She drops her spoon on the floor. You pick it up, and then she drops it again. And again. But why does she do it?
‘Because repetition helps her brain,’ says Dr Debra Berkerian, chartered psychologist.
By seeing the way you react when she does something, she learns that she’s a person in her own right with an impact on the world around her. However, it’s not just her own repetitive actions she loves, but yours too.
‘From 6 months babies learn by imitation. So by watching you doing something again and again she’s learning to do it herself. Babies are also good at saving the memory for later. She may see Daddy shaving in the morning then ‘shave’ herself with her spoon at lunchtime,’ says Debra.
So next time you swear, throw a tantrum or pick your nose, watch out, because she’s ready and waiting to try it out for herself!
Look what I can do!
They might seem ordinary, but your baby learns from all those routine everyday moments
What you can do
What she’ll get from it
Provide safe bath toys such as plastic containers to fill and pour.
You’re helping her understand important concepts such as ‘full’ and ‘empty’.
Changing her nappy
Play back-and-forth games. Pass her a cuddly toy and praise her when she passes it back.
Learning to ‘give and take’, she’s also developing communication skills and learning to share.
In the shops
Give her differently textured fruit and veg to hold, describing the shapes and colours as you do.
She’s learning about different shapes, colours, textures and sounds that are all around her.
In the buggy
Stop, point out new things to her and talk to her when the two of you are out and about.
You’re helping her piece together the jigsaw puzzle of the world and work out where she fits into it.