Your baby is becoming increasingly adept at handling objects and can not only pick things up, pass them from hand to hand and use the opposable thumb, but he's probably also beginning to try more fiddly things, like using his index finger to lift up flaps and parts of toys and move objects like balls along a string. Having discovered his index finger he might start pointing now too and looking towards you as if to ask a question at the same time. If he's doing this then try and resist the temptation to fetch him every toy he points at, and instead encourage him to get it for himself. But do repeat the name of whatever it is he's pointing at, and if he really can't reach it then move it a little closer for him so he doesn't become frustrated.
He still loves to explore things by handling and poking them, putting them in his mouth and throwing them on the floor to see what sounds they make.
Your baby may well be crawling now, although some babies start later than others and some skip the crawling stage altogether. And why stop there when you can try to stand up? Your baby's legs are most likely able to bear his weight now, and he will be capable of standing up while holding onto furniture (or you!) for support. He might even try to pull himself up to as standing position using furniture but that's not an easy move and he won't know how to get down again once he's up. This new mobility is exciting for both of you, but it means that you need to be sure that your home is baby safe. It might also mean that your baby can be harder to put down to sleep at night as he wants to keep moving, or that he wakes and moves around a lot in his cot or pulls himself up with the cot rails and is unable to get back down by himself.
Your baby's short and long-range eyesight has improved greatly, and while his short-range vision is still better, he'll be able to clearly identify objects and people across a room. He's also understanding the idea of images, he can now recognise loved ones and himself in a photograph and may be able to point to people he knows well in a photograph when named. He also understands that images in a mirror aren't real people and if he's looking at his reflection in a mirror or window and sees your reflection behind him, he'll probably turn around to see the real you.
Emotionally your baby is growing rapidly, he's getting very good at understanding what mood people are in by the tone of their voice and their manner, and will often reflect that mood himself: He may start to cry if you sound cross, if there is an argument or if you're upset.
What you can do
Now he's becoming more adept with his fingers a baby activity gym with lots of toys attached to slide, poke, twist, bang, shake and open will give him hours of amusement.
Encourage his efforts to crawl and stand by placing toys just out of his reach and applauding him when he manages to move towards them. If he tries several times to reach something without success then try moving it a little closer, so that he can have the satisfaction of reaching his goals, without making it so easy that he doesn't have to try.
As he's getting more mobile you'll need to keep a really close eye on him as tumbles and scrapes become more likely.
Your baby might like to look at pictures of the family and of himself, or of the two of you playing together and seeing images of you might be comforting for him when you're separated for a little while. Try showing him photographs of the family and encouraging him to point to the right person when you say their name, for example, 'Where's Daddy? Can you show me Daddy?'
NB: All babies develop at their own pace and some will reach developmental landmarks more quickly than others. This timeline is meant only as an approximate guide for parents. Premature babies will develop more slowly than full-term babies and can be expected to develop in line with their age calculated from their due date. If you are worried about your child's health or progress consult your doctor.
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