How to play with a newborn
I get sent alot of messages by mums asking - "how can I stimulate my newborn" or "what toys should I buy to play with him?"
And my answer....
Your baby really does not need that much stuff. In these early stages, newborn play is all about you and your baby. In fact, you're already "stimulating" your baby in many ways without even realising it - when you feed them, cuddle them, look at them, talk and sing to them for example. All of which play an important role in their development.
Here are a few other simple ways to play and interact with your newborn:
Black and white stimulation - Newborns can only see in black and white to begin with and research has proven that using high contrast shapes and patterns will have the biggest impact on your baby's visual and brain development. You will find a collection of black and white toys, as well as a specific newborn sensory box via the website.
Read, talk and sing - I mentioned above that you're probably already talking and singing to your baby already. Babies love to hear our voices - and will recognise them as early as in the womb. So don't be afraid to read to your newborn or talk to them telling them about your day and what you're doing. Not only can it be soothing for your baby but it already sets the foundations for encouraging the development of language and social skills.
Tummy time - Just placing your baby on your tummy for cuddles is a great way to encourage tummy time in those early days. You can then progress this onto the floor. Getting down on the floor with them, placing interesting and fun toys in front of them, propping them on a tummy time pillow etc are all great ways for making tummy time fun. Tummy time is important for helping your baby to strengthen their back, neck and shoulder muscles - the muscles required for helping them become more mobile later down the line. It is also great for encouraging fine and gross motor skills and visual and sensory development as well as helping to prevent flat head syndrome.
There are a range of toys and resources via the website that are great for encouraging tummy time.
Most importantly - don't put pressure on yourself to go out and buy lots of toys. Enjoy the moments together and just keep it simple.