Play more often and earn more smiles. As your newborn grows he'll start to smile, laugh, and play. Playing fun games with your baby will strengthen your relationship and teach you about his behaviors and temperament. For instance you may learn that your baby is an attention seeker who loves when you constantly bounce him and sing to him. Or you could find out that your baby needs shorter and calmer spurts of playtime activity. Either way, establishing fun playtime activities will benefit both of you. Need some suggestions for fun playtime activities with your baby? Try some of these time-tested favorites, perfect for newborn babies to six months, and get 100% smiles in return:
- Bicycle Legs: As your baby lounges on his back (as babies have been known to do) move his legs in a back and fourth, circular type motion. Sing or make funny face at him.
- Peekaboo: The most well-known baby game ever still works. Try using items other than your hands to hide behind; a hat or a colorful blanket or board book. My son loved when I'd hide behind one of those big plastic donut rings. Even though he could see me through the middle of the ring.
- Exercise Ball Fun: This game is safe for babies when they're about five months old. Take your baby and place him on his tummy across your exercise ball. Place your hands over him and gently roll him back and fourth, front and back. Alternatively you can seat his little bottom on top of the ball, hold him at his tummy, and bounce him gently up and down. I recently learned about this game with my friend's daughter Bella (I figured my exercise ball should be used for something). Bella will let me roll her around for an hour straight; smiling and laughing the whole time -- give it a try.
- Bubbles: Plain old soap bubbles are perfectly safe for your little one. Blow them big and close and make fun popping sounds.
- Dance: Great for calm babies and the more excited variety because you can change the tone of this playtime activity. Try jazz music, tango, or rock 'n' roll for active dancing or soothing music that you can sway with.
- Puppets: I've never met a baby who doesn't love some good puppet time. Soft and cuddly puppets are best for this age group. Pick vibrantly colored puppets with happy faces. You can make the puppet sing, dance, or even kiss your little one. Some puppets now even sing on their own -- just add the action and you're ready for a great playtime activity.