During those first weeks it might not seem like your little one is interested in a rousing round of peekaboo, but playtime is a great way to support baby’s development and encourage her to learn about her environment. Here are simple ways you both can engage—and enjoy!
Even at this young age, infants love to look at faces, particularly mom’s. Get up close (so she can see you), make eye contact and grin, grimace or stick out your tongue. (You can try doing this routinely while breastfeeding or at the end of diaper changes to ensure you’re getting in enough face time.) High-contrast board books with facial expressions are another great option for when your cheeks feel sore from all that smiling.)
Speaking of books, chatting and reading aloud—with all sorts of voices and sound effects—will boost language formation. Plus, she adores the sound of your voice (even when it’s baby talk)! So, cuddle up for a few nursery rhymes and copy baby’s coos and babbles as she observes her surroundings; it’s all benefitting her brain development.
Play show and tell.
Hold up different objects, such as a brightly colored toy or a shaker rattle, and describe it in detail to your newbie. Allow baby’s hands to engage with safe items and experience different textures while exploring.
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Sing songs and dance.
Play some tunes, hold your new baby close, and gently sway to the music. As you waltz around the room, she’s learning that mom equals comfort. What’s more, lullabies are scientifically proven to lull kiddos to sleep. Two birds, one stone.
Tummy time will help build muscles and fine-tune motor skills. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages placing your infant in different positions to help her see the world from different angles. She won’t be able to sit up or support her head just yet, so get down on the ground with her where she can see you.