Of course your baby’s favourite place to play will be in your arms, staring into your eyes or flung over your shoulder and being carried around all day, but a baby needs playtime alone to build confidence and for you to be able to do day to day activities. It is not easy having a shower or cooking lunch with baby strapped to your hip. Babies can only distinguish black and white in the first four weeks of life, with red and yellow starting to come into focus around week six. Around this time your baby’s attention span may shorten as she is able to see more at a distance and gets bored with static toys that do not chat back so new play areas need to be sought out. She may now be able to track and follow so static toys no longer hold the same fascination.
Here are a few ideas to keep your baby happy………..
Draw new pictures adding some colour such as black, red and yellow. My Social Baby book and mobile set has lots of interesting faces and shapes to look at. Helium balloons with a picture of a face or animal. Baby apps are the new mobile, Fisher Price colour and contrast is lovely.
Baby’s first board book can stand easily, with stimulating bold simple shapes or animal pictures such as a black and white dog, cow or a large green frog. These are a good investment and will be used later on for reading and teaching colours.
The Tiny Love Symphony in Motion Cot Mobile is a great toy which will last months and keep your baby entertained as it plays for 20 minutes, unlike the usual 30 seconds to a few minutes on most other brands. Changing rooms or new play station will help keep things interesting. Using a baby chair to watch you moving around the room, doing chores, underneath a plant, something reflective such as a chrome kitchen bin or a mirror. This is a good time to start toy rotation where you put away a few favorite toys and reintroduce a week or two later to regain interest. This keeps play fresh without having to buy or find new toys. Toy rotation works well with children of all ages.
My favorite baby toys are the Lamaze range with Jacque the peacock top of the list. Large hypnotic eyes, black and white and a stimulating squeaker! The Tiny Love gym is another must have, with bold colours, music and a mirror.
Don’t forget tummy time but leave at least 30 minutes after feeding to digest milk before putting your baby on her stomach for obvious reasons, you wouldn’t want the whole milk feed coming back up! Really you should start tummy time in the first few weeks so your baby can get used to it otherwise she may not like the idea. Tummy time helps build neck strength so your baby can hold its own head upright. Babies that are not put on their tummy are less likely to crawl. Tummy time is also essential for core strength which supports the spine.