7 Months to 12 Months:
These wonderful days will go faster than you can imagine! Your baby will soon be exploring the world independently. Sitting, crawling and walking will be tasks he masters as he grows into the first year. She will pick up communication skills from you as she observes your chatter. So keep talking and pointing out things and telling him what you are doing as you carry out your daily activities. Your baby probably responds to the people who care for her with a big smile when they come within her vision. He is gaining in confidence every day too.
All toys should be non-toxic, have bright, solid colors and be easily washable. No small parts should be in any toys. All toys must be too big for your baby to swallow.
You have been pointing out objects and things around your baby, by this age he can look at objects that you name. She can also try to imitate the sounds you make. So keep talking to your baby. She will soon be able to respond to small requests – “kiss me,” “give me,” etc.
Keeping Them Curious:
While your baby is sitting, keep objects just out of reach so your baby has to get to them. This encourages crawling. Be prepared for some wailing when baby can’t get to the object too! This is the time to have toys with buttons that ring and things that make noise when baby pulls on them. They love to learn about action and cause at this stage!
Using the Fingers:
Allow your baby to explore with her fingers. This is the ideal time to start letting your baby feed himself. Once your baby can sit up independently put her in a place where she can reach for her food. Don’t worry about spills and messes. Now he needs to explore textures and learn to feed himself with his fingers. Yes, much of the food will get on his clothes and face, but a lot will end up in his stomach too as he learns. Use a plastic sheet if you must under her chair, change her clothes, the important thing is, she is learning to enjoy eating for herself!
It’s a good time to do some finger painting too. Dip baby’s fingers in non-toxic watercolors and give her a sheet of paper to paint on. The textures of the wet paint and blank paper help you baby to learn. Big crayons are also good for the baby to handle now. All these activities will help baby learn to write later.
Give her blocks and simple cups to stack. He will spend endless time trying to stack blocks or cups and maybe even learn to stack and knock them down too as he reaches a year! You can say things like “red cup goes into the blue cup” as you point out colors and names. Babies will soon pick up colors and shapes and object names.
By the time my sister Natasha’s son was one Abhi could identify red, blue and yellow from the constant talking his mother did while they played with stacking cups and colored blocks.
Starting Young with Books:
Have some cloth and sturdy books for baby to look at. Cuddle with her and point out objects. Soon she will be pointing them out and as she learns to talk will name them too.
Babies love to explore the world but at the same time will appear anxious that you are not around. Reassure baby that you will be back and give her cuddly toys to get used to for baby to hug, crush and experiment with.