Most of babies spend the first month feeding and sleeping. At week 5, your baby is awake for longer period during the day, this is prime time to get acquainted with him. There are lot of things to do to support his sensory development and lay strong foundations for learning.
Your baby’s brain expands in size during the first three months, growing about 5 centimeters. HEARING your voice, SEEING your face up close and FEELING your touch are the best learning activities!
Hearing activities: After 4 weeks, your baby can tell the difference between familiar voices and other sounds, as he becomes a better listener. Talk to him using a lot of repetition, sing your favorite lullabies, fill the house with music without limiting yourself to children songs. Describe what you see around in the room or even if you have things to do, your baby will still enjoy hearing your voice from across the room.
Despite your baby is not able to add to your conversation yet, but you will be amazed how he becomes in tune with his environment, you will notice him looking to see where certain noises are coming from. He tries to communicate with coos, arms and legs movements and a charming toothless smile that will make you forget the sleepless nights and fatigue. Don’t forget to coo back, or copy the sounds he makes, he will like it and carry on the conversation 🙂
Seeing activities: Your baby loves looking at your face and playing eyes to eyes game. Get really close to him (he sees best up close), do facial expressions, play peek-a-boo type of games, shake a toy (rattle) or move his favorite doudou to see if he follows the movement. Take advantage of the changing diaper time and the bath time to play with your baby, you will be in a position where he can see your face up close.
As you know, unlike baby’s hearing (which is fully mature by the end of his first month), the sense of sight develops gradually over 6 to 8 months. At first your baby can’t focus farther than 20-30cm away, just the distance to the person holding him. That’s why you see most babies eyes at birth are wandering randomly or even crossed sometimes. Everything looks blurry in the beginning. At one month he starts focusing and tracking a moving object. At two and three months his brain learns to distinguish colors. As a result, he can now see bright primary colors and more detailed and complicated shapes. Encourage this development by showing him pictures and toys. Now his musical is more entertaining, not just for the sounds but for the hanging toys that he starts now stretching his hands to grab. Try also the mobile projecting light, he will be amazed every time it changes color.
Touching activities: it’s gym time! Gently move your baby’s arms and legs to exercise. Raise the arms above the head then down, bend the legs up and down or gently massage the joints, using the proper words like open, close, up and down…
Wiggle your baby’s finger and toes while counting them, clap your hands while he is curling his tiny hands around your finger. Most parents love how their babies curl their hand when they give them their index. Such a beautiful grip that warms the heart!
Have you ever danced with your 3 months baby?! hold him tight, put a nice music, turn and sway to the beat and enjoy! Make sure you are supporting his neck with one hand.
Give your baby a space to stretch and move his arms and legs. These movements can help your baby strengthen and tone his developing muscles.
Tummy time is essential from day one to help your baby grow strong. Experts find that babies who don’t spend time face-down often have some delays in their development of motor skills. On his tummy, he’ll start to push off with his legs, this is the first step in getting ready to crawl. Make sure your baby isn’t hungry or tired for the tummy time and don’t place him on a full belly to avoid spit up and acid reflux. The best time is after an hour from feeding.
Some mothers do these activities naturally, following their instinct, i believe our grand mothers and great grand mothers didn’t have access to internet or didn’t attend coaching classes and it’s amazing how they raised healthy and happy babies. Always trust your motherhood instinct and follow your heart. You are a great mother by nature 🙂