Most new parents are so scared of their new responsibility that they consider it an achievement to just be able to keep the baby safe and alive! It is natural for anyone to be scared. Just imagine! Having to be completely responsible for an infant’s safety and life can’t be easy, especially if you are not used to being around kids. But slowly, most parents get the hang of it and get back into their daily lives, albeit with many adjustments.
But sometimes parents underestimate the value of playing with their infant. Your baby’s brain grows very quickly during the first year. This is the year when any individual learns the most. The baby learns to recognize you by your voice, smell, taste, footsteps and face. The baby learns to recognize other small things and people around it. It learns to explore the world around it, focusing mostly on color, sound and motion. Playing with the child aids in learning better and faster, besides helping in developing new skills.
Here are a few activities that will interest your child and will help it develop its skills:
• Crawling: Babies learn to crawl anytime after six to eight months of age. To make crawling more fun and interesting, add some play to it. Place your baby on a blanket on the floor. Preferably, take this play outdoor coz that’s where babies are happiest. Now as your baby starts to crawl, induce it to change direction and come toward you. Attract the baby by calling out its name or by clapping.
• Bubble Bobble: As your child is seated in its seat, blow out some bubbles near its face. Show the baby how to burst the bubbles. The baby will love to catch the bubbles and will also love missing them!
• Rocking Chair: Sit in a rocking chair with the baby in your lap. Try to rock the chair in rhythm with some music or lullaby that you sing to it.
• Look At Stuff: Going through things like toys, books, pictures etc is a whole new learning experience for the baby. Just make sure that the ‘stuff’ is safe for babies and not too important. Who knows what damage the baby might wreak!
• Sing And Dance: You may not be the “Indian Idol” material, but your baby won’t notice. Your voice is the sweetest sound to it. So sing to it and sometimes, do a little dance. This is sure to have the baby laughing itself silly.
• The Flying Machine: After your baby is old enough to hold its head up, you can play this little game. Pretend that the baby is an airplane. Hoist it up in the air and glide it slowly across. Babies usually love this one.
There’s no complete list of games you can play with your baby. Most parents invent a few of their own as they go along. They key point is to spend time with your child and make it feel loved and cherished.