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Stimulating his senses
Your baby uses all of his senses to explore and learn about his world. Make sure he has lots of safe things around to touch, mouth, and manipulate. He'll love squishing a soft rubber ball, patting a piece of fake fur, gnawing a chilled teething ring, and hearing a bell jingle inside a stuffed animal.
An interesting thing to do: Gather different fabrics and place them next to each other on the floor. Watch your baby's expression as he moves over the varying textures.
Getting a kick out of story hour
Looking at books together will improve your baby's language skills and prime him for a lifelong love of reading. It doesn't matter what type of book you choose. Board books are colorful and sturdy, and books that have pop-up pictures or textured illustrations are also very popular.
Your baby won't have the dexterity to open a book or even flip pages until he's between about 9 and 12 months, and he might not yet have the patience to sit still while you read him a story, but don't give up. No matter what your child's age, reading provides a great opportunity for cuddling and socializing.
Starting now, your baby will probably let you know that he's ready to try eating finger foods by grabbing the spoon you're feeding him with or snatching food off your plate. Scatter four or five pieces of finger food onto your baby's highchair tray or an unbreakable plate. (A highchair – not reclined in a car seat or stroller – is the place to eat to reduce choking hazards.)
Your baby may have a good appetite but not many teeth, so start with foods that he can gum or that will dissolve easily in his mouth. As he grows you'll be able to give him bite-size pieces of whatever you're eating.
Remember that your baby's also learning about texture, color, and smell, so try to offer a variety of foods. Some finger food favorites: O-shaped toasted oat cereal; small chunks of banana or other very ripe, peeled fruit like mango, plum, pear, peach, cantaloupe, or seedless watermelon; small cubes of tofu; well-cooked pasta spirals, cut into pieces; thin cheese strips or very small chunks of cheese; cut-up seedless grapes or cherries (pits removed); blueberries; and small soft pieces of cooked vegetables, like carrots, peas, zucchini, potato, or sweet potato.
Remember, your baby is an individual
All babies are unique and meet milestones at their own pace. Developmental guidelines simply show what your baby has the potential to accomplish – if not right now, then soon. If your baby was premature, keep in mind that kids born early usually need a bit more time to meet their milestones. If you have any questions at all about your baby's development, ask your healthcare provider.