How To Play With a Newborn: A Complete Guide

How To Play With a Newborn: A Complete Guide
Last Updated: 04 August 2021

When do babies start playing with toys? This is a question a lot of parents ask themselves once they have their newborn babies comfortable in their homes. These little humans who blankly look at the roof make subtle sounds and slowly move their limbs, do they need to play? They do not understand anything, or so we think! Well, science has proved that as from these early moments, newborn playing is fundamental.

In this piece, you will learn what to do with a newborn, why it is important, and ways to do it. So if you want to find out all these and more, read on.

How to Play With a Newborn

Newborn babies are perhaps one of the most comfortable humans on the planet. As long as they are well-fed, and their diaper is clean, your newborn is the most peaceful person in the room. As a matter of fact, a neighbor might never know you have an infant in your house.

activities to do with newborn

Well, to have a happy baby, you also have to include activities to do with a newborn and offer plenty of tummy time. So how to play with a newborn is very simple. For starters, you should make sure that your baby is well-fed and has a clean diaper before starting. Next, you pick up the best infant toys. These include rattles, fluffy animal toys, and rubber toys that are safe for your child. To play, you have to pass the toy in front of their eyes at proximity as newborn babies cannot see far just yet. At that age, they can barely hold on to something — hence you will be doing all the holding.

Shake the toy and make sounds as you move it, basically anything to entertain the baby. In the beginning, you will feel like a big fool, but don’t worry, soon, you will get the hang of it.

The best infant toys to get are the ones with very contrasting colors. The best sorts are the ones that are red, black, white or all three shades. Infants at this tender age notice these colors instantly, thus the best of the best.

Why it is Important to Play with Newborn

There are so many benefits to playing with newborns. These advantages are as follows:

Physical Development

Indeed your little one may not be able to jump up and down, but that does not rule out the physical aspect of growth attached to newborn playing. While you play with the little cutie, move the toy back and forth and side to side. After a while, you will notice that the child wants to reach out to get a hold of the toy. This little movement is vital in the physical aspect. You strengthen their neck and limb muscles as they move side to side following the toy.

do newborns need toys

Another position that newborn babies can play is on their tummy. But why is tummy time important? This tummy time playtime encourages muscle growth, especially on their neck, hand, chest, and back areas.

Emotional Development

Let’s say that one of the best infant toys you have is a sound-producing rubber duckie! And every time you squeeze the toy, a squicky sound comes out. When you do so, does your baby smile? Well, most babies find these sounds amusing and cannot help a smile or even a subtle coo. The action is teaching the baby to smile, which is a by-product of happiness. The spectrum of emotions gets natural and extended as they grow.

Cognitive Development

Newborn development activities also play a significant role in brain development. Free playing, even at this early stage, affects the child’s intelligence, ability to express themselves, confidence, and memory. They also develop speech, reasoning, judging, and creativity. It is through play that they learn that a toy will fall to the ground from a higher spot, and later on, discover that this is gravity. You see, in as much as they might not know what gravity is for years to come, the idea imprints at infancy.

Simple Ways to Play with Newborns

There are so many ways to play with newborns and keep them. All of them are very simple and include little or no toys at all. The best newborn playtime activities can consist of any of the following;

games to play with newborn

Singing Songs

One very engaging way to play with your infant is to sing songs to them. You can either sing softly or put on some music and dance with them across the room. Lift them and sway them side to side — they love this. This newborn playing activity is also good for you and very entertaining. Don’t worry; the little one will not judge you just because you can’t dance salsa perfectly.

Use Sound-Producing Toys

These are some of the best infant toys you will ever find. This lot includes rattles, rubber duckies, teddy bears, and shakers. The rattles give out a high-pitched shaking sound that babies find very entertaining as well as the rubber toys that give the same when squeezed. Within their field of vision, use these toys and see how they react pleasantly to the sounds.

Tickle Their Tummies, Feet, and Hands

No one can resist a good tickle, even an adult. And infants find this very interesting. This is one of the games to play with newborns to be enjoyed during tummy time. However, with babies this young, you have to be gentle. Subtly introduce the tickles with a massage and advance by doing so by producing funny noises with your mouth.

playing with newborns

Other activities may include:

  • Reading to them
  • Playing with textured books and toys
  • Playing with toys during bathtime
  • Watching sensory videos

Final Thoughts

The question of when do babies start playing with toys has been answered – and the answer is immediate. Your infant may not be able to say a word yet, but if you keep up with newborn playtime, you will notice your little one making milestones faster than you thought. And who would not want to see their baby walking and talking in under one year! So, make sure that your baby gets all the playtime they can handle. For more, you can head to and gather some more info on activities and toys that your newborn will love. Make a routine and use clean, sterile, safe infant toys too. This is a perfect, joyful, and enjoyable bonding time for you and the newborn baby.

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