Your Active Baby
Between the ages of 6 months and 1 year, your baby will become a whirlwind of motion. Babies at this age are curious about everything. But they have a very short attention span. This is normal. Two or three minutes is the most time they will play with one toy before something else catches their attention. Their attention span will be longer as they get closer to the one-year mark.
By the time your baby is a year old she will be showing you what she wants. She will point, gesture or crawl toward the object. She also will understand more than you think. Mention her favorite stuffed animal and she may look toward it, even though she cannot say the word for it yet. All this time, your baby has been learning!
How Your Baby Learns
You are your child’s first teacher. Talking and listening to your baby are how she learns and begins to feel valued and respected. Keep language simple and specific. Make learning fun. Keep it light. No pressure. This will help your child look forward to learning new things.
Talk to your baby about everything that is happening around her. Talk about what she is eating. At bath time, name the things around her. Splash the water a bit and show her that this is “water.” Mention how soft the towel is and that it is “blue” and a “towel.”
Your baby will experiment with sounds during this time. The sounds he makes should vary in pitch and intensity. This means he is getting ready to talk. The more you talk back to him, the more you encourage his attempts to communicate.
Simple games such as peek-a-boo teach your child important lessons. The more you have fun and talk while playing, the more excited your child will become about learning.
Read to your baby every day. Try to relate the story to your baby’s life and surroundings. You can even make up your own story to go with the pictures, if you like. Your baby will enjoy the time you spend together. Your baby will learn the building blocks of language, like letters and sounds, when you read to him.
One of the most exciting moments in a parent’s life is the moment your baby says anything that sounds like a real word. She looks at you and says “mama” or “dada” and you can tell she is talking to you! This first happens when she is about nine months old. There are many things you can do to help language along, including reading to your baby and letting her know that everything has a name. But remember: Keep it light! Make it fun.
It is best that your child learn things at her own pace and without any pressure. Remember, their brains are like a little sponge at this age and they are able to absorb more than you might think.
Remember, children develop at different ages. Do not get concerned about comparing your child to other children. Do not push your child to develop more quickly. Just let her enjoy different activities and places. She will learn through her natural curiosity.
—- from First5 Advice for New Parents