Cognitive and Motor Development
Your baby is developing his visual, cognitive and motor skills at an amazing rate and seemingly by accident. For example, he reaches out and bumps a toy that makes music. The next time he touches it, the same thing happens. So now he knows what to expect and has thus learned by discovery.
His strength is increasing, and he may be able to hold his head up for a few minutes when propped sitting up.
At this point, early reflexive behaviours in response to stimuli may be starting to disappear, however some do last for several months:
Rooting: Touch or stroke your baby's cheek with a finger or nipple. He will turn his head and open his mouth to follow and “root” in the direction of the stroking. This helps the baby find the breast or bottle to begin feeding.
strong>Sucking: When something touches his lips or the roof of his mouth, your baby will begin to suck. This triggers swallowing and also calms him. Babies also have a hand-to-mouth reflex that goes with rooting and sucking and may suck on fingers or hands.
Startling: You experienced his first startling reflex movements as kicking in the womb. These sudden, jerky motions and cries in response to loud noises or quick movements disappear in 5 - 6 months.
Grasping: Put your finger in the palm of your baby's hand, or on the underside of his foot and he'll grasp it, tightly. A newborn's strength can be surprising.
Why is Nutrition Important?
Brain growth depends critically on the quality of a child's nutrition. Breast milk offers the best mix of nutrients for promoting brain growth, provided that breast-fed infants receive some form of iron supplementation beginning around six months of age. Alternately, an iron-enriched formula such as Enfamil A+® is an excellent option.