So you've just had a baby, now what, other than rest?
You may have been told that newborns eat, sleep and poop. But there is a good part of the day that they are awake. This is a perfect opportunity to play with baby.
Playing with a newborn is very different from kid play.
Playing with a newborn involves bonding with you and your partner, learning different sounds, colors, smells, textures and taking in the environment around them.
It is such as fun time to be able to think again like a child, with wonder about the world around us.
Here are my top activities to do with your newborn that strengthens your bond.
Follow babies lead. Babies learn from reciprocated action, so when baby coos, coo with baby. If baby waves her arm, wave back.
Mimicking what baby does teaches baby you are paying attention to her. She will learn that you respond, and there is a reaction to her vocalizing or moving.
Babies love faces. She will spend a lot of time exploring your face. So when she is doing this talk to baby in different tones of voice and make different faces. See how baby reacts. She will learn emotions and facial expressions that match tone of voice with these games.
3. Play with Sensations
Everything is new to a newborn. So let baby have time to explore and take in her surroundings.
You can do this by introducing different textured surfaces to lie on for tummy time, playing with toys that have sounds, bring different smells within a safe distance. Then describe what the baby is feeling, hearing, smelling.
4. Get down on the Floor
Babies need to time to stretch out and learn how to move in an open space. This is a perfect time for you to also get down on the floor and stretch out. Lie next to baby and play with babies hands, feet, legs, tummy. Again, telling baby what you're doing, so they learn the body.
5. Explore the Environment
Hold baby and walk around the house describing what baby may be seeing. Get close up to pictures on the wall, or ordinary objects like a cup and tell baby what it is. If the weather is nice, bring baby outside and let baby breath in the air, take in the smells, sights and sounds.
My personal favorite!! Newborns, need a lot of time being held and loved on. They thrive through touch. So put some music on, and sway with baby, sing to baby or just curl up on the couch with a good book to look at.
These are just a few activities that you can do during those first few weeks home with baby when you're just getting to know each other and your body is still healing.
So take the time to slow down, take a deep breath and have fun!