Every new mom is eager to try activities with her baby. There is so much sleeping, eating, and pooping >> moments of activity feel like exciting flashes of opportunity.
Plus - primary caregivers who are accustomed to hours of goal directed activity a day (i.e. work) often feel like those first few weeks of postpartum leave are a startling adjustment. If you have a newborn at home, you might be wondering, “what in the world am I supposed to do with myself now?”
Many moms get creative trying to find fun ways to encourage their baby’s development. A lot of healthy new moms enjoy helping their baby “come alive,” and want to get to know them better. Hopefully that is the reason you find yourself ambling around my blog today >> which is awesome!
I think you'll appreciate my suggestions for newborn activities that you should try!
Securing your attachment with your child, helping you have fulfilling moments, and supporting your emotional well-being is kinda my thing. If you want more support for your baby’s healthy intellectual, emotional, and social development - check my // Intro to Parenting eCourse //
7 NEWBORN ACTIVITIES EVERY MOM SHOULD TRY OUT:
>> Look at Them, Look with Them
Pay attention to what your baby is interested in by noticing what they are noticing. Take it a step further by describing what they see or interacting with the thing they are interested in. This builds connection between parent and child. It also builds the language centers of the brain.
>> Give Them Your Face
Nothing interests your baby more than your face! Make sure that you are looking at them often. Even when you have chores to do or have an important distraction, try and keep them in range of your voice and your face. Your voice and your face are vital to brain development. Make sure that you’re looking at your baby when you are feeding, and encourage their emotional expressions by mimicking their smiles, coos, frowns, and grimaces.
>> Have a Conversation
Talk with your newborn! I know it doesn’t seem like it, but your baby’s noises, gestures, and expressions are her way of talking to you. Keep the conversation going in a rhythm. Allow them to lead and give them time to respond - just like you would a normal conversation. This rhythm has brain building power.
>> Take Turns
It may sound the same as my tips for conversation, but taking turns is so important it deserves its own place. Sure, you should take turns in conversations, but think about taking turns all the time in all your interactions. Back and forth interaction between you and your baby is one of the most important ways that baby’s brain will grow. If they initiate, follow their lead. If they do something interesting or new, repeat it - even if its a weird noise. Don’t be afraid to be expressive and mimic them.
Attuned mother's eventually extend beyond mimicking and begin empathic imitation - they listen, receive their babies communication, and then extend the communication by showing that I see you, I feel you. We do this in our tone of voice, by exploring or explaining what we think we are seeing, by adding to the exchange with our own emotional expressions.
Taking turns and having a conversation are two important interactions that get spoken about frequently in Harvard's Serve and Return literature. Click through and check it out. Their information about these simple interactions are easy, relatable, and eye-opening!
>> Get Musical
You know music is good for your baby. But have you tried introducing the baby to different types of music? Every day this week, choose a different style, or choose a couple of different styles to introduce a day. Watch your baby, they will have a preference, which is a fun mystery to solve. To my chagrin, my son loved zydeco music.
>> Baby Massage
I think that you should dedicate a different google search to learn the best way to give an infant massage. This post will just serve as a reminder that babies LOVE touch. It is really god for their brain and also for their feeling of comfort and security. Pull out the baby lotion and give your baby a massage while you’re talking to them. It is a great bonding experience for both of you.
>> Go on a Routine Walk Each Day
Changing environment is fun for everyone, but the routine of a regular walk is so good for your baby’s development. Baby’s thrive and grow in the context of routine they can come to expect. Scientist assume it has something to do with the comfort and safety they receive from routine that encourages attachment and intellectual development.
I hope that you are finding ways to connect, love, and serve your baby in ways that are mutually satisfying. When your baby is alert, there are things you can do to boost their brain power and build connection. If you want to know more about these things, I have an in depth review of how you can support your baby’s brain at each age and stage nested in my INTRO TO PARENTING eCOURSE.
My Intro to Parenting Course is built to help you and your baby have a wildly successful first year that lays the foundation for future character and intellectual development. But before I sign off, I have one final tip that I think most mother’s really benefit from knowing.
Your baby loves activity and is working hard everyday to grow and learn. In the evening times, however, most baby’s become overstimulated and need less or more gentle interactions. There is a reason they call those evening hours “witching hours.” Most babies are loud and cranky at the end of the day. Most of the time, this crankiness comes from being at max capacity which makes them feel overwhelmed. On top of that, think about all the added stimulation at night: there is a TV on, someone is cooking, people are coming home from work and school, the house changes pace and gets louder before becoming silent. It’s A LOT! Lower the lights and keep the evening peaceful to avoid the overstimulation of too much activity.
Most importantly though? >> HAVE FUN!
SIDE NOTE // If you are here because you’re listless, bored, or sad - that is okay too. >> I love that you’re looking for things to do with your newborn baby even if you're feeling disconnected right now. However - it isn’t typical for you to feel disconnected and indifferent toward your baby. There is no shame in it, but tell your pediatrician or OB. They will help. You definitely don’t need to tough it out!