Your baby needs steady, loving interactions. They are learning to identify sounds by hearing your voice and recognizing smells by smelling you. Studies have shown that even newborns recognize the smell of their mother at birth!
Your baby’s ability to recognize faces comes from studying your face and from having the same familiar faces presented to them time and time again. Babies are also very responsive to touch. Try some early massages and lots of skin to skin contact. Hold your baby as much as you can. When you are not able to hold them, wear them in a sling or carrier or see if anyone else can hold them. If they begin to cry, pick them up again. A loving, verbal and physical relationship with your baby will provide all of the stimulation and security they need.
Your baby will respond to you by responding back. When you hold your baby, look at them face to face and say, “Mama”. Your baby will be watching you and you may even get a smile back. This pattern of interacting allows them to connect with you.
When you read your baby’s body language and their attempt to communicate with you through a returned gaze and smile, you are giving your baby the signal that they are important and that you understand their behavior.
(How Your Baby & Child Learns by Penny Shore)