The top things to do with your newborn baby
Playing is the main way newborns learn how to move, communicate, socialise and understand their surroundings. They learn by interacting with you, everything you do with your newborn is helping them learn in some way; they learn to talk through listening to you talk, they mimic your facial expressions and eventually copy the things you do. Although there are certain things you can do to help your newborn learn, the reality is that they are constantly learning through everything you do and every interaction you have with them. There are certain times when it is best to interact with your baby, as they are more receptive at certain points. Newborns spend the majority of their time asleep, but as they mature, they are awake and active for a lot longer. When they are alert this is the best time for them to learn. You will be able to tell when your baby is alert; they will most likely be quiet but awake and looking around, taking everything in. When they are awake but more active; wriggling, shouting or even crying they are likely to be overstimulated and will be struggling to focus on you. When they are alert, there are a few things you can do with them to encourage learning and play.
Letting your baby spend time on their tummy helps to strengthen their neck and shoulders; but it is important to supervise your baby during tummy time. If they begin to get restless, frustrated or agitated be ready to assist and let them change positions for a while. You can always go back and forth for as long as they’re willing. It is important to remember not to allow them to sleep on their front.
Music can have many different effects on babies, they often enjoy it and it can soothe them when necessary. You can enjoy happy music together if they are in good mood; dancing around and laughing together. Listening to soothing music and swaying with them to the tune can be relaxing and enjoyable for them; or even singing to your little one a lullaby to help soothe them when they’re getting fussy or tired. There is such a variety of music, to suit a variety of moods.
As your newborn matures, they start to become aware of their senses; therefore, partaking in activities which encourage the use of more than one of these is great. There are a variety of baby toys which appeal to the senses of sight, hearing and touch such as rattles, textured toys and musical toys. For example, toys and mobiles with contrasting and bright colours are really stimulating for the developing vision of a newborn. Exploring the outdoors is also a great form of sensory exploration for newborns, there is so much to be discovered outdoors.
Simply having conversations and talking to your baby as much as possible helps them to learn. You can talk to your baby about absolutely everything, even changing their nappy or doing the food shopping. They mimic everything you do, so eventually everything you’ve been saying to them will start to come back as they learn to speak. Everything you do around your baby is helping them to develop their skills and learn new things.