Learning Activities For Infants
Congratulations on your brand new baby! There is something so sweet and innocent about having a newborn again. Their ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes are just so cute and remind us how sweet this world can be to us.
In this post I will go over simple learning activities you can do with your baby to improve your baby’s development. It’s important to make sure your baby is on track developmentally so they don’t start to fall behind, which is easy to do if you aren’t paying close enough attention to it.
By the way,
I made it easy to pay attention with this adorable Baby Milestone Checklist below.
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As simple as these activities may be, you want to make sure you do not over stimulate your baby.
This can cause your baby to show signs of Body SOS.
What is Body SOS?
Body SOS is the physical signs a baby shows when they are over stimulated.
1. Changes in skin color, could be pale or bright red.
2. Accelerated breathing from normal to fast and choppy
3. Changes in movement, goes from normal like movements to being more jerky like movements.
It’s important to keep these in mind when you are doing any activity with babies.
But, this does not mean you should not interact with your baby and help them along developmentally with these simple learning activities you can do at home.
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Simple learning activities for infants
1. Make funny faces at your baby
You really can’t get any simpler than making funny faces at your baby to entertain them and the best part is, they love it. By doing this you are giving your baby the opportunity to mimic you and babies learn best through imitation.
Making eye contact with your baby promotes bonding, so this is also the perfect bonding activity.
2. Tummy time
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Tummy time is defined as the time your baby spends on their stomach so they can develop strength in their arms, legs, neck, back and head.
You want to start doing tummy time doing it 2-3 sessions a day for five minutes at a time. Don’t be surprised if your baby hates it (mine did), just do it as long as they will allow working up to five minutes at a time.
There are other amazing benefits to tummy time such as boosting growth motor skills and alleviates gas pain. Here is an awesome article on everything you need to know about Introducing Tummy Time to Baby.
Another bonus benefit of tummy time.
When my son was a baby he had torticollis which is basically where they have weaker muscles on one side of the neck causing them to favor and tilt their head only to one side.
Along with a couple different stretches and frequent tummy time, my newborn was able to strengthen his neck muscles so he could turn his head any way he wanted, easily.
3. Read to your baby
It’s never to early to start reading to your baby. The more you talk to your baby the more it will improve their communication skills by helping them build their vocabulary (even though they can’t say the words yet).
Here is list of interactive books your baby will love.
4. Wear your baby
It seems intimidating wearing a Moby Wrap but once you get used to wearing it properly (as shown in video above) you will never go back.
Wearing your baby allows them to take in more of their surroundings which helps them learn and develop. Plus as a super bonus it frees up both of your hands so you can get more done around the house or with your toddlers. #momwin
Note: I would start by wearing your baby facing inward so they feel more secure but also so you don’t over stimulate ( remember Body SOS above?)
5. Sing to your baby
Singing to your baby is fun for them and you, while helping your child develop language skills, develop a love of music (a creative outlet later in life) and can increase their health.
According to Everyday Family
“The study out of Meir Hospital in Israel looked at babies in the neonatal intensive care unit and found that the babies whose mothers held them with skin-to-skin care and sand to them had better heath outcomes then mothers who just held them.”
It can also help take a cranky mood and turn it into a playful and happier mood for baby’s.
6. Enlist baby’s siblings for entertainment
Let your toddler help entertain your baby (supervised of course). This not only helps your older children to feel involved and feel helpful but your baby will love it too.
They could sing them a song, read their favorite book, show them their favorite toy. Basically anything your toddler loves to do let them do it showing their little brother or sister.
7. Play peek a boo
Your baby will likely think this is the funniest game on the planet! This helps with your baby’s cognitive development and babies are genuinely surprised when they see mom disappear and then reappear again.
8. Hand rattles
Hand rattles are a fun and an easy way to help your baby learn to hold and grip objects. It also has many other benefits such as; improving hand eye coordination, perception, sensorimotor skills and cause and effect according to Hello Motherhood.
9. Play with a mirror
This simple activity creates bonding time with you and baby. If you make faces in the mirror, or stick out your tongue or coo in the mirror and ask them to do the same, you are helping them develop a sense of object performance and body awareness.
Who knew a simple mirror activity is so beneficial in your child’s development.
10. Bath time
This is a double whammy! You get your baby all clean and sleepy while providing them with multisensory exploration which is huge for your developing baby. Here is a post I wrote on toddler bath time activities, if you want to get an idea of fun bath time entertainment for them.
11. Take baby outside for a walk
Not only does this allow you to get out of the house and recharge your mom batteries with some fresh air but it allows your baby the opportunity to explore the world they live in.
Did you know the sun provides your baby with vitamin D which helps promote your babies bone growth. Being in direct sun should be limited to between 10-15 minutes and baby should still wear a hat for protection but that is enough time for their body to absorb Vitamin D from the sun.
Note: I know your tired of me saying this but it’s so important not to over stimulate your baby!
12. Baby massage
This simple baby activity is a great bonding opportunity for you and your beautiful bundle of joy. It also relaxes your baby so this is a great nighttime activity. It improves immunity, relieves gas and has a ton of other health and developmental benefits.
13. Skin to skin
Babies love to be close to you, not only does it improve their overall health and brain development but its great for bonding as well. Have you noticed I’m all about finding ways to bond with baby.
This doesn’t stop in infancy. Every night I put my two year old to bed I wear some sort of jacket (I’m always cold) and after we have sung our bedtime song and read our bedtime book. My son will unzip my jacket so he can lay just a little bit closer to me before I lay him down for the night.
It’s beyond precious and shows you just how much they truly love skin to skin time (although that’s not exactly skin to skin but its close enough, right?).
14. Swing time
Babies love movement which makes perfect sense that they would love to sit in their swing as well. You should limit swing time to less than an hour(baby could get dizzy) a day but that’s a perfect chunk of time for baby to be occupied long enough for you to get something done around the house or you know eat a meal.
Stretching in little babies will be more like massaging them while slightly stretching their limbs however, it still promotes good blood flow, flexibility and muscle development. It is also a perfect acvivity for quality time for you and baby.
This is also the perfect activity to get your toddlers in on the fun. Let them sit beside you and baby and have them stretch their own muscles while you stretch babies.
Concluding learning activities for baby’s
There are many different learning activities you can do with your baby and they are all good. The simpler the activity the better and always be aware if you baby is being over stimulated.
An over stimulated baby is not a happy baby and we always want a happy baby, don’t we?
Here are other popular articles related to child development
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