Raise a Happy Baby

7 to 8 months

What Your Baby Learns: His fine motor skills improve greatly at this age, and he'll insist on examining anything he can get his hands on, Dr. Ramey says. It will also dawn on him for the first time that words have specific meanings; he'll begin to understand the most common ones he hears.

Brain Boosters: Give him lots of textured toys that he can manipulate and hold. Begin telling him the names of as many items as possible as he plays with them.

Keep in Mind: Telling him "no" too many times will hinder his love of exploration. So be sure to put away any dangerous or breakable objects, and make your child's environment as baby-safe as possible.

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