Great Games for the Youngest Babies

Even in the earliest months, there are games you can play with your baby to engage, stimulate, and encourage development. While baby isn’t really ready yet for much in the way of toys, she is taking everything in and will soon start responding to your efforts to communicate. Simple games, although they start out one sided, are a great way to motivate those responses.

Remember when you are talking to and playing with your new baby, especially in the first three months, that her eyesight is still developing. She sees best from a distance of about a foot, and is best able to make out high contrast colors, especially black and white. So keep games up close and personal to allow baby to see what’s going on.

Making Faces

Young babies respond best to human faces. There is nothing they would rather look at, so using your face to play games with baby is a great way to get started. Start with the most basic baby game – peek-a-boo. First hide your whole face in your hands, then try hiding just half, covering one eye and then the other, or just your mouth or eyes. Next, drop down out of baby’s sight and then reappear.

Make different faces for baby by changing your expression, sticking out your tongue, and raising your eyebrows. You can combine this game with peek-a-boo by varying the expression on your face every time it reappears. Eventually, you will notice that she starts smiling or trying to imitate your expressions, but for the first few months she is just taking it all in. Don’t be disappointed if there isn’t as much reaction as you had hoped for; your baby is just too young yet to respond, but she is definitely paying attention.

A Little Anatomy Lesson

In the first months of life, your baby is just learning that he even has a body, never mind what to do with it. Discovering body parts like hands and feet are great fun for baby, and games that point out body parts are a great way to help baby locate and learn all about his own body.

A classic game like “This Little Piggy” is a great one for young babies. It’s best done with baby lying on his back, so his feet can be up in the air and within his range of sight. Kneel over him and grab each toe as you play the game. Stick with the traditional tale of the piggy that went to market and the one who stayed home, or make up your own words. Just make sure to include the grand finale, tickling your fingers up baby’s body!

Another simple anatomy game is to lay your baby on the floor and kiss each body part in turn, naming them as you go. Start at the feet and work your way up so you can finish by kissing his soft little cheeks and lips! This is a wonderful post-bath game when you can get at all those little parts before putting clothes on again!

Remember that your baby is learning even when he is very young and doesn’t appear to be involved in what’s going on. His developing mind is working overtime absorbing information and trying to make sense of it. Before long, baby will start playing his part in the games as well, and you will realize he was paying attention all along.

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