2nd May 2020
Ways to play with your newborn
Having a new baby is exciting, amazing, overwhelming, scary……..and everything in between. It’s a rollercoaster journey. So, you have this new little person, you are home and you are rocking the feeding, changing, bathing etc. But what do I do with this little thing? Should I be playing with them? Entertaining them? Bonding with them? Helping them develop and grow?
Hold them, kiss them, speak to them and love them! That is enough. You are enough! And you are doing a fabulous job.
Playing is just about the interactions between you ad your baby, so it’s not about fancy toys, complicated games, it’s just about you and them spending time together. Through play your baby learns about the world around them and how they fit into that world. Getting them moving helps strengthen muscles, aids fine and gross motor skills and helps with building new brain connections. Speaking and singing with them helps with speech and language skills. It also allows you to get to know each other, learn their personality, their likes and dislikes and develop your relationship.
If you are looking for some help and ideas on engaging and play then we have a few simple ideas for you;
Speaking and singing
Talk to your baby. It really doesn’t matter what you are saying. Explaining how you are changing their nappy. What Daddy is doing? Where and what you are doing? Try some simple rhymes and songs. Our singing to babies blog here has lots of great songs, rhymes and actions – check it out!
Making faces and mirroring
Make faces, smile, stick out your tongue, hide and then show them your face. Let them watch you and watch for for their responses. Try mirroring them, so if they make a afce or noise make it back to them. These are the early skills required for language and conversation skills. Taking turns, listening and responding.
Grab a book and read to them. They will enjoy listening to your voice. If using baby books, try using voices and changing your tone. If you are showing them the book ensure you bring it close enough for them to see. Their field of vision and focus at this stage is fairly short, roughly 20-30cms.
Box of textures
Create a little box of different things to feel and touch. Different textures, like a small soft blanket, a soft brush, a smooth toy. Let them feel it on their hands, feet, body. Talk to them as you go, ‘let’s feel this soft blanket on your nose’ ‘let’s brush this over your legs’. This can be lots of fun and allows you to gain insight into their likes and dislikes. Learn to watch for their cues.
Tummy time is vital for the development of the neck, back and shoulder strength. We have lots of ideas on tummy time across on our tummy time blog – check it out here
Music and Movement
Music is a great way to get you and your baby moving. It can help release endorphins and make you feel better too. Soothing slow music and a sway around the room or a faster, more exciting tune as you dance around both gives you a chance to hold them close, get moving and feel better.
Choose your time when you are both ready, relax and enjoy it. Follow your baby’s cues, if they get tired or overwhelmed try something quieter or take a break and try again at another time.
You’ve got this!