Cognitive Development
Promoting Problem-Solving
WiseTip: CD-SOL-M0003-G01A

Give your baby time to explore and examine objects and new things, such as when your baby is alert and moving around.


Babies are born with built-in problem-solving tools called reflexes. Within an hour after birth, babies will use their rooting and sucking reflexes to feed. By two months, they become more alert and develop an eagerness to explore the world around them.

Problem-solving promotes the development of new nerve cell connections and neural pathways forming in the brains of young children. As one researcher stresses, "The single best way to grow a better brain is through challenging problem solving".

Providing new things for children to explore keeps their brains alert and ready to learn new knowledge.
  1. Hutt, C. (1967). Effects of stimulus novelty on manipulatory exploration in an infant. Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 8(3-4), 241–247.

Very young children discover opportunities to problem-solve independently. For example, an infant who accidentally creates noise with a rattle may purposefully make the sound again. If adults refrain from rushing in and rescuing young children when they face minor everyday problems, infants and toddlers develop confidence in their thinking and experimenting abilities to find solutions to problems.

Read more at CD-SOL-C01 & CD-SOL-C02.