They are little and fragile and they have their whole lives ahead of them, but despite their size they are already incredibly capable of so much. Like all children, newborns learn from their environment and experiences and parents are a child’s greatest play thing. For so many parents, especially new parents, it can be difficult to know how to play with a newborn baby. In this post I hope to inspire you with some simple ideas.
As many of you are aware, I’ve recently gave birth to a beautiful new baby girl. I’m absolutely over the moon and feel incredibly blessed. Little Possum (almost 3 years old) is proving to be the doting big sister and loves any opportunity to have a cuddle and help out her tired mumma.
Since arriving home I have chosen to use a flexible and regular routine of sleep, feed, play. It was an approach that I found really worked well with Possum as a newborn and is working well with my new little one. The area of the routine I’ve found particularly enjoyable is ‘play’.
Newborns don’t have long wake periods so I find my play sessions incredibly brief and dependent on how my little one is feeling. It’s important to be directed by them. I personally find varying how I play keeps things fun, helps me build a stronger connection with my new little girl and allows her to achieve a deeper level of sleep, which is always going to be a bonus, right? 🙂
Newborn Play Ideas
Take some time to sing nursery rhymes, even a suitable song from the radio.
Giving newborns an opportunity to listen to your voice reading can be quite pleasurable and whilst they are unable to focus on illustrations just yet, they are still learning about colour in its most basic form. Reading is also a great way to get older siblings involved.
Touch and Feel
Give your newborn baby an opportunity to touch a variety of safe objects. Soft toys and rattles are all wonderful options.
What silly faces can you make? Spend some time showing your newborn baby a variety of facial expressions, bigger the better. Open your eyes really wide, open and close your mouth repeatedly, wave your hands gently and slowly in front of your baby etc.
Out and About
Give your newborn child a variety of places to look at. Go outdoors and allow them to feel a light breeze on their face.
Tummy time can be incredibly difficult it can seem very uncomfortable for newborns to do. My approach has always been to provide my little ones with only a few seconds of tummy time and stop before they find it upsetting. A little is better than none at all.
So why is play important for newborn babies?
Play helps your babies brain develop. Each time you give your baby a new experience you’re opening up doors and allowing them to make connections, which helps them with future learning and development.
Play is a great way for parents to develop a strong bond with a newborn baby. Engaging in play helps you to learn more about your baby and have them develop a trust a sense of security. It’s also a nice way to show love.
Play increases a babies ability to develop language skills. Talking and singing will help a child learn more about words and their context.
And the reasons go on….
How do you like to play with your babies?
Here are some more baby play ideas you’ll love –