Your new infant has a lot to learn. Her brain needs stimulation. She starts with a host of reflexes that help her suck, root, grasp your finger and startle at loud noises.
She can hear, see, smell, taste and touch. In her first year, she develops motor skills, fine hand control, language abilities and social and emotional skills. She needs you to help her develop by providing a safe, caring environment with plenty of the right kind of stimulation.
Encourage your infant’s development with these fun and easy activities.
Gentle music encourages your baby to listen. You can hold her in your arms and sway gently. The sound of your voice may soothe her when she is awake but fussing. Make eye contact, when your baby can see your face. Did you know even before she is three weeks old, she copies your facial movements? This is according to Andrew N. Meltzoff from Science magazine.
One of the most popular activities for newborns is to encourage tummy time by letting your baby lie on her tummy sometimes while she is awake. During this time, she can learn to turn and raise her head. Also help her with eye focus by letting her see brightly colored rattles and safe crib mirrors.
One to Three Months
When your infant starts to smile and enjoy social play with you she’ll start to laugh aloud. Talk to her, sing songs and make faces for her to copy, to develop her language and social skills.
Focus on motor activity by gently moving her arms and legs around for her as they begin to grow stronger. Clap her hands together and pump her legs carefully, preparing her to scoot and crawl. Work on eye focus by moving objects slowly within her field of vision to encourage her to follow objects with her eyes.
Three to Six Months
Halfway through her first year, your baby is ready to get moving. Play with her as she rolls on the floor and sits up. She’ll soon learn to balance herself, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Offer toys with different shapes and textures to encourage fine motor control as she learns to transfers toys from one hand to the other. Play peek-a-boo games and hide toys under cushions, letting your baby find them. This helps her learn to understand where they went. even when she can’t see them: an important milestone in her intellectual development, suggests Kidshealth.org.
Real Mom’s Share Their Favorite Activities
“Naps together! Talking, take lots of pics, sing, you can read to him, snuggle, feed him, and just stare at him and take it all in because it goes WAY too fast! Believe, I have three boys and time really does fly…they’re only this tiny stage for a very short time.” -Tracy
“Babies younger than three months old only really need love and nurturing to continue to grow healthy and strong.” -Christine
“Tummy time is great way for them to strengthen their muscles in preparation for sitting up and such even though a lot of babies hate it. But even just a couple minutes at a time is good! Enjoy the new baby-ness. It’ll go quickly!” -Kennedy
“Getting out for walks is good for both of you. Read books, sing, and talk. Some physical activities you can do include laying your baby on your chest–tummy time on mommy is most enjoyable.” -Sidney
Enjoy This Precious Time With Your Babe
The first six months of your baby’s life is an amazing time. You’ll see he/she transform from a floppy-headed newborn into a tiny person who can sit and play when propped up. Enjoy this precious time with your babe!