Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Little Change of “S-Pace”

Let's take a detour from our usual focus on baby sign language. Here’s an idea that helps take advantage of the recognition memory skills—the ability to vaguely recognize something as familiar—that babies bring with them when they are born. Have you ever noticed how many habits you’ve fallen into when it comes to “putting” your baby places? For example, it’s quite likely that you routinely put your baby to bed with his head at one particular end of the crib and keep the high chair in the same lace in the kitchen. Why? Who knows! But one thing we do know is that, as a result, your baby comes to expect to see specific things when he runs his head to the right (like the window).

Those spatial relations are well established in his memory for where things happen, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, such predictability is comforting at any age. Why not, however, a least once in a while, shake things up a bit by changing his position? Now, for example, he has to find the door of his bedroom by turning the other way. By challenging your baby to rethink these spatial memories, you provide food for thought that helps him make his memories about the space around him even richer and more flexible and sophisticated.

By the way, if you'd like to hear more tips that can help you support your baby's thinking and remembering skills, join me for my 2-part webinar, Baby Minds: Nurturing the Seeds of Intellectual Development (Birth to 12 Months). Part 1 will be Weds. 10/16/13 at 6PM (Pacific Daylight Time) and Part 2 a week later (10/23/13) at the same time. (Cost $10 includes both Parts, live and/or recorded.) Click here for more info.

Happy Signing (and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook)!


Linda Acredolo, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, the Baby Signs® Program
Professor Emeritus, UC Davis
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