7 Ways to Aid Your Baby’s Ability to Reason

7 Ways to Aid Your Baby’s Ability to Reason

You may not realize it, but your actions today play an important role in your baby’s ability to reason down the road. By engaging in activities that build problem-solving skills now, you can help shape your child’s future success. Consider these seven ways to aid your baby’s ability to reason and prepare them for a lifetime of problem-solving success!

7 Ways to Aid Your Baby’s Ability to Reason

1 Critical Thinking Through Storytelling

One of my favorite books is The Emotional Life of Your Brain by Dr. Richard Davidson. In it, he explains how we can become emotionally intelligent through neuroplasticity, which is essentially rewiring our brain circuits by practicing certain habits and improving our emotional intelligence over time.

This can be achieved through storytelling. Storytelling isn’t just for children anymore; in fact, telling stories helps us practice empathy and emotional understanding in a way that many non-fiction texts cannot do. If you have a hard time understanding someone or feel as though you are unable to relate to someone else’s feelings, try incorporating more storytelling into your life.

2 Observing Nature

All babies learn through observing nature, but with a little guidance, you can help your baby reason about what he sees and understand how things work. For example, when you explain that an elephant is big because its body is bigger than its head or legs (and not because of its height), your baby gains a basic understanding of proportion.

Explain things in terms of size, quantity, and speed. Doing so helps babies associate cause with effect — which is essential for reasoning. You can also try explaining abstract concepts like temperature (hot water feels different than cold water) or color (blue clothes are darker than red ones).

3 Asking Questions

One of your newborn’s main ways of interacting with you is by asking questions. When they’re content and calm, infants will ask you what they want simply by staring at it. That doesn’t mean you should answer every question with a yes! and give them everything they want right away, but it does mean that when a baby asks for something, it’s because she recognizes that object as being different from anything else in her environment. This is one example of how babies reason.

Babies learn how to communicate by asking questions. When babies reach 18 months, they start using phrases like where is it? and how do I know? which helps them think about things in new ways. Asking lots of questions helps your baby practice reasoning and thinking about how things work to make predictions about what’s coming next. The more questions your baby asks, the better his or her reasoning skills will be later on!

4 Learning to be Patient

A baby’s first attempt at self-soothing may not come until he or she is 3 months old. Before that, you will be doing most of your baby’s soothing for him or her. Patience is a huge part of helping your little one get better at calming himself or herself down and learning how to self-soothe. Be patient with your little one and give him time to learn those new skills in his way and on his own time!

5 Using Cause and Effect

Babies and toddlers need to learn cause and effect, which is why you need to make your day baby-proof. Switches should be covered, cabinets should be out of reach, cords should not be exposed; if possible, appliances and electronics should also be put away.

While it may seem overly cautious at first, don’t worry – these activities will help your baby or toddler understand what things are dangerous (and what things aren’t). By doing these activities with your child from a young age, he or she will slowly begin connecting cause and effect. For example: If I pull on that cord that hangs from the ceiling fan, I get shocked by the electricity. Why? Because I pulled on a cord hanging from a ceiling fan.

6 Solve problems together

Babies learn a lot from just being around adults. If you have problems of your own that need solving, spend time-solving them with your baby. Talking through an issue can be as helpful for a baby as it is for an adult. Solving problems together will help your baby develop reasoning skills and aid them in problem-solving down the road.

This may seem like busywork at first, but try to see if there are any real benefits before dismissing it as such. Remember: A parent who solves problems cooperatively with their child fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and shared responsibility. (Dr. Aimee Volek) This kind of cooperation is important when trying to teach your child how to reason effectively.

By solving problems with your baby, you’re showing them how they can use their mind in new ways (and hopefully how good they feel when they do). Not only does reasoning build confidence; but when done correctly, it builds effective communication skills between parents and children.

7 Appreciating Art

Babies often don’t appreciate art and beauty, but that doesn’t mean you can’t foster their senses. Expose your baby to a wide range of colors, shapes, textures, and patterns while they are young. Try pointing out common objects like a bird or a tree—though they might not be able to see it yet, there is great value in acknowledging how things around them look.

Further, develop your baby’s ability to reason by letting them explore and investigate different environments on their terms. Be sure your home is safe for them and continue exposing them to various sights, sounds and textures as much as possible.


Sometimes, parents can be their child’s best teachers. So much can be done in terms of giving a child a healthy start in life: ways that include educating them about nutrition and exercise, for example, or teaching them how to handle money. As a parent, it’s your job (and privilege) to help shape your baby into someone who has good judgment and can make logical decisions.

The next time you see your infant growing curious about his surroundings, take advantage of that moment to teach him something new! No doubt he’ll remember it as he grows older; as long as you continue showing him what he needs when it comes time for him to make important choices on his own.


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