When you encourage emotional bonding with your baby by cuddling,
talking, and playing with him or her, you also stimulate brain development and
communication. To further promote learning and communication:
Learn your newborn's cues and recognize when he
or she is most alert and receptive. Newborn communication can be subtle. Look
for signs that your baby is happy and eager to interact, such as bright eyes
and wiggling arms and legs. Pay attention to the sound of your baby's cries;
eventually you can distinguish between them and respond appropriately. For
example, you will learn which cry means "I'm hungry" and which cry means "I'm
bored." This process helps teach your baby to
Frequently interact with your baby, such as by talking
and reading to him or her, and offering new and interesting things to look at.
For instance, carry your baby around the room and show him or her pictures on
the wall. Talk to your baby about the people and things in the picture. Take
your newborn outside for walks and talk about the things you
Play soft music and sing to your baby. Toys that newborns are
most likely to respond to include brightly patterned mobiles, mirrors
(unbreakable), and soft toys in bright colors or patterns. Toys that make soft,
soothing sounds are also appropriate.1
American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). The first month. In SP Shelov et al., eds., Caring For Your Baby And Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 5th ed., chap. 6, pp. 149–191. New York: Bantam.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.