Playing with your baby
Feeling a blanket, a cuddly toy or the bathwater helps him learn about other things in the world. Give baby different textures to feel, like soft and fuzzy things, hard or bumpy things. Avoid small things that could choke baby.
Baby also learns by being touched. From your handling, she senses how you feel about her. The amount of holding and touching tells her how important touch is. If you hold baby only when you have to bathe or change him, you both miss time to be close and to learn.
Touch and hold your baby often. That's how baby learns you're near and that you care. Most of all, baby learns, "I'm OK." Give baby lots of hugs and kisses, pats, rocking, stroking, and massages.
One way to have fun together is to have a daily exercise time. There may be books on exercises for babies in your public library. Here are a couple of examples to try:
- Pull to sitting. Lay baby down on a blanket or rug and hold both of her hands. Slowly pull baby up until she is sitting. You can say things like, "Up we go!" to encourage her. At first you will probably do all the work, but baby will get the idea and may soon work hard to help herself up.
- Rolling over. Lay baby on a blanket and sit behind his head, holding a toy. Squeaky toys work well for this. Hold the toy where baby can see it, and slowly move it so baby has to turn his head to follow it. Praise baby if he arches his back and starts to turn. If he turns with his shoulders but the legs aren't following, gently push on his bottom to help him over. Save this game for a later time if baby doesn't try at all. Later, you'll be able to help baby practice crawling.