Fun Games for your Newborn
You have eagerly awaited the arrival of your little baby and your newborn is finally here! Joy and elation….nothing beats that feeling when you first see the new little addition to your family.
But once you get home and all the fuss and bother and visits from everyone are over, there you are, left alone with your newborn, and the daily tasks of caring for a newborn can become monotonous as really when all is said and done, it all boils down to feeding, burping, changing nappy and sleep time!
Because you are the one at home with your newborn for at least the first 3 months, your newborn is likely to become very attached to you. This means that you will play a very important role in your baby’s language development, his social skills, and general overall development.
Newborns don’t only sleep and wake when hungry (that’s one of those myths!), they also wake and look around and learn! So it is important that, for your own sanity, and for your newborn’s development, you get to enjoy all the awake time and have fun with your newborn at the same time.
Here are 10 fun things you can do with your newborn:
Get out with your little one. It will do both of you the world of good! You don’t have to go far, a nearby park or even a walk around the neighbourhood will do.
- Your baby will enjoy the fresh air, and be stimulated by all the different scenery. He may even enjoy seeing other children at play (who knows what goes on in that little mind as he watches older children running, jumping, swinging and sliding!
All babies seem to enjoy music. Certain music can even soothe a fussy baby, especially if it is the same genre of music you listened to when you were pregnant with him! Music is also thought to be able to boost a baby’s memory and mental skills.
- You could play different genres of music to your little one when he is awake and see which ones he is soothed by and which irritate him
- Some music may make him more active with much waving about of those little arms while some may make him nod off.
- For music to be of benefit you obviously need to be present and perhaps sing along or dance around with your baby in your arms. This will also help you to unwind!!!
3: Take photos!
Of course, being a lifestyle newborn photographer I think it is so important for you to have photographs of your little one. Whether you have a professional photographer take images of your newborn or not, you can be sure that your adorable little one will grow very quickly and as each stage is so unique, never to return, make sure you capture your baby’s progress either with photos or video.
- If your baby tolerates numerous changes of outfits, you can grab pictures in each and every outfit
- Take photos with a card next to your baby to record when he is 1 week old, 2 weeks old and so on. Later on you will be able to look back at these images and see how much your newborn changed in those first few weeks and months.
- When your partner comes home, you will have these moments of your little darling’s day to share with him.
- Make an album, either digital or a hardcover one, of your baby’s first year. You will love to look back as the years pass…and so will your child as he grows older!
4: Express how you feel
This is a wonderful game to play with your little peanut!
- When he is awake and feeling playful, hold him close and talk to him animatedly, varying the pitch of your voice. You will be amazed to see how he reacts to your different tones and actions and it is a great way to strengthen your bond.
- Your baby can get to learn and recognize different emotions with this game and it may also help to increase his attention span.
- By always talking and explaining whatever you happen to be doing, you will be laying the foundation for your babe’s language skills.
This is such a fun game to play with your newborn and in a few months’ time you will have him hiding his face away from you!
- You can start just by holding your hands in front of your face and then showing your face and calling out “Peek-a-boo, I see you!” If you use your baby’s name – as in “Peek-a-Boo, I see William”, he will soon learn his name and look at you whenever you call to him.
- Once your baby has tracked your voice and looks at you, pick him up and shower him with hugs and kisses.
6: Feely-Touchy game
Let your baby feel everything within his reach.
- Don’t rush through any activity with your baby – when bathing him, let him splash the water, dribble water over his hands or his tummy.
- Let him hold and feel his bottle when feeding.
- Hang colourful toys within your baby’s reach, over his sleep area and change area so that when he awakes or is being changed he can pull on them, hear them make a noise, or play a tune and can feel their texture and look at the different colours. This helps develop his eye-hand co-ordination.
7: Show Time
Your baby loves to see and be told about everything there is to see!
- Take your baby around the house and show him different things, like switching on and off the light switch and pointing to the light so that he can associate the switch with the action.
- Let your baby feel the light switch and encourage him to push it down or up by placing your finger on top of his and doing the action.
- Let him stare for as long as he wants at all the different things in your house whilst you name them for him.
8: Story Time
You may feel foolish reading a story to a tiny little newborn who cannot possibly understand what the story is about yet! But it does have its benefits.
- As you read the story, enact the necessary gestures to illustrate what the story is about. Point to whatever picture the story-telling is describing and vary your tone of voice to express excitement, or annoyance if someone in the story is cross!
9: Tickle Time
When dressing your baby, tickle his toes or play “This little piggy went to market” with his toes, ending up by blowing a raspberry on his tummy!
- Some babies get really upset at being changed. The big advantage with this game is that you distract your little one from the fact that he is being changed or dressed and it can make the whole procedure less stressful for both you and your little one!
10: Body parts
Teach your little one the names of all the different body parts by touching his nose, eyes, mouth, tongue and so on.
- Do this to music and make a real game of it, substituting the body part name for song words (use a favourite song of yours!). Both of you will have a lot of fun!
- Kiss his fingers or toes whilst telling him that you love his fingers or toes or tummy or cheek!
- Show him your tongue, saying something like “look at mama’s tongue” and then touch his tongue and tell him that it’s his tongue.
So there you have it, 10 simple ways of interacting with your newborn. You can do as many or as few of them whenever the desire to relieve the same old day in and day out routine rears its head! Of course, if your baby doesn’t like any of the activities or cries a lot then stop and re-evaluate. Maybe your newborn is a little too young or is frightened, or maybe he just doesn’t like certain movements. After all, you are the parent and you know your little one the best!
Happy parenting and have a fun time with your little one!
Yours in newborn photography