If you thought your baby was a delight before, you're in for a real treat in the next few weeks and months. He's getting more and more involved and engaged, and loves to play games with you.
Here are a few great games to try:
Where's Baby's Nose? Ask him, "Where's baby's nose?" and then point to it. Then, "Where's Mommy's nose?" and point to yours. You can do this with ears, eyes, hair, and so on.
The smell game. Give him different things to smell, like soap, spices, flowers, and dirt. (Be prepared to keep him from eating things he shouldn't.)
Fun with textures. Let him handle and play with different fabrics such as silk, velvet, cotton, and corduroy.
The cleaning game. Give him a toy broom or little dust cloth and let him "clean" with you.
Your Baby's Development This Week
You have a parrot in your house these days! Babies of this age are constantly trying to imitate the words and gestures of people around them.
They understand far more than they can express, and they're trying to make you understand them through imitation.
Make the most of this stage by:
Imitating him right back. It shows that you're paying attention and encourages him to keep trying.
Listening for regular "words" that he uses, even if they aren't "real" words. You may realize that they have meaning to him!
Play gesture games, like "How big is baby? Sooo big!" and clapping in different ways -- first in front of you, then over your head. And try new twists on the classic game peek-a-boo.
Point out objects and name them. When he points to something, be sure to tell him what it is.
You might wonder about:
How babies learn to talk. Did you know that for months now, your baby has trained his ears to recognize the sounds of his native language?
What baby notices. By now, he's very familiar with his home. So if you put in something new, he'll notice it right away!
Is your baby psychic? Just before daddy walks through the door, he looks at the door expectantly or moves toward it. No, he's probably learned to recognize the time in your routine when certain things happen. "I eat dinner, then Daddy comes home!"
Month 9, Week 4 Tips
To let your baby practice with his spoon with a minimum of mess, try these stick-to-it foods: macaroni and cheese, cottage cheese, mashed cooked beans, and mashed potatoes.
By now, your baby's eyesight should be almost normal. He can see objects a great distance away and is great at reading people's faces.
Has your baby started poking things with his index fingers? Encourage this new skill by giving him interesting objects to poke -- like a ball of bread dough or Play-Doh.
If your baby is standing by now, help him practice walking by holding his hand or giving him a sturdy push toy. Stay close by!
Baby takes many of his emotional cues from you. If you're upset, he'll be upset. Keep calm and manage your stress and fears. It's good for both of you.
If your baby takes a tumble, you can soothe his pain with gentle massage, skin to skin contact, nursing, a hug and kiss, gentle words, or a pacifier.
To encourage exploration while staying close to you, fill a kitchen cabinet with plastic containers, sippy cups, and wooden spoons.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Learning to Talk: 9-10 Months."
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Infants Develop Language Naturally."
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "What to Expect: 8-9 Month Old Baby."
WebMD: "10 Baby Game Ideas for Baby's First Year."
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Helping Curiosity Grow."
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Household Items Make Great Toys."
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Learning to Use a Spoon."
AboutKidsHealth: "Vision in the First Year."
AboutKidsHealth: "Motor Development: The Next Six Months."
AboutKidsHealth: "Social and Emotional Development: The Next Six Months."