When researchers showed newborns a picture of three dots arranged as a face (two dots for eyes and one dot for a mouth), the babies looked at it longer than they did when the dots were arranged in other ways. "Babies are hardwired to recognize faces, which helps them connect with their caregiver early on," says Michael Frank, a brain and cognitive sciences researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "They like to look at anything that resembles a face, even something as abstract as an electrical outlet." So put your feet up and relax when you hold your newborn -- he'll get plenty of stimulation just by staring up at you. In the next couple of months, bright lights, music, and sounds will likely grab his attention away, and that's okay. It means he's also getting curious about the world around him.
To delight your interaction-seeking baby...
Put photos of family members in his own flip book.
Read him books with close-ups of babies or animals.
Make him chuckle with your own goofy expressions.