Baby Play for Newborns

By: EricAdamson

What is play for a baby?

Play is any interaction your baby has with you or the world around him in the newborn phase. Play is one of the best ways for your baby to build connections, practice motor skills and learn language.

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How can I ensure my baby is getting enough play?

Great question! It can feel like your baby is only eating and sleeping during the newborn period. It’s normal to feel that way. We use a wake window that lasts between 60 and 90 minutes for most babies aged 4-12 weeks. This includes diaper changes, feeding, burping, and play. It might take even less time in the first few weeks.

What does this mean for playtime? This means that playtime for newborns can be short and easy. Playtime does not have to be complicated or take up too much time.

Cara, what would playtime look like when a baby is born?

Face to face time:

Take a look into her eyes. Enjoy those precious moments when your baby’s eyes open. Your face is the first thing she will be able to recognize. Every time she looks at you, it’s building an emotional connection.

Make funny faces with your tongue. Research shows that babies as young at 2 days can mimic simple facial movements. This is an early sign of her problem-solving abilities.

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Did you know that babies learn language the best when they hear more words? Talking, singing, and reading to your baby will help him hear more words and make it easier for him to learn language.

Talk about everything! As you change your baby’s diaper, wash him, then get ready to go, you can tell the story. This is a great way for your baby to have some fun during those quick wake times. Keep your baby’s attention and don’t interrupt him. He’ll soon pick up the conversation.


Songs that involve moving to the music, such as lullabies or personal favorites, might be sung. If you are looking for the “favorite songs for children” or “action songs to babies”, this playlist might be helpful. You might like the “Wheels on the Bus”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” songs.

Simple toys:

A newborn is able to see everything as new. High contrast is a favorite of newborns. This means that they love black and white images. There are many options for books, cards and other toys. You can also find simple toys like play gyms that allow for independent play. As your baby develops their vision, it can be fun to show them rattles and teethers.

Light and music:

Music and light stimulate the brain to increase brain activity and awake time. Swings can be a great way for visual stimulation and music to be incorporated into your awake time, especially in the evenings.

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Babies love to see themselves and babies love to see them. Your sweet little girl can find solace in a mirror during tummy time, when she is sitting on your lap or while she walks into the bathroom. You can either hold the mirror in front of your girl or prop it up so she can take a look at her beautiful features.

Time for the stomach:

Tummy time is crucial for baby’s development. You can use an activity mat, blanket or other firm surface on the ground for tummy-time. You can also lie down and let your baby touch your stomach! This can be particularly helpful for people who hate tummy time.

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Independent Play:

It’s perfectly okay to let your baby explore the world by himself. You shouldn’t be afraid of allowing your baby to have some fun on his own. This is vital as it will increase your baby’s ability observe and explore on their own without you constantly stimulating them.