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Home > My Child > Ages and Stages > Birth to 6 Months > Intellectual Development

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Intellectual Development - Language: Birth to 6 months

Intellectual Development means being able to communicate, to think both creatively and abstractly, to pay attention, solve problems, and develop keen judgment and a lifelong readiness to learn.

Emerging Skills
  • Express needs by crying
  • Coo, chuckle, gurgle when happy
  • Express emotions through facial expressions and gestures
  • React to sounds, such as loud noises
  • Find out more about What to Expect from your baby, birth to six months.


    Through the comfort and responsiveness of an adult, babies will learn how to handle their emotions and how to seek help when needed.

    Parents Can:
  • Respond to their baby's cry with a soothing voice, a song, eye contact or a hug
  • Child Will:
  • Feel her needs are being responded to and develop a sense of security

  • Parents Can:
  • Provide verbal responses to their baby's gestures or sounds of happiness or pleasure by singing a tune, talking or echoing back similar sounds
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to know he can count on you to respond, which creates trust

  • Parents Can:
  • Offer a facial gesture, a responsive and kind touch or a verbal acknowledgement
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to interact with you more
  • Respond to eye contact or the sound of a familiar voice

  • Play

    Through opportunities for play, babies will experience joyful, free, spontaneous moments of fun while learning about themselves and others.

    Parents Can:
  • Use singing and story telling, or simple games, such as peek-a-boo, as a fun way to interact
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to imitate some sounds, have fun making sounds and then watch for your reaction

  • Parents Can:
  • Imitate the sounds their baby makes to initiate a little game that involves turn-taking
  • Child Will:
  • Have conversations with those who respond to his sounds
  • Chat and experiment with different sounds, while also beginning to engage in turn-taking

  • Teach

    Through routines and emotionally and physically safe and secure environments, babies can learn how to think, solve problems and communicate.

    Parents Can:
  • Be predictable - a new "trick" is not needed for every situation
  • Child Will:
  • Start to predict what comes next
  • Begin to respond to routines and patterns in your behaviour, developing a sense of safety and security

  • Parents Can:
  • Talk about daily routines (such as sleeping, bathing and feeding)
  • Child Will:
  • Develop a sense of the language and tonality that go with familiar routines

  • Parents Can:
  • Use a mirror to play with their baby
  • Talk to their baby about body parts (such as eyes, nose, mouth)
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to recognize her image
  • Begin to learn that she is a separate being

  • Social Development: Birth to 6 months
    Emotional Development: Birth to 6 months
    Intellectual Development: Birth to 6 months

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