Baby, it’s playtime. Try these fun tips from Hello Baby Pittsburgh
You don’t have to wait until your baby’s old enough to toss a ball around or play dress-up to play together. Even infants benefit from playful interaction since play is one of the earliest forms of learning.
Starting at two months of age or so, babies become more aware of the world around them. You can help foster this growth with a few fun, simple activities.
Be the toy.
At the youngest ages, play is not just about toys, it’s about interaction. When you sing while changing a diaper or smile, coo and make funny faces, you are sharing playful, loving interactions that help your baby grow.
Give your baby interesting things to look at. Move a toy, ball or fun household object from side to side and watch your baby follow it with their eyes. This, called tracking, helps build visual skills.
Get a kick out of it.
Position your baby so they can kick or hit a mobile or rattle. In addition to creating an understanding of cause-and-effect, your child will begin to delight in the joy of noisemaking!
Read all about it.
Share a book or let your baby gaze at the pictures. Soon, your baby will grab for it – and likely want to chomp on it – as putting objects in their mouth is one way babies learn about materials and textures.
Bath time (or baby pool time in the summer) is a great time to experience the feel, sound, and joy of water. Be sure to always keep your baby at arm’s length when in – or even near – water, including tubs, buckets or ponds.
Take a break.
Even babies get tired. Too much of a good thing – play, stimulation, activity – can stress out a little one. Any of these behaviors could indicate that it’s time to take a break, let your baby rest and pick up playtime another time.
- Turning their head away
- Arching their back
- Closing their eyes or falling asleep
- Fussing or making “fussy” sounds
You’ve got everything you need to help your baby discover the joy of play. Get started!
Want to learn more about helping your baby learn and grow? Get resources, support and more at hellobabypgh.org.