Fun, Bonding and Baby Interactivity
If you’re a new parent then you may be wanting to find out about things that are fun activities for babies.
We can learn a lot from our first born which we can then apply when we have more children. I know that doing things that were fun became easier and more natural when I had my second and third baby because I already had some ideas based on nurturing my first baby.
Each baby is different and what appealed to one of my babies did not necessarily appeal to the same extent for my other babies. Go with the flow and adjust based on your baby’s reaction and interaction with you, the surroundings and toys.
It becomes a whole jugging act when you have your next baby and mine were all under the age of 4 when my third baby was born.
I remember that when my first two were little, and they’re only 18 months apart, there were times when one would wake from a nap and be grizzly and then the other would wake and be the same so all I could do was sit on the floor, one under each arm and give them both a cuddle.
Then, once the tears subsided, we might introduce some toys. Sometimes using a toy as a distraction is good but don’t let it take the place of lovely cuddles and soothing. Even pointing out something outside can help them move past being cranky. Birds are a great point of attraction for little eyes.
When you first have your baby come home, they will want to sleep a lot and this is an important time for self-care, getting enough sleep and cuddles for baby for bonding.
Being a new parent is a special and important time so don’t guilt-trip yourself into thinking you should be always doing ‘more’.
From Sleeping to Inquisitive Baby.
I remember being surprised at how much a baby sleeps when you first get them home.
This does change though and eventually our babies do wake more and interact with us. Their sight develops, their ‘goo’ and ‘gaa’ develops into ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ as they explore sounds they can make.
When they are very young, a pram walk and human interaction is generally enough between the sleeps. Then, when they are awake more, you can then incorporate activities to stimulate their senses and also have a bit of fun.
Being a new parent doesn’t have to be serious. Smiling at your baby is good for both baby and you.
Keep in mind that the age and development of your baby will determine the appropriateness of the fun activities you do with them and at what stage.
If you find that an activity is not appropriate for a baby a month old, keep it in mind for when they are older as baby becomes curious.
Here are my top 5 fun activities for babies.
Use a black and white mobile above a comfortable floor rug or playmat so your baby can explore the shapes as they move about above them. Find one that attaches well to different surfaces so you can move it about with baby as you need.
Remember to keep the cot or bed as a place of rest and separate it out from play time on an activity mat.
When baby is old enough to hold their head up you can introduce them to a range of age appropriate toys for them to play with place in front of them.
As baby’s neck becomes stronger, move from soft toys to more solid toys like stackable buckets and blocks. Only use soft toys when they are still learning to hold their head up and ensure you supervise at all time so they don’t suffocate.This is a great video showing you how much baby loves the activities this lady talks about. She also mentions that she uses multiple playmats and I recommended a black and white playmat to get started for visual impact.
I remember that something as simple as interlocking safe, basic colored rings where a big hit with my babies when they were little.
The rings would make a slight clinking sounds as they were moved about and little hands could learn to grab hold of them (hand-eye motor skill development). Again, this lady has used this with her own baby.
Put on some music, get the baby bath ready with a range of fun bath toys. Ensure the room is warm enough so baby doesn’t get cold.
I used to pre-heat the bathroom before we would start our day spa activity. If your baby is a bit unhappy with bath time. put a face cloth on their chest when they are in the baby bath to help soothe them.Always ensure you have everything ready as you will not be able to leave your baby unattended for safety reasons.
Have your mellow music and audio player (or use your phone to play music if that’s not possible), towels, nappies, change of clothes, pouring cups, wipes, baby-sensitive soap (if needed) so you are well prepared.
You can use music to create the atmosphere you want. Put on some upbeat music for play time and when you are interacting with your baby. Use more peaceful music when you are winding down ready for nap time. Here’s one I recommend.
Movement can involve both you and baby. Babies love faces so be sure to smile and talk to your baby. When they are lying down, gently move their arms up and bring your smiling face in until their fingers touch your lips or cheeks.
Blow raspberries into their hands. Gently lift their legs up and down and count their toes to them or tickle the soles of their feet and watch them delight in the activity.You can also get back into exercise by placing baby on a playmat, putting on music and doing some exercises next to them.
Most of all, enjoy this special time with your baby. There’s nothing a cuddle can’t fix.