While you might have a desire to keep your baby entertained, your baby is plenty busy making sense of his strange environment or taking another nap. However, there are some activities that are more beneficial than others:
Use your face: Since babies can only focus on objects 8 to 15 inches away, your face makes the perfect object to study – and really is the only thing they’ll want to look at.
Black and white: Babies can only see strong, contrasting colors at this point, so black and white toys and mobiles will be the most stimulating for them.
Tummy time: Once upon a time, babies were put to sleep on their stomachs. While this tends to be the most natural and comfortable way for many babies to sleep, it’s also the riskiest when dealing with SIDS. We now know that it’s safer for babies to sleep on their backs, but there is a minor drawback: Babies spend much less time developing their back and arm muscles as they did when the majority of their day was spent lying on their stomachs. Also, too much time on their back can cause a flat spot in the skull. Because of this, it’s important to spend about 10 minutes a day supervising them while they play on their tummies.
- Put the baby on their tummy for 3 to 5 minutes, 5 times a day. Keep the time on the tummy short, but do it often
- Put the baby on your chest when you lie down. Talk and sing to them as they look into your face.
- Plan tummy time when the baby is not tired.
- Always supervise your baby’s play time. NEVER leave your baby by themselves while on their tummy!
Story time: Okay, so they probably can’t even focus on the book in your hand, but it’s never too early to make a habit out of reading. And it’s soothing for them to hear your voice.