Entertaining Your Newborn
You’re home from the hospital, and for the first few weeks, you’re main goal is to survive; little to no sleep, healing from labor, house guests, no time to eat, and of course, you’re trying to figure out how to care for this tiny, helpless little being. But you do survive! And a few weeks later, once you get into the groove, you start wondering what you’re supposed to be doing with your bundle of joy when she or he isn’t sleeping, eating, crying, or filling that little diaper.
Stimulating your baby’s senses is an important task for you, just as all the other essentials. Babies learn about the world through us, so we need to present it to them. Also, experts suggest that showing your baby different colors and shapes help them to develop their sense of vision. So one way you can entertain your baby is to hold different toys close to them. Remember, infants can only see about 12 inches in front of them, so make sure they can see what you’re holding.
You can also stimulate your baby’s sense of touch by allowing them to feel different textures. Run their little hands over fuzzy blankets, satiny scarves, your hair, their toys, the lace on their fancy dress, and any other unique-feeling things you can find.
Babies also love music, so play it often. You may have read that Mozart feeds a baby’s brain, and that may be true, but any kind of music will do, really. Author Angela England reports that studies show infants do indeed respond more positively to classical music, so include that in your repertoire, but don’t be afraid to add in a little Credence Clearwater Revival (my little one’s favorite). Tap their backs or help them kick their legs to the beat. Sing along (they won’t judge you!). England also states that babies love to hear familiar voices singing to them, so go for it!
Another sound that is soothing and beneficial to your newborn is your voice, so talk to them like you’re having conversations. Read aloud. When they’re younger than about six months, it doesn’t even really matter what you read, so pick out the current book you’re reading, or the sports pages, or the newest People magazine. Of course, you’ll grow a large library of children’s books, so grab those as well. There’s nothing like a couple reads of Goodnight Moon.
Once your baby gets a little older, maybe three or four months, they’ll be much more active than the brand new newborn that is happy reclining in your arms or curled up in a bouncer. Then, you’ll be plenty busy with toys, jumpers, exersaucers, and the lot. Until then, keep it simple for you and your baby. Trust me-you won’t be bored!