Babies are such adorable little sponges and they love many things. This list covers six things we notice the most.
More than anything, your baby will love your face, but they also love faces in general. This may be a survival mechanism, as eye-contact strengthens the caregiver-child bond, but it’s also an important way that your baby will learn about emotions and communication. When they are first born, your little one can only see in black, white and shades of grey. When they reach 4-5 months, they will start to see colour, and will see reds and oranges first. Newborns can only see clearly up close, so stay within 25-30cm of their face and hold eye contact for 5-10 seconds, this is bonding at its best.
Your baby’s love of mirrors will go hand in hand with their love of faces. That’s why, as your baby starts to understand the idea of self-recognition, the mirror will become one of their favourite things to look at. They’ll eventually learn that it’s their own face peering back at them and will recognise their reflection whenever they catch it. Whether it’s their parent’s, their caregiver’s, a friendly visitor’s or their own, your baby just won’t get enough of faces peering back at them.
Babies think peek-a-boo is just the bee’s knees, and over the next couple of years you will find yourself playing it a lot. Peek-a-boo is a great social game that you can play with your baby from day one. It encourages social development, builds gross motor skills, strengthens visual tracking, stimulates baby's senses, and – best of all – it usually gets a great giggle. If all that wasn’t great enough, peek-a-boo also teaches object permanence: which is the concept that even though your baby can't see something (like your smiling face), it still exists. As your baby develops, so does the way they play, so Peek-a-boo is sure to be a firm favourite for months to come. They’ll even start initiating the game themselves. So cute!
Gentle touch or tickling
Babies love and crave touch, so engaging in skin-to-skin contact, cuddling, holding hands, or touching their fingers and toes are all great ways to bond. Our little ones, not only babies but toddlers, love being gently tickled and you’re sure to get a smile or laugh in return. Laughing together is such a wonderful way to bond.
Books that rhyme, books with a simple story, books with interactive elements! It’s never too early to start reading to your little one. Put aside some time each day to read a book together. For the little ones, black and white, high contrast books are excellent for their developing visual system. Also, they will love books with texture and ‘things to touch’ as they develop and start to explore the exciting world of textures and books with flaps are fun to open and close, while teaching object permanence.
Noise-making things and things they can bang
One of the things your baby will love is making noise and plenty of it. A little wooden toy on the wooden floor... what a great noise. Playing with Mummy’s car keys… another great noise. Musical instruments like tambourines and maracas are wonderful learning resources. Shaking these involves a small movement, which will develop their fine-motor skills. And better still, all of this noise-making is teaching cause-and-effect, which is understanding that when I bang or shake this, it makes this noise.
Have you noticed your little one loving any of the activities above? Tag us on social @playlogy.co.nz or send us an email with your photos. We love seeing your little ones engaging with the world around them.
Shop our store for helpful play resources that assist with your baby’s budding development.
Let the fun and games begin.