Newborn to 3 months playing
While the first months of life will provide your baby with plenty of challenges and lots of excitement and opportunities for learning, most newborns spend most of their time sleeping and eating - some (we've heard!) sleep up to 20 hours a day!.
So try to make the most of his awake-time by playing with him and choosing age-appropriate toys that will stimulate his senses and teach him how to control his body. By the time he is three months, he'll be able to reach out purposefully, play with his fingers, grasp an object, move his legs and arms, roll and life his head.
Your newborn will see an object best when it's about 20 cm away from his face. Make sure that you lean into him when you talk to him so he can see you, and that you hold toys close to him.
At this stage introduce:
- A Mobile. While your baby won't be able to focus on the individual items on a mobile, he will enjoy the movement a mobile provides, along with attempting to reach out to grab it. As young babies see highly contrasting colours best, try to find a mobile that is black and white for maximum effect.
- Music and Singing. From the moment of birth, your baby can hear a full range of sounds. While high pitched sounds can be upsetting, he'll find low pitched noises soothing. Research has discovered the 'Mozart Effect' where early exposure to music - even while still in the womb - helps build the brain connections that are used for passing along thoughts and information. This early exposure to music also improves overall health, boosts IQ and cements emotional bonds.
- Simple Toys. Your baby doesn't need a lot of toys at this stage - just make sure that the toys you choose are stimulating and can lead to learning. Toys that develop his senses are popular - squeaky, rustling soft toys that are graspable (and safe to put in his mouth) and are in highly contrasting colours are great.
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This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include Karitane and Raising Children Network.
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