Playing with baby is one of the most important and fun things you can do as a new parent. You are helping with their development whilst strengthening the bond between the two of you.
We asked our supernanny, Sam Balfour to help us put together this quick guide on games to play with baby, at key stages during their first year.
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One month old
Even at such a young age, your baby will know the sound of your voice and feel a real comfort from hearing it. Their world is you and your partner and the more interaction you give them the better.
Sam says; “Most one month old babies really just eat, sleep and poop! Having said that, the most important thing any parent/carer can do at this stage is talk to baby. Look at them and interact with them during everyday tasks, even in the most mundane of things. Talk about the diaper change, warming up a bottle or preparing for a feed. Although not necessarily ‘playing’ you’re opening up the world of communication.”
Three months old
You will most likely have enjoyed your baby’s first smile by now. The best part is, you will want to see it again and again. Every chance you get you will encourage your baby to show this beautiful expression and it’ll come with ease.
Sam says: “At this age children love to be smiled at and also catching a glimpse of their own reflection. The game I love most with this age group is ‘peek a boo,’ using a small hand held mirror. As you show the baby their reflection in the mirror, say “peek-a-boo” with a huge smile on your face. You need to position the mirror so that baby can also see your reflection. Watch as they coo and smile back at you!”
Six months old
As baby becomes more aware, the possibilities with games are endless. Sometimes the simplest of things get the best reactions! They will love to laugh and giggle with you and you won’t even need any toys for this! Just you and your silly expressions and sounds!
Sam says: “Babies always love to be sung to so a great game at this age is to lie the down on their back and sing, “This little piggy’. When you get to his little baby toe, tickle him from his toe up to his knee as the piggy runs home. Making funny faces and blowing raspberries on their tummy will be sure to get a giggle or two. This is a great way to make diaper changes more fun but works at any time that baby is lying down on their back too!”
Nine months old
Read about games to play with baby at 9 & 12 months on the next page…