Activities to Help Your Baby Grow & Learn
Greetings to you parents!
I’d love to congratulate you for the wonderful blessing of new life and new member of your family. It was such an amazing moment that you cannot ever compare to anything else, well at least it was how it is for me being a new mommy and I believe it is true for every parent. There will be a lot of changes ahead of you, in your end as a parent and in your developing baby as well.
In my experience when I finally had my newborn I was very eager and excited to try some activities that will help her in her growth and development. These are not strenuous activities that may stress a baby but these are simple activities which we might not even recognize of doing naturally. These will help your little one learn as they grow.
These are list of activities which are very suitable for baby in 0-2 months old.
Babies are naturally born smart, as early as being a newborn they can be able to communicate, even though they couldn’t actually speak or babble words but they have their cues as signals of what they want or what they actually need. Crying, gurgling and wiggling are ways how baby communicates.
When baby looks and stares at you she’s actually communicating as if she’s saying “I love you, thanks for taking care of me” and soon your heart will be filled with joy when she smiles!
- Embracing and Humming a sweet tune – Baby loves the feel of your warm hugs and cuddles, she simply loves your smell and feel your body close to her. She also loves to hear and feel your sweet voice in a soft hum of a song.
- Sweet Happy Talk– In some moments baby seemed to be smiling, this is the time you can have a sweet talk and a happy conversation about that smile as you smile right back at her. “Wow is that a smile for mommy? Or is that for daddy? Look at that smile, so pretty!”. In a few months or just even weeks, soon your baby will give you a real smile and even giggles a laugh!
- Wiggles to Burp– Sometimes baby is frowning and feels uneasy, this might be a sign that she needs to burp. Hold and bring her to your shoulders and gently tap her on her back or massage her body saying the sweet words of comfort: “Just a little burp and you will be fine my little angel”.
- Voice Familiarization- When baby starts to cry and you’re out of sight, with a sweet voice tell her that you can hear her and that you’re just around to help her soon. By then she will learn that she’s never alone and your voice will assure her that soon you’ll come for the rescue.
Developing the motor skills of your little one is an important part of her brain and muscle growth. There are two kinds of motor skills, the fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are the small movements of baby’s muscles, movements from certain parts of her body like her fingers and toes while gross motor skills are the big movements that she can make using the large muscles of her body like the arms and legs.
-Fine Motor Skills Activities
As you may notice baby’s little hands are usually in close fists and if you try to put your finger in in between those little fingers, you will be amazed how strong those cute little hands can exert that strength of grip. But as she grows, as part of her development she will eventually relax her hands, be curious of things around her and be interested of touching anything she can hold or reach.
- Hold and Tug Cute Little Hands– Play with baby when she’s relaxed and rested, try to put your finger in baby’s fist. When she made a grip slowly pull or tug baby’s hand, you’ll be surprised when she holds on and won’t let go. Then talk about it with her, how strong she is and it would be lovely if you sing her a song while playing hold and tug.
- Happy Touch– Let baby touch and feel different textures from different things. Make sure that these items will be safe for her to touch and grip. Examples of these things are soft fluffy stuff toys, wet and dry wash cloth, smooth scarf or anything from hard to soft or smooth and rough ones. This will help her learn things about the environment and the world.
- Gentle Skin Massage– After you clean baby perhaps after a refreshing bath, give her a gentle massage with lotion or baby oil, from her cute little finger in her hands to her little toes. Then make a sweet conversation with baby about what you’re doing.
-Gross Motor Skills Activities
Time flies so fast and baby will grow rapidly everyday and as she grows, you will notice how she learns to relax her closed fist, limbs and legs that are normally held so tight in her body when she was young as a newborn. Soon she will learn to move her legs to kick and when her neck is already strong, she will try to lift her head as well.
- Pull Open & Close– When baby is relaxed and awake like after a shower, hold her little hands and gently pull her arms away from her body or chest making a wide open arms. As you sing in a sweet melody of how you’re doing it, pull her arms closed again, and do it again. “Open and close, open arms wide then pull them close again baby!”. Don’t forget to praise her how well she has done it, “you’re doing a great job baby, strong arms!”.
- Kiss that Little Toes– Play with baby’s little feet and her little toes. When she is laying down on her back, put her feet together and kiss the bottom of her cute soft feet and toes. Try to tickle and see if she smiles, if she does, no doubt she’s having fun! Make a little bubbling sound into her toes and tell her words about how wonderful those feet are and how beautiful she is.
- Relaxing Bath Time– Take a little time for an extra massage during baby’s bath. Gently rub her little arms and limbs, tummy and bottoms. Might as well talk to baby as she learns about her body and feel your comforting love.
SOCIAL & PERSONAL SKILLS
Your sweet little one is fully dependent on you right now. She needs you all the time, for food, warmth and safety. Baby doesn’t know how to speak yet but she communicates through her eyes, by looking at you and using her voice. As you interact with her and responds to all her needs she begins to know you and trust in you. She will enjoy the company of everybody in the family, being held all the time by everyone but as a parent you are the most important person in your baby’s life.
- Sweet Smile Cute Face- Every time you do a task with baby like feeding, changing diaper or bathing, always give her the sweetest smile you could. For a newborn, a smile is just a reflex but sooner as she grows in few more weeks, she will give you a real smile back and it will be the most wonderful sight!
- Mealtime Shared Moments– During baby’s mealtime whether she’s nursing or drinking in a bottle, look at your sweet baby with eye contact and touch her little face from her forehead to her eyes, cute cheeks, little ears and tiny lips.Tell her that she’s the sweetest thing that all that she is, is wonderful and that she’s unique and loved so dearly.
- Look Tiny Hands– Talk to baby about her body, from her tiny feet and toes to her cute little hands and fingers. For baby everything she sees is interesting and that she will stare at it for long and wonders. “Look at your hands baby, whose hands are those? “look at your fingers! Look at that cute little toes!”.
- Understanding Baby Cues– Newborns have their cues to communicate. These are their ways to interact like for instance, baby cries for a different reasons, either she’s hungry, bored, cold or feeling hot, tired or she just wants to be held. Pay attention to each cry and hear the difference so that you can respond to her needs immediately.
- And Then After– You will have your routine daily activities with baby and it’s important to share it with her as you tell her what’s going to happen next.”It’s eating time.”, time for sleep.” or time for a bath.” In this way, you will help baby learn it as she grows.
Your newborn will grow very fast and each day you spend with her in her youngest days is a sweet memory to treasure. It is truly a fulfillment when you get to see how your baby develops and learns about life. She might still be very young right now to respond to all the things you do but very soon she will understand each of them and she will begin to smile showing how she appreciates it.
These are the activities I’ve tried with my baby and I am very happy to share it with you, hoping that these will work for you as how it did with us.
Which of these activities have you tried with your baby? Or if you have tried more than what I listed here or have more ideas in mind, kindly share it with us in the comment.