You’ve waited 9 months to meet your little one! The first few weeks of your baby’s life is pretty simple – eat, sleep, diaper change, and repeat. They are hardly awake during this time, so you won’t need to entertain them much. But once they become more alert, you will want to encourage them to start using their mind and building more strength. There are so many activities for babies who are 0-2 months!
As soon as babies are born, their brain activity is off the charts. They are taking everything in and expanding their development from the first time they look at you. With this being said, it’s important to take into account your baby’s abilities when playing. Some develop at different rates than others. You should also talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns about his or her development.
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Activities for Motor Skills for Babies 0-2 Months Old
Motor skills include the development of muscles that will help your baby lift her head, sit up, roll onto belly, and eventually walk. Developing these motor skills is hard work. Some babies may be more willing than others, so it’s always good to break up this type of play throughout the day.
1. Tummy Time
Tummy time is one of the most important activities you can do with your newborn. This helps babies strengthen motor skills and strengthen muscles. Some babies hate the position, others love it. You can start this activity right after birth. It’s best to start slow at just 1-2 minutes a few times per day. Then you can slowly increase to up to ten minutes per time, a few times a day, while babies muscles strengthen. There are many different ways you can do tummy time. Use play mats with toys for entertainment, or a boppy pillow for a different view.
2. Activity Mats
There are many options for activity mats that will keep your baby entertained. Some are simple with a few dangling toys, others have toys at the feet baby can kick. These are usually fairly affordable and will keep baby busy for a long time. Check out these options below.
3. Kicking Small Objects
Set up little objects by babies feet. This gives them a little kicking practice. There are some toys available that will make noise once the baby kicks, incorporating music into this play as well. This also helps improve babies’ sense of touch, while building leg muscles.
4. Sitting Them Up
Finding different ways to sit baby up helps them get a different view; and also helps with head control and leg muscles. Babies are constantly learning from everything around them so this helps to change their sight. It’s important with young babies to make sure they have enough support to make this a safe activity. Boppies are an excellent positioning aid. Bumbo’s are great for when babies get older, but are not recommended under the age of three months.
Language Skills Activities for Newborn Babies
Believe it or not, developing language skills starts as early as birth. Babies cry to communicate and will eventually turn that type of communication into full sentences as they grow. By the age of 1-3 months babies begin to coo and babble to communicate as well. Here are different activities to help with language.
1. Read to Your Baby
It’s never too early to start reading books to baby. Some mommy’s even start this while babies are in the whom! The sound of your voice is soothing. It also helps babies develop language skills they will be using later on. Use high contrast books for baby. Colors like black and white register more in babies’ brains and help the optic nerve grow.Don’t hang on reading every word. The biggest part about reading at this age is making this a regular part of daily routines and spending time together.
2. Play Soft Music
Music is a great way to soothe a baby from the start, and helps stimulate auditory senses. Try different genres with your little one and find out which genres they like and dislike. Music also helps later on with language development, as well as memory skills. There is research that shows implementing music early on improves brain development as well as including joy into our lives.
Social and Emotional Development Activities for 0-2 Month Old Babies
Babies need to form trustful healthy bonds from the start. This will help the baby develop empathy, compassion, trust, as well as a sense of right and wrong along with morality. This also provides baby with a sense of comfort. Studies show that infants are able to perceive and express emotions before they are fully aware of what this is. One major way of providing this comfort is through recognizing babies cues for hunger, attention, and discomfort. Here are some play activities to also help with this developmental milestone.
1. Get Close to Your Baby
Newborns eyesight is still developing, so they can only see from about 8-12 inches away. Getting up close and personal with baby talk and silly facial expressions is a great way to bond. Babies also love watching the different faces. Did you know within a matter of days, newborns can discriminate between different facial expressions?
2. Use Mirrors
Mirror play is usually a favorite of babies. Babies love faces! This makes mirrors great for exploration and allow baby to explore her own features. You can say different body parts and point to them on your baby in the mirror to help their vocabulary. Babies can also practice visual tracking through mimicking faces. Even siblings can get involved with this one. There are also many options for soft mirrors and also toys with mirrors. Don’t feel the need to purchase a special one. Most people own a mirror that will do just fine.
Visual Tracking Activities for Newborn Babies 0-2 Months Old
1. Moving Objects
Hold some sort of object. Baby toys or black and white pictures are really good to use. Hold the object 6-12 inches from the baby’s face. Move the object a few inches to the right, the left, so on and so forth. Newborns are just starting to learn little by little how to follow objects. This activity will help strengthen the eye muscle and help their tracking quicker.
Mobiles are also good for visual tracking. Although there are many colorful mobiles available, sticking to high contrast colors, like black and white,
Sensory Activities for Babies 0-2 Months Old
Helping babies to develop their senses will allow the baby to become more aware. Activities like these below can also alert parents of any sensory concerns like with hearing or eyesight.
1. Texture Touches
Babies learn a lot through touch and their mouths. This is how they explore and learn more about the objects around them. This is also why we also see babies putting everything in their mouths. Using different textures for baby to touch provides a way to help improve babies’ sense of touch. You can use things that you already have like, blankets, crunchy paper, rubber balls, different baby toys. Just about anything can be used.
Other Skills to Develop for your Newborn
Here are some other activities that can help boost other skills such as awareness and overall comfort.
1. Getting Baby Familiar with his Body
Babies eventually discover things like hands, feet, belly and more. Give them a head start by putting their hands to their mouth and stretching their feet up by their face. Babies are incredibly flexible. This will also help get them acclimated to their limbs.
2. Massage Your Baby
Who doesn’t love a good massage! Babies are no different. An excellent time to give a baby a massage is during lotion time. This can help babies relax. Some people report an improvement in sleep habits, improve GI discomfort, and help relieve pain from teething.
3. Snuggle Time
Snuggling is one of our favorite ways to bond with a baby. This provides both mom and dad with comfort and baby too. Babies grow quickly and you can never hold and cuddle them too much. Babies also have a very keen sense of smell so smelling mom or dad near can help calm a stressed baby as well. This is one of the best activities for babies 0-2 months.
4. Stretch your baby a little bit every day
Stretch babies limbs a little each day. This can be done through dancing babies arms around, or extending arms and legs. This is an excellent way to stretch and helps baby develop more awareness.
Once your baby gets through each age stage, peek in on recommended milestone charts to make sure your little one is meeting her milestones. Don’t get too stressed because each baby develops on his or her own time. Use it more as a guide, as to when is around the time you can start to look for these skills. Babies who are premature may not fit into the typical expected timeline.
Babies are very curious and love to learn. The best thing to do is aim for a combination of activities that will help baby with a range of different developmental skills. Make sure it’s something both you and baby enjoy, and be sure to mix it up. This article is not an all inclusive list but can hopefully be helpful in your search for the best activities for babies 0-2 months. Also, make sure if you are using any type of toy or supportive device for play that you provide proper supervision.
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