Your Baby

Math

Infant math? Of course! It may seem unlikely that your baby is able to apply mathematics to his life at such an early age. But that’s exactly what he’s doing when he compares his truck with his tractor, when he claps his pudgy little hands in response to your example, and when he says “more” to mashed bananas!

Your baby is busy exploring his toys, his home, and the great outdoors. He’s falling into routines involving eating, sleeping, and playing (his three main focal points!). And he’s showing interest in patterns that he can see (I’d like the black and white mobile, please!), hear (My favorite song is the one with the drums!), and feel (I love the soft edges of my favorite blankie!). All of this means he’s establishing the building blocks that support his mathematical future.

2018 International Day of the Girl: Great Books about Work

1, 2, 3… Will You Clap with Me?

Hand clapping is more than just fun for you and your baby. It’s a great way to help her inner mathematical genius shine! When she repeats your actions – like a clap – she’s building her early numbers skills. She is also starting to explore objects one at a time… first this drum, then that toy car. And watch out when she’s ready for more rice cereal! She understands how to ask for it – whether it’s a wail or a spoon banging on her tray – and she’s not too shy to let you know what she wants. The simple act of asking for more is math in action!

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

“Let’s play patty cake can you clap with me?” Babies love to clap along and following another’s lead is math in action! Watch for other ways a caregiver is helping babies communicate about math like encouraging babies to ask for more or responding when a baby points to something.

I Enjoy My Daily Routine.

1. Wake Up. 2. Bottle and snuggle. 3. Breakfast. 4. Play time. Your baby is starting to understand his daily routine, and that’s an essential part of building his early mathematical skills. He’s also interested in different patterns – from the art in his books to the rhythms in the music you play to the different feel of his blankets and stuffed animals. Keep exploring together – you’re providing all kinds of necessary stimulation for your little budding mathematician!

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

The world can be confusing for a baby! A quality caregiver helps little ones understand and feel safe in daily routines. “Once we finish our story, we’ll eat lunch. After lunch is nap time.” When babies know what’s coming next, transitions are much smoother.

I Can Put Things Together, and I Can Take Them Apart.

She may not be proving theorems yet, but your baby is building her early geometry skills as she explores how different things fit together. Watch how she plays with her toys – this car on top of that block, the stuffed dinosaur inside her playpen, the blanket on her head, then off… peek-a-boo! This is all math learning, too. She’s exploring how objects relate to one another, and she’s having a great time doing it!

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Little fingers love to build, and they also love to take things apart. Does the classroom have puzzles so babies can practice piecing things together? Are there blocks for building? These are important toys to be on the lookout for. You want to see lots of opportunities to figure out how things work – and how they fit together. These moments help little brains develop!

I Understand Different Shapes and Sizes.

When it’s bath time, does your baby love to fill containers and dump them? Give him different sizes and watch as he quickly masters that the bigger container of water makes more of a mess. And who doesn’t love a mess? As he splashes and squeals his delight, he’s also learning the basics of measurement. And when he resists getting out of the tub? Well, if bedtime follows, that might just be because he understands his evening routine – another building block of his measurement skills. And he’d much rather play than sleep!

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

This box fits inside this one, and the biggest box holds them all! When babies are able to experiment with different-sized objects, these are the lessons they learn. This big cup holds more water than the smaller cup. Look for these learning opportunities everywhere!

All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.