Caring for a newborn isn’t easy. During these first few months, your baby just seems so fragile and sensitive, plus if you’re a first-time parent, getting used to the rigors of parenthood can take a toll. Aside from feeding your baby and getting her to sleep, you’re also supposed to engage your baby with games.
Here are some simple ways to play with your newborn baby.
1. Go face-to-face
According to research, newborn babies love looking at faces—they’d rather look at faces than anything else, even toys. Going face-to-face with your baby will make him happy and also strengthen your bond. Babies prefer faces that are:
• have open eyes
• are looking at them directly in the eye
• belong to their parents/caregivers
• responsive to their actions
2. Baby talk
Keep your baby’s attention by speaking in a high-pitched, sing-song voice. Talk to him as you dress, feed, and bathe him. It doesn’t matter what you talk about at this point, but talking is definitely essential. Research has found that talking to your child for three hours a day during their first month develops the part of the brain that processes sound and helps your baby focus on human voices.
3. Monkey see, monkey do
Imitating your baby’s sounds, facial expressions, and movements helps teach her about communication. Being responsive to her cues shows her that what she says and does matters.
It’s natural to rock our babies back and forth when we hold them, so make it more fun by singing to them and dancing with them. You can also set your baby down and move their hands around as you sing to them. This will encourage their motor skills in a really fun way.
5. Sensory games
Give your baby some visual stimulation with a colorful mobile, mirrors, or a magazine. Give your baby several textures and materials to touch. Baby play gyms are great tools for this purpose. You can also read to your baby with colorful picture books.
6. Tummy time
Playing with your baby on the floor is vital for developing your baby’s motor skills—rolling over, sitting, crawling, walking, and so forth.