Wyoming WIC
helping your baby learn

Helping Your Baby Learn

May 15, 2024 Infant

Did you know your baby’s ability to learn starts even before they’re born? This is why taking care of yourself and avoiding drugs, alcohol, and smoking during pregnancy is so important. What your baby experiences before birth can affect how they grow and learn later. Helping your baby learn starts before they are born and continues their whole lives. The following are a few ideas to help you lead your little learner!

Helping Your Baby Learn
Crying = Communicating
baby crying

Sometimes it seems like all babies do is eat, sleep, poop, and CRY! But they’re actually learning about themselves and the world around them all the time. Babies can’t use words yet, so they use what they can, which is their cry. This is how they tell you they need something. Pay attention to your baby’s different behaviors and respond when (or before) they cry. Your baby learns to trust you and feels safe when you respond to crying.

Super Senses

Simple things like smiling, making different faces, talking, and singing all help babies learn. Help your baby safely explore all five senses during playtime and everyday activities like bath time and mealtime – seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. When your baby starts trying different foods, let them explore by touching, tasting, and smelling.

Super Senses
Play Time
play time
Playtime is so important to help babies learn. Try placing your baby in different positions like on their tummy, lying on their back, sitting, kneeling, and standing. Each position helps your baby learn in different ways with toys and new things to see. No need for fancy toys – just create a safe and fun learning space on the floor with simple toys or household items like bowls and spoons. Sit on the floor with your baby and play by dropping things into a bowl or stacking objects on top of each other. These are basic skills that help babies learn and set the stage for learning more later.
Talk Talk Talk

Throughout the day, talk to your baby about what you’re doing. Even though you might feel like you’re just talking to yourself, you’re actually teaching them a lot! Your baby can listen, learn language, and discover things about their surroundings just from hearing you speak. Just remember, they’re always listening, so choose your words wisely!

talk with baby
Get Out & About
girl smiling

A cold glass of lemonade, punch or soda on a hot day may sound good, but it’s important to remember these drinks can have a ton of added sugar and little real juice. Research shows children who regularly consume sugar-sweetened beverages are at risk of gaining more weight than is right for their bodies.

Keep sugar-sweetened beverages as an occasional treat, like for parties and special dinners out: not something your child drinks daily.


As your child grows, keep adding new activities like reading books, listening to music, doing arts and crafts, exploring nature, and learning about animals. Teach them important life skills like manners, how to behave in public, staying safe, and taking care of themselves.

child growing

Remember, babies and kids are always learning, so keep teaching and guiding them as they explore their world and grow!

Install this web app on your iPhone: tap ios-share and then Add to Home Screen.


Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Laid-Back Hold

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: