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Activities to Stimulate a Newborn

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Everyone talks about the importance of stimulating a newborn to help their brain develop better - does anyone have any ideas of activities one can do with a baby that would be "stimulating", outside of playing with their toys with them?

I feel like my baby is getting bored ... (my baby is 5.5 months, not really "new born, but still a baby )

post #2 of 16
Newborns need interaction with people, period. Carry your baby, talk to her as you go about your day, make eye contact, make faces... They don't need toys at that age. IMHO, all the "make your infant smarter" stuff is hooey.

ETA: Ah! You added the age. 5.5 months is still a baby definitely, but not a newborn (says the woman holding the 2 week old on her lap...)
post #3 of 16
Just let your baby be a baby. It's a bit early to start the pressure to make her a superchild.
post #4 of 16
The only thing I did with my babes up until the age of 6mo was wear them 24/7, they don't need much more than that in this area.
post #5 of 16
IMO there are PLENTY of activities one can do with a 5.5 month old. tummy time, and floor time, playing music for them, practice sitting, practice standing, playing in the tub with mama, giving them safe things to explore that aren't toys, singing to them, reading books to them, taking them outside, hanging around people and there really is much, much more as well. my baby loves to explore his world and would be bored stiff if all i did was carry him around all the time.
post #6 of 16
Excellent question. Mine will be 5 months next week and I was wondering if there are other things other than the ones posted by Octobermoon that I should be doing. I guess I'm doing OK & will continue doing those things. He does have 3 toys that he enjoys playing with for a little while, but I'm not planning on buying him lots & lots of toys. I like for him to explore the things that surround him.
post #7 of 16
Well, Bella is fast approaching 3 months. I don't wear her ALL the time BUT she is with me almost all the time apart from naps in the big bed. I work at home and am the housekeeper lol! So we talk as I do my thing, I play with her by showing her how to hold things and she has worked out how to chew a few things (safe things) - we converse all the time! We co-sleep and she's pretty popular with everyone who is in our house!

Sometimes I find she actually gets overstimulated! I think as the others that really, what she wants is to be up and about and explore! Xx
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by octobermoon View Post
IMO there are PLENTY of activities one can do with a 5.5 month old. tummy time, and floor time, playing music for them, practice sitting, practice standing, playing in the tub with mama, giving them safe things to explore that aren't toys, singing to them, reading books to them, taking them outside, hanging around people and there really is much, much more as well. my baby loves to explore his world and would be bored stiff if all i did was carry him around all the time.
All of the above.

She also hugely enjoyed baby massage class and visits to a sensory room. Oh and the swings at the park, she wasn't 100% steady at sitting at that age so I'd prop her up with a cushion.
post #9 of 16
Are you bored as well? Or just the baby? Sometimes babies look bored when they are tired, so you could try helping her get more sleep. If you are bored as well, anything that you could do for yourself, that wouldn't upset the baby or be a faux pas to bring a baby to, would work. Walks, museums, mommy-and-me classes, swimming, etc. One of my favorite outings when DS was a young baby, was to the aquarium. He was 4 months old and I had him in the Ergo, it was great-- he watched the fish, but also napped some of the time because it was dark and relaxing. We also took him camping for a week when he was 3 months old-- I didn't like it much because I don't like camping (long story as to how we ended up doing it), but he had a great time looking around at the flowers and trees and lake and hanging out in the Ergo and the stroller.
post #10 of 16
besides all the things that PP have mentioned my ds loved light - laying on a blanket in the grass or just by a window - best thing ever!

also, laying in bed with me, talking, babbling at each other, singing, telling him how beautiful and cute and perfect he was - we could spend hours like this. I would set him up on my legs or just lay him next to me and move my hands - play patty cake or just sing little songs. I've never felt like such an interesting person! seriously, to ds I was like the most entertaining thing he'd ever seen just for singing badly!
post #11 of 16
Tristan's 5 months, and he enjoys:
- singing songs--we have one about his hands, one about his feet; and we play pattycake (ok, *I* play pattycake and he watches intently)
- babbling back and forth with him
- making silly faces
- holding/examining small hand toys (he's recently discovered a fascination with one of his sister's larger toy cars... he likes the wheels, I think)
- his exersaucer (we have an old one with reaaally basic toys, but it entertains him anyhow)
- throwing small toys off the exersaucer
- throwing small toys off my lap
- throwing small toys out of his carseat
(are you sensing a theme?)
- sitting in the sling and watching me work in the kitchen
- going for a walk
- eating board books (sometimes we read them, too)
- chewing on stuff
- practicing sitting up
- taking a bath, particularly in the big tub with me in the tub with him, with some floating toys to bat at
post #12 of 16
Books, tummy time, massage, songs, walking around, bathtime, playing with toys etc etc
post #13 of 16
If you're interested in stimulating your baby's brain, you need to get these books! 'How Smart Is Your Baby' (for babies up to one year), and 'How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb' (for up to 6 years), both by Glenn Doman. I have them and they're awesome. There's so much to do, too much really, so I've just picked out the things I feel are most important and do-able and we do those things. My baby loves doing these things and it's growing her brain as well! We do lots of the stuff from the second book with our 2.5 year old.

Please, no comments from people opposed to teaching and stimulating baby development!
post #14 of 16
I remember feeling that my three month old (at that time) was bored with me. We were home alone all day. Once we started going out, she started seeing other people, other babies, other children, other stuff, she was very interested in all that. She hated the sling and loved the stroller. When she would get cranky/whiney I'd put her in the stroller and out we'd go. She calmed down and loved to watch what was passing by.

I also used www.pandora.com and made sure we tried all sorts of music types from classical to reggae.

Library time - I thought it would be a waste, but it's actually social hour for babies under two. She loves it. We started this at nine months.

Things for baby to puzzle out. My dd loves to pull things out of the diaper bag, or try to figure out how to pull things out of bottom stove drawer or pull things out from under the table... So I make it a game for her. I put different things in the spare diaper bag and let her pull them out and look at them. Other times I make it a bit more challenging for her to figure out how to get things out... zipper a bit more closed.

She is just starting to like to look at books at 10 1/2 months. All previous attempts at reading to her were frustrating as she only wanted to chew on the books and was upset when she was only able to look at them.

I am looking forward to baby swimming time.

And then when we're back home I think of her toys that she's just bored with what she has. I wish there were a toy exchange where toys were automatically sanitized too! It's not the quantity of toys, but the exploration of something new.

oh, and physical time. We spend time rolling over, back & forth, helping her crawl by moving her legs, stretches, hanging upside down by feet - she loves this.

We hope she will enjoy the baby backpack for hikes. Keeping fingers crossed. The only time she tried she was good 1/2 the hike and the other 1/2 we were carrying her in our arms - the backpack was no longer an option as she strenuously, vocally objected.
post #15 of 16
DS really likes singing finger plays. You can probably find them online or check out the book Wee Sing. He likes to watch the fingers move around and loves to hear me sing (no accounting for pitch or tone! )

I second library time or playdates. Even just letting him roll