In the beginning it may seem that all your baby does is sleep, cry and eat. While this is true, they are also slowly taking in their environment – getting glimpses of your face and taking in your smell as they are learning to adapt to life outside of the womb.
As they start to stay awake longer (at around three months), you will begin to notice a curious little baby that is starting to develop as they begin to coo, babble and even laugh. During this time, you can also engage your baby with some basic games and activities that incorporate music, dance and play.
Here are some of our favorites games and activites for babies.
This classic game of peek-a-boo is a great way to engage your baby as you hide by covering your hand with your face and the revealing it to your baby. You can also play this with a towel or as a hiding game where you have an object in your hand and then show your baby how it disappears.
Starting early with reading is a fantastic way to begin your nighttime routine (or at least the idea of one) with your baby. Pick a basic board book and go through the concepts – pointing and showing your baby the pictures. Books that allow babies to feel new textures – like ones with felt – are a great way to incorporate a “discussion” of how they feel as you read.
Homemade Musical Instruments
Once your baby is able to hold objects, start getting musical with some homemade instruments. My local librarian showed me how to make homemade instruments by adding barley or rice to old oatmeal containers. She also suggested decorating them in black and white since babies can’t see in color right away. You can also use shakers, which are perfect for small hands.
Sounds and Music
As part of your playtime, sing or play music to your baby. You can also focus on sounds like animal noises to get your baby used to the different tones. This can also be a special time to start singing nursery rhymes or your favorite music to your baby.
This is a great way to get your baby’s neck strong. Tummy time activities will also allow you to connect and play at your baby’s level where you can talk to them, show them objects like a mirror as well as a chance for them to touch various objects.
Containers and Cups
When you baby is able to set up, they will love playing with various cups and containers. I love to fill up a big bowl with plastic cups for my baby to touch, try to stack, and of course in her mouth.
This is a great way to move around and bond with your baby. Play some of your favorite songs and simply bop around with your baby as they take in their environment and love the soothing connection to you.