Your baby is growing and changing every day. You can help her healthy brain development by learning what kinds of objects, toys, and play your baby is ready for. Your baby's eyes are still developing during the first several months of life. This means she needs to see things close up, about 6-18 inches from her face. Her vision will be fuzzy at first, so provide her pictures, toys, and objects that have high contrast patterns and bold colors. Black, white, and red colors in big patterns are easiest for her to see. Your baby will also enjoy hearing new sounds and watching people. Babies love faces, especially yours, so get close to her and share your best happy, silly, and surprised faces! 

Learn more about the best toys for 0-3 month olds and 3-6 month olds. 
Brain Science for Your Baby

Just think how confusing the world must be to be a newborn baby!  William James (pyschologist and physician) talked about the "blooming, buzzing confusion that confronts the newborn."  How do babies learn to sort it all out?  A 2012 Study (Kidd et al) describe what they call "the Goldilocks Effect" when studying how infants pay attention to what they see (visual attention).  They found that infants avoid spending time looking at things that are too simple (highly predictable) or too complex (highly unexpected).  Infants pay attention to things that are "just right" - just complex enough to be interesting, but not so complex that they can't be understood.  What does this mean?  Babies need to see new things - make the world colorful.  Babies like to watch faces - and they like to watch you make interesting faces.  But babies don't need lots of visual stimulation that doesn't make sense.

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby
Your baby needs lots of playtime for healthy brain development, even during these first months of life. Match "play" to your baby's development using common toys and change the way you play as she grows.

Colorful books with bold patterns or faces. Baby can look at pictures, touch them, and eventually hold books. Board books or soft books are great as baby will also explore books with her mouth! Baby can also listen as you read.


Soft, crinkly, & bright colored toys: Crinkle the toy and see if baby can find the toy by the noise. Slowly move the toy from side to side so baby can watch as it moves to practice "tracking" objects. Play silly games with baby, like gently tickling baby with the toy. Eventually, baby can grasp toys, crinkle them on her own, and shake and bang toys. 


Stacking cups: Baby can watch you stack cups, knock them down, and listen to music you make as your drum. Soon after, she will enjoy grabbing, shaking, and banging together the cups. 

A Baby Buffer Prescription for You   


Share emotions with baby! Your baby loves looking at faces right now and loves seeing the changes faces make.  


Tell her about your day or something you are really excited about. Be animated in your story. 


Focus on positive emotions: smile, laugh, silly, surprised, excited. Take advantage of this GREAT listener and this opportunity to share the exciting things about your day. You will feel better and baby will be entertained!  



What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Your baby will love being held and touched by you from the very beginning, this is the beginning of your relationship with your baby. Click on the links below to find out what your baby should be able to do:

Gene's Research Tip!
A new study from the journal Science Translational Medicine looked at the microbiome bacteria of placentas, after birth.  The idea was to see who baby TSK was sharing time with, at least very soon before birth.  Now, in the past, we had noted there seemed to be a difference in the microbiome of infants born by C-section vs vaginal delivery, and so assumed this was related to the mother's birth canal bugs.  But this study of about 300 placentas showed that the placentas' bacteria load was most similar to... are you ready?...the mothers' mouth bacteria.  Bet you didn't see that one coming! The researchers didn't, either.  So, if the mom had more bacteria in her mouth that cause cavities, so did her placenta.  Read More
Baby Buffer Blog
Written by Kathy Ellerbeck, MD, MPH, FAAP

During breakfast in the mornings before preschool I admit that we used to let our youngest watch cartoons on TV. Until we figured out that she couldn't watch TV and chew at the same time! 


There is good evidence that "multitasking" is over-rated...most of us don't multitask very well! And mealtimes should be about eating and talking...not eating in front of the TV. I think we all know that. But now there is the cell phone in my pocket. At all times. And there's (always) work to be done that I could be doing while eating. Or playing. My cell phone is addictive, a constant temptation...and I think that that's true for lots of parents.


In March of this year there was an article published in Pediatrics about the mobile device use of 55 caregivers of young children eating in a fast food restaurant. The study was observational, and the caregivers didn't know that they were being observed. The researchers chose to observe caregivers and children during meals because mealtime is a daily routine in which face-to-face caregiver-child interactions are considered to be a good thing.  Read More

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