9 Really Easy Ways To Play With Your Baby
Coming home with a newborn is such a sweet and overwhelming experience! Its fun and exciting every day. You are getting to know your tiny human and they are learning all about you and this big brand new world!
Babies sleep A LOT for the first few days home, but once they are more aware and start to stay awake a bit longer each day, it can be hard to find ways to interact and play with them in a safe and stimulating way. As a first time parent, sometimes it can be hard to come up with ways to play with a newborn.
Here are some great ideas to help you engage with your little one. All of them are free, and for most of them you can even stay in your PJ’s! 😉
It will be fun, and your baby will be learning and developing, too!
Tour Your House
Show your new roomie around! Baby should get to know where he lives. Carry baby for a walk around the house in different rooms. Walk slow and talk to baby about what you can see. Point out items and tell baby what they are. Talk about the rooms and the colours. Talking and describing things to baby in basic terms will help him learn about his surroundings. It's also a fun little way to get you off the couch or rocker!
I know...I know…chores! Ugh.. that’s not play! But hear me out because it's got to get done, so why not have fun! Make a game of it. Touch your baby with the different clothes and let him feel the different textures. Use a shirt to play peek-a-boo. Turn a chore into a fun, tactile, entertaining experience.
Tummy time is a great way to play with a newborn and it is so important for strength and development! Spending time laying on his tummy is great for strengthening his neck muscles and developing the strength for crawling later! Some babies don’t enjoy it much since it can be a bit of a workout. Having a play mat with bright colours or a tummy time wedge pillow with toys attached can be helpful to get baby to enjoy the time and be interested in staying on his belly a little longer.
You can lay baby down on your bed or on the floor and sit with him. Hold his hands and move his arms slowly out and in and up and down so he learns how to extend and use all of those muscles. You can also move his legs in bicycle motions or place your hands on the bottom of his feet and apply a little pressure so he pushes your hands back with his legs. These are all great ways to play with a newborn and get the muscles building while having face to face interaction with baby.
Play With Colours
This is a great way for baby to learn and identify new things. You can use clothes or toys or sheets of coloured construction paper, really anything you have at home that is a good size for baby to easily see and in a solid colour. You can lay them all out and have baby looking at them during tummy time. You could also sit baby or lay him down and pick up and show him each different colour. Wait until you see baby’s eyes lock onto the item before removing it or replacing it. You can talk to him and describe the colours and objects.
Play Search & Find
I guess you could call this the prelude to peek-a-boo! Sit within baby’s line of sight. Use your hand or a brightly coloured small toy or rattle to get baby’s attention. Once you see baby look at your hand or the object, then you can tell him good job and move the toy to a different place within baby’s peripheral vision to play again. This is great for baby’s development. We are not born knowing how to look for things or identify where sounds are coming from, so it is important to start forming these associations early on.
Listening & Identifying Sounds
Baby will love to learn new sounds. It will also double as a win for you because as baby gets used to noises and different sounds, he will sleep through them a little better during nap time, too! You can play different noises on your phone, make noises yourself, or run different appliances like the dishwasher or vacuum, and let baby see where they are coming from. Talk to baby about them and maybe even let him participate by banging on something or carrying him while you vacuum.
Babies love to look at faces! Looking in the mirror can be fun as they try to find the other baby they see and play with him! They also love to look at mum, so its fun to see them find mum with them twice!
This is great, especially if you start to feel a little cooped up on those first few weeks home with your new baby. Its a great way to point things out to him and see what he is seeing.
Teaching your baby new things can definitely be fun so enjoy the time with your littles!