Activities to Do With Your Baby
You are your baby's first teacher
Babies are usually easy to please. They like to be well rested, fed, and kept clean and dry. However, every minute your baby is awake, he is learning something new from the people and world around him. He is growing and changing every day, and there are many ways you can communicate and play with him. Remember, babies can be lots of fun!
How to spend quality time with your baby
- Spend time cuddling. Babies love to be touched and held. Do not be afraid of spoiling your infant by picking him up too much. Holding your baby actually makes her feel comforted. She is fragile, though, so be sure to support her head and neck and do not shake her hard.
- Learn your baby's cues. Sometimes babies do need their time and space because all the sights and sounds can be too much. If your baby moves his eyes away or starts to cry, she may just need some quiet time in her seat or crib. When your baby is ready to play, she will let you know by smiling, reaching out, and moving her eyes towards someone who is talking.
- Make some tummy time. When your baby is three months old, it's important to start giving him some time on his stomach to exercise his neck muscles and help him learn to reach for things. Put him on a soft surface on the ground, such as a blanket or carpet, put toys in front of him, and let him try to reach for them. Remember, though, never to put your baby to sleep on his tummy!
- You baby likes to see. Babies can't see all the colors right away, but they do like to follow things with their eyes. Your baby will like contrast and brightly colored things like mobiles, but most of all, she wants to see your face!
- Your baby likes to hear. Your baby will get used to your voice pretty soon after he is born, and soon after that, he will love hearing new sounds. Babies love music and singing, especially songs that have clapping and rhyme. You can even make them up as you go along! The best way to introduce your child to new words is to talk to him as you do things, even if he can't talk back. Tell him where you are going and what you are doing. Most importantly, read out loud to your baby. Reading should be part of your child's day from the time he is born. Point to and name the pictures in the book.
- Your baby likes to touch. Your baby will start to hold on to you early on – your finger, your hair, watch out for those earrings! But you can also use some simple toys, such as soft books or rattles.
Reprinted with the permission of the One Tough Job campaign. © Children's Trust Fund of Massachusetts 2007. All rights reserved.
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