As the tiny life lies in your arms, all you and everyone around you would tell you is about how to feed, change the diaper, cloth your baby nice and warm and many more. Unknown to you, your baby has started communicating with you, crying. It would take you a few days to understand why she is crying, is it for discomfort, hunger, wet diaper, change in temperature. You have started taking to him/her in Baby Talks making him/her feel assured by the tone and warmth in your voice. There are a few typical developmental behaviours that you would see in a newborn like keeps hands fisted, jerks body in response to reflexive impulses, sleeps 16 to 18 hours of the day, blinks at a bright light, can distinguish mother's voice from voiced of other women, relaxes to soft singing, humming and gentle rocking and Will suck when inner part of lip is touched
They responds more to soft, higher - pitched voice of women rather than to lower - pitched men's voices
Things that you can do to help your baby enjoy the first few days:
- Use sheets with bright colors and bold patterns to stimulate baby vision.
- Spend time cuddling, singing and talking to your child. Shake a rattle near one side of the baby's head. Then shake it on the other side.
- Eventually, baby will search for the sound with his or her eyes.
- Hang a wind chime/mobile above baby's crib. He /she will enjoy listening to the melodious sounds it makes as you gently move the chime
- Hold baby on your left side. Baby will be comforted by the sound of your heartbeat
- Gentle voices and sounds will soothe baby, as well as soft stroking or caressing which may simulate the feeling of the fluid that surrounded baby in the womb
- Hold baby on your shoulder as you move around the room. Take a moment to stand near something interesting for baby to look at.
- Play music (devotional/classical/instrumental, your choice) near the crib/bed.
- Tell baby stories on a regular basis. Baby will not understand what you are saying, but he or she will sense the warmth of your touch and the comforting tone of your voice.
- Spend many moments holding and rocking baby while singing a song. Softly whisper in his/her ear. These actions give baby a sense of love and trust.
Play Ideas for Newborn
There has been research that early stimulation brings about changes in the brain. The stimulation can be in various ways sound (noise makers, mother’s voice), touch (feel of different fabric/ mothers touch), and vision (visual stimulation cards).
- Visual Stimulation Cards: Studies indicated that newborns are unable to see in color until sometime between the ages of 3 to 5 months. Newborns can, however, distinguish between the brightness of colors. Bold colors and sharp dark - light contrasts attract their attention more quickly than pastel colors. Studied also show that newborns can differentiate between shapes and patterns. You can download the free printable of visual Stimulation Cards. Take a printout and laminate them. Keep a few near the bed/cot, DIY mobile, near the diaper changing area, on the wall during tummy time? Do change the cards every week
- Talk to your baby: It is important that you make eye contact and talk to your baby. Imitate the sounds that your baby does. Smile, open your eyes wide, make facial expression, and talk using baby talk. Research has also shown that it is very important to talk to your baby on a regular basis. It has been said “the greater the number of words children (hear) from their parents or caregivers the higher their IQ and the better they (do) in school”. You can also sing rhymes with action: Pat - a - Cake, Wheels of the Bus, if you are happy and you know it clap your hand, Itsy bitsy spider, wind the bobbin up.
- Reading: Sure you would have started reading when you were pregnant. Do continue that. They will enjoy the varying tone and pitch in your voice. If you have an older kid, this is a great activity to involve them.
- Touch and feel: You can carry your baby in your wrap, so he or she can feel the warmth of your body. You can make a few pieces of various fabric like as, silk, wool, cotton, and jean and gently rub on your baby’s palm as you talk about the texture and colour. You can also give him/her baby safe toys for them to hold on.
- Tummy Time: Tummy time is important and this lays the foundation for the later motor milestones that your baby will develop during the first year — skills such as rolling, pushing her chest off the ground, sitting, crawling, cruising, and walking.
(Be aware of over stimulation. Action such as yawning, arching the back maybe signals from baby meaning he or she needs to rest calmly for a while)
Now that we know a lot more about babies — or at least our baby — we know not to expect a lot of interaction from a newborn. But that doesn't mean playing with your brand-new baby isn't important. From day one, your baby's interested in what's going on around him. Deep in his head, there's a lot going on. Connections are being made and information is being sorted and categorized. Playing games helps fit the puzzle pieces together — as your baby grows, play is crucial for his social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Play also brings you and your baby closer and makes your time together that much more enjoyable.
Remember: The more your baby laughs, the less he cries!
There are three main ways to stimulate your newborn.
First, accept that adult company is the best entertainment for him and find different ways of providing it. Park his bassinet or bouncy seat near the hub of household activity, for instance, and encourage everyone to stop by for quick "chats." Also keep your baby beside you while you're reading or watching television, and get into the habit of taking him with you while you putter around the house.
Second, understand that being carried provides the perfect vantage point for your wakeful newborn. The rhythm of your movements is as good as a massage or a dance, and the panorama of life that he sees and hears as you stroll through your garden or up the street is as interesting as any movie. So find a sling or a strap-on baby carrier that's comfortable for you and that has good head support for your newborn. In addition to providing your baby a good spot from which to see the world around him, this has the added benefit of freeing up your hands for simple jobs around the house, grocery shopping, and other errands. Once he's able to hold his head up on his own (usually around 3 or 4 months), try occasionally switching your baby around in the carrier so that his back is to you and he faces forward, where he can easily take in everything around him.
Finally, give your new baby lots of different things to look at. One simple way to do this is to move his crib or baby seat from one interesting spot to another. At first, he won't be able to see anything more than a foot away from him in great detail, but he'll nevertheless enjoy the delicate play of shadows your window blinds project onto a nearby wall, a bright curtain gently fluttering in the breeze, and the varied shapes and colors of a big houseplant or an outdoor tree or bush.
If you feel you need any kind of help regarding the care of your baby, feel free to consult our “Post-Partum Psychosis Expert” or “Child Psychologist” online by booking an appointment on www.myfitbrain.in
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