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NYS Parent Guide

6-12 Months: Growth and Development

On the Move!

Nurturing Your Child

Nurturing Your Child

When you show your baby that you care, he feels special. When you include him in daily routines he begins to learn what it means to be part of a family. The trust between you will shape your relationship and help build his relationships with other people.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Comfort your baby when he cries or is upset. Your baby is learning that he can count on you to respond when he is upset. You’ll start to notice that your baby likes to keep close to you, looks to you for comfort and encouragement and is happy to be near you throughout the day.
  • Play with your baby as much as you can. For example: look in a mirror with your baby and gently touch his ears, nose and lips while naming them. Move to music. Crinkle and tear a paper bag. Sing songs. Drop a tennis ball into a plastic bowl and see what your baby does.
  • When you cannot be with your baby, leave him with someone you trust to care for him in the same ways you do. Explain how you want him to be cared for and leave contact information so you can be reached. Try to arrange to spend a little time with your baby and this person. Then say “goodbye” and remind your baby that you’ll come back like you always do. The routine is comforting and lets your baby know he can trust that you won’t just disappear. YOUR FIRST YEAR WITH YOUR BABY 47
  • Include him in everyday activities of family life. Talk to your baby about all the foods and colors you see as you go grocery shopping together. Give him a spoon and plastic container to play with while you are making dinner. Pull his highchair over to the table so he can “talk” and eat with you.
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Did you know

Early, secure attachments contribute to the growth of a broad range of abilities, including a love of learning, a comfortable sense of oneself, positive social skills, multiple successful relationships at later ages, and a sophisticated understanding of emotions, commitment, morality, and other aspects of human relationships. (NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC COUNCIL ON THE DEVELOPING CHILD, 2004)