When we're expecting our first baby, many of us imagine what our days at home with a newborn will be like, but part of that vision is based on the image of an older child, able to smile and play. Few people, however, imagine what a day with a newborn looks like. In the first few weeks, your baby will be asleep most of the time and, once awake, you'll need to master the feeding routine. This doesn't leave much room for other activities.
Early Learning Activities For Newborns
But when your baby is awake longer, you may wonder what you should do. Here are some ideas for activities you can do with a baby.
When you go outside, your baby discovers different sensations from those he has in your home. Light and sound are different outside, and the sensation of moving air gives your baby new information about the world around us.
It's just as important to get out and about with your baby to boost his self-confidence. You practice using your new equipment, such as a baby carrier or stroller. And as you prepare to get out into the world again, you'll benefit from running errands and socializing in small steps. Start with short walks during the day.
Even before your baby can fix his eyes on the book you're holding, the sound of your voice is reassuring and interesting. When reading aloud, use different words and sounds from those you use to dress and comfort your baby. Try this with children's books as well as with extracts from the article you're reading.
The best books for newborns don't even need words. Adults can simply use their own observations to describe the pictures to their baby.
Learn how to massage your baby
Choose a warm spot in your home and place a towel on a large cushion in front of you. Have some baby oil to hand. Place your baby on the bed and undress him. Follow a video tutorial and massage your baby's hands, feet, arms, legs, back and chest with the oil you've heated by rubbing your hands together. This promotes attachment and is also good for your baby's digestion.
Introduce high-contrast images
Your newborn's vision is still developing, and images of bright shapes on a white background invite her to focus her eyes. A Montessori mobile or activity cards are designed for this purpose, but you can also show him things around your home: a large plant in front of a bright wall, window blinds through which light streams, or black-framed photos in a white room. Tell your baby what you're showing him, and give him time to recognize the contours of the objects.
Practice independent play
Even if a newborn isn't "playing" much yet, if he's lying on a play mat and his limbs aren't wrapped or in his parents' arms, he can explore the space around him. You can bring his hand up to his face or hold it out to his side. This is also an information-gathering exercise for your baby.
For you, it's a good exercise to start managing daily tasks, such as meal preparation or showering, while your baby lies in his or her own space, which can be a crib, bassinet or blanket on the floor.
Stimulate baby's senses
From an early age, he's always on the lookout for new things. Sounds, smells and colors resonate with him. Don't rush the activities you do with your baby.
If you give your baby a bath, let him splash around and play in the water. This is essential for his overall mental, physical and emotional development.
The Montessori approach encourages us to foster children's independence at every stage, in an age-appropriate way. Babies are curious by nature and love to discover new things. That's why it's important to encourage them to explore and play. Montessori toys are designed to support children's development and help them learn independently.