How To Play With Your Newborn: 21 Activities For Young Babies
Are you a parent with a young baby and not sure how to entertain them in between their feeds and naps? Here I have listed 21 activities that have kept our baby twins entertained over the last few months:
- Singing time. Yes, you might not be Beyoncé but I promise your baby won’t judge you. Babies love to hear the sound of your voice and listening to you sing actually aids language development. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with many nursery rhymes, I just sing what the babies and I are doing at the time…e.g. ‘Oh wow aren’t you cute, you’ve puked on me and your baby suit’/ ‘What is that smell? What is that smell? Is it Francis’ nappy that smells? What a stinky baby, That is the smell’ / Beatrice is a dribble dribble monster, who likes to pull my hair, she is extremely cheeky and vomits everywhere’. You get the idea.
- Reading. If you follow my Foxfairy Twins Instagram page you’ll know how much I love reading with my babies. It’s such a wonderful activity that allows you to have quality time with your little one. And it is never too early to start reading with a baby! Of course at this stage it doesn’t really matter if you’re reading Baby’s First Book or the latest IKEA furniture guide (nice one Pete). They will just enjoy listening to your voice.
- Going for a walk. Do not underestimate the power of fresh air when your babies have been screaming for the whole afternoon (that dreaded witching hour…which btw, is NEVER just an hour…) and will not settle with cuddles, bottle feeds or nappy changes. It is my number 1 go to for grizzly babies (and great for your endorphins too…although wine would obviously help more…)
- Bath time. I love bath time. It’s a chance for me to spend quality time with each baby. Our twins love being in the water. If you haven’t already, you can read my post on Bathing Twins for more information about how I organise this with two young babies. At first they would just lie there like dead fish, but now they’re stronger they are starting to kick their legs under the water in excitement. It’s very cute.
- Dancing. Not only does shaking around to Radio 1’s Dance Anthems (I miss partying) entertains the babies, it helps to shake off some baby weight too (unless you counteract it with wine at the end of the night…oops).
- Lights. I have recently discovered the fabulous entertainment value in fairy lights. I try and experiment with them around the flat. I’ll hang them over the sofa / along the cot / put them into a jar / dangle them above the babies etc etc. That was the best £3 I have spent in IKEA.
- Colourful bibs. Tummy time has not been the most favourable activity in our household which has forced me to think of inventive ways of making it more interesting for the babies. I found draping a colourful bib over the arm of the sofa encourages the babies to keep their heads up for longer whilst they tried to focus on the pattern.
- Appliances. Ah. The washing machine. Post babies, you are not only on every day to cope with the amount of laundry we now have to contend with, but also to keep the babies entertained whilst I wash their bottles. The twins love watching the machine spin (I think they like the noise too). Go on, give it a try!
- White noise. I cannot express the amount of love I have for white noise. It has saved us from numerous meltdowns and sleepless nights. Downloaded onto my phone, if the babies are a little grizzly or over tired and cannot calm themselves down, in a matter of minutes of turning it on they go from inconsolable nightmares to angelic, sleeping babies. It is my secret weapon.
- Propped up books. Sometimes when the babies are lying on the floor I’ll prop open a book and put it next to them. They enjoy twisting to one side to look at it (whilst helping them to practise how to roll at the same time). Concertina books are fantastic because you can open them out and wrap it around where the babies are on the floor or hang it above their heads for them to look at.
- Bubbles. What a mesmerising and inexpensive way to entertain little babies. Simply sit them in their baby chairs or on the floor and blow bubbles for them to watch. This is fantastic way to help them to focus their eyes on moving objects.
- Hairdryer. Very similar to the white noise tip. In the mornings I usually have the babies in the bedroom with me whilst I’m getting ready and as soon as I put the hairdryer on they drift off into a sleepy slumber.
- Extractor fan. Again, similar to using white noise. Sometimes I’ll walk around the flat with the babies whilst listening to the extractor fan. They love it.
- Shower room. When I’m getting ready in the mornings I sometimes have to put the babies just inside the bathroom with me to keep them entertained. The noise and steam from the shower keeps them calm and for enough time for me to shampoo AND condition my hair. #winning
- Lying in a different room. This might sound obvious, but if the babies seem a little bored but it’s too late in the day to go out, I lie them down in a different room in the flat. Just putting them down on a mat in the bathroom or onto our bed allows them have a chance to see different objects (and distraction is everything).
- Baby massage. You may have already read my post about A Day In The Life With Twins, if so you’ll know that my take on baby massage is basically rub in a bit of lotion or oil and job done. I do notice though, when I start massaging the babies they do enjoy it. So that’s a nice, calming activity to do with your babies.
- Rocking in the pram. I must admit I don’t really do this that often, however, when we were in the process of moving house and there were boxes everywhere, we strapped the babies in their pram to keep them entertained. They quite enjoyed it. I think they liked the mixture of movement plus seeing the room from a different view.
- Lying next to another baby. Obviously if you have twins or more than one child then this is an easy one to pull off. If not you could try the next one…
- Attend a local baby group. Now, I didn’t actually start doing this until very recently as the babies were always asleep so it didn’t seem worth while. However now they stay awake for about an hour at a time so I’ve recently started going and the babies love seeing and hearing different things in this new environment.
- Meet a friend for coffee and cake. Babies love to be out of the house and even if they stay in their pram sleeping for the time you have a coffee, cake and cheerful chat, it’s the perfect activity for all of you.
- My most favourite: Cuddles. Nothing will be more satisfying than having baby cuddles. It’s such a wonderful bonding experience for parent and baby (and gives you an excuse to take 5).
Do You Have Any Suggestions?
Do you have any baby activities to share? I’d love to hear your suggestions.