The first month with your new baby is an exciting time, it’s a time to form a strong bond but also great to introduce playtime. Yes even with your new born baby you can have fun. Here are our favourite things to do with a newborn baby that both of you will enjoy. Check out these fun activities below.
If you have concerns about your baby at all speak with your health visitor or doctor and make them aware of your concerns at your next appointment.
Things to do with your new baby
We’ve put together some of our favourite things to do between 0 and 1 month old. These simple play activities help your baby meet developmental milestones. So have some fun with your little one and enjoy the snuggles.
When to do playtime with your newborn?
There are so many opportunities to do playtime with your newborn, diaper changes, baths, out in the stroller, tummy time or even just sitting cuddling are good. Take note of your baby’s cues and don’t push it, if they are getting upset stop, tired or hungry then wait and do the activity at a different time.
Try and fit in the activities around your baby’s awake time, you will find it much easier the older they get as they will start to fall into a daily routine and pattern.
Activity Ideas for Babies from Birth to Big Kids
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Stretching at Diaper Changing Time
A great activity to do with your baby is holding their hands gently singing and stretch their body moving it so that they can start to find their feet, hands and more. It’s also a great time to get any older children you may have involved. Check out our Diaper Changing Sing and Stretch Game for Babies.
Baby massage is a gentle and rhythmic stroking of your baby’s body using your hands. It promotes bonding and attachment between you and your baby, fostering a sense of security and trust. The soothing strokes and gentle pressure help relax your baby’s muscles and calm their nervous system, leading to improved sleep and relief from common discomforts like gas.
I attended a baby massage class when mine were little and was given recommendations on oils and movements. But, the biggest benefit as my oldest spent most of the time asleep was actually meeting other new mums something that was so important to my own care as a new mother.
Reading out loud will forever be one of the best activities you can do with your baby, after having an emergency cesarean section with both of my children I was limited for the first month with what I was able to do as I recovered. Reading aloud with books from my own childhood as well as sharing black and white books and those with different textures in.
Did you know you can also make your own black and white books check out this DIY black and white book for baby.
Reading will help with language development right from an early age. Don’t even worry if the books aren’t written in baby language. The act of reading will start to introduce now skills that won’t become noticeable until they are much much older.
Singing Nursery Rhymes and Songs
Sing some Babies Favourite Nursery Rhymes to your child and watch their eyes over this first month, you will soon catch on to their favourites and you can sing those more frequently and enjoy the smiles and giggles over the coming months from these fun songs. The rhythm of the words and fun sounds will help with language skills even this early in their lives.
Playing with Finger Puppets
Use simple puppets like our Monkey, Duck, Frog and Spacemen to “sing” and act with your baby. As their vision improves over this first month you will find that they are able to focus and watch the puppets and will love to hear your voice as you sing the fun rhymes to them as well.
Keep your puppets just out of your baby’s reach and soon you will notice that your little one will start to move towards and try and grasp them over the coming months improving their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Tummy time is an essential activity for babies that involves placing them on their stomach while they are awake and supervised. It helps strengthen your baby’s neck muscles, back, and shoulder muscles and improve their head control as they learn to lift their head and eventually crawl. It also promotes gross motor skills by encouraging them to push up on their arms, reach for toys, and eventually roll over. These movements help develop their overall strength, coordination, and balance.
Lay your baby on the play mat on their belly then get down with them, use colourful toys, rattles, mirrors and other objects to encourage them to interact with you. You can buy an activity mat that has a lot of the objects included in it already.
Start with short sessions, a few minutes at a time, several times a day, and gradually increase the duration as your baby becomes more comfortable and engaged.
Want to know more about Tummy Time and how you can start it with your new baby then check out our Tummy Time Tips, Advice and Activities for Your Baby and You.
Bath Time Fun
Bath time is a great time to include some newborn play, why not blow bubbles and let them pop on their stomach. Splash water gently at their legs and watch them kick it away. Or the classic grab a towel and play peek a boo making silly faces and noises as you play together. Or sing some nursery rhymes as you use a gentle sponge to clean them check out our best bath songs and nursery rhymes for your baby and you to sing.
Take your baby outside in the fresh air for a stroll to the local playground (somewhere you will become very familiar with over the coming years) in a stroller or baby carrier. Point out different sights and sounds, such as birds or flowers, and describe them to your baby don’t worry about using baby language. Speaking to your baby in any way you can help with interaction and brain development.
Sit down in the shade underneath a tree and watch them become fascinated by the moving shadows and light in the sky above them.
What to Expect this First Month
There will be so much information bombarded at you from family and friends but here are just a few things that you can expect with your newborn.
Oh, if you have a toddler and a newborn then why not take a look at our Nursing Box for Toddlers which will help you so much and was invaluable when I had two under two!
There Will Be a Lot of Sleeping
Typically, newborns will sleep around 16 hours a day. Keep an eye on the clock and make sure that he or she is not sleeping through feedings. If your baby is having trouble sleeping there can be many different reasons why.
Your baby could be overstimulated, constipated, hungry, have a dirty nappy, or just need some mummy time.
He or She Will Be Growing
Your baby may lose a little bit of weight in the first few days out in the world. Normally babies will lose around ten percent of their weight due to excess water.
By two weeks old they should be back to their birth weight and will continue to gain weight throughout their development.
Your Baby Will Recognize Smells
If you are breastfeeding, you will notice that your baby is somewhat of an expert on tracking down your milk. Your baby recognizes the smell of your milk and will move his or her head and mouth towards the scent when hungry. If you don’t breastfeed then the baby will soon learn to recognise you, whether it’s your family washing powder that all members will smell of or your body products the smell is something that develops quickly in the first month.
Your baby will also make a sour face when he or she smells something that they do not like.
He or She Will Notice Sounds
By one month old, your baby’s hearing is fully developed. He or she will recognize familiar sounds, such as your voice.
Also, though your child will not have a full conversation with you just yet, be sure to talk to your child daily. Use different tones of voice and match those tones with your facial expression.
Your Baby Will Improve Their Vision
Your baby can focus up to one foot away during the first month. When you are making cute little faces at your lovely bundle of joy, lean in a little closer so he or she can observe your face and expression.
Your baby is going to try to make connections with their environment regularly, so move slowly, pronounce your words so he or she can see your lips moving, and smile a lot.
Your baby will not be running around anytime soon, but every milestone is going to be an essential step towards that day when he or she learns how to walk, climb, and tumble.
In the first month, your baby will be able to move his or her head from side to side and move their arms and legs.
Your baby’s head will need to be supported during this time because the baby will not be able to lift his or her head on their own for a couple of months.
Your Baby’s First Year
I remember when both my children were born I had no idea what to do with them really apart from plenty of cuddles, feeding and changing them. I sought out advice from my parents, friends and family on simple fun things to do with my newborn especially as I was on maternity leave.
Check out these simple ideas for their 2nd month and find some inspiration for activities you can do at home.
Over the next 12 months, your baby will change beyond recognition and we’re here to provide ideas for you all the way with a little information about what to expect each month in general terms as well as some suggestions of activities and fun things to do together. Every new milestone is an accomplishment and should be celebrated. Remember that every baby is different and will develop at their own pace.
This first month take it slow; hold your baby, comfort him or her, smile, talk, feed, change nappies, and love.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.