Fun Activities for Newborns!
While your new baby’s activities probably consist mostly of eating and sleeping for the moment, there are lots of fun things you can do to entertain him and help him start to discover the world around him. When baby is awake and calm, you can try introducing him to games that will appeal to his brand new senses. Here are a few activities you can enjoy with your newborn:
Although baby is too young to be able to hold a rattle on his own, you can still use one to introduce him to the world of sound. While baby is lying down, gently and carefully shake a rattle near one side of his head, outside of his view (don’t get too close to the ears or it may be too loud for him). Stop abruptly, then shake again. Repeat a few times, watching baby’s face to see if he perks up to the sound. If it catches his attention, repeat on the other side. Finally, shake the rattle in front of him so he can see where the sound is coming from.
For this activity, you will need a few items of varying textures, such as a silky scarf, a piece of velvet, a soft washcloth, and a fuzzy stuffed animal. When baby is in an alert state, take each item, one at a time, and gently rub his arms, legs, and tummy with it. See how he responds to each sensation. If it’s ticklish, he may tense up. If he likes it, he may smile or flutter his eyelids and you’ll know you’ve won his approval!
Babies have a strong sense of smell and love to discover new “scentsations.” Pick up a few different fruits from your kitchen, such as a banana, sliced orange or lemon, and a peach. Pass each fruit in front of baby’s nose and see how he reacts. Watch his eyes grow wide with wonder as he takes in these aromas for the first time. He may even wrinkle his nose if he doesn’t like what he smells.
Tie a string around a few different brightly colored stuffed animals or soft objects. While baby is on his back, hold the string and lower the object down towards him but just out of grasp. Change up the objects. Newborns see objects better close up, so he’ll be fascinated watching as each object gets closer and in focus. In a little while, he’ll start to reach for the objects.
It will be a while before your little one is crawling and getting around on his own, but you can introduce him to motion, such as gentle rocking, and eventually you can try a fun activity we like to call “the slide.” Once baby has become comfortable with tummy time, place him on his belly on a soft blanket, with his arms out in front of him. Kneel gently in front of the blanket and take hold of the edge. Slowly and gently, begin to slide the blanket forward a few inches at a time. Be very careful not to pull the blanket too hard or fast.
If an activity doesn’t seem to interest baby, try again in a week or two. You may be amazed at how your little one’s interests and skills can change in a very short period of time! What activities did your newborn enjoy? Share with us in the comments!