Stop And Smell The Roses
Babies are born with a heightened sense of smell. In fact, babies can recognize the smell of their mothers immediately after birth.
Stimulate your babys senses by passing pleasant scents beneath your babys nose. She wont be able to voluntarily sniff yet, but shell enjoy noticing the new smells.
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Some Final Thoughts On Playing With Your Baby
Dont beat yourself up, and dont feel guilty if you dont get to all of these things every day. I know. Its hard. But, please, do hold and talk to your baby every day. And get down on the floor with your baby every day so he can work those muscles. Those are the biggies during these first three months. Stare into his big ol eyes and have a moment, just the two of you. These first three months may be tough , but they will be worth it. Trust me.
Parents Can Play Simple Games Like Stretching The Baby’s Arms Or Do A Pedalling Exercise With Their Legs
Play is beneficial for a babys development. Through play, they learn to move their hands and legs, which helps them develop motor skills. It also boosts their social skills where they learn to interact with parents and others through the act of playing.
Here are some ways in which parents can encourage their babies to play:
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During Tummy Time Grab A Rattle Book Or Other Toy And Lay It In Front Of Your Baby
If your baby hates tummy time , grab a rattle or toy to set in front of baby to peak his interest.
You can play with it in front of your babys visual field, or you can just set it down and let your baby study it.
The current favorites to look at for our baby are:
- These wooden dolls from a Melissa and Doug toy we have
- A book with bright pictures set up for her to see we LOVE this baby proof one!
Help Your Baby’s Eyesight Develop
Your baby’s once-fuzzy eyesight is growing clearer every day, and at around the 3-month mark, so is her ability to follow an object with her eyes. Give her some practice by offering interesting things to look at, such as:
- Bright patterns. Sharp contrasts are more intriguing to newborns than delicate pastels, so don’t hesitate to go bold in what you show her. Draw simple pictures or cut them from paper and hang them near her changing table.
- Mirrors. Babies love mirrors! She’s not vain , she just loves seeing another tot just her size. Choose an unbreakable mirror made just for infants.
- Mobiles. Hang one about 6 to 12 inches above your baby’s face, and off to one side . And remember, the objects on the mobile are for your baby’s benefit, not yours. Make sure the most interesting view is from the bottom not the side or top .
- Faces and people. Whether live or in photographs, babies are fascinated by the human face. Offer yours for observation often, or show her pictures of other people’s faces.
- Books. There’s no need for fancy words or any words at all. Choose sturdy cardboard or cloth books with simple, clear drawings or photographs of everyday objects, babies, children and animals. Your baby might spend more time chewing on the book than looking at it, but she might occasionally sneak a peek at the pictures.
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Sing Songs To Your Newborn
Newborns and most humans in general, to be fair enjoy music. Babies can identify a beat in music at just seven months old. Music can also cheer them up, which is why many parents opt for lullabies to ease a fussy baby. By singing fun songs to your newborn, and possibly incorporating them with light motion, your newborn will have the time of their life.
Planning For Newborn Playtime
As with many aspects of parenting, what you can expect is that you wont know what to expect! Babies develop at different rates, so your newborn might not interact with you the way another newborn interacts with their mom. At least not yet in all likelihood, your little one will get there at their own pace. But if you are worried about their development or concerned they may not be seeing or hearing as they should, bring it up to your babys doctor.
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Look At Picture Books With High Contrasting Colors Or Patterns
Take the time to look at picture books with your baby. Showing her high contrasting images will help keep her interested and can help develop her eyesight!
So what are high contrasting images?
Think black and white, or bright colors.
Parents.com has free set of printable high contrast pictures if you dont have any and want to print some right now!
What Routines Can I Start With My Newborn
It helps to remain flexible with newborns. However, you might choose to start doing simple things with your baby in a similar order when it comes to sleeping, feeding and playing:
- when your baby wakes from a sleep, offer them a feed
- in the middle of, or at the end of the feed, change your baby’s nappy
- have cuddle, talk and play time
- settle your baby down to sleep
At night you may prefer to skip play time and simply try to settle them back to sleep.
You should do what you feel is best for you and your baby, but seek advice if you are not sure. Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to talk to a maternal child health nurse.
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What To Expect: Newborn Cognitive Development
Newborn babies have lots to learn and youll be amazed at how fast this learning happens.
At first, your baby starts off not even knowing who you are. But by about four weeks, your baby will recognise and respond to your voice.
Your newborn will also be fascinated by your face and will gaze at you in wonder, especially when you talk. Your baby is learning to notice and remember what you sound and look like.
At this age, your baby might look at a brightly coloured mobile hanging above the cot or sleeping area for a long time. This might seem like a simple activity but your baby is learning to understand concepts like movement and colour.
Babies want to experience the world, but not all at once too many people, sounds and activities might exhaust your baby. Sometimes too much stimulation will make your baby too tired to sleep, so watch out for those tired signs.
