According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is important to engage with your baby as early as day one. Research shows this helps to enhance and accelerate your child’s sensory, communication, feeding and motor milestones.
Below you will find an extensive list of games and other activities to take part in with your bay.
The information is courtesy of Pathways.org.
Motor Games and Activities
- Place baby on their tummy to play for a few minutes at a time, a few times a day
- Lie down and place baby tummy down on your chest so you’re face-to-face
- Hold baby’s hands and clap them together while you play music and sing
- Nestle baby close to you while you gently rock and sway
- Change the direction that baby sleeps to encourage head turning and build strength
Sensory Games and Activities
- Hang a colorful mobile above baby’s crib to provide visual stimulation
- Gently touch and tickle baby to make them giggle
- Play with baby in a variety of positions
- Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact with a parent or caregiver
- Smile at baby, touch her hands, feet, and forehead. See how she wiggles, reacts to touch and voices
- Play or sing songs with baby to help enhance baby’s listening skills
- When changing baby’s diaper touch different body parts and say “beep” baby may begin watching your hand and anticipating touch.
- Hang a mirror on the wall. Tap the mirror and say baby’s name. Over time baby will begin to understand who the baby in the mirror is.
- Show baby family photos or flip through a magazine. Point out the smiling faces to baby
Communication Games and Activities
- Speak in a high-pitched, sing-song voice to help get and keep baby’s attention while you talk
- Describe your actions as you dress, feed, and bathe your child. Talk about where you’re going and what you’re doing.
- Give baby frequent face-to-face time
- Shake a rattle up and down while singing to baby
- Show pictures of family and friends and point out smiling faces
- Hold up a doll or stuffed animal and point out the different body parts
Feeding Games and Activities
- Collect a variety of scents (flowers, spices, cookies) and pass them under baby’s nose one at a time to see what kinds of smells they prefer
Pathways.org also details a number of milestones and developmental tips to consider as baby continues to grow and learn.
Bonding With Your Baby
Bonding is the name of the game in these early stages. Hold and comfort baby when they are upset. Baby doesn’t know how to self-calm yet, which is why they need you. It’s not possible to give them too much love and attention.
Why Does Everyone Keep Talking About Tummy Time?
Have you started yet? Tummy Time helps baby build strength needed to meet future milestones. Start when you bring baby home from the hospital, a few times a day, working up to a total of an hour each day. To see the 5 different Tummy Time positions and other great tips, visit our Tummy Time page.
The American Academy of Pediatrics sets clear guidelines on safe sleep. Did you know an easy way to help baby grow stronger is to switch which end of the crib you put baby’s head?
Michaela Madison Reporting
(Information courtesy of Pathways.org)