Infants spend most of their time sleeping and nursing. So, keeping a baby entertained can be a challenge to most new mums. Nonetheless, there are so many activities that can keep your infant occupied throughout the whole day.
First, note that newborns don’t see and hear clearly. Always consider this factor before incorporating any activity. Typically, you cannot play complicated games with an infant or narrate complex stories to them.
Doing this won’t make sense. In this article, we discuss infant-friendly activities that help you play with your baby.
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Some 11 Infant-friendly playtime activities
Playtime with your infant increases the bond between the two of you. Also, it keeps both you and your child occupied. Some of the infant-friendly activities to incorporate include:
Use a play mat
Newborns can only see 10 inches in front. Also, their hearing capability is quite low. So, toys may not be the best playing equipment for them. Placing them on a play mat is however helpful.
Nevertheless, you have to ensure that the play mat has a bright color. Also, consider incorporating hanging toys on the play mat. This will arouse your child’s curiosity. Laying your newborn on a play mat makes them feel comfortable; hence they’ll fall asleep much faster.
Tickle, pedal, and stretch
A good way to play with your newborn is to stretch their tiny little legs and hands. Move their arms to the side and squeeze them for a little massage. Pedalling a newborn baby’s legs is also a great way to improve their flexibility and muscle strength.
You can also tickle your child to make them laugh. Massaging your infant is also a nice way of improving their mood.
Sing songs to your newborn
Lullabies are an all-time favorite for infants. Singing a soothing song to your child as you rock them in their cradle helps them fall asleep faster. Consequently, you will get time to do something else.
As you sing a song to your child, they become more familiar with your voice. This makes your child bond with you more.
Try baby games
There are various infant games you can incorporate to keep your child occupied. A good example of a baby game is peek-a-boo. These games not only keep your baby occupied but also improve their cognitive ability. Conduct online research on the best newborn baby games to play.
Dance with your infant
Turn on the music and start dancing with your child. Hold them tightly in your arms as you make dance moves around the room. Toddlers enjoy gentle movement.
Ensure you put baby-friendly music with good beats. The song ‘Baby Shark’ is a great song to dance along with your toddlers. As you dance with your toddler, you can take time to respond to urgent messages and phone calls.
Another way to play with an infant is to read stories to them aloud. Infants are unlikely to understand what you are reading, but they undoubtedly love hearing your voice. Reading time also creates an excellent bond between you and your toddler.
Additionally, child experts say that reading to your child improves their cognitive abilities.
Do kangaroo or skin-to-skin care
Usually, parents should practice skin-to-skin contact with their newborns. This is one of the best ways to bond with your baby. After delivering your baby, ensure they rest on your chest for a few minutes while they are still naked.
Doing this boosts the production of milk and controls the child’s temperature. Skin-to-skin contact also leads to good brain development.
Give baby a massage
Massaging your baby is a great way to bond with them. So, consider massaging their back, legs, and arms. Massaging your baby also helps them grow physically stronger. Children find massages relaxing. Therefore, they are likely to relax and sleep during massage sessions.
According to previous statistics, massaging a newborn helps getting rid of gastrointestinal issues. Use your hand to gently rub your baby’s back after nursing.
Folding clothes with your baby
You can spend laundry time with your baby. You don’t have to put them to sleep when doing your laundry. You can place your baby beside you on their cradle as you do laundry and fold clothes. Folding clothes often stimulates your child’s senses.
The bright colors and odors on your clothes make their senses more alert. As you fold clothes, always try engaging your child in a conversation. Although they might not understand exactly what you are saying, they’ll enjoy the attention given to them.
Did you know that face time helps you bond with your baby? At present, there is a wide range of covid-19 regulations for protecting your child’s health. So, instead of having people over at your house, it would be best to spend some extra alone time with them.
However, note that face time is not advisable for very young infants who have difficulty lifting their heads. During face time, lay your baby on their tummy. Likewise, lay beside them with your face facing theirs. Doing this helps you bond with your baby more.
Kiss and snuggle
Giving your baby extra hugs and snuggles makes them happier. Besides, snuggles improve the bond you have with your baby. Health experts report that snuggling your baby improves their sleep, body temperature, and oxygen levels.
When you snuggle your newborn, they are less likely to throw unnecessary tantrums. Also, give your child kisses from time to time. Intimacy with your child creates a stronger bond.
Don’t forget to relax
As much as it is important to play with your children, take some time off. Remember, you need to recharge so that you can get the energy to play with your newborn again. When your child is asleep, take a nap for a few hours. You undoubtedly need to have some ‘you time’ as a new mom.
From this article, it is safe to conclude that there are many ways of playing with an infant. The option you choose often depends on your requirements. As a parent, take time to understand what your baby really likes. From there, it will be easier to choose the right activities for them.