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3-6 Months Old: Mental Development

Damaria Senne


By three months, a baby's brain can distinguish several hundred different spoken words; many more than are present in his native language. The brain organizes itself around those words heard most frequently and begins to create an auditory map to process language efficiently. There is no research to indicate that one kind of music or another promotes early brain development. However, it is a known fact that babies respond positively to music.

Your baby enjoys living in a predictable world that has some order to it. Because she is able to sleep for longer periods of time and can go longer between feedings, she is establishing a new schedule for eating, sleeping, and experiencing the world. Her blossoming mental abilities are helping her organize what she sees, hears, smells, touches, and tastes. In comfortable and secure surroundings, she will be especially responsive to people, objects, and new experiences.

Help your baby make sense of her world by being predictable. Set up schedules that include regular feedings and naps. "Feed her when she wants, let her sleep when she wants and keep her close to you," says Michele Carelse. "Let her establish her own rhythm. When she bubbles and cooes, "talk" back, copy her sounds and make your own."

Parenting tips for the new mother Nurture yourself as well as you nurture your child. Make sure that you have a lot of help and social support. If possible, leave the household chores to someone else. Eat and rest well. Get out of the house often.

Damaria Senne is a freelance writer based in Phokeng, South Africa. Her work has been published in regional and national magazines in South Africa, as well as online magazines. She writes about parenting, work-at-home, career and women's issues.

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Donald Feb 17, 2012 11:23:16 AM ET

"Set up schedules that include regular feedings and naps. "Feed her when she wants, let her sleep when she wants.." These two are contradictory. Which is it?

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ethan kain May 13, 2010 01:47:14 PM ET

Good website needed it for school

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Sheryll Flandez Burca Aug 24, 2006 06:23:42 AM ET

My 3 month old baby boy responds already to sounds. He can distiguish voices and talk already their baby language.He has colorful toys and enoying it very much.When i talk to him it seems that he understand me because he talk back to me. Its a nice feeling that my baby and i were bonding already and feel at ease with each other.

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