I found myself wondering how I could play with my newborn — there is so little they can do! When they start focusing on your face, for Archer that was around 5 weeks, I felt I could finally start to play with him. Here were the different things I came up with that were part of our everyday:
- Music time: we’d choose a few upbeat songs and then sing and dance for him. Sometimes leaning over him while he laid on the bed. He loved it and would kick and wiggle his legs. He also loved head banging.. great if you have longer hair.
- Singing anything; literally make up any song and sing it. I have a terrible voice and it kept him quite entertained, especially in the car or when I couldn’t run to him right away if he was getting fussy.
- Mimic: stick out your tongue and make a funny noise. If you don’t get a smile you’ll start to notice in the days following your newborn trying to stick out their tongue.
- Tarachi: this was made up by my father-in-law, it’s a fun game where you twist your hand back and forth and sing this song “Tarachi, tarachi, Archer can make a tarachi” (pronounced ta-raaaa-chi)
- Open hands: put your hands in a fist front of your baby and slowly open them and say “open”. I’d do this over and over and slowly he started to mimic me.
- Dangle toys: Archer didn’t become interested in toys until after 2 months old, but we’d dangle his toy Moose in front of him and he’d begin to swat at it. Same type of activity he’d have in his play gym, but more portable if you’re not home or want to change the scenery.
- Tracking toys: take a toy and move it side to side up and down and watch your baby track it with their eyes. It’s good for them to practice following objects and fun for you to see them being able to track the toy’s movement. We used the Lamaze butterfly toy and had it ‘fly’ around, the sound of the crinkle wings flapping also helped him start noticing sounds and turning toward them.
- Massage: this was one of my favorite things to do. I’d get Archer just in his diaper and then I’d do some baby massage while singing a song about all this parts. I never took an actual baby massage class, but I did read up on it and wanted more of the human touch, skin to skin, so I did baby massage every day. Here was my song “We rub your chest, we rub your chest, then we rub your tummy, we rub your tummy, then we rub your sides, we rub your sides, then we rub your thighs, we rub your thighs, then we rub your knees, we rub your knees, then we rub your calves, we rub your calves, then we rub your feet and we rub your feet, then we kiss ’em we kiss ’em we kiss ’em and we kiss ’em.” I of course would smooch his feet. I did the same type song for his upper body too. This usually got lots of smiles and squirms.
Those were our main activities in the first few months. If you have any more ideas or fun games you played share them here!
Donavan having music time with Archer.