will remember the scenario much longer than if playtime changes every day. Even little things, such as changing the songs you sing to her, will hinder her ability to remember them. Right now, Baby is only developing her short-term memory.

Perfect Age to Start: 0 to 3 Months

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BananaStock/ Jupiter

Adding New Skills

Introduce a new skill over short periods of playtime. If a new toy requires a skill Baby hasn't learned yet, spread out playtime with that toy over the entire week. Teach Baby how to play with it, then reintroduce the object for five minutes at a time over several days. This will help Baby remember the skill longer than playing with it for a longer period of time for only a day or two.

Perfect Age to Start: 0 to 3 Months

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Playing With Baby: Memory Building Activities

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Mike Kemp/ Getty

Say His Name

Call Baby by his name as often as possible. By 4 months, he'll start to recognize the sound of his name and connect it with your attention to him. Saying his name as often as possible when you talk to him will help him remember that it belongs especially to him. He'll also begin to put familiar faces he sees every day with their names. Make sure to call yourself "Mommy" as much as you can to help him build the connection.

Perfect Age to Start: 4 to 6 Months

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Kathryn Gamble

Talk to Her

Talk Baby through your actions to help her remember cause and effect. Show that when you flip the switch down, the light goes off. When you flip it up, the light comes on. Say "Light off," and "Light on." Stack blocks or containers one by one until they topple over. Say, "Too high!" These demonstrations will help Baby learn simple laws and anticipate them next time you perform the action. Also, when actions appear in Baby's bedtime story, be sure to identify them. Point to the picture and say "running" or "dancing."

Perfect Age to Start: 4 to 6 Months

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Respond to Her Babbles

Even when Baby can't talk yet, take pauses when you talk to her. If you wait for her to start cooing and babbling, she will eventually learn that she is expected to add her response to what you say. She will remember this back-and-forth pattern later when she begins to have conversations. Allowing her to respond will also help Baby remember the pattern of words and sentences. Soon, her coos will have the same rhythm as your speech.

Perfect Age to Start: 7 to 9 Months

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Stick to a Routine

After Baby is about 9 months, she has learned to anticipate events from your actions. She'll remember that running the water means bath time is coming up or that putting on her coat means she'll be going outside. Now she's capable of seeing the humor in unexpected events. Try putting her underwear on her head or her socks on her hands. Baby will laugh at your "joke" and reinforce her memory of the correct routines.

Perfect Age to Start: 7 to 9 Months

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Make Sure She's Getting Rest

Just as you feel able to get more work done after a refreshing nap, Baby will retain information better if she feels rested and relaxed. Don't try to make every moment an opportunity for learning. Let her explore freely during part of her playtime or just lie with her on the floor and hang out. She'll also find it relaxing to sit in her stroller and watch the world go by as you take her for a walk. Taking breaks and allowing for downtime help Baby consolidate her memories and retain them for longer periods of time.

Perfect Age to Start:7 to 9 Months

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Fancy Photography/Veer

Introduce New Games

By this time, Baby is growing bored of repetition. Abandon playtime routines and introduce new games. A great way to keep Baby entertained is to help him categorize items. During playtime, separate his toys by colors or objects. Put all his trucks in one pile and all his stuffed animals in another. Then hold up a new toy. Have him help you decide whether the toy goes in the truck pile or the animal pile. This will help him remember qualities and traits of objects.

Perfect Age to Start: 10 to 12 Months

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Kathryn Gamble

Understanding Object Permanence

Baby has begun to develop "object permanence." This means she will understand that just because she can't see an object doesn't mean it is not there. Games of hide-and-seek are perfect for sharpening this skill. Hiding a toy will cause Baby to search for it, forcing her to remember its size, shape, color, and texture. She'll be especially excited to look for toys that are her favorites.

Perfect Age to Start: 10 to 12 Months

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Juice Images/Veer

Practice Word Association

When Baby begins to speak her first words, she will associate them with certain memories. If she says "Mama" or "Dada," she will start picturing your face with the sound she makes. Once Baby begins talking, word association is more important than ever. When Baby watches you, say the name of whatever object you are holding. She will quickly remember words and images together, which will help her as she develops her vocabulary.

Perfect Age to Start: 10 to 12 Months

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