Your heart overflows with happiness and love when your baby grins on seeing your face, laughs at your peek-a-boo games and stops crying as soon as you take her in your arms. How does your baby react to your actions and gestures has everything to do with his/her memory development. Memory provides the building block for your baby’s learning. Research says that the process starts from the sixth month in the mother’s womb.
1. Memory for “missing” things
One memory milestone to watch for is a concept psychologists call “object permanence” – that’s a fancy name for when a baby understands that things continue to exist, even when they can’t be seen.
Before developing object permanence, your baby probably acted as if things just weren’t there when they weren’t in her view. For instance, a seven-month-old baby might forget about a toy as soon as you take it away. Two months later, try the same thing? this time the baby will look around to find it. That concept of “Hey, where did it go?” is what object permanence is all about.
2. Memory for a good game of peek-a-boo!
The game “Peek-a-Boo” wouldn’t be possible without this idea of object permanence! A baby laughs and squeals when daddy’s face reappears from behind his hands, because she’s beginning to realise that he’s still there, even when he’s out of sight. Babies who’ve mastered “Peek-a-Boo” have probably caught onto the idea of object permanence.
3. Memory for anticipation
A baby’s increased memory skills also lead to anticipation. For instance, when you put on your jacket, your baby probably knows it’s time to go “bye-bye”! Open the refrigerator and your baby may expect to be fed. By about nine-months, babies begin to pick up and “remember” these cues that lead to anticipation.
4. Memory for a sense of humour
Because your baby is starting to anticipate, He/She now notices when things don’t happen as expected – voila, a sense of humour is born! Your baby may break into giggles if you put a mitten on the ear, or a cap on the foot. He/She anticipates the “normal” way and laughs when things are thrown out of whack – something not possible when He/She wasn’t able to anticipate.
For more information see Baby development or Baby Care.