Week Twenty Two



No longer is your baby a passive little person who watches what goes on around him – now he wants in on the action, and part of that is his desire to get hold of objects out of his reach. Not long ago, a dropped toy was a forgotten toy but now, with his rapidly improving memory, he knows that he can get it back by either complaining to you (whinging!) so that you’ll return it to him, or by reaching out himself to get it back. Successfully reaching for objects when he’s on his tummy, or sitting up, is dependent on him being able to manoeuvre himself into a position where he can balance his own weight while extending an arm. In the early days, he’ll often be unsuccessful and end up with a face down on the floor. Resist the temptation to rush in to help him – instead keep watch and give him help only if he gets stuck or upset.

Read more about the physical development of your baby.

Stimulating your baby

Long gone are the days when your baby’s most active moments were spent looking at a mobile; now that she’s looking to engage with the world, you’ll need to find new ways to entertain her. Small children love and learn from repetition so when you introduce a new game, be prepared to play it endlessly.

Choose ten coloured pegs – try to include pairs of different colours – and put them into a small cloth bag. Sit with your baby and show her how to take them out of the bag and then to put them back in. It will take great concentration of mind and co-ordination to do this trick but as she masters it, you can introduce her to the colours and the pairs.

For other great play ideas, read 3-6 months play.

Positive reinforcement

With a small baby in your care, you’ll be given all kinds of wonderful parenting advice – some that’s right on the money, and some that sounds downright odd. But the one thing everyone agrees on is that to get the best out of your child and to encourage him to tackle new things (and perhaps take a risk or two), you need to give him plenty of positive reinforcement. If you see him behaving or doing something you want to encourage, make sure that he knows it’s been noticed, and that you’re very pleased with him. Lots of hand-clapping and an excited voice usually gets the message across loud and clear.

Read more tips on positive reinforcement and discipline for young children.

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