Stimulation from an early age is so important. Playing, reading and talking to your baby can help with bonding as well as making your baby feel safe and secure. Being a parent to a newborn is challenging and exhausting so play may not come naturally but it really doesn’t have be complicated. You can stimulate your newborns senses with sound, touch and sight very easily. Simple activities carried out for a few minutes, just once a day when your baby is calm and settled is all that is needed. Introducing sensory items and activities will stimulate your baby’s natural instincts to learn and develop.
Here are some simple activities you can try from newborn
Reading and chatting to your baby as often as you can will help your baby recognise the sound and tone of your voice. This can have a calming effect as well as actually stimulating your baby’s brain development.
Using black and white images will help nurture your baby’s visual development as well as providing entertainment and stimulation. Use images in a cot or in a changing area for your baby to look and focus on.
Rattles are perfect for stimulating hearing and sight. You can gently shake a rattle to encourage your baby to turn and look at you and follow noise. Your baby will soon want to grasp the rattle which will help develop motor skills such as reaching and grasping.
Soft items including comforters and books are ideal for exploring different textures and sounds which are important for sensory development.
Tummy time is a great activity to strengthen your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles. Some babies only tolerate a very short amount of time initially but this should gradually increase. Using items such as a mirror or books can be a good distraction.
The most important thing to remember is play should be fun for you and your baby. Choose the best time for you both. This is generally not just before or after a feed as baby may be too hungry or full to benefit from the activity. Also remember that playing with a baby is best kept to short periods, sometimes just a few minutes is all that is required. This can obviously be increased as baby grows and develops. Every baby progresses at different stages so try not to compare your baby with others.
Positive Playboxes offer a range of age categorised toys for babies under a year old. The toys included in each Playbox have been chosen specifically to help and encourage your baby’s development.
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If you are at any time concerned about the development of your baby you should contact a Health Care Professional.
All activities should be supervised