Between the ages of 0-3 months babies are just starting to learn about this world that they were suddenly thrust into. They are captivated by the environment around them and learning at an exponential rate. Their vision is still underdeveloped, high contrast patterns such as black and white at a distance of 8-12 inches is easiest for them to see. This distance increases exponentially over the coming months– look for your baby to start following you around the room =)
Playgym: Nin and June
A play gym is the optimal way to visually stimulate a young infant. Play gyms allow you to hang fun toys that change to keep baby’s interest as they grow. Fun colors, exciting patterns and mirrors are always good choices.
The Nin and June gym was especially visually appealing to me because of the natural wooden composition and sleek modern lines. I also love the ability to attach any toys I desire via the drilled holes.
–> Of note, this play gym is made of two separate pieces of wood that fit together much like Lincoln Logs. Therefore, it is possible for them to come apart when the play gym is moved. To prevent the heavy wooden halves from falling on baby I recommend securing them together when in use. Additionally, the felt ball garlands pictured are beautiful, but should be examined regularly for fraying of the cord. Furthermore, once baby is old enough to reach and grasp, they should be removed to prevent a possible choking hazard should the cord break.
A Bouncy Chair: Baby Bjorn Soft Balance
The soothing motion of a bouncy chair lets baby be a part of the family action while slowly introducing them to cause and effect–> baby’s movement causes the chair to bounce. Our favorite is the Baby Bjorn Balance Soft bouncy chair. It collapses flat making it easy to bring with us everywhere, has multiple incline choices, and a great bounce. Plus, it grows with your child by turning into a chair that supports babies up to age 2yrs.
Mobile: Baby Jives
As their vision is slowly maturing, mobiles quickly capture the attention of young babies. I am not a fan of the hard plastic mobiles that attach to crib sides because I think they are often tacky in appearance and once baby becomes mobile and can pull them down they become a safety hazard. Recently I found the most beautiful handmade baby mobile by a small mama-run shop named Baby Jives. Made of a lightweight fabric cloud with hanging leather moon and stars, it appears to weightlessly float above Luke’s crib. The moon and stars dance in the slightest breeze bringing an instant smile to Luke’s face. These mobiles are available in dozens of colors, shapes, and sizes that would match any nursery.
–> Of note, anything hung above the crib should be lightweight so that it would not hurt the infant should it fall. Additionally, all mobiles and other decorations need to be securely hung and far enough out of reach that a young infant or child could not pull it down.
Best Books for this age:
Reading is important to visual, auditory and intellectual development at all ages. However, there are particular books that will be especially beneficial at each stage of development.
Babies at this stage have very immature vision and their book preferences reflect that. Look for books that contain:
– high contrast colors, example “White on Black” by Tana Hoban
– human faces, example “Baby Faces” by DK
Thanks for stopping by!
Dr. Patricia Bast was born and raised in Southern California. After earning her bachelors degree at UC Irvine, she went on to graduate medical school from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Northern California. She then returned home to Southern California and became a resident in Pediatrics at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital. Dr. Bast is now raising her children and loves working part-time at a pediatric clinic, watching her patients grow and thrive.