Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."
Question: What activities or games can I do with my infant that will help her development?
Answer: Infancy is a time of rapid growth in all areas of development. Social skills,
speech/language (verbal) and motor skills are just a few.
Although each child is different and will go at their own pace, there are
many things to do with your baby to stimulate the social and motor skills
that already are present at the stage of development that he/she is at.
You said that your child is an infant, but didn't say exactly how old.
Infancy is defined as the first 2 or 3 months of life.
Attending to your child's needs at this time is one of the best ways that you
can provide the needed stimulation so that growth can progress normally.
Studies have shown that if an infant is left to "cry it out," tolerance and
frustration levels are low. Babies that have their needs taken care of
immediately,( i.e., diaper change, hunger or just picked up when crying) have
a much better tolerance leading to better social skills later on as a young
child and even into adulthood.
Talking to your baby as well as touching is him or her is probably the best
stimulation you can give. Age appropriate articles such as rattles and soft
objects are a good ways to have your infant develop their own nervous system
where they learn control. They rapidly figure out that things make noise and
have texture that is pleasing to them. Mobiles in the crib are great motor
sensory stimulators. Black and white instead of colors seem to stimulate and
excite baby more. Grabbing and reaching for objects with positive
reinforcement from you is great stimulation for baby's learning.
All in all, depending on your child's stage of development, age appropriate
and fun ways for you and your baby to grow and develop together are the
greatest gift you can share.
There are many books and infant stimulation programs. Check out parenting
magazines and local hospitals.
Enjoy your baby!
Also see: How often should I feed my baby?
Pros and cons of immunizations
Sleep habits in infant
Ask Dr. Betti your questions
This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.