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Why Babies Love Banging Things

It's like living with a drummer. Once your baby's between 4 and 8 months, she'll probably start banging with everything in sight: toys, bottles, cereal bowls, you name it.

Banging is a huge leap developmentally: She can hold an object and manipulate it to make a sound. And the noise just adds to the fun  -- for her, at least.

Since she's so proud of this new trick, smile for as long as you can. When you can't take it anymore, distract her (try holding both her hands  -- that'll keep them off your pot lids  -- and swaying forward and back as you sing "Row your boat").

She can't discriminate between banging on the glass coffee table and the high-chair tray, so you'll also need to move her away from trouble or say, "No banging on this." It'll take a lot of reminders before she understands and responds, though.

When she's around 8 months, your baby's banging will be more purposeful. That's when a toy tool bench or a musical instrument is appealing.

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