Activity 1.1

Looking & Listening

Birth

Babies just a few minutes old, if content and alert, will seek out faces and look at them intently. Babies are born with a wide range of emotions and facial expressions to match. Try copying your baby’s facial expressions.

Hold your new baby near your face when you talk to them. They need to be 20 to 25 centimetres from your face to be able to focus on you.

2 months

Your baby may be able to show that they recognise you. They react differently to mum and dad than they do to strangers. Your baby may quieten down and make eye contact with you when they see you.

They may be giving you a smile in answer to yours.

Your baby can now see further. Try:

  • Responding to what your baby is looking at. If it’s a toy, bring it closer and tell your baby the toy’s name
  • Placing mobiles of bright or contrasting pictures or toys over your baby’s cot
  • Playing games that involve facial expressions and reactions, such as ‘peek a boo’.

By four months, your baby may start to reach for objects. Their visual systems have now developed the ability to see in full colour.

Try carrying your baby upright, facing out, so they can see what’s happening around them.

6 months

Your baby may start responding to their name around this time. Give them a big smile when they do.

Show your baby your face as you make different sounds. Try:

  • Clicking your tongue
  • Blowing a breath
  • Blowing a kiss
  • Animal noises – moo like a cow, bark like a dog, quack like a duck

Take your baby outside to listen to other noises. Try:

  • Wind in the trees
  • Other children
  • Birds
  • Cars
  • Aeroplanes