I’m well aware of the struggle as a parent, for finding productive activities for your newborn. Apart from feeding, rocking, diaper changing, and sleep navigation, this time is perfect to get along with your baby.
I know taking care of newborns is tiresome, but this is also the time to create bonding with your baby through fun activities. For your babies playing and productive activities are vital, for they will help them grow emotionally, physically, and intellectually.
As my delivery days were approaching I started making a list of the activities to do with my newborn. I consulted other fellow mothers and did a little bit of my own research to make that list. So why don’t I share this list with you as well, and help you build your parent-child bond with the newborn?
Fun activities are crucial for the psychological, social, and biological development of newborns. They help newborns make sense of the real world and real-life activities. They learn how to practically implement the new skills, which they have learned and observed.
Playing is an essential part of learning communication and social skills. The time spent playing will help your baby with emotional stability, quality sleep, better intelligence, enhanced social skills, advanced motor function, increased focus, less depression and anger, creativity, and happiness.
Playing is never bad for babies, in fact, the more the better but, parents need to understand what qualifies as playing. This might sound overwhelming but newborns are learning and interpreting each and every movement you make. They learn from your eye contact, physical contact, facial expressions, and whatnot.
Playing is something that comes naturally to babies and they do not need to learn it though they are learning through it. Playing is a form of interaction and bonding. It also helps your newborn’s brain to grow and create new neural pathways.
Consider playing with your child as a gift to them, which is going to benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Ideas for activities to do with your newborn
With newborns, fun activities involve more interaction between you and your baby, then games and toys. Your simple conversations with them are qualified as a fun activity, and helps make them feel loved, secure, and wanted.
- For newborns, the most fun activities are the simplest ones like singing, chatting, blowing on objects or food, etc. They also love soft baby music, classical music, and nursery rhyme the most.
- At this stage, newborn babies are low maintenance, and all it takes for them to laugh are activities like making faces, touching your face, rolling eyes, and poking at your tongue. The most exciting activity for them is touching your face and seeing you make faces as they do that.
- Your newborn is most attracted to soft toys, colors, and rattles. This is why they get emotionally attached to their toys and cry if they lose them.
- Take your baby out, let them see people, nature, birds, sun, and colors. This is the best time to learn for them, so show them as much as possible, for they will absorb every information they gather like a sponge.
- Tummy time is also an exciting experience for your newborn as it helps him practice holding his head up and see things from a different angle. You can schedule your baby’s tummy time before each nap.
- Make sure that you talk to your baby when they are awake and wait for their response. Your newborn might not respond initially, but they will surprise you with how much they have to talk about once they learn. These conversations help your baby understand when to talk, listen, and respond.
- Show your baby things by making them part of your daily activities. This will helps your baby learn your voice and help them build speech development.
- Captivate your baby’s senses by letting them experience different things. For instance, lay them on the floor, carpet, and bed to make them able to differentiate between them.
- Babies love to be held, depending upon their nature. So, make sure that you read the cues and respond to them.
- It’s never too early to read books to your baby. You might not realize, but they learn from those stories. But, always hold the book close as your newborn can only see objects that are 20-30 cm away from their eyes.
What part do activities play in the life of a newborn?
Though newborns love simple activities involving interaction, yet, they play a crucial part in their upbringing. Your newborn develops an emotional connection with you through simple acts of love. Babies learn your smell, looks, gait, voice, expressions, and whatnot. They are looking up to you as their guiding star and you are their whole world.
Parents try their best to fulfill the needs of their newborns and playing with them is one of their needs as well. This will help them build trust with you and others. The way we react to things is how our newborns will react in their adulthood. So, be cautious with your words and actions, because you are creating your mini copy.
Though with age they will have their own opinions and ideas for certain things, they are probably going to react to life and incidents the same way you do. So, be the best version of yourselves and make them feel most loved and secure around you.
What to do when your baby gets bored?
Babies do not have the tendency to get bored like adults. They rather have a mechanism that helps them not get bored or waste time. Babies in their early years are constantly in the phase of learning new things.
Newborns like to interact and engage with their parents because they want to learn how to communicate with them and understand them.
It might seem to you that your baby is bored when they do not make a sound or stare at their toys for an hour. But, know that they are exploring and looking for new experiences to help them gather as much information about the new world they are in, as possible.
Even if your baby is just watching you they are in fact, learning how you are doing things. Bored babies tend to cry when frustrated or kept from exploring their surroundings. Things used by you are particularly new and exciting for them because they are trying to make sense of what they are used for like car keys and travel mugs.
Hence, babies do not particularly get bored, but if they do then just let them out of the crib and explore their surroundings.
How to visually stimulate a newborn?
Knowing what productive activities can help our babies develop their senses is also important.
Activities involving visual stimulation are particularly healthy for newborns, as they help them in development and growth. Moreover, visual stimulations can help our babies develop their sense of vision along with other senses.
Here are some productive fun activities that you can do with your newborn for visual stimulations:
- They love facial expressions and can pick up the aura that you are creating. Just making faces can make your newborn’s day fun and enthralling.
- Try to focus on their eyes while playing with your newborn, for it helps in visual development and stimulates cognitive functions in them.
- 1 month older newborns can see all the colors but are unable to differentiate between them. So, show your baby high contrast, black and white toys, and pictures to stimulate their senses.
- Newborns can see colors around the age of 2 months so, and it’s the perfect time to introduce them to primary colors and various shapes and sizes.
- Babies love to play hide and seek because they love exploring their new world. This is why hiding and moving objects in front of their eyes can help to stimulate their senses.
- Mirrors are also among the most effective exercises for your baby to learn, focus, track images, and discover his facial expressions. Mirror playing also promotes social and emotional development.
Engaging in activities with your baby will help them thrive and learn skills faster, and in the most enjoyable way. Also, you do not have to take extra time to engage with them, just do it while feeding, diaper changing, and bathing, because those are the most intimate times your baby has with you.
Remember that this is a new experience for both of you, so do not put pressure on yourself and enjoy the time as much as possible.