How Can You Tell When Your Baby Is Ready To Play?
After the first month or so, your baby will become more alert and now one of the best times to play with them is right after they’ve been fed and before they’re ready for their next nap.
This is when they tend to me the most alert and relaxed, which makes them more open to stimulation and play and better able to absorb new information. When their little tummies are full you’ll often notice them happily looking around and this is your cue that they’re ready to play.
However, during their first year of life your baby doesn’t need a lot of different toys to be content. In fact, too many toys may simply overwhelm them.
Babies find a lot of comfort in familiar things so introducing one or maybe two toys each month during the first year is a great way to make the most of their playtime development.
At this stage they learn from routine, repetition and practice so they’re quite happy to play with one specific toy for a very long period of time.
How Do You Know When Playtime Is Over?
Every baby responds differently to stimulation. Some babies are fine with a lot of stimulation while others will let you know that playtime is over sooner rather than later.
There’s no right or wrong here; it’s just individual preferences and even at this young age, your baby will know how much stimulation and play they’re willing to take before they need a break.
Some of the more common signs that your baby needs are break are arching their back, turning their head away from you, becoming fussy and crying. When your baby starts to show signs of needing a break, simply put the toys away and snuggle with them.
Keep in mind that direct eye contact is quite stimulating for your baby so when they need a break it’s best to just hug them close to your chest and relax.
If your baby is unsettled or crying, swaddling them in a blanket can help calm them as it reduces the amount of stimulation.
Whether they’re ready to play or need a break, it’s all about taking your cue from them. And over time, with trial and error, you’ll know exactly when your baby is in the mood to play and when they’re not.