Beneficial Baby Activities:: 0-6 Months

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Newborn Activities 0-6mo | Denver Metro Moms Blog

After nine {but let’s be real, it’s actually ten} months of joyful anticipation, research via baby books, birthing classes, and dreams, you finally have your sweet newborn in your arms. In these first moments, the only thing you want to do is hold and stare. The awe you feel from having created a human is like none other. While your mind and body allow it, relish those first moments. The bond between parent and child is magical, so just go with it.

Beneficial Baby Activities 0 - 6 Months | Denver Metro Moms Blog
Seriously, just do this for as long as you can. It doesn’t last forever.

After a few weeks though, you may something nagging at you to ensure that your baby is developing appropriately, and that you’re doing everything you can to help them along. The good news about this stage is that you’re probably already doing what you need to by following your instincts. Newborns are 100% new to the human experience, and very simple tasks help them grow. Here are some activities to help you and your baby along:

Skin-to-Skin Care

Take naps with your baby on your chest, with your skin directly touching theirs. If you’re worried about safety, you can let baby nap while you catch up on some TV shows or reading.

Benefits: Bonding, Sensory, Mom’s Emotional Wellness

Walks

If you haven’t already, invest in a wrap or carrier and take that baby out for some Vitamin D. This is not only valuable as a bonding experience, but it is also a well-rounded sensory experience for baby. Long walks with my daughter in the carrier kept her quiet {she was very fussy}, and gave me back some sanity.

Benefits: Bonding, Sensory, Mom’s Emotional/Physical Wellness

Singing/Talking

Your baby loves the sound of your voice, and needs to hear you to start developing language {yes, it’s already happening!}. A benefit to you: babies are remarkable listeners and great at keeping secrets! They will never tell anyone what you told them. I unloaded a lot of heavy stuff on my daughter and she took it all in with a grin }or she fell asleep in the middle of our chats, but that’s okay}.

Benefits: Bonding, Sensory, Language

Dancing/Massage

Lay baby on their back and bicycle kick their legs, rub tummies in a clockwise pattern, and show them finger games like “eency weency spider” or “pat-a-cake.” These games allow you to make direct eye-contact, as well as help with language development. Bonus advantage to dancing and massage: it helps baby’s tiny tummy digest.

Benefits: Bonding, Sensory, Language, Helps Baby’s Digestion, Calming for Baby

Tummy Time

Ideally, baby should spend 20 minutes a day on their tummy on a flat surface. In my experience, this is a fast road to tears {very loud ones}. I found more success if I propped my daughter up on my nursing pillow {Boppy}, but a rolled up towel or small blanket will also do the trick. She was also less aggravated if I got creative and placed her tummy down on my chest, while I laid down. The point of tummy time is to builds neck and back muscles needed for sitting up and other skills.

Benefits: Muscle Development.

Beneficial Baby Activities 0 - 6 Months | Denver Metro Moms Blog

Yoga/Exercise

I call baby yoga “boga,” and it’s really quite simple.

  • Stretch and Touch – With baby on their back, stretch their opposite arm and leg out, then bring them in to touch foot to hand. Repeat on opposite side
  • Toes to Nose – Stretch out their legs by grabbing {and saying} toes, then bring their toes up to touch {and say} nose. Repeat.
  • Happy Baby – If you’ve done yoga, you know this move. Gather baby’s feet and hands together in your hands, then rock your baby from side to side while saying “happy baby!” This is always a hit.
  • Sit-ups – Starting with your baby on their back, let them grasp your fingers and then gently pull them to a sitting position. You’ll have to help them maintain their grasp, so they don’t fall. This exercise is a great builder of neck strength.
  • Squats – Hold your baby, facing in or out, and do squats while holding them. If you have a full length mirror, let baby watch as you exercise. The first time I heard my daughter giggle was while I was doing this exercise with her. She loves the movement.
  • Lifts – Use your baby as a weight to lift overhead for ten intervals.This may sound easy, but I assure you, it kicked my butt! Need a challenge? Hold baby to your chest and then extend your arms straight in front of you {still holding baby} for ten intervals. If that’s still too easy, give me a call so I can hire you as a personal trainer!

Benefits: Muscle Development, Bonding, Language, Mom’s Physical Wellness

Rattle Play

Simple games with rattles help baby with many skills, including:

  • Tracking – While baby is on their back, shake a rattle gently and slowly from one side of baby’s head to the other, moving around the front of their face. Watch to see if baby follows the rattle as you move it. When they are able to hold up their head, try this activity during tummy time.
  • Grasping – While baby is on their back, shake the rattle and then place it in their hand. See if they makes any moves to copy the shaking.

Benefits: Imitation, Tracking, Grasping

Reading

It is never too early to read to your baby. My daughter was soothed to sleep by the sound of me reading her fairy tales when she was only weeks old. I still have a vivid memory of when I first noticed her focusing on different objects on a page. Bonus Activity: Read a book while facing your baby {either prop them up in a seated position or while laying down}, pause after every page or sentence and wait to see if your baby “talks” back. This turn-taking is a valuable language skill for later in life.

Benefits: Language, Bonding, Imitation

Regardless of what you do with your baby in these first formative months, take comfort in knowing that your little one is hard-wired to learn and just being in your presence goes a long way!

What other activities do you do with your newborn? Let us know in the comments below!

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