Helping Your Newborn Learn

Topic Overview

When you encourage emotional bonding with your baby by cuddling, talking, and playing with him or her, you also stimulate brain development and communication. To further promote learning and communication:

  • Learn your newborn's cues and recognize when he or she is most alert and receptive. Newborn communication can be subtle. Look for signs that your baby is happy and eager to interact, such as bright eyes and wiggling arms and legs. Pay attention to the sound of your baby's cries; eventually you can distinguish between them and respond appropriately. For example, you will learn which cry means "I'm hungry" and which cry means "I'm bored." This process helps teach your baby to communicate.
  • Frequently interact with your baby, such as by talking and reading to him or her, and offering new and interesting things to look at. For instance, carry your baby around the room and show him or her pictures on the wall. Talk to your baby about the people and things in the picture. Take your newborn outside for walks and talk about the things you see.
  • Play soft music and sing to your baby. Toys that newborns are most likely to respond to include brightly patterned mobiles, mirrors (unbreakable), and soft toys in bright colors or patterns. Toys that make soft, soothing sounds are also appropriate.1

References

Citations

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). The first month. In SP Shelov et al., eds., Caring For Your Baby And Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 5th ed., chap. 6, pp. 149–191. New York: Bantam.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised January 10, 2013

Last Revised: January 10, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

First Nurse

First Nurse

Call First Nurse 24 Hours a Day for free health care advice, resources and referrals!

Ames: 515-239-6877
In Iowa: 800-524-6877 

Search health information online in our Mulimedia Health Library.

High Quality Care

Guardian of Excellence

Mary Greeley consistently delivers high quality patient care.

  • 2013 Guardian of Excellence Award for Clinical Quality
  • Grade 'A' Patient Safety from the Leapfrog Group
  • 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures ranking from The Joint Commission
  • Highest percentage bonus of any Iowa hospital in Medicare's quality incentive program

Mary Greeley on Facebook

Like us on Facebook

Patient Privacy | Net Learning for Employees | MGMC PACS for Physicians
Emergency Preparedness

1111 Duff Avenue Ames, IA 50010 - 515-239-2011 - yourhealth.mgmc@mgmc.com

©2014 Mary Greeley Medical Center - All rights reserved.