Recommendations for entertaining and playing with a newborn

When you look at a baby you are seeing a helpless human who depends on you. At this point, it may seem that you are only interested in sleeping, defecating, and eating. But spending time looking at their parents' faces is considered a first toy. Playing with a newborn is important to stimulate his senses.

After being at home with your little one in your arms, the moment comes when you ask yourself: Now what do I do with my baby? His body seems so delicate that any toy, movement, or game you know may seem crude. However, there are ways you can entertain your child: by teaching him about the world around him.

Why is it important to play with a newborn?

Elizabeth Alzate Grisales, in her book "Manual of adequate stimulation", says that in the first month babies are facing everything as novelty; they are very dependent on their parents and their movements are reflex acts. Playing with them, apart from being a way of showing them the world, it is necessary to generate confidence and security.

Games help them study facial behavior to imitate later and find out what the alert sounds or tranquilizers are. In addition, physical contact with his mother and father will make him feel safe.

Blanquez María and her collaborators explain in the book “Cuídame: a guide for mothers and fathers” that the socio-affective part is the most important at this stage. The baby establishes bonds with those who take care of it, although he has preferences for the mother to be comforted or fed and for the father to play. Therefore, games favor contact and affective evolution.

The affection with hugs and caresses already means a stimulating game for babies.

Ideas for playing with a newborn

The games that can be played with a baby depend on their development in different areas, such as motor-sensory, cognitive, linguistic and socio-affective. For the first month the movements of the legs, arms and hands are reflexes. He is able to lift his head slightly, turn it sideways and hold it aligned with his back.

On the cognitive side, he has vague and indirect looks and expressions, remembers objects, cries for help, waits for food, and stops crying when picked up or seeing familiar faces.

Regarding linguistic development, he is able to make vocalizations as a reflex and without intention, cries to express hunger, sleepiness, discomfort or pain and is startled by some sudden and loud noise.

Regarding socio-affective development, their reactions respond to internal stimuli. Differentiates the human voice (especially the mother's) and calms down when someone speaks to him in a soft, rhythmic voice. It is able to calm down when picked up and turns its head to search for the sound source.

Read also: 7 stages in the emotional development of the baby

Move the baby's limbs

You have to move their arms and legs up and down. Open and close them, fold and stretch carefully between 5 and 6 times.

Another exercise that is recommended while bathing is to move your feet and hands backwards, rotating carefully. Hold it with one hand and with the other do the movements in the joints, except on the knees. It has an order: shoulder, elbow, wrists, fingers, hips, ankles and so on from top to bottom.

Helps your concentration

Stand in front of the baby to look at you. Do slight movements of the head from side to side, sing, or do something funny to help him focus.

You can also put it in a dark place and return it to the light after a few seconds. So you show that there is day and night, light and darkness.

Ways to communicate

Stand in front of the baby and make gestures with your mouth, eyes, nose, or eyebrows. This way, you will be able to know expressions of the face, such as joy, sadness, anger, disdain or hunger. You can do this while singing. When he starts to babble he responds, so he knows it is a way of communicating orally.

Give affection

Take the baby against your chest, hug him, lay him down next to you, dance with him or her so that they feel the physical contact and perceive the affection through body language.

Singing stimulates hearing and provokes a more complete knowledge of oral communication.

Discover: Is it beneficial to read to the baby during pregnancy?

Other ways to play with a newborn

There are other ways to play with a newborn that are suitable to promote development. Here are some ideas:

  • Sing: Pick any song and sing to your baby often. Repetitive familiar sounds will have the ability to make you feel calm in times of restlessness.
  • Toys: Although he is still very young, your newborn may have toys that focus his attention or that he can follow with his gaze. That is why mobiles and rattles are very important in the first stage of their life.
  • Read tales: As well as singing to him, reading him stories every night using different tones of voice will make the sound feel calm.

Playing with a newborn is showing him the world

What you can do to play with a newborn is the basics. Activities are necessary to show you the world and how it works. Spend time with your child showing him home and the planet around him while having a little fun.