Baby activities to do with your little one for their wakeful hours
As a first time mom I know it took me by surprise when my sleepy newborn no longer wanted as much sleep! Somewhere around 3 months there were long stretches of wake times that needed to be filled. What to do!?!
Nature Walks Take your baby out in their pram or in baby carrier each day. Talk to them about what you see.
Chatting As you peel potatoes, as you do your housework or go about your day, chat to your little one all the time. A mom's voice is soothing and all the time you are chatting you are developing neural pathways in your baby's brain.
Balls Once your baby is sitting you can buy a variety of different sized balls (none small enough to fit into their mouth!) and roll balls back and forth to one another.
Board books Board books are fantastic as they do not tear and can stand a fair amount of mouthing by babies. Choose ones with clear open pictures.
Peek-a-boo games Using hands, a handkerchief or a blanket, play peek-a-boo with your baby.
Turning lights on and off This activity, which may seem very simple, was of great fascination to all my babies and was a lifesaver when I needed to distract a tired or hungry baby for a few minutes. The sentences: Light on and light off also became one of our babies first ones.
Mirror games Safety mirrors are wonderful to have in your babys toy box but you can also use proper mirrors when you are able to supervise the play. Go through your babys facial features with them while you hold a mirror for them to look into.
Hiding toys Babies love to get little surprises. Take their favourite toy and hide it under a handkerchief. Ask them the question: Where is [Pooh Bear]? And then uncover the toy with a flourish. Repeat often and soon they will be copying you!
Peep tube Use and old "Pringles" chip or similar container and peep through the tube at your baby. You can ask them the question: Where is [Sarah]? a few times over until you make eye contact.
Round and round the garden like a teddy bear Action songs and rhymes are great fun. This is one of our favourites. After doing this a few times over your baby should ask you for it with their index finger on their own hand.
Cycling legs When changing your babys nappy or any other time you have a moment when they are lying on their backs, gently take their feet and make cycling motions with their legs. Do not force them if they resist.
Bouncing ball We had a large physio ball (some use them for Pilates) that we used to roll and bounce our babies on. For rolling place them tummy down and hold their feet firmly. Roll them forward making sure their arms are extended in front of them. This develops their parachute reflex which they will need when they begin to walk, these are great baby activities.
Crawling obstacle course stack up piles of pillows or make a box tunnel for them to crawl through and over.
Row row row your boat with your sitting babe place them directly in front of you. Hold their hands and gently ease them forward and back singing this favourite childhood song.
Teaching body part names Teach your baby their body part names. Get them to first identify them with repetition. Then ask them where they limb is, follow this with asking them to find your [nose-hand-foot] etc.
Naming objects As you walk around your house teach your baby the names of objects.
Family photo book Take clear photos of all in your family that your baby has regular contact with. Stick them onto stiff card and bind together. Flip through this book with your baby to teach them family members names.
For a great resource for baby activities be sure to visit your local library where you can learn all about baby development from pregnancy to birth to toddler hood. A great resource for everything to do with baby development, to whats on local for you to participate in.
When you need to be busy with a toddler or making a meal or doing housework and your baby is asleep there are various things that can keep your little one entertained on their own for short periods of time:
Baby's Toys Containers are great for baby activities:
From the time my babies could sit I would encourage them to spend a little time entertaining themselves each day. Not long in the beginning 5 minutes was great. One way for this was having a special blanket or quilt where you can place them. I used to have a shallow open basket with all sorts of baby toys, rattles and safe chewable items for them to go through. I also tried to include tactile and other sensory items for them. They would unpack them all and repack them all.
Baby gym These are wonderful for moms with babies who are not yet sitting. Place it somewhere close to where you are working so that you can chat to your baby as you do your chores.
Bouncing chair I used to prop my babies up in their bouncing chair on a wide counter near to where I was preparing dinner. This enable eye contact and presence all the time I was busy. - never leave your baby unattended on counter tops!
Baby swing What a wonderful invention for moms who need a break. Used for a short time everyday to give mom a break, these are invaluable in the home, and great for your baby activities routines.
Do you need help to make your baby's room a special place for them to play, rest and be entertained? Be sure to visit Creative Baby Nursery Rooms and benefit from the tons of helpful up to date baby news as well as tips on creating a special place for your special babe.
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