Babies are stimulated by everything around them – it’s a whole new world for them to explore! Engaging with your baby is a big part of the bonding process and there are lots of ways you can both have fun while you keep them entertained.
Your baby will study every inch of your face as they’re gazing up at you – so why not make it a fun time too? Make silly sounds, stick out your tongue or twist your face into a funny shape. Before long they’ll start to try and imitate you and you’ll both be giggling!
Reading with your baby
Looking at books together and reading to your baby at a very early age will not only be a special time but it will also help towards their future learning. Way before they’re able to speak, babies will enjoy listening to you read to them and the sound of your voice is soothing.
Babies are fascinated by sounds and you can make DIY rattles and shaking toys using plastic bottles with rice or dried beans inside. (Always make sure the lid is on very tight so none can escape!) Your child will enjoy the noise it makes and as they get a little older they’ll be able to shake it themselves.
Singing and dancing
Put on a favourite song and sing along to it, while holding your baby to your chest and gently moving around in time to the music. As well as being a lovely bonding time for you both, it can help to soothe them and encourage an interest in music.
Follow the leader
See how many actions your baby can copy by doing things such as tapping on something, waving or clapping. You could start by doing something your baby can already do and add more complex things as your little one develops.
Babies love looking in mirrors and there are many baby-friendly versions you can buy, which they can hold once they master this skill. Sit with your baby in front of a mirror or look at your reflections in windows, and use different times of day to get certain lights that will change the way you look.
Go for a walk
Fresh air is good for babies of all ages, so get outside as much as you can. Just remember to dress them appropriately for the temperature and be prepared for sudden changes in the weather! There are also lots of sights and sounds to explore while you’re out and about.
While having a one-sided conversation may seem a little silly at first, it can do wonders for a baby’s language development. Plus, they’ll recognise and be comforted by your voice. It can also help you if you spend a lot of time alone with your child – talking is good! Just chat about what you’re doing, what you’re preparing for dinner, what’s going on outside… whatever you talk about, your baby will be listening!