Having a baby is stressful and tiring. Yes. But do you know that you can also have fun when you have a baby? And you can enjoy it with your baby, too. There are fun games and activities you can do with your baby, and not just for fun. It can also be educational for both you and your baby.
The most common thought which comes up when we say “fun” is just joking around, clowning, playing, just those things to make us loosen up and just enjoy.
Having fun with your baby may also be that, but it can also be educational, stimulating to the brain, and it can also create a bond between you and your baby. That is why it is important to choose and be meticulous about the games and activities that you do with your baby.
Experiment on what games and activities your baby enjoys and develop a bonding time with him by doing those activities and games.
In this article, you will read about those fun games and activities which you can do with your baby, depending on his age.
SWINGING YOUR BABY
This is recommended for babies who are just several weeks old. At zero to four weeks of age, you can let your baby have fun by doing the swing. The swing does not refer to the real swings found on playgrounds and on your yards. The swing we are talking about here refers to a sheet where you lay your baby on, and having somebody hold the other end and you on one end, you swing your baby. But do not swing too hard. It might scare your baby.
The “hammock” effect of the swing is due to the reason that babies of this age cannot support or hold up their head steadily yet. So it is best that your baby is lying down when you do the swing. And make sure that the sheet or the blanket you lay him on does not cover any part of his face and that no part of his body dangles outside the swing.
This activity can develop your baby’s muscles and bones. And it may also put your baby to sleep as slow swinging may make him feel so relaxed and calm.
WEARING YOUR BABY
Babies love to be cuddled and touched all the time. But of course it is impossible for you to spend the whole day just cuddling and touching your baby. You can do it for a few hours maybe, but not the whole day. What should you do then? Wear your baby. How? With the help of a baby carrier. You can use a strap-on front carrier or a ring sling so your baby can snuggle up to you while you do other chores. This activity can help your baby understand your world as he will be able to see what you see and do.
Make sure you do not strap your baby too tightly. It may affect his breathing. When strapping your baby, make sure you position him facing inward, not outward. This is to avoid over stimulation and so that your baby’s head be supported properly.
BY MAKING A MOBILE
At two months old, your baby starts to become aware of his surroundings and starts to show interest. They become attracted to different colors, especially bright ones, shapes, movements, and sounds.
You can make a crib mobile. Different shapes, colourful objects, this is what your mobile must be comprised of. It would be nice if it can make sounds while moving. Little bells, or anything which makes small noises as it moves.
A baby has limited vision when born. He finds it hard to focus on things more than a few inches away from his face. Making your mobile attractive to your baby can get his attention. It will teach him focus. It can also strengthen his vision.
TUMMY TIME TWIST
Babies need to strengthen their back, neck, and abdominal muscles. This can be done by having a tummy time with your baby. But a lot of babies do not like to be placed faced down. What you should do to accomplish even just a few minutes of tummy time. Is to place your baby on top of a ball, tummy down. Move him around in circles, backward, and forward. To encourage him, use toys which he can reach out with his hands or a mirror so he can see himself. This will divert his attention from the fact that he is lying on his stomach (which may make him uncomfortable).
Make sure that your baby is safe and secure. See to it that the floor you are working on is carpeted or padded.
Babies begin to tune in to different sounds that make up speech at four months old. You may hear him make sounds of even pronounce some syllables. At this age, the best activity to engage your baby in is making sounds. Incorporate it with singing. Music can make your baby absorb things faster, especially if it is a catchy tune. Use the sounds that he makes throughout the day by singing it, and add a few new ones to teach him more and develop his speech.
Imitate the sounds your baby make. This will encourage him to create more sounds until such time when he forms words and starts to babble.
At five months old, you can engage your baby in an activity which makes him ready to take off. With you lying on your back, bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Put your baby on your lower leg and hold his torso. Raise your legs so your baby will rise up in the air like an airplane. Rock your feet back and forth and move your baby up and down. I can imagine hearing the giggles and squeals this activity will create. And you will have a good leg work out in the process.
This activity can make your baby discover peek-a-boo, as you move him up and down, and strengthen his core muscles.
LEARNING SIGN LANGUAGE
You can introduce your baby to sign language at six months old. But your baby may sign back when he is eight months old. By including signs in your daily activities with your baby, you teach him sign language. Eventually, your baby will be using signs to communicate. This will help your baby to think and express himself using signs, even before your baby can speak.