Playing with your baby:
Your baby learns as he or
she plays. Newborns do not need toys to play. Newborn playtime consists of being held, being touched
lovingly and being in a variety of positions (tummy time, sidelying, lying on their back). Your baby will
benefit from experiencing a wide variety of positions, including tummy time, lying on their side and back. Some
babies like soft music playing in the background. Other times, it is nice to offer a quiet environment for your
baby to listen to one sound at a time, for e.g. your voice or a soft musical toy.
Toys can be beneficial, however,
they do not replace one on one interaction with a loving parent or other caregiver.
toys or additional visual stimulation (other than the human face) are NOT recommended or needed for this
- 1-2 months: Even at this age, toys aren't recommended. Most babies like bright
colors and sharp contrasts (red against black, or blue against yellow, etc.) Rattles and hand held
toys can be good way to introduce toys to your baby.
- 3-4 months: Wooden
toys, textured chewy toys, simple board books, rattles, balls of different sizes and textures, teething rings with textures,
socks with patterns or other noise makers
- 4-6 months: ring stacker or other cause and effect toys
(toys with push buttons, lights and sounds, etc.), wooden blocks for stacking, toys to bang together, puzzles
do like toys, however, NOTHING replaces human interaction for helping your baby's brain develop.
Reseachers have found that when a baby has consistent, loving and interactive (back and forth) relationships, brain development
is enhanced and learning is made easier.
Some examples of ways to calm your baby:
- Be calm yourself (take a deep breath, relax any tense muscles, etc.)
- Gently and slowly swing side
to side or up and down
- Offer something for baby to suck on (pacifier, empty breast, your clean finger
patting on the back or bottom
- Sing in quiet soothing voice
- Sit down and hold your baby gently while
they cry. Often this will help your baby sleep for a longer period of time, as they have released many emotions.
- Swaddling with a blanket. This keeps baby's arms and legs close to their body and prevents startling or
jerkiness secondary to sudden movements.