Play-by-Play: How Your Baby Learns

It may look like child's play, but your baby is hard at work learning while she practices tummy time or the two of you roll a ball together. Find out how your little one is developing more and more with this month-by-month guide to playtime learning.

Let the games begin! In baby's world, playing is synonymous with learning and it goes way beyond the ABC's.

0 - 3 Months: Taking It All In

Living and Learning: New babies are best able to see patterns in black and white, so they focus on objects with sharp color contrasts. Toys won't be of much use yet, but there are still ways to keep your baby entertained, like hanging a mobile above her crib. Babies' eyes are naturally drawn to things in motion, and by watching moving objects, they learn to coordinate their eyes to move at the same time. But what new babies crave most of all is contact with you. In fact, Jill Stamm, PhD, author of Bright From the Start, says the best toy for a new baby is your face. To her, you're three times the fun: the sound of your voice makes her feel reassured and comforted; your eyes and mouth create a sharp color contrast against your skin; your mouth is fun for her to watch as you talk to her.

Game Time: Play "This Little Piggy." She'll love the close contact with you and listening to your voice.

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