How to play with your baby:
Catalina just turned 3 months old two weeks ago and she is super awake already. Since I haven’t had time for anything (because time flies when you are breast feeding, taking care of your baby, fixing the house, staying awake all night…etc. Anyway, all things befitting a first-time mom), I did not buy her any toys! I am probably justifying myself, but I honestly didn’t think she would play with anything until she was at least 6 months old. I know, I should have known they play with things way earlier… But even if I spent my life surrounded by kids (I am the oldest kid of 12), it is NEVER the same thing when it’s your own child. And you have to learn everything from 0.
So the ONLY toys she has are a few stuffed toys we got when she was born.
I don’t know if the same thing happened to you or not, but I’ve had to figure out a way to entertain her and play with her, and the outcome of this has been great, because it has helped her a lot to achieve her milestones!
Therefore, I will leave some of the ideas I had in here. In case they are useful for you to stimulate and play with your own child and having as much fun as I have had with my little one. 🙂
Put your baby belly down on the floor. Place a few things around her (make sure those things are safe for her to put in her mouth and touch) and if you are up to it, lay on the floor next to him/her where she can see you and talk. You can read her a baby book if you want-or have one. Try to make your baby move towards you without your help. Catalina loves this exercise, she even started to move backwards on her own! Now, whenever I leave her on the floor, after 3 minutes she has moved from where left her. She is only 3 months!
Lay on your back and grab your little one between your hands and stretch your arms until you can see your baby face to face. Now, this one is important because you will be able to talk to your baby and get his/her full attention. I usually prefer to make different noises instead of just talking to her. This strengthens their muscles in the neck, abdomen, legs and arms.
Sit with your baby in front of a mirror and let him discover himself. He will not know that he is looking at himself yet, but maybe will be able to recognize you and smile at your reflection. Catalina always tries to touch her hands in the mirror.
Lay your baby on her back (I usually do it on my bed in the morning), and then you get on your fours and have face to face time. You should let her touch your face, get close to you, sing a song to her, touch her legs and arms and cuddle with her. You can change positions and lay on your side too. This is GREAT for babies. I guess this is a natural thing to do with your baby, I don’t think you need me to tell you to do this, but in case you have not done it enough I can honestly tell you that this is the BEST exercise I do with my baby because she gets my FULL attention during this activity, and she knows it.
5.Dog Time (If you have a dog)
I will talk more extensively about this one in another post, but if you have a dog it is super important to establish some baby-dog time! They will both enjoy it and it is super helpful for your baby to learn how to interact with your dog from early on.
The way I do it is this:
Make your dog lay down, on his side. Then carefully place the baby on her belly on top of the dog’s belly while you talk to your dog and tell him to be gentle, stay down. Of course, for this I have already introduced my baby to the dog since the baby came home, you cannot do this if the dog is not used to the baby already. Also, you need to do this for short periods of time and be there making sure everything is fine. This helps the baby also because it is a sensory exercise, she will be able to touch the fur of the dog and feel the gentle rhythm of the dog’s breathing.
*Also, I don’t think I would try it with other pets, but that is up to you and how much you trust you pet. Never risk the safety of your baby.
This is important! One of the mother’s most important jobs in the life of the baby is to make sure she knows who her daddy is! Now,this might sound obvious to you, but some people underestimate how important it is for the child to be introduced to the father. As the mom, the child recognizes you instantly and will instinctively lean on you for everything. But it is important that you leave some things up to the father, and you make sure they have some one-on-one time! My husband has a beard so it is helpful to stimulate the baby too when he talks to her, cuddles with her, etc. You can also join in the fun and spend some time as a family making the baby laugh, talk to her, talk about her.
7.Hanging blanket/ strings
Hang a blanket and place your baby directly underneath, she will entertain herself looking and touching it with her hands and will probably place it on her mouth.
Now, all of this things will help your baby’s motor skills. Why do I say this things are so helpful for the development of the baby? First of all, time with the parents is ESSENTIAL at this time. I read once an article stating that if you gave a child 5 minutes of your full attention (no while looking at your phone or cooking dinner, or talking to someone else while helping your child do something, no. full attention) your child feels loved. And that, my friends, is in my opinion the best thing to help babies develop mentally and physically! The mind is totally related to the body, therefore psychology is related to physical activity.
Apart from that, each one of this activities stimulates a different part of the baby. All of the senses except taste (sight, hearing, smell and touch), muscles, and social skills.
This games/activities/exercises or however you want to call them are great and I will continue to do them as mush as I can! But also….I think is time for mommy to buy Catalina some nice toys too!
P.s: Two things!
- Please let me know if you liked the post and which one is your favorite activity. Do you agree or disagree with anything?
- (If you have toys for your baby) Please let me know which ones your baby likes the best, I would like to know about the toys your kids prefer!