things to do with a newborn, baby boy swaddled in a basket with an older sibling next to him

10 Fun Activities for Newborn Babies

As a new parent, you may be wondering what to do with your newborn baby who doesn't seem to know anything about the world around them. It can be challenging to find activities that are suitable for a newborn, who is still very young and developing. However, there are many things that you can do with your newborn to help them learn and grow. From bonding with your baby through singing and talking, to stimulating their developing senses with homemade sensory toys, there are plenty of ways to engage and entertain your newborn. In this article, we will explore 10 activities that you can do with your newborn baby to help them learn and grow.

Bonding with Your Newborn

1. Let your baby watch you as you go about your day.

Newborn babies are very curious and love to watch their caregivers. This is a great opportunity for your baby to learn about the world around them and to bond with you. Try talking to your baby as you go about your day, explaining what you are doing and pointing out objects and people.

2. Rock your baby gently in a rocking chair or swing.

Rocking can be very soothing for newborn babies and can help them to relax and fall asleep. Take this time to breath slowly, smell your baby, and enjoy the moment.

3. Play with your baby by making faces or making sounds.

Newborn babies love to engage with their caregivers and making faces or making sounds is a great way to do this. Be careful not to startle your newborn with a loud laugh. A great activity would be to read an animal book and make animal sounds.

Stimulating Your Newborn's Senses

4. Take your baby for a walk in a stroller or carrier.

Fresh air and movement can be very stimulating for newborn babies and can help to promote their development. Baby wearing during your walk will ensure that your baby stays warm and the proximity will help you bond with your newborn.

5. Give your baby a warm bath.

Bathing can be a very soothing and relaxing experience for newborn babies. Be sure to keep the water at a safe temperature and keep a close eye on your baby at all times to ensure their safety.

6. Sing or talk to your baby.

Babies love the sound of their caregivers' voices and singing or talking to your baby can help to improve their language skills. I love singing blessing songs for my babies as it is more meaningful and positive. 

7. Give your baby a gentle massage.

Massaging your baby can be a great way to bond with them and can also help to relax them. Use a gentle, baby-safe oil and be sure to follow proper technique to avoid applying too much pressure. A foot massage is a great way to relax your baby if you have a  only a few minutes to spare.

8. Go for a drive with your baby.

The motion of the car can be soothing to some babies and can help them to fall asleep. Just be sure to buckle your baby into their car seat and follow all safety guidelines while driving with a newborn.

Promoting Your Newborn's Development

9. Read to your baby.

Reading to your baby can help to improve their language skills and can also be a great bonding experience. Choose books with bright, colorful pictures and simple storylines.

10. Let your baby look at high contrast items.

Newborn babies are attracted to high contrast patterns and shapes, and looking at these types of items can help to stimulate their developing vision. Hang a mobile with high contrast patterns above your baby's crib or place a black and white board book within their view.

As a new parent, it can be overwhelming to think about all the things you need to do to help your newborn baby grow and develop. However, it's important to remember that every baby is different and that it's okay to take things at your own pace. These 10 activities are just a starting point and can be adapted to your baby's individual needs and abilities. Above all, the most important thing is to bond with your baby and to provide a loving and nurturing environment for them to grow and thrive. As your baby grows and develops, you will discover many more ways to engage and entertain them, and you will learn what works best for your family.

Frequently Asked Questions about Baby Activities

  1. What are some good activities for a newborn baby? Some good activities for a newborn baby include being held and cuddled, being rocked or swung, taking walks in a stroller or carrier, having a warm bath, being sung or talked to, being read to, playing with homemade sensory toys, and having a gentle massage.
  2. How can I bond with my newborn? There are many ways to bond with your newborn, including holding and cuddling them, talking and singing to them, reading to them, playing with them, and giving them a gentle massage. Skin to skin time is a great way to get some bonding time in. You can also bond with your newborn through everyday activities, such as feeding them or changing their diaper.
  3. What are some safe ways to play with a newborn? Some safe ways to play with a newborn include holding and cuddling them, rocking or swinging them, playing with homemade sensory toys, and reading to them. It's important to avoid rough play or activities that could potentially harm your newborn.
  4. How can I stimulate my newborn's senses? You can stimulate your newborn's senses by providing them with a variety of sights, sounds, smells, and textures to experience. This can include things like brightly colored toys, musical toys, different types of fabric, and various mild smells. Did you know that breastmilk can have a subtle change in taste depending on the mothers meal? It’s a great way you might already be stimulating your baby's senses.
  5. What are some good ways to help my newborn develop? Some good ways to help your newborn develop include providing them with a stimulating and nurturing environment, engaging with them through play and conversation, reading to them, and exposing them to a variety of different senses. It's also important to provide your newborn with plenty of physical and emotional support, including holding and cuddling them, and responding to their needs promptly.
  6. Are there any activities that are not suitable for newborns? There are a few activities that may not be suitable for newborns, depending on their individual needs and abilities. It's important to avoid activities that could potentially harm your newborn, such as rough play or activities that expose them to hazardous materials. It's also important to avoid activities that could overstimulate your newborn or interfere with their sleep, such as loud noises or bright lights.
  7. How can I tell if my newborn is enjoying an activity? Newborn babies can't communicate their likes and dislikes in the same way that older children or adults can, so it can be difficult to tell if they are enjoying an activity. However, there are a few signs that you can look for to gauge your newborn's enjoyment of an activity. These signs can include things like smiling, cooing, babbling, and making eye contact. If your newborn seems relaxed and content during an activity, it's likely that they are enjoying it.
  8. How much time should I spend doing activities with my newborn? It's important to spend quality time with your newborn, but it's also important to be mindful of their individual needs and abilities. Some newborns may be content with shorter periods of activity, while others may be able to handle longer stretches of play. It's generally recommended to start with short periods of activity and gradually increase the length as your newborn grows and develops. You will notice a pattern in the windows of time your baby is awake. You can delegate a short period of time when they just woke up for your activity. Keep in mind you don’t need to entertain your baby every moment they are awake. Find a good balance for your day. If you don’t know where to begin, a daily walk is a great starting point for newborns.
  9. How can I adapt activities for my newborn's individual needs and abilities? One great way to adapt activities for your newborn's individual needs and abilities is through baby wearing. Baby wearing involves carrying your baby in a sling, carrier, or wrap that is worn on your body. This allows you to keep your baby close to you while still having your hands free. Baby wearing is a great way to have your baby participate in all types of activities, whether you are running errands, going for a walk, or doing household chores. It's also a great way to bond with your baby and to provide them with the physical and emotional support that they need. Just be sure to follow proper safety guidelines when using a baby carrier and to choose a carrier that is appropriate for your baby's size and development.

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