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How To Play With Your Newborn
Most newborn babies spend the first 3 to 4 weeks of their life doing little more than eating and sleeping. During this time, your baby doesn’t actually ‘play’ in the traditional sense.
However, knowing how to interact with your baby at this early stage will help set the stage for play as they grow and develop.
The world is a new and sometimes frightening place to your baby, but they still need to explore it in order to grow and develop. As a parent, you will become their anchor in this strange new world.
Here are some things you can do during your baby’s first month of life to engage them in ‘play’ and help your newborn develop and learn.
Talk To Your Child
Your baby finds comfort in hearing your voice. Your voice has become familiar to them while they are still in your womb, so continuing to hear your voice is both soothing and exciting to your infant.
Spend time every day talking, reading and singing to your child as this allows them to find comfort, and familiarizes them with the sound of your voice.
Encourage Your Baby’s Visual Growth
Your newborn baby’s eyes can’t yet distinguish between colors and shades.While you see beautiful shades of different colors, your baby may only see one big blurry shade.So one of the best ways to stimulate and develop your newborn infant’s vision is to offer them toys with strong contrasting colors, such as black and white. Bold curves and contrasting dark and light stripes are also ideal.
Your newborn infant and see about 8 – 10″ in front of them, which is about the same distance your face is from your baby when you hold them in your arms. You can provide your infant with entertainment and stimulation by doing things like wiggling your fingers a short distance in front of their face, smiling or making different fun facial expressions.
When you move an object from side to side and your baby follows that movement with their eyes, it’s called tracking. Tracking is one of the first ways your baby explores their world so offering objects for your baby to look at and track is a great way to build their visual skills.
Introduce Your Baby to Textures
Newborns love to explore the world with their hands and mouths. Giving your baby objects that are different textures is a wonderful way to interact with them early on and can help develop their sense of touch.
Soft blankets and toys, slightly cool smooth plastic or the touch of the back of your hand all allow your baby to explore different textures in a safe and fun way.