Conscientious, responsible, and sensitive, Capricorn babies care a great deal what others think about them. They need extra affection and reassurance from the start. Set your little one up for success by helping him master new skills (such as using a spoon or saying a nursery rhyme) in private before having him show them off to your friends. If he stumbles when trying to take his first steps, fend off frustration by teaching him the old adage: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And when he's learning to talk or use the potty, don't hesitate to praise him.
Aquarian babies are natural rebels who like to do things their own way. Get lots of toys to keep your child from becoming restless during tummy time, and lock those cabinets early. Give her the chance to crawl freely on grassy lawns and toddle around the playground. Embrace her discoveries by letting her collect the rocks and other little treasures she finds. Support her individuality by allowing her to decide which outfit she wants to wear or which stuffed animal she wants to sleep with. And introduce new toys, books, and games regularly: Kids born under this sign are bright and often develop ahead of schedule.
Sensitive and emotional, Pisces babies feel the nuances of their environment very deeply. To blossom, your little one needs a secure, warm, nurturing home. Keep him close to your heart by carrying him in a sling as you run errands or tidy up around the house. Comfort him with classical music, soft lullabies, and soothing massages. Avoid loud, disturbing noises. He loves games like pat-a-cake and peekaboo. Your little Fish will adore baths too, so make sure you've got plenty of water toys on hand.
Your child is a nonstop mover. She's a fan of energy-expending activities, so let her play in a baby gym and bouncy jumper, take frequent trips to the park, and navigate homemade obstacle courses. Use bright colors to decorate her nursery. Your fiercely independent child has to do things without Mom's help, whether it's holding a bottle, feeding herself, or cruising around the coffee table. Encourage these behaviors (and always stay close by to supervise), since they'll help foster your child's growth.
Face it: Little Bulls are stubborn. Your child is likely to resist change of any kind and prefers the security of familiar routines. Take whatever measures you can to prepare him for transitions (such as counting down the minutes until book time turns into naptime) and changes in the usual schedule (such as an unplanned visit from Grandma). Your child is all about comfort: He'll adore a cozy crib and, later on, may insist on covering his big-boy bed with loveys. Kids born under this sign are especially fond of animals, so don't be surprised if he gets really attached to a certain stuffed dog or cat.
Your baby is blessed with a quick, engaged mind and needs constant stimulation. Read to her several times a day, and make sure you have lots of little objects (rattles, squishy toys) for her to play with. Satisfy her natural curiosity -- and fend off restlessness -- with pop-up toys, puppet shows, storytime at the library, and frequent field trips (such as to the supermarket or a fish store). A true chatterbox, your little one may be the first in her baby group to speak. Even if it sounds like gibberish, pay attention: In her mind, she always has something crucial to say.
Your sweet, tender, sensitive Cancer baby will develop a strong bond with Mommy and may well up with tears at the first sign of separation. A warm embrace and some gentle back-patting will help ease his anxiety. Use tranquil lighting and pastel colors to make your child's nursery a soothing place. Domestic by nature, he'll enjoy playing house with you. Give him toys that let him feel like he's helping out (such as a mini broom-and-dustpan set or a pretend kitchen). And bring out his inherent kindness by showing him how to share with his peers and teaching him good table manners at a young age.
Your baby is full of joy and a real charmer. Expect lots of babbling, giggling, and banging as she tries to be the center of attention. While it's fine to encourage these efforts, make sure you don't overpraise her. Your child needs to learn how to share the spotlight too (especially with her siblings). Little Lions are big-time artists, so draw out your cutie's creative side. Give her crayons, finger-paints, and molding clay at an early age. And make up stories and play dress-up to spark her vivid imagination.
Determined, resourceful, and industrious, your baby is anxious to get a head start in life. Play off his goal-oriented nature with toys that give him a sense of accomplishment (such as soft blocks, shape sorters, and pounding boards). Your child is likely to be a picky eater by nature. Expand his tastes by offering a variety of healthy foods at mealtime. Virgos don't like disorder; keep his nursery and play area tidy. Fend off fussiness by changing his dirty diapers quickly. And be ready with a fresh outfit the minute he gets a stain on what he's wearing.
What a charmer you've brought into the world! Libras are blessed with grace and an inherent ability to captivate everyone around them. Give your social child ample opportunities to interact with her peers, such as baby classes and playdates (she'll be Ms. Popularity long before she starts preschool). Consider throwing a big party for her first birthday -- she'll likely get a kick out of getting dressed up and being doted on by loved ones. And bust a move together: Libras love music and dancing.
Your child's intensity and perceptiveness are striking (and at times challenging). Even as an infant, she'll read and respond to your emotions, so manage your anger and frustration in front of her. Because your little one is especially determined to get her own way, you'll need to put your patience in overdrive. And since Scorpions are prone to shyness in large social settings, make frequent eye contact and let her know you're there to protect her. Also, keep your home well-stocked with objects that appeal to your child's probing nature: She likes soft stacking rings, toys with different textures, and open-the-flap books.
Optimistic, outgoing, and content, little Archers are true explorers. Put your baby in a carrier or stroller and she'll happily go wherever you lead. Spend time roaming around the backyard and checking out the neighborhood: She needs lots of exercise for her physical and mental health. Your child will bounce back quickly from little spills and failures. But she also gets bored easily and constantly needs new toys. To hold her attention, read lots of stories about exciting adventures in faraway lands -- and promise that she'll get to visit them someday too.
Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the January 2008 issue of Parents magazine.