*Info from zerotothree.org, endorsed by the AAP
VISION: Between 2 and 6 months, scanning, tracking (following an object with their eyes), and focusing on objects improve. Infants also can see in color and more clearly, perceive depth and adjust to different distances. Ordinary things to us are interesting to infants. They especially enjoy looking at moving objects, such as mobiles, and their caregiver’s face as she or he interacts with them. Things that move and change (but not too fast) seem most interesting to infants. TV may over stimulate or even upset infants.
LANGUAGE: Babies begin making pleasurable cooing sounds or vowel-like sounds around 2 months. Babies also might occasionally vocalize some consonant sounds. You’ll often notice these cooing and gurgling sounds as you interact with infants during diaper changes or face-to-face play. Babies tend to produce the sounds they hear, within the limits of their immature vocal ability. You also may notice babies begin to make bubbles which is how they experiment with new sounds. Research suggests a link between verbal intelligence and the number of words a baby hears in conversation in the first 2 years of life. While you do not want to talk constantly to your baby, you do want to be sensitive to their engagement cues – gazing into your eyes, turning in the direction of your voice, or looking in your direction as you enter their view.
TOUCH: Touch continues to be an important source of sensory input, or “sensory nourishment.” Infants also are more actively touching and exploring objects, which is one way they learn about the world around them. Consistent and responsive touch helps an infant and caregiver feel attached to one another – and helps the baby build a sense of trust and security and love.
HEARING: The sensory experience of hearing music provides input to the developing brain. However, scientists do not yet know if this sensory experience directly changes the connections among an infant’s brain cells. We do know that music has a soothing effect on an infant’s temperament.
What you can do: Are there enough interesting things to look at in his environment? Is there too much? Is the infant able to focus on one thing at a time? Make sure he sees your face and expressions. He’ll be watching you so make eye contact and smile a lot. Introduce toys allowing her time to get to know each one. Go ahead and blow bubbles or coo back to your baby! This reciprocal language play shows the baby that you hear him and allows him to experience the turn taking that is an important part of developing language skills and communicating with others. Talk, sing, tell stories and read! It is never too early to start reading to children. All of these activities expose babies to the many sounds and words of language. Talk to babies about what is happening around them. Be sensitive to reading baby’s cues for when we wants you to join him with language play and equally important, when he wants some time out. Engage each baby in “conversation” by acting as if you understand each other. Do not hesitate to speak in “parentese” – that slower, higher-pitched, sing-song style that catches a baby’s attention (this may actually help them best learn the sounds of their native language). Hold your baby when he needs to be held. You can hold an infant while to tend to the needs of another child. Provide other “touch” experiences like different surfaces that are sticky, cold, smooth, bumpy, soft, and such. Watch how he responds to touching different surfaces and stop if he dislikes it. Expose infants to various styles of music. Watch each infant’s behavior to see if they seem to like a particular type (remember to not play it too loud). Sing! Infants especially seem to enjoy the sound of your voice. Don’t play continuous background noise.