How Do Infants Learn

Based on current brain development literature, this brochure offers practical suggestions to parents. It promotes activities, like reading or singing, that encourage brain growth. Since some parents interpret an infant's normal exploration as bad behavior, it helps parents understand that exploration is a natural developmental need, laying the groundwork for later discussions of toddler behavior and discipline.

How to Use This Tool

  • This is a good time to check in with parents about social connections. The brochure addresses this area with the following sections:
    • "Others Who Care for Your Baby"
    • "Take Care of Yourself"
  • Since a majority of American children have working parents and spend some time in the care of others, use this as an opportunity to talk about child care arrangements.
Helpful Hints

  • Notice the infant's new behaviors and the interaction between the parent and child.
    • "Wow, your baby sure is interested in my stethoscope! Infants really like to check everything out. I need to use this, so I'll distract her with one of these toys."
    • "I really like the way she lets me examine her but is always looking over at you to make sure it's OK. You really are doing a nice job reassuring her."
    Ask about separation. "This is an age when babies figure out that parents are really important. Does he have a lot of trouble when you leave him with someone else? How do you handle it?"
  • Ask about the family. " Gee, it's been almost a year since your baby was born. Who helps you and your partner get some time alone together?"

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