New parents are bombarded with information about parenting their children. What diapers to wear, whether to breastfeed, and how to make your babies smarter. Millions of dollars are spent each year on products designed to make your child smarter and more alert.
But nothing compares to parent interaction to help a child grow and learn. Talking, singing, and hugging all play a vital role in your child’s development. So does playtime.
From the moment your child is born, he is curious about the world around him. Every experience is new, from the feel of your blanket to the sounds that surround you. And each new thing helps you make the connections that will help you grow and learn.
When my children were babies, they loved to play and interact with me. Any game made them smile and laugh. They were eager to play with me. I did too.
Because newborns are still getting used to their surroundings, be sure to watch your child for signs of overstimulation. If your child begins to squirm or cry, change the activity to something calmer, such as cuddling or rocking.
So what kinds of games can you play with your newborn to help him make these connections? Make sure you choose activities that are appropriate for your baby’s age and will be as easy as 1, 2, 3.
From birth to 3 months of age
At this age, most babies do not move. They depend entirely on you to take care of everything, from food to travel. This is a great age to show your baby the world around him. Remember that it may take a while for your newborn to respond to your play. It is normal and does not mean that something is wrong.
What is this?
Newborns are fascinated with touch. Soft, rough, furry, everything interests them. Now is the time to put that wardrobe you spent a lifetime accumulating for a wonderful new use. Find the items in your closet that have the most diverse colors and colors. Silk, suede, velvet, faux fur, and cashmere sweaters are great choices. Let the baby experience each of them for as long as he wants. As you do this, be sure to talk to your baby, tell him what you feel and see.
Music has charms to soothe the grumpy baby. While not all babies love music, most are soothed by it. So why not take advantage of that and try dancing with your baby? Find music that your baby likes, one that doesn’t make him sleepy. Turn it low and hold your baby, making sure to give his neck the support it needs. Then swing, move, jump, and just dance. It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as you hold and interact with your baby. If your baby doesn’t like to dance, he might like to see you dance. Exaggerated movements can keep your child’s attention and entertain him while he can dance.
Wow, look at that!
Babies love feeling new things. Their eyesight isn’t perfect right now, so they need to see things up close and personal. They find things we take for granted interesting. You can use this interest to introduce your baby to the world around him. The kitchen is a wonderful place to find a diverse group of things that your baby can look at and touch. Spoons, beaters, spatulas, fruits, and vegetables are different kinds of things that you can let your baby look at and touch to learn about your home.
4 to 6 months
Babies are more active at this age. They are learning to roll over and keep their heads up. By the sixth month, most babies are also learning to sit up. Here are some games for your age group, in addition to the above.
Now that your baby’s eyesight is improving, it’s time to tap into most children’s love of bubbles. A great game to play when you are outside is Bubble Blast. A small bubble bottle and wand are all you need to entertain your older baby. There are even little bubble bottles, complete with a wand, that you can even keep in your diaper bag for those times when you’re out for long periods of time and the baby is in a bad mood.
My two sons loved to fly. Zooming around the house, with me supplying power, elicited loud giggles from them. Playing Rocket Baby is simple; you just have to decide what kind of flying machine they will be. Airplanes buzz, rise and fall, and circle the room. Rockets fly low and boom toward the ceiling. Take off your child’s tail and you can’t go wrong.
Babies love to be touched and tickled. One fun thing you can do with your child is the tummy. The way you give one is to breathe in, place your lips against your child’s bare belly, and blow gently. It will make a very funny noise and it will tickle your child. My boys still think this is fun. Again, be sure to pay attention to your child while playing. Stop if your child seems upset by this action.
Creative play is a wonderful way to bond with your newborn and older baby. And help him develop his social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills.