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Learning in Families Together: Infant Curiosity



Authors as Published

Karen DeBord, Virginia Cooperative Extension Specialist, Family and Human Development; Reviewed by Crystal Tyler-Mackey, Extension Specialist, Community viability

Infants are naturally curious.

Parenting Secrets

  • Infants use all their senses to learn. They touch, hear, look, taste, and smell.
  • Infants learn by doing something and seeing what happens.
  • Infants sometimes cry just to stretch their vocal cords!
  • Childproofing makes a parent’s job easier and keeps children safer.
  • Infants are not trying to manipulate you when they cry. They need something.

Together Time

As babies start to pull up to stand, it’s time to CHILDPROOF!

  • Put away breakables. Crawl around on your hands and knees and look around. Where are the hazards?
  • Children learn through patient repetition, not constant scolding. You will have to repeat yourself as a parent!

Play Time

Build on senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting) in your time together.

  • Use soft cotton balls on their cheeks, whisper, gaze deeply into their eyes, play soft music, and try new tastes that aren’t too strong once they move from formula and cereal to other foods.

Learning Time

SLEEP! Infants need to learn how to put themselves to sleep. 

  • A little crying or fussing is normal if all of the diapering, feeding, and soothing needs have been met already. 
  • To assure a good sleep, check for warmness or coolness; clothing that fits; dry, well-fitting diapers; and that the child is not overly rested or overly tired. 
  • Sometimes quiet music or “white noise,” like a small fan blowing away from the child, helps calm a child to sleep. 
  • Sleep patterns can change when babies are teething, sick, in unfamiliar settings, or when families are undergoing stressful times. Gradually work them back into their secure routine.

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Publication Date

May 8, 2019