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Brain Development of a Six-Week-Old Baby

By Rose Welton ; Updated June 13, 2017

It may not seem like your six-week-old baby can do much, but now that he is awake for longer periods of time, he can participate in activities that will help develop his brain. This brain development, also referred to as cognitive development, involves the use of his memory, language and senses.

Sight

Around six weeks of age, your baby can focus on moving objects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, her vision’s focus is shifting from the corner of her eyes to the center. You may notice that your baby prefers to look at high contrast items, such as black, white and red pictures or toys. She also enjoys looking at faces. Her improving sight is helping her brain development as she makes connections about the things she can see.

Sounds

As your baby listens to different sounds, such as songs, wind chimes and people talking, he is learning how to distinguish pitch and volume. He is also hearing how conversation and language work, which will lead to him babbling in the next few weeks. At six weeks old, he may even be able to recognize the sound of your voice.

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Memory

Your baby’s memory is developing as her bond with you strengthens. If you are breastfeeding, she can recognize the scent of your milk. She may begin to anticipate other events as well, such as sucking when she sees a bottle or breast nipple. These things are an indication that her brain is learning to associate things with events.

Observation

At six weeks, your baby is probably actively observing the objects and people around him. His observation skills are helping him to understand body language and improve his memory. He may start reaching for things and purposely tracking objects, which are skills that will help him to self-soothe in the near future.

Enouraging Development

To encourage your baby’s cognitive development, talk to her often. When she makes babbling sounds, repeat her sounds and add words. Read to her every day to show her how language works, and engage her in play when she is awake. Providing her with plenty of loving attention will help her to develop and feel secure.

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