Your baby is now moving and making sounds in order to interact with the big world around them. They are becoming more aware of their surroundings and learning new things day by day. The skills needed to process all of the new information coming their way are cognitive skills.
In this post I will give you information about what cognitive skills look like and how to encourage cognitive skills in babies from 6 to 9 months. All children develop differently so know that if your baby is not doing the exact same things as your best friend’s, that is ok. However, if you are concerned about your little one’s development always seek out the Early Intervention program in your area for a free screening or evaluation.
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6-9 MONTHS COGNITIVE SKILLS INCLUDE:
Attention Span Growing
Your baby is very interested in toys and objects. Although their attention spans are still very short you may notice that they are focusing on a single toy for a bit longer than before. They may spend about 2-3 minutes playing and discovering one item before moving onto the next thing that catches their eye.
Your baby’s receptive language skills (how they understand words) are growing! When you name a familiar family member or pet that your baby will look towards them. This is a sign that they are starting to understand more of what you are saying.
Now that your baby is moving a bit more they will try to get their hands on just about anything. This is a crucial time to make sure that you have baby proofed well as they can get into things quickly. If there is something in your baby’s well they will start to use their problem solving skills to get around it. If you cover a desired object with a washcloth or blanket they will try to remove it to get to what they want.
HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE COGNITIVE SKILLS?
Set Up an Obstacle Course
Your baby is eager to get to objects that they are interested in so have fun with an obstacle course! Take a toy (something simple like this would work) that your baby is interested in and put it out of reach. If they are pulling to stand maybe put it up on the couch to encourage them to get it.
A bowl or bucket will work well to hide toys as well. If they are not sure where to look for a toy show them how to peek underneath. Soon they will be able to find things all on their own.
Explore New Places
It could be a new room or a new environment but introducing your baby to new environments and experiences is a great way for them to learn. Take them on walks and talk about what you see so they can learn new words. Your baby is starting to understand words so it is important to give them opportunities to learn them by labeling the things they see. Letting them crawl around and explore a new area allows them to use their problem solving skills to navigate the new territory. Always make sure to supervise your baby closely and make sure any new space is baby proofed.
Learning Through Play
Playtime is the perfect time for your baby to gain cognitive skills. When you are introducing a toy to your baby make sure to show them how to use it. For example, a simple pop up toy (like this one) can teach a baby a lot at this age. Show them how to close and open the doors. Model how to wave “bye bye” to the animals as you close the doors.
Your baby will learn to imitate through play which is an important concept for gaining any skill. Show them how to stack soft blocks (like these) and how to know them down. Show your baby how to turn pages in board books (like these) and how to pat our point to what they see. Label the pictures that they are interested in so that they can learn the vocabulary. Magazines (like this one) designed for babies work well to give them a unique literacy experience.
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