Find out what games to play with newborn babies, as well as babes in their second and third month.
Aren't the first three months amazing? At first, it seems like they'll never end, as you get used to feeding, changing, and all the other routines that now fill your day.
But this time goes past so fast!
You know, when my son was very young, I remember being told that the time you invest in your little children is repaid in love a thousand times over when they get older. And I believe it.
Never think that those five minutes spent playing games and concentrating on having fun with your new baby are wasted.
To your child they are the most precious moments of the day!
Games for the first month
She can see objects that are about ten inches away, but at this stage won't start to reach out for them. Newborn babies' hearing is well developed even at birth, and she'll respond to sounds - loud noises startle her, but the sound of your voice is comforting.
She'll start to coo and gurgle, and will be practising her crying skills! She loves physical contact with you.
Face to face
Repetition is so comforting to children and is also how they learn. Talk to her about what you're doing. Tell her how much you love her. Repeat words and say her name. She won't understand you - but rest assured - she soon will!
Staying close again, shake a rattle (a quiet one, if that's possible!) in front of her face. Look surprised and laugh. Shake it again a little to one side, then the other. Tap her tummy with it.
If she is happy, see if she is willing to unclench that little fist and try holding it with your support.
Bring teddy or ducky down slowly and touch your baby's nose or tummy with it. She probably won't be able to follow the toy with her eyes this month, but she will know you are having fun with her.
You may also want to start using a baby gym, which baby can lie on, looking at the bold colors. This will provide another environment other than her crib or your arms.
Song and dance
Babies love music. Play your favorite songs and sing along to them. You can go for a slow waltz with your little one, holding them firmly and moving around the room, humming along to the music. Put a small baby cotton sheet or blanket over your shoulder, let your baby's head rest on it as you move about, and baby will probably fall asleep!
You can also introduce your baby to lullabies and nursery rhyme songs. Rock your baby gently as you sing, and look into her eyes.
Game ideas for the second month
She likes bright colors and is becoming more interested in sound and texture. When you talk to her she'll respond with little noises.
She may be able to grasp a rattle, and that first smile is beginning to appear!
Heading into the third month!
By now, your baby's grasp reflex is almost gone, and she can hold objects with both hands and hold her head fairly steady.
She recognizes your face and voice, will turn towards sound and is beginning to practise rolling a little to the side. She'll start staring wide-eyed at objects, concentrating and thinking what they can be!
Looking, listening, feeling
Describe everything she can see. Point to things, let her feel them and try to hold them.
She'll begin to use her hands and feet a bit more to express emotion. Let her look at her hands. Stroke them, tickle them, kiss them and start to play "round and round the garden, like a teddy bear"! Let's not forget "this little piggy" either. At diaper change, hold her feet up in the air and do the same.
At bath time you can sing "this is the way we wash our feet" and so on. After the bath you can clap her hands together and her feet too, and blow some raspberries on her tummy :)
Keep on keeping on!
Children up to the age of three or even four still delight in many of these activities and will relish their familiarity - and they have you to thank for nurturing them in such a fun way!
Little babies can be so loveable and yet so frustrating. It's easy to imagine that they are in a world of their own, not paying much attention to you - apart from when they want their feed.
But you know... they're picking up everything, oh yes... every word, every expression. They don't miss a thing, I'm sure!
Wishing you rich, fun moments with your little bundle :)