How to stimulate your baby's cognitive development in the first year

The first year of your child’s life is an exciting time. In the first twelve months of life, your child is developing socially, emotionally, and cognitively. It may feel overwhelming to present your baby with the right things to help stimulate their development, but there are lots of activities you can choose from to support your little one on their first-year journey. Speaking to your baby helps their brain form the necessary connections to learn, process, and understand language. A study out of the University of Washington found that exposing 9-month-olds to a series of play sessions involving music helped develop their ability to detect patterns in sound and speech. Repetitive games like “peek-a-boo” and “this little piggy” help infants develop the ability to predict things that are about to happen. Nemours recommends introducing toys that appeal to the senses of sight, hearing and touch like rattles, unbreakable crib mirrors, and textured or musical toys in the first few weeks. These types of playthings help stimulate your baby’s developing vision. Reading aloud to your baby allows your little one to absorb the words and gives them an opportunity to mimic the sounds of the words as well