How Much Should You Play With A Newborn
Babies may seem like chubby balls of energy, but they cant play all day. Its important not to overplay with them to avoid overstimulation. Engage with your baby for about two to four minutes. Then, give them a break and play with them later. Babies can become overwhelmed by activity, which can make them fussy.
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During Tummy Time Lay Next To Your Baby And Encourage Him Or Her
Woohoo! You can do it!Thats my girl! These are all things you can hear us cheering to our infant during tummy time.
While baby may not know what youre saying, this helps encourage social skills and family bonding .
To add an extra piece of fun to the mix, lay down next to baby so shes not doing tummy time alone. We like to encourage our toddler to teach her how to do it!.
How To Play With Your Baby
The time you spend playing with your baby is the beginning of developing their self-esteem and self-worth, because somebody is following their lead and engaging with them and their world.
Keep it simple: The good news is, you dont have to spend a lot of money buying fancy toys for your baby, because their favourite toy is you, says Karyn Positano, a child-life specialist and ECE at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. To play, you really just need to respond to them, she says. When infants babble, talk back. Give words to what theyre saying or what you think they might be thinking. You can also label their emotions, which helps with early language acquisition.
Rev them up: When youre engaging with your baby, give them enthusiastic feedbacka big smile or a clapfor their efforts. This will encourage them to remain focused, which helps develop and maintain optimal dopamine levels in their brain, setting them up to be resilient and interested in learning as they grow.
Time it right: Pay attention to your babys cues. Theyll give you signals when they want to play and when theyve had enough, says Positano. Youll know that an infant is ready to engage with you because suddenly theyll be looking at you, and typically its after theyve been fed or woken up after a nap, she explains. Theyll also let you know when they are ready to move on from an activity by looking away or starting to get upset.
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Look At Your Play Space
Is the area child-friendly and child-safe? Is there too much noise or other distractions? Is the area safe to explore? Is this a good place for the activity youve chosen, such as running, throwing balls, or painting? Checking out your space beforehand can prevent a tantrum, an accident, or a broken lamp.
Games For Your 1 Week Old Baby
Games to Play
- Evolving Mobile: Every couple of weeks add or change the toys hanging from an overhead mobile or play mat to grab baby’s attention. Wiggling the toys can also help baby look at the new toys. When baby is able to sit up, take down the mobile due to safety risks. Helps baby develop vision by providing interesting objects and colors to look at.
- Sleeping Direction: Change the direction baby lies while sleeping. Place their head on the right side of the crib, then switch to the left side the next night. Repeat. Don’t forget to always place baby on back to sleep. Helps baby build strength by turning different directions to see you.
- Mobile Songs: If your babys mobile plays music, sing along with the songs. Hold their hand or rock them while you sing. Play similar music for him at other times of the day, all around the house. Helps baby improve listening skills.
- Tummy Min: After diapering, lay baby on their tummy for a few minutes so Tummy Time becomes a part of their daily routine. Helps baby learn to lift up their head.
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Visual Play For Sighted Babies:
Materials: black and white pictures, your face, a basic toy or simple household object.
Hold objects 6-12 inches in front of baby’s face in the direction theyre looking. Very, very slowly move the object an inch or two in one direction. Newborns are just learning to follow moving objects with their eyes , so wait for baby to find the object and then move it a bit more.
Playtime With Your Baby: Learning And Growing In The First Year
As a parent, you are your babys first playmate. Play is a fun way for the two of you to bond and it encourages healthy child development.
Play is how children learnabout themselves, other people, and the world around them. It helps to build confidence, relationships, and basic skills.
Toys for babies dont need to be expensive. They can be things you have around the house, as long as they are unbreakable, safe , and the right size . Good toys are washable, made to last and appeal to parents too. After all, youll both be playing with them!
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Graduating To Playing Hide And Seek With Your Toddler
How To Play With A Preschooler
Imagination station: Kids this age love dressing up in costumes, pretending to be fantastical creatures or taking on roles like teacher or astronaut. This type of play really needs a partner, and your kid will love seeing you take on a new persona. You can also use blocks to build structures for stuffies, dolls or cars together.
School prep: Who can resist smooshing things like playdough and kinetic sand with your fingers? Its a great way to work on fine motor skills, which will help your kid when they begin handwriting. And this is a simple way for parents to de-stress, tooyou can zone out a bit as you sit and roll out snakes or make pretend food for each other.
Put them to work: Preschoolers crave feeling like a valued part of the family, says Vlietstra. Get them to help you with household tasks like matching socks or washcloths. Making a game of itperhaps by having a race to see who can fold their pile the fastestis a great way to both teach them how to be a helper and to have fun.
Get on their level: Kids can get really into the things they like at this age, notes Vlietstra. Learning the language of what theyre interested inlike the names of Paw Patrol charactersgives you something to talk about. Like all people, young kids want us to take an interest in their lives.
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