15 Things to Do With Your Baby Each Day
The first year of a baby’s life is full of wonder, learning, and special moments. As a parent, you want to cherish this precious time by spending quality time with your little one every day.
In this blog post, we are going to share a list of things and activities to share with your babies each day to build bonding, development, and healthy growth.
Things to Do With Your Baby Each Day
- Read books together. Reading promotes language development and literacy skills from an early age. Hold your baby close and read simple, colorful books. Point to pictures and name objects as you read. Reading the same books allows your baby to become familiar with them.
- Sing songs and nursery rhymes. Singing exposes your baby to rhythm, melody, and language patterns. Bouncing your baby to upbeat songs or singing soft lullabies are great ways to bond. Recite nursery rhymes and do the motions. Your baby will love the repetition.
- Play peekaboo. Peekaboo helps your baby learn object permanence – just because something is out of sight, it still exists. Peekaboo also teaches anticipation and surprise. Pop out from behind your hands or a blanket. Say “peekaboo!” in an excited voice and smile. Your baby will love it.
- Go on walks. Going outside provides new sights, sounds, and sensations. Walks are relaxing for both baby and parent. Point out trees, flowers, birds, and other interesting things. Take your baby’s stroller or wear them in a front carrier. Fresh air and movement are good for you both.
- Give tummy time. Tummy time helps strengthen neck, arm, and trunk muscles. Lay your baby on their stomach on the floor. Sit nearby and interact. Put toys just out of reach so your baby works to grab them. Start with just a few minutes at a time. As your baby becomes accustomed to it, increase tummy time duration.
- Talk, coo, and babble. Have conversations with your baby. Their language skills develop through interaction with you. Mimic the sounds your baby makes and reply with your own coos and words. Talk about your day while changing diapers or feeding your baby. Describe what you’re doing as you go through your daily routines.
- Listen to music. Music engages your baby’s auditory system and exposes them to a variety of sounds, tones, rhythms, and patterns. Hold your baby and dance or sway to the music. Sing lullabies softly. Play music boxes or children’s songs. Your baby will love listening to you.
- Play with toys. Toys that make sounds, lights, and movements engage your baby’s senses. Rattles, stackers, and activity mats are great at this age. Play gyms with dangling toys are fun when your baby can kick their legs and bat at the toys. Place toys with different textures in your baby’s hands too.
- Work on tummy time. As your baby grows stronger, add in “supported sitting” by placing toys around your baby while they sit propped between your legs. Your baby will work their core muscles to sit upright and swipe at toys. Never leave your baby unsupervised during tummy time or supported sitting.
- Cuddle. Physical touch and emotional connection are so important. Hold your baby close, make eye contact, smile, and talk to them. Skin-to-skin contact calms babies. Your hugs and kisses help your baby feel secure. Don’t forget to take quiet moments just to snuggle your sweet baby.
White Noise – White noise helps soothe babies and blocks disruptive household sounds that can disturb sleep. The steady shushing sound reminds babies of being in the womb. Play white noise during naps or bedtime to help your baby sleep peacefully.
Skin-to-Skin Contact – Skin-to-skin contact, also called kangaroo care, provides many benefits. Holding your bare baby against your bare chest promotes bonding, provides comfort and warmth, stabilizes heart rate, and can even help with breastfeeding. Enjoy skin-to-skin time often.
Bath Time – Bath time is about more than just getting clean. It’s a chance to bond with your baby. Keep your baby safe and comfortable in a baby tub. Play with plastic bath toys and give your baby gently splashes and pours with water. Talk, sing, and engage your baby throughout the bath.
Outdoor Activities – In nice weather, take your baby outside for a change of scenery. Go for walks, sit in the grass, and look at flowers and plants. Fresh air and sunlight provide vitamin D. Just be sure to protect your baby from sun exposure. Being outdoors together is healthy for you both.
Massage – Infant massage promotes bonding, relaxation, and sensory development. Use a gentle baby lotion or oil to massage your baby’s arms, legs, back, and tummy. Go slowly and watch for cues your baby enjoys the touch. Eye contact and soothing music can make massage extra calming.
The first year with your new baby is a special time full of love, wonder, and new experiences. Spending meaningful time with your baby each day will promote secure attachment, stimulation, and joy. Simple activities like reading, singing, playing, cuddling, and talking help your baby learn, develop mentally and physically, and feel safe and loved. Keep things fresh by incorporating new ideas like music, outdoor time, bath play, and infant massage too.
The consistent interaction and care you give your baby now pay off with big rewards as you build a strong lifelong bond. Cherish this first year by sharing in the little moments together. Learn here more about baby care and healthy growth.
Q. How much time should I spend with my baby each day?
Experts recommend devoting several hours per day of direct interaction with your baby through activities like talking, reading, singing, playing, cuddling, and more. Infants need a lot of attention and quality time with their parents to thrive.
Q. What are the best activities for bonding with my newborn?
Excellent bonding activities for newborns include skin-to-skin contact, reading books together, singing songs, playing with rattles and toys, going on walks, giving baths, promoting tummy time, and plenty of cuddling and eye contact.
Q. What kind of play is appropriate for babies under 1 year?
Babies under 1 year enjoy activities like peekaboo, rattling toys, stuffed animals, soft blocks, board books, splash play, and dropping toys into containers. Choose toys with different colors, textures, and sounds. Tummy time and supported sitting also promote play skills.
Q. How can I keep my baby entertained when I need to get things done?
When you need to get things done, use activity gyms and play mats, swings, bouncers, and safe spaces like pack-n-plays. Have toys and books within reach and make sure your baby is content before stepping away briefly. Check on them frequently.
Q. What are signs my baby is not getting enough interaction?
Signs a baby may not be getting enough interaction include decreased interest in toys, lack of cooing/babbling, less smiling or laughter, poor weight gain, lack of eye contact, and crying that is inconsolable. Make sure to spend plenty of time each day actively engaging with your baby.