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Why Babies Love Animals

Like babies themselves, they're unpredictable, often cute, and can make some pretty silly noises. Of course animals fascinate your little one! As she learns about them, she's not only processing new sounds and textures -- a boon for brain development -- but she's also having fun. A few ways to help her get in touch with her wilder side:

Gently stroke her hand across the fur of a friendly dog or cat and describe what you're feeling: "Isn't Max's coat soft? Touch his floppy ears."

Post a few photos of animals on the fridge, then point to them while you make the matching noises. Enough braying and soon your baby will be able to recognize a donkey on her own.

Play doggy by crawling on your hands and knees behind your baby and barking (softly!) at her. She'll think it's hilarious.

Explore a farm or zoo together, where watching you feed a goat is entertainment enough.

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