Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Playing with newborn babies

Time to Play!

After nine months of great expectations and wondering what your child is going to be like, the time is finally here! Now is the time for feeding, diaper changing, cuddling, and some fun tummy games with your new baby. Playing with your baby helps with with mental development and emotional health while building a strong bond with parents.

0-3 Months
Your newborn is doing much more than just sleeping, eating, and crying. He is learning and absorbing new things every day. It is important to keep it simple the first three months. Choose toys that are easy to grab and made with different materials and textures. It is easier for newborns to see high-contrast colors and patterns. Also it is important to give your baby one toy at time. Alternate toys and keep it fresh, you don't want to overstimulate your baby and allow them to get bored with their collection of toys quickly. You can always set aside some of their toys to reintroduce them at a later time. As your baby grows they will discover new aspects of their toys that they were too young to notice before! Here are some games we recommend playing with your newborn:

  • Start by gently placing your baby on his back. Now form a "bee" by pinching your index finger against your thumb.
  • Now for the fun part: Start moving your bee above your baby in large, swooping circles while saying in a high pitched voice, "buzz, buzz, buzz...the bee is going to tickle you!"
  • Buzz your bee around baby's tummy, almost landing, before rising again. Your little one will love the suspense!
  • Now land your bee on baby's belly and give him a tickle, tickle!
*This game will help develop your baby's eye coordination.

  • Start by lying on your back and placing baby on your stomach (your babies tummy resting against yours).
  • With your face just inches from hers, gaze into their eyes and start to sing, talk or make sounds. This will encourage your baby to lift her head so she can see where the sounds are coming from.
  • As your baby grows, spice up the game a bit by gently rubbing her back in a circular motion. This stimulates the muscles your baby uses to hold up her head and push up with her arms
  • Another idea: Place your baby on the floor on her tummy. Hold a toy in front of her at eye level. Now slowly lift the toy upward, which will encourage your baby to lift her head.
*This game helps develop your babies neck and arm strength - which helps pave the way for big milestones such as rolling over and crawling.

  • Feed your baby's curiosity by giving her lost of interesting textures to touch and feel. Just gather some fabrics from around the house (like a soft washcloth) and a few things from outdoors (leaves or flowers).
  • Now gently caress your baby's skin with these items. Some ideas: Tickle her toes with flower petals, brush her arms with soft grass, or rub a leaf against her hand.
  • You can also use cotton, silk scarves, or anything safe and appropriate for your baby skin. And of course DO NOT let the baby put any of the items in her mouth.
*This game will help to boost babies sense of touch.

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