All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, isn't this what we have heard while growing up? Playing or any physical activity is essential for all age groups, however it is crucial for babies as they must gear up to achieve milestones and learn more about the world around them. More so, playing helps in the babies' overall development as they know to explore their environment, understand a new language, and develop relationships. Playing helps to strengthen your babies' motor skills (Fine and gross motor skills) and their muscles as they get moving.
Research shows that human brains grow and develop at a faster rate when they are babies and toddlers. These early months are the building blocks of your child's development. We suggest you make the best use of this time to provide them with new playing opportunities to enhance their learning abilities.
So now you did be wondering how to play with a newborn baby. Well, we have got your back. We have got you some ideas on how to play with infants that can get your ball rolling. So read on and take note of these.
Although it may seem that there is not a lot you can do to keep your little ones entertained, because their senses have not fully developed and they tend to sleep all day long, you can use this time to bond with your baby. The older they get, the more responsive they will be to your actions. Once you understand your baby's schedule, you will be able to curate a play routine that could involve any of the following ideas-
As babies grow, they realize they have a voice, so let them know they are being heard. When they start making sounds, repeat after them. Make them familiar with your voice; they love hearing it back from you. Make funny faces, poke out your tongue because your babies love watching your face, so make them familiar with it. Also, nappy-changing is a great time to indulge in some face-to-face play.
If you are wondering how to play with infants while they are still developing and grasping, then you can try some of the most simple and basic baby games out there. For instance, peek-a-boo, bicycling babies' legs, or making faces at them also count as baby games. Despite the simplicity, these games stimulate their senses and motor skills.
For toddlers, you can try out games like building blocks, which help build hand-eye coordination, improves motor skills, and much more. Make them sit on these plush cartoon sofa sets to play and they are good to be kept entertained for a few hours.
Touching is a great way to bond with your baby, and that is why skin-to-skin contact is recommended at the time of childbirth. So you can give your little one a massage which is a great way to interact with them, and besides, it can reduce crying, irritability, improves sleep, alleviates gas, and much more.
Whether you have a lovely voice or not, your baby will enjoy listening to your voice and, more so, get familiar with it. You can sing simple songs or recite lullabies or rhymes you remember from your childhood. Singing helps in baby to communicate. When you sing, your baby absorbs every word and learns how feelings are expressed through spoken words.
Let your baby spend some time on his/her tummy as that helps to strengthen their neck and shoulders. However, always supervise your baby during their tummy time and be ready to help if they feel tired or frustrated in that position. Remember never to put an infant to sleep on his/her tummy as they should always sleep on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
It may seem futile to ready a book for an infant gazing in some other direction while you are at it. But there is good reason for you to start or continue reading as the baby is likely to reap the storytime benefits. Research shows the reading can stimulate bonding and literacy. He/she will understand that different sounds and tones are used to convey emotions and feelings.
Encourage your baby to belly crawl, although many babies skip this step and directly crawl on their hands and knees. Either way, it helps babies develop strength in their hips and trunk, which is crucial for standing, as well as the muscles in their shoulder would girdle, which would help their handwriting in the future.
For the first few weeks, you can introduce some simple and age-appropriate toys that stimulate babies' sense of sight, hearing, touch, etc., such as - Plush rattles, textured toys, musical toys, etc. develop their senses.
You can introduce crinkle toys, stuffed toys, and plush trucks for babies six months old. For nine-month-olds, you can use sorting, nesting, stacking, or bouncy toys, giant lego bricks, etc. At 12 months, you can introduce them to puzzles, music toys, toy kitchens, non-toxic crayons, etc.
Lay your babies on a mat or an anti-roller mattress and at just a few weeks old, they will start gazing at the objects floating above them. This would stimulate their sense of sight. Use toys that are brightly colored and that make a sound.
Your baby is learning and growing every day, even when they are not doing anything. They are seeping so much information through their senses. So do not worry if you are not able to get him/ her to stimulate enough. Enjoy your time with your little ones, for they do not stay small for too long. Smother them with your kisses, love, and snuggles!
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