Active babies are happy babies. Doctors and experts recommend limiting screen time for babies and toddlers, why even for adults. But then you face a dilemma after switching off the TV, tablet, and phone. What do you do now? Not many people can think of activities to keep a baby busy. Unlike toddlers and children who can run around on their own, a baby needs your help to stay active.
Activity, Movement, and Playtime
Movement is just as important for babies as it is for adults. In fact, it may be even more important. Babies are learning every waking moment. They are developing their motor skills and sensory capabilities (sight, sound, touch, smell). Babies spend most of their time sleeping and feeding. So it is important to make the time for play and fun activities.
A lot of parents find that it is easier to build playtime into the daily routine. Dedicate a specific time for playing with your child every day. Otherwise, playtime is likely to slip through the cracks. Any activity helps babies develop their muscles but making it fun will also keep them interested.
This is also a great time for you to bond with them. With our busy schedules, we are always multitasking. Preparing food while talking on the phone, feeding the baby while clearing out old emails etc. The 30 minutes you spend with your baby every day is precious and valuable.
So what kind of fun activities can keep your baby active?
Most babies spend a lot of time lying on their back. Whether you’re feeding them or changing a diaper, they’re always looking up at the world. So tummy time is very important to help develop the muscles they need to sit up and crawl. But don’t expect your baby to spend a lot of time on their tummy from the get-go.
Start out with a few minutes at a time and increase the duration gradually. Make sure that both you and your baby are wide awake and alert. Neither one of you should fall asleep during tummy time! Try it out in their crib for the first few weeks before moving on to the floor. If your baby doesn’t want to stay in that position, put some toys nearby. This will give them an incentive to reach out and grab them.
While baby yoga might seem like a fad or trend, it is a great activity for newborns and parents. It is not strenuous and helps your baby’s body to be more flexible. Baby yoga sessions can help your child stay calm and promotes better sleep. It can also help settle their digestive systems and reduce the incidence of colic and wind. Apart from these physical benefits, it is a good time for you to relax and unwind with your child. As a bonus, you get to meet other parents with babies of the same age. Babies need to socialize with other children just as much as they need time with you.
Toys can help stimulate your baby’s mental and physical development. For the first few years of a child’s life, there is no practical difference between a toy and a learning tool. You can use toys as a way to keep your baby active. Baby gyms with bright colors and soft edges are a good option.
You can also use rattles and other toys that make a noise or play some music to keep them engaged. You may be surprised at how well your baby responds to rhythm and music even at a young age. Help them swing their arms or clap their hands in time to the music. Pretty soon, you will be copying their dance moves!
It’s never too early to go to the pool with your baby. In fact, you can start as soon as your baby is three months old. If your baby is too young for the pool, help them get comfortable in the water during bath time. Immerse them gently or splash water on them so they’re familiar with the sensations.
Swimming is a great activity for babies because it helps them develop water confidence. They are less likely to be afraid of water later in life. It also helps babies to develop their balance and coordination. Generally speaking, babies who can swim have better balance than their peers.
Swimming helps to develop joints, muscles, and even the strength of internal organs like the lungs and heart. It’s also good for mental development. Regular swim lessons will tire out your baby, helping them fall asleep faster. They may not yet sleep through the night but they will sleep better when they do.
Remember your baby doesn’t have to walk and run to stay active. Help them stay active with toys, swim lessons, and even yoga sessions!