peek-a-boo

Baby milestones and development: Memory

Baby’s memory starts to shine

Your baby might be showing an increasingly good memory that will help her anticipate events and play a role in her developing personality.

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 on to 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, 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. She anticipates the “normal” way and laughs when things are thrown out of whack – something not possible when she wasn’t able to anticipate.

For more information see Baby development or Baby Care.