Babies learn to move, talk, socialize, and understand their surroundings primarily through play. Your baby will learn by interacting with you during the first month of life.
The first thing your little one will learn is to connect to get their needs met. As a result, the feel of your touch, the sound of your voice, and the sight of your face will represent support, warmth, and comfort.
Even at this young age, newborns are eager to learn about their surroundings. Your baby enjoys staring at your face. Babies can identify and respond to their parents’ voices (or other intriguing sounds) by becoming more awake and less active. Babies may try to locate the source of a sound by glancing around.
Why is playtime important for your newborns?
Playing is the most natural thing in the world, but you might be surprised to learn that there is a lot more to it than just having fun.
Your baby will acquire fundamental life skills, learn how to communicate with peers and adults, explore creativity, adapt, and develop new talents, and learn a wide spectrum of emotions via playing.
Though playing comes naturally to everyone, many people are unaware of its many benefits beyond simple enjoyment.
Your child will learn important life lessons via playing, including how to relate with others, both young and old, how to be creative, how to adjust to new situations and gain new abilities, as well as how to experience a wide spectrum of emotions.
When should you start having playtime with your newborn?
You start stimulating your baby’s senses as soon as you hold them. They look at your face, hear your voice, and feel the warmth of your skin when they look at you. In the early infant days, these basic relationships constitute the very beginning of what might be considered “play.”
Your little one seem to be mostly interested in feeding, sleeping, and pooping for the first month or so. However, you may also observe that the toy perks up when it rattles or squeaks, nods towards familiar voices or tries to fixate on them.
It can be difficult to imagine, but by the second month, they would be able to hold up their head when they are on their tummies to look around. Additionally, by the third month, you might notice recurrent grins and hear noises that seem to be an effort to interact with you.
Even though they cannot express themselves verbally, your baby will probably show evidence that they are eager and engaged in playtime every day. You will start to notice times when they are awake and alert, but calm, even if they spend a lot of time napping (during the first six months, your baby will probably be asleep 14 to 16 hours each day). You can start interacting with them at these moments by playing some easy games and activities.
What are the best ways to play with your baby?
Babies’ playtime does not always have to be intricate or planned out; some of the best possibilities for play are unplanned. To keep your baby entertained, bear in mind that you will be their best toy. You will not have to spend a lot of money on expensive toys and devices.
Try out a few of these things with your baby:
Choose books with vivid colours and recognizable images to read to your baby every day. Even from birth, talk to them, sing to them, and make up humorous rhymes to share with them.
Peek-a-boo with them and see their reactions, as hide and seek is by default every baby’s favourite. Walk with your baby outside and talk about what you see; although they will not be aware of things unless you point them out, trees, birds, pets, and other people are all a part of their world. Every day, let your child play on the floor; tummy time from birth will help them develop their neck and upper body strength. Attend a playgroup to meet other parents and socialize with them.
How can you play safely with your baby?
Even when you believe your kid is playing safely, always keep an eye on them. Babies are experts at picking up even the tiniest object from the floor and placing it right in their mouth.
As your child grows and enters new developmental stages, you need to change the games you play with them. When a child is very small and immobile as a baby, what you think is safe may not be safe.
- There are no choking or other hazards around your baby, and the environment is secure.
- Their toys do not have loose ties, button batteries, or dangerous edges.
- Your baby is being cared for by responsible adults.
- When outside, you cover your baby’s eyes and skin.
When is the best time to play with your baby?
When they are ready to play, your baby will lead the way, so pay attention to that. They will not be engaged, and their attention span will be limited if they are hungry or weary.
Playing is acceptable at any time of the day, although you might want to avoid stimulating your baby right before they go to sleep. It can be challenging to quiet your baby down during play because it can be so stimulating.
Instead of engaging in extended play sessions, look for little windows of opportunity. Newborns typically benefit from a combination of quiet and more active physical play.
The best play opportunities will happen when:
Your baby is well-rested, fed, and content inside or outside. When you are not rushed and have time to invest in playing and having fun — Play can occur anywhere at any time if you and your baby are prepared. When your baby initiates play, they will give cues that they want to engage in a game and seem excited when you start playing with them. Their eyes will appear bright and open, they will be animated and smiling, and they will be focused on you.
How will you know if your baby does not want to play?
Babies often make it clear when they’ve had enough playtime and want to move on. Don’t be offended if your baby refuses to play or expresses exhaustion, as many of their actions are impulsive.
If any of the following applies to your baby:
They turn their heads aside and their attention diverted away from the game.
begin wailing and fussing
appear worn out or hungry
Your little one may not be able to accomplish much on their own, but they are content to be with you at all times. Making silly faces or singing nursery rhymes can assist to engage your baby and promote growth in even the smallest of ways.
The only thing your baby will need during playtime is your presence, so don’t bother buying fancy toys, or equipments.