*This blog post is created in partnership with & sponsored by ABC Pediatric Therapy*
Your child’s first year is jam packed with fun milestones! Before you know it your little one is doing something new he/she just wasn’t the day before. Did you know there’s a wonderful array of developmental activities for infants you can do everyday? As a new mom – a third time around – I have become even more interested in learning about my baby’s development. When my older boys were born, I truly did not understand the importance of certain activities. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful resources & education we have today! I hope that sharing these activities inspires you to get excited developmental activities for infants as well!
Let’s dive right in – here’s five developmental activities for infants
1.Visual Stimulus Cards & Books
Did you know that your newborn baby is born seeing their life around them as a blur? Black and white toys are perfect at stimulating their brain and eye development – so important! Between 3-6 months your baby’s vision becomes more clear. This includes seeing color – especially red! Reading books & flashcards with your little one is so special. Not only does it enhance brain development – but baby and parent bonding as well. Our friends at ABC Pediatric Therapy have a great list of developmental benefits of reading to your child – number one being, “one on one interaction with your child!” There are so many fun black & white/visual stimulus card sets & books out on the market. I have listed some of my favorites below!
2. Tummy Time
Good ole tummy time! Raise your hand if your baby doesn’t always enjoy tummy time? Don’t worry – it’s totally normal! It’s hard work! Our friends at ABC Pediatric Therapy say, “Babies often resist this position for an easier position of flexion – lying on their back or snuggling on their parent’s chest.” Good news: tummy time on your chest still counts! Hold your baby on your chest, facing you, and recline back so you are face to face. Babies love to hear your voice and see you!
There are many reasons tummy time is important! “Tummy time gives the child a different visual field to look at and explore. The strength and endurance required to maintain your position on your belly as well as to weight shift to lift an arm and move is very difficult. The head/neck control a baby gains while playing on their tummy allows them to have more success with being held upright as well as gaining the skill of sitting.” – ABC Pediatric Therapy
Tummy Time Tips
It should always be supervised and done when your child is awake.
Perform tummy time for short intervals (10 minutes), several times per day.
It should be done when your baby is happy – not tired or hungry.
It should not be done right after your baby has eaten. This can put pressure on a full tummy and cause your baby to spit up.
Use a nursing pillow or small towel roll under the arms. This takes some of the weight off of the arms, making it easier to lift his head.
Use toys and music to make it fun.
Get on the floor so your baby can look at you.
Here’s a few of our favorite tummy time toys!
These are not only so much fun – but actually have great benefits for visual & auditory tracking. You can find many different types of rattles for babies. They make fun wrap ankle/wrist rattles that my little one just loves!! When they are placed on the ankles, babies engage core strength by lifting feet to hands.
4.Reach To Grab
This is one of our favorite new activities now that my little guy is 3 months old. Lay the baby on their back. Use a soft book, rattle, or set of linking toys to hold out in front of the baby’s chest. Watch and wait as they reach up their arms to grab their toy!
Stacking toys help babies explore the sense of touch and vision. They refine fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, and problem solving skills.
As a parent, you can help facilitate their development by being there to:
- Demonstrating how to do the task
- Posing simple questions
- Talking aloud your thinking processes
- Modelling positive behaviour when you can’t do something
All of these devlopmental activities for infants are so much fun to do with your baby. Playtime is a wonderful time to watch and observe for any developmental delays. ABC Pediatric Therapy has so many developmental resources, including a guide to Your Child’s First Year – ABC Pediatric Therapy. For more information visit abcpediactrictherapy.com or click here to contact with any questions: ABC Pediatric Therapy – Contact Us
Did you also have a baby during the pandemic? It was a wild ride that’s for sure. Check out my birth story here.