The Power of Comparison

Month 24
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Month 28

Last Month's Wow:

Two-Word Phrases

Baby is processing all the complex words they weren’t able to master just a few months ago. Expect to hear simple, two-word phrases that mimic the ecology of your family.

The Wow of Now:

The Power of Comparison

Baby has a good grasp of size and quantity: They know when someone has more crackers than they do or when someone else’s slice of cake is bigger than theirs. They can count on their fingers to show how old they are and they are likely sorting by shape and size. Exciting stuff!

The Wow Ahead:

Transitions and Tantrums

Opening up the comparison of before/after and first/next can lead to a new awareness of time. The other thing it can lead to? Tantrums around transitions. Anything from getting out the door to putting away the art supplies is fair game.

The Wow

Learning through comparisons and polarities like big/little, long/short, and more/less is a major step into high-level executive function (analysis, abstract reasoning, calculations, and predictions). Formal teaching through memorization is not the way to get baby learning; everyday experiences—doing, trying, failing, and repeating—are what unlock baby’s brain for success. Mathematical concepts all around us, and they are so ready to take them on! On the flip side, this logical thinking can lead to a binary state of rigid thinking and increased frustration.

The How

  1. 1

    Compare! Compare! Compare!

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    Whatever you’re doing, compare sizes and amounts:

    Which is bigger?
    Which cup has more?
    Do you want a big scoop or a little scoop?
    Which ball is bigger?
    Can you fit in the cupboard?
    Are these pants too small?

    Measure and count as you explore your Healthybaby delivery:

    Are there more or less Wet Wipes left in the box?
    Should we use a lot of bubbles or just a little when we wash our hands?
    A tiny dab of Balm or a big handful? 


    Have fun with these early moments of math. It’s more important than you may think, and makes the simplest routine infinitely more fun. Comparing helps to build baby’s executive function skills like critical thinking, reasoning, and working memory.

  2. 2

    Counting in Real Life

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    Learning through step-by-step instructions goes a long way toward early math skills. Cooking together, for instance, can be a great way to get to know sequences, measurement, and estimation.

    Include them in following a recipe and let them explore all of the many kitchen tools that encourage math.

    Learning what comes first and what comes last helps them create a sense of order, structure, and rules.

    Let them help set the table for family meals, counting one plate, cup, spoon, etc., for each family member.

    Beyond the kitchen, begin to introduce the days of the week, the date (make a calendar and let baby check off days), and weather.


    When babies learn early numeracy concepts in context—that is, within the world around them—it becomes the foundation for future knowledge. Understanding how to count accurately, not memorize, will help them understand which number is bigger or smaller and lead to eventual addition and subtraction skills.

  3. 3

    Matching Game

    Routine: Play Time
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    Provide your child with five pairs of items (any pair of objects can work for this exercise). Randomly arrange them on the floor and ask them to match the two that are alike. What do they feel like? How did you know this was a match? Help your little one verbalize their approach.


    This cognitive game helps to strengthen your child's visual processing, attention, and working memory as they work to spot similarities and differences between the cards. All these skills will help your child feel confident and prepared for preschool when it’s time!

Support for You

Flashcards are wildly satisfying: You show a card to baby over and over, quiz them consistently, and they eventually repeat it. Sure, it works, but memorization is not how babies learn best. The best is learning through experience and understanding, by experimenting and contextualizing new knowledge.

Despite their ability to do so, babies don’t gain true knowledge—the kind they can add to and integrate into their daily lives—by sheer memorization. By approaching routines in a different way and taking the time to promote baby’s natural curiosity, you are the secret sauce to their success.

Let's Check on the Basics

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Is baby eating?
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Is baby sleeping?
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Is baby pooping?

Yes on all three? Great! One or more No’s? Let’s talk about it.
Contact us for support resources!

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