Newborn Play, Why it’s Never too Early to Start

Newborn Play, Why it’s Never too Early to Start

A lot of time with a newborn is spent engaged in routines together; sleeping, feeding and changing nappies and never-ending job lists seem to get longer. Society seems to think that babies can’t play games until they can sit and control their limbs better; however, you can play this easy game with your baby. You can start playing this together from week 1.

I call it the ‘Pattern Game’. It’s super simple and super beneficial for your new baby. 

The benefits of this game?

–    Provides lots of sensory input to the pressure and stretch receptors in joints and muscles

–    It gives your baby new tactile input

–    It stimulates their brain, with incoming input coming from both the left and right side of their body – helping both sides of the brain to work and communicate together

–    Helps to get muscles and joints ready for moving, growing and learning

–    It’s an opportunity to bond with your baby (or for other important adults in your life to bond with your new bub).

Now, for the instructions…

  1.   Lay your baby on their back in front of you
  2.   Gently hold their hands and make a pattern – for example, tap tummy three times, then clap twice then tummy 3 times
  3.   Continue making different patterns using their arms and hands on different parts of their body
  4.   Then swap to using their legs and feet, for example, bend legs twice then tap feet together twice, then repeat
  5.   Continue to make different patterns using your bubs legs and feet

Tips:

–    Be sure to gently move your bub each time (joints and muscles are still fragile)

–    Make sure each major joint is used and stretched 

–    Explore the pressure (for example, on tummy, on the base of feet)

–    Think about how you can use your hands to make a pattern on bub’s tummy, soles of their feet or back (such as tickly fingers, rubbing, tapping).

 

Here’s some other great play time ideas for you and your little one!

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