How to Entertain a Newborn Aged 0-3 Months Old
Newborns sleep upwards to 16 to 18 hours each day, and their wake hours are generally filled with eating and dirtying their diapers.
But, during their wake hours, infants still need to be entertained. Even new newborns enjoy every opportunity to spend time with you while you make silly faces and blow raspberries on their bellies. And, once they are one month old, babies start to show signs of boredom. They will become fussy and irritable if things don't changes after a brief time.
It can be hard to distinguish the cues, so don't worry if you're not sure exactly how to play with a newborn. Try to let your baby lead the way. Just keep in mind that you'll want to find the right time to play. Wait until he's relaxed and not tired, hungry, overstimulated or irritable.
Here are a few activities that you can try.
0-1 Month Old
The first few weeks will go by rather quickly. You will be trying to distinguish a pattern with your baby's sleep and eating, and he'll be doing his best to keep you up when you want to sit down and rest.
But, when the first month officially comes around and you can proudly say you have a one month old baby, you're probably already well aware of the changes your baby has already undergone.
He may be trying to hold his head up a few seconds at a time. He may start looking at you in the eye a little more distinctly and holding your gaze. Your baby may even have started following you with his gaze.
These are definite milestones that probably seem like huge steps in your baby's development, and they're only the beginning.
During the first month or so of your baby's life, you'll find that blocks, balls and rattles aren't going to satisfy your baby's cries as well as you simply talking to him and bouncing him (of course assuming that he's fed and cleanly diapered).
Around month one, set aside the brightly colored rattle and try to find high contrast toys (black and white baby toys are the best). Your baby won't be able to reach out and grab or really entertain himself with the toys, but he can see them clearly. You can rattle the toys in front of him or even bounce them on his belly, keeping in mind that he can really only focus about eight to ten inches away.
You may not realize it, but you are entertaining your newborn when you blow raspberries in the air or on your baby's feet, hands or belly, tickle and massage him, and talk and sing to your baby.
The Leachco Cuddle Pillow is the perfect boppy-type pillow. It was perfect for feeding my son after my C Section, as it removed pressure from the incision. The pillow became perfect for propping him up to look around.
2 Months Old
Around the two month mark, your baby has made huge strides in his development. You'll start to notice that he's awake a little more and probably needs more attention and entertainment than he did when he was only a few weeks old.
Continue to talk and sing to him, tickle and massage him, and mimic him.
You'll want to add more tummy time to your baby's regular routine, as he really starts to smooth his movements and trying to reach and grab. He's probably also started looking around and holding his head better each day; try a boppy pillow so that he can be propped up to look around.
There are many play mats and play gyms that can grow with your newborn. Some, like the Bright Starts Play Place are brightly colored and have walls and toys high and low that can entertain your two month old, as well as a three month old.) You may even find benefit introducing a one month old to a good play mat.)
Try going to walks. Carry him with you around the house while you do chores, facing him out when you are just walking through the house so that he can look around.
Introduce sensory toys that crinkle, rattle or squeaks. He won't be able to grab and hold the toys to play by himself yet, but you'll find this is the perfect stage to really introduce them. They can start to elicit cause-and-effects and hearing sense training.
Toys with mirrors are also good to have around. Babies not only like to look at you, but they like to look at themselves too.
The Bright Start Play Place grows with your baby. This play gym has a lot of potential for your baby's mental development because there is so much to look at and touch. My son loved tummy time with the play mat. When he could grab, he loved playing with the toys. You can even add your own toys to the hooks on the play mat.
3 Months Old
At three months old, your baby should be showing major improvements on holding his head, upper-body strength and lower-body strength. Your baby may even be showing early signs of hand-eye coordination as he starts to swipe at toys or hold a rattle and smoothly put it to his mouth. Your baby's vision has vastly improved by now, and he's probably steady turning his head and smiling when he hears your voice.
These milestones are huge, but this means that your baby also needs more entertaining than he did at three weeks old. You want to continue and build on everything you've been doing so far
You'll want to pull out all the colorful toys and sensory toys that haven't been brought out yet. Your play mat will become your best friend, but most of all, your baby just wants time with you.
Talk to him. Sing to him. Use tummy time as time to strengthen his upper- and lower- body, coordination and overall sense development.
Always keep in mind that even three month old babies have the attention span of about 15 minutes, so you'll want to change up activities or your baby will get bored.
One of my favorite sensory toys for my baby. It's colorful, easy to grasp and makes just enough noise to keep her attention without it being annoyingly noisy. It a great size to take along in the car seat or to keep your baby occupied in a bouncer.