5 Tips for Engaging with your Newborn

So you have this tiny little babe that you're now responsible for and everyone is telling you to play with her and that she should be doing x/y/z. But...how? Your babe probably sleeps all day, is only really awake long enough to eat, so how exactly do you engage them in play to help them develop?


Songs

Does it seem strange to sing to a little one who can't interact much? Well...if you sang to an older child while you were pregnant, chances are those same songs your baby will recognize those same tones if you sing to them now. Singing, no matter whether you're in tune or not, is a great way for your baby to recognize the different tones of your voice. Try working in their name into the songs too!

Mirrors

For some reason, babies really love looking at their reflections in the mirror. Play Who's That Baby In The Mirror, use their name and giggle right along with them. Alternatively, use the camera on your phone if you don't have a mirror handy.

Patterns

The sharp contrast of black and white patterns has been proven to engage babies and help their brains develop. Try printing out black and white patterns (chevron, stripes, polka dots) and taping them on the bottom of your mobile, or side of the crib so your baby can gaze at them.

Faces and Places

The face that your baby loves the most? It's yours! Smile, laugh, make silly faces and see their eyes light up with glee. Is your baby starting to babble? Babble back using the same ah-goo tones. Mimic their facial expressions and ask questions! Oh is that right? What would you like to do today? The tone of asking a question, when your voice raises at the end, seems to be very pleasing to a baby!

Snuggle Time

One of the best things that you can do for yourself and for your baby is to snuggle. Whether you babywear or simply lounge in a recliner snuggled up with your babe, the use of physical touch is really important to bonding. It helps your baby know your smell, and who to trust. It helps them pick up on your emotions, and naturally releases hormones in your body to keep you calm and happy!

No matter which way you choose to engage or play with your newborn, know that you are doing a great job and all they really need is your love and attention.

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