How to Play with Your Newborn Baby
Yes, playing with your newborn baby is absolutely possible. In fact, in the first three months, in between naps and meals, your little one is slowly learning about the world around them as they start developing their cognitive, social, emotional and motor skills.
From your baby’s first smile to their first cooing and gurgling sounds, these are all part of your little one’s growth and developmental milestones - which can be encouraged when playing with them. Playing with your newborn may seem more challenging than it really is. And the great thing is, you can easily incorporate these newborn activities within your daily routine.
Here’s a list of some of the best activities that will help you play with your baby and how they contribute to your little one’s skills and development.
Talk and Sing
Talking and singing to your baby is one of the easiest ways to play with your little one - and as a matter of fact, it’s quite essential too. Talking to your newborn does not only help his or her language and communication development, it helps their brains develop too. When you talk and sing to your baby, your little one’s young brain is soaking up all the sounds, tones and language for their first words.
Research even shows that children who were talked to a lot when they were babies do significantly better in school. So when you’re changing diapers, giving baby a bath or a tour around the house, don’t forget to talk, talk, talk.
Language and communication development
- Your baby learns to turn their head towards sound.
- Your baby starts cooing and making gurgling sounds.
Tummy time helps to build your little one’s muscles and prepare them for sitting up, crawling and eventually walking. When playing tummy time, you’re simply placing your baby on their stomach to play on a play mat, in their baby crib or playard - It’s important to note that your little one should be fully awake during these sessions.
Tummy time is one of those activities you can literally do from day one. It’s encouraged to give your baby tummy time at least three times a day for about 3 - 5 minutes. As your baby gets stronger and older, you can increase the time.
Motor skills development
- Your baby learns to push him or herself up when placed on their tummy.
- Your baby learns how to lift their head up.
Did you know you can have a back and forth conversation with your baby? Another great way to entertain and play with your little one is to imitate them. When your baby gets about 3 months old the cooing and gurgling increases and you will hear a lot more of your little one’s voice. So go ahead and talk to your baby when he/she makes cooing and gurgling sounds, and most importantly, imitate. This encourages your little one’s language development and helps them form a strong foundation for understanding interaction.
Communication and social development
- Your baby learns how to make brief eye contact
- Your baby starts smiling when seeing facial expressions and hearing different sounds.
Explore Your Baby’s Environment
Once your baby hits the 3-month mark, your little one will be able to notice brightly coloured objects and baby toys. You’ll also notice that your baby is able to follow objects or people with their eyes.
A fun way to entertain and play with your baby around this time is to frequently walk around with them and help them explore the environment. Whether you’re giving your little one a tour around the house or going for a walk in the park in their baby carrier, talk them through the things you’re seeing, show them different types of objects - your little one will truly have a blast.
You can also help your baby’s eyes develop by offering them interesting things to look at and by slowly moving objects or toys in front of their eyes.
- Your baby starts to track objects and people with their eyes.
- Your baby learns to focus their vision.
Playing with your baby is a fun and great way to encourage your baby’s development as they grow and get to know their surroundings. Luckily, playing with your little one, no matter how young they are, does not have to be hard at all. You can play with your baby when changing diapers, after nap and feeding sessions - Simply make it a part of your daily routine.
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