- Family and Parenting
Spending Time With Newborns
Whether you are baby sitting your first newborn, spending time with a new baby in the family, or bringing home your bundle of joy from the hospital it can feel a little overwhelming. After all, now that you are here and you have this tiny bundle what do you do with it?!?
Enjoy Your Time
A newborn doesn't need a lot of entertainment. They will need to eat, be changed, be bathed, and they will spend a good portion of their time sleeping. While awake they will enjoy spending time with you, but many babies also enjoy looking around as well. Here are some good things to do to entertain your newborn, but remember to let them sleep when they want to sleep. You can enjoy your time playing with them, but also doing other things while they sleep. The whole world is a new place to them and you get to be their guide.
Babies, even brand new ones, love music. You can play a wide range of soft music. Go for classical and mellow music for a relaxing time. You can also get a CD of lullabies or music chosen for babies. It doesn't end there though. Babies love to hear voices and will enjoy your singing as well (even if you are tone deaf or can't carry a tune).
I mentioned that babies love hearing voices. This is true if you are singing, but is also true if you just talk to the baby. You can tell them about your day, your childhood, and even explain to them what it is they are doing as you move around the room. If you have things you need to get done you can set the baby down near you (in a safe location) or carry the baby in a sling or carrier.
Babies also love to feel warm and secure. Cuddling with them can provide this as well. You can do this while doing something else with them or all by itself. Add a little rocking and you have a very fun event!
It is never too early to begin reading to your child. Read a variety of children's books with bright colored pictures. If your baby focuses on the pictures you can even take the time to point things out to them. If not, then just read through the story. You can also read the newspaper, your favorite magazine, or a book you are reading out loud so that they are hearing your voice. It is true that they aren't understanding what you are saying. None the less you are feeding their mind for the future.
Simple toys are also something you can add. Look for ones that are labled 0+ months. There are rattles and soft toys for babies this age group. Holding them above the baby is a great way to start. It is also good for you to carefully move it side to side (slowly). As the baby learns to reach and grasp you can let them hold them as well. Your hand can also be something interesting to look at and watch as it moves.
Newborns don't need a lot of play. They are still taking in the world around them in every way. Have fun doing a little bit with them now and then and watching them grow. As their abilities get to be more they will be more and more fun. For now enjoy reading, talking, and singing to your baby. Coo and make other noises at them. And enjoy cuddling and playing with simple toys as well as your body parts (such as hands and fingers) and theirs (such as hands, fingers, feet, toes, and even their nose).