Playtime with Baby
Feature Fact Friday!
Our blog this week is about play...yes, we are reiterating the importance of play once again because it is a crucial part of baby's learning and development. The Our First Year team takes play very seriously and wants nothing more than parents and caregivers to get down on the floor and interact with their little ones. Today's blog is chock full of ideas on how to play with your newborn and maximize their developmental potential while enhancing your own parenting experience.
When your baby is first born, they use their many senses to experience the world and "figure it out." You can make this a more positive experience for them by talking or singing to them in a soothing voice, providing them with different textures of toys (e.g. the soft blocks and the wrist rattles in the Our First Year backpack), gently caressing your baby, and looking at your baby. Baby's love faces, especially mom's and dad's!
Babies enjoy trying to figure out where a sound is coming from. Before entering their room in the morning, talk to them. Once you arrive in the room, you will find an alert baby anticipating your arrival. Babies quickly learn the sound of mom and dad's voices. Hide a rattle behind your back and watch your baby's eyes search for the origin of that sound.
Your baby loves to spend time with you. Bring them into the kitchen (safely secured in their bouncy chair or high chair) while you are cooking so they can hear your voice, listen to the running water as you wash the colorful vegetables, the beeping of the timer, the water boiling on the stove, and the smell of dinner in the oven. Trust me, even if you aren't a gourmet chef, your baby will appreciate the stimulation of their senses. Don't forget to narrate what you are doing. Just pretend you are on Food Network and you have a very captive audience of one. Through your cooking tutorial, your baby is learning vocabulary, intonation, and facial expressions.
Another environment that is rich in play for the senses, is the outdoors. Take your baby outside, where they can see the vibrant colors of nature, listen to the birds singing, feel the breeze on their skin, and smell the fresh air. Babies love to be active participants in their learning, please don't put them passively in front of a screen. Instead, grab the Our First Year backpack and head outside - you have all the toys you need :-)
If it's too hot or rainy to play outside, a walk at your local Target or mall should do the trick. Pack up baby in the car seat, grab the Our First Year backpack with the helpful activity cards, and you are good to go. Your baby can take in the various colors and textures of clothing, listen to different voices, smell the snacks in the food court, and maybe even meet up with some friends. Remember, each experience is novel and exciting for your baby at this time - take advantage of that.
For more ideas on playing with your newborn, check out the article, "Learning, Play and Your Newborn," found at https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/learnnewborn.html .
At Our First Year, we make playing with your newborn fun and easy...it's all in the bag! Order your Our First Year backpack today and enhance playtime with your newborn.