New moms often think about what to do with a baby all day long when you are already bathing, feeding, and changing diapers. Babies tend to lose hours of sleep as they grow, so it’s not like eating and sleeping all the time anymore. Encouraging early play activities for sensory stimulation and cognitive development is essential at this point.
Most new parents wonder how to entertain a baby at home? Well, you can do a lot of play activities for early sensory development with newborns and babies under one while you are at home.
Like everyone, babies do need some activities to enhance their development and growth process. Newborns’ right brain stimulation is essential for enhancing their sensory abilities. Mimicking faces, sticking out tongues, making silly sounds, etc are thorough entertainment activities for babies of any age.
During fun play, activities that improve the baby’s hand-eye coordination and exercise for fine motor skills, like grabbing objects, cycling legs, and safe rolling over, should be part of your child’s early learning.
Babies who sit in their car seats all day long without any physical activities tend to delay their developmental milestones. Hence, it is encouraged to let your baby explore and stay active while at home. Also, try to engage them in fun and entertaining DIY activities every day.
In this post, you will find some fun activities for your newborns (0 to 6 months old babies) that you can also enjoy as much as they will.
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Sensory stimulation activities for babies to encourage early cognitive development:
Encourage your newborn’s healthy mental and physical development with these sensory fun and easy activities that you can do at home all day long.
What To Do With Your Newborn At Home
Ideally, introducing early sensory stimulation activities with your 0 to 3 months old infants is a great way to encourage physical and mental growth. Try various age-appropriate play activities for visual and sensory development.
Tummy time is the best activity for a 2-week old baby
Baby tummy time is the most popular activity and super essential when it comes to strengthening the muscles. You can start tummy time as soon as the baby’s umbilical cord is detached. Make sure the belly button is properly healed and dry.
Gradually, increase the time duration for your baby while he is on the tummy, as it takes a while to get the hang of staying on it. Putting some rattles and other soft toys for the baby to grab will get his attention.
Tummy time lowers the risk of flat head syndrome. Always remember, you should never leave your baby on his tummy unattended.
Playmats and play gyms are ideal for your baby’s sensory development; they are soft and colorful to grab, and immediately get their attention. Check out this cute Skip Hop play mat for baby.
Ball hold + toy hold strengthen hand muscles
Let your baby hold different toys, pacifiers, plushes, rattle toys, balls, etc. This activity will help them have good hand and eye coordination.
You can use soft plush blocks holding and teach them to grab things by putting them on the side easily accessible during tummy time.
Studies reveal that babies’ brain development gets a boost if they are exposed to a lot of learning opportunities. Thus, it is essential for parents to give their babies proper time and attention in a safe environment to ensure smart and brainy kids.
Related: Contemporary newborn toys you must have.
Reading books to your baby
Your baby wants to listen to your voice all day long. Babies are familiar with their mother’s voice from the womb. Listening to stories is their favorite entertainment. Read to them as much as you can; that way your baby will develop an innate love for books and reading too. Hearing moms reading books also develop your child’s language skills.
Eye-tracking by moving objects from one place to another
Studies have shown that babies can see and notice things around them from the very beginning. However, their ability to color recognition takes about 3 to 4 months. Before that, they only see black and white.
Babies recognize mom’s touch and smell from the womb, and fall in love with her face after seeing her. Moving away from your newborn and have him follow you all along is a fun activity for them.
Talking to your baby
Babies listen and observe all the noise around them. They have been listening to your heartbeat and are familiar with these sounds from the womb. Talking to your newborn can be the best activity. Bring your face closer and talk.
Talking to your newborn is addictive – once they start responding with their cute baby voices, you can’t resist their mesmerizing baby talk.
Singing a lullaby to your baby
When your little one is having a meltdown or resisting a nap, sing him a lullaby in your soothing voice. You don’t have to remember a song, sing your famous childhood rhyme. If not, your favorite song lyrics will work just fine.
Well, who doesn’t know “Twinkle twinkle little star’?
Play music and dance
One of the best ways to calm a crying baby is to play music – not just any music, but the one they are fond of. Playing music and dancing softly while firmly holding your baby, or preferably wearing your baby, is a fun-filled activity.
Your baby will strengthen his grip on the dance moves. Make sure the moves are not too intense, as shaking babies can be fatal.
This also encourages an interest in music and strengthens bonding with the parent, which is important for emotional development as well.
Flashcards for newborn
Newborns usually see black and white only; their eyesight takes several months to mature and see colors. Get your newborn these amazing black and white flashcards to help them develop object recognition.
pulling things out of the box activity
To try as a DIY, put clean wash clothes in an empty tissue box, and let your baby learn and explore taking out objects one by one. You can also connect small napkins by knotting them through the edges, putting them in a box, and letting your little one explore the magic inside the box.
Check out this toy, what’s inside the box surprise box.
Play Peek a boo – object disappearance
This one is your baby’s favorite activity for vision development. Bring an object, maybe a rattling toy in front of him, get his attention, and then suddenly disappear it. You may notice that your baby seems to enjoy the appearance and disappearance of objects visually. If the baby seems overstimulated, try some other time.
Flying objects above baby so he follows along
Mobile toys are great for hovering objects. Moving musical toys in the air or mobile toys in the crib will keep the baby engaged and exploring.
Imitate facial expressions and gestures
Babies are great at imitating what they see you doing. Stick your tongue out and notice your baby copying you. Try making different sounds and facial expressions to see how your baby responds. Tap a table, clap, or wave, and see how your baby follows along. Babies are smart, and they learn exponentially fast.
Other activities for babies 6 to 9 months
- Help your baby sit up once the baby gets good head control.
- Let your baby crawl on various surfaces to have their hands feel different types of textures. Make sure the textures are not sharp for babies and are properly childproofed while you do such activities.
- Take a paper towel roll and a small tennis ball. Let your baby have fun with them and explore.
- Hang a ball from a chair, and let your baby kick it with his legs or hit it with his hand. This activity will help strengthen the baby’s legs and arm muscles.
Check out these 16 unique and minimalist toys you must have at home.
While you plan different activities for a day, make sure they do not get overwhelming for your baby. Activities should not be overstimulating, rather entertaining. Plan according to your baby’s age, as you are the best judge of what your child is capable of.
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