Hi All, This post is for all the moms who have newborn babies less than 6 months old and want to engage their newborns or help them in their development in some way. When babies cross the 6 month mark, they become more active, turn, sit and crawl and this opens up a lot of opportunities for them and you can give them Montessori toys, blocks, etc which will keep them engaged and happy. But, when babies are young, the options are very limited. Here are some tips and methods that I used to engage and interact with my newborn:
- Talk to your baby: Elders at your home would have already told you this enough that it is important to keep on talking to your baby even though sometimes you might feel that what’s the use as the baby wouldn’t understand anyway. I have experienced with my baby that she was able to capture the excitement in my voice when we were going out for a walk and also she would understand if I was irritated with her. It is really important to keep on talking to your baby as this promotes bonding, helps her develop language and speech skills as the child would try to imitate you.
- Sing to your baby: Singing is as important as talking. My baby girl understands when my husband or I am singing to her and should would leave everything and continues to stare at us while we sing to her. My pediatrician told me that most parents get the baby accustomed to a song while the baby is in the tummy. When the baby is born and becomes more aware of the surroundings, the baby usually starts humming the same tune. So, here’s tip for all you moms to be out there.
- Dancing: Dancing with your baby increases skin to skin contact with your baby but please do gentle steps with your little one. Don’t shake the baby too much or violently.
- Go on a walk with them: Guys take your babies on a stroll with you and this would help in keeping yourself fit as well after delivery. However, wait until the doctors asks to resume activities. Simple exercises can also help with post-partum anxiety/depression as well.
- Massage your newborn: Even if you have a dedicated person for massaging your baby, try to massage your baby at least once in a day. This helps in bonding and familiarizing with your baby. Use this time to narrate a story, sing a song or simply play with your baby. Babies love it and will try to interact with you through smiling or even laughing. If you are on the lookout for an oil for your newborn, kindly go through my review of the baby massage oil by the moms co and decide whether this is the right choice for your baby.
- Black and white patterns: In the beginning babies’ vision is still hazy and still developing. They can see contrasting colors and patterns, especially black and white. So you could design some cards at home which have say black and white stripes, different shapes or polka dots. I would not suggest you to invest in these books because very soon, their vision will develop by the time they are 5 months old and these books would later become obsolete. Rather, make flash cards at home.
- Read them a story book: Generally, till the age of one, pediatricians recommend that you should not show mobiles or television to your baby. After the age of 1, you can show some nursery rhymes to them. However, there is absolutely no age to introduce books to them. I introduced story books to my baby when she was 3 months old. The books that I bought for here were proper story books like Panchtantra tales, Akbar and Birbal, Stories of Tenali Raman, etc.
- Sensory development through fabric books: Invest in a fabric book that has various textures. Initially, the baby might not be interested but very soon you will notice that the baby will start to notice the book and grab it and touch and feel it. This helps in cognitive development of your baby and is a good bonding exercise. I got Old Mc Donald sensory stimulation book from Mama and Peaches. You can check this one out or various other options available on Amazon and Flipkart.
- Light and sound show: This is my baby’s most favorite activity and she loves it. This can be done in your room, lying on your back and using your mobile phone but can be done only after sunset. So in this activity, switch off your room lights and turn on the torch light of your mobile phone. Now, place your mobile phone in a way that the torch light is facing the ceiling. This will help in creating shadows. Now move your hands, teach your baby counting using your fingers, narrate stories using puppets. My baby used to love this when she was about three months old and now she has begun to understand that something happens around the mobile and she looks at my fingers and then on the shadow on the ceiling. Also, this creates black and white contrasting patterns which babies can see clearly. My baby was not holding a ball rattle that I got for herb when she saw the shadow of the ball, next day she was playing with it. Trust me moms, this is a fun, engaging activity… MUST TRY and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this activity.
These are some methods that I used to engage my newborn and have been using them till date. Hope you find this useful and let me know if there are techniques that you all use to engage your newborns. Let’s share and learn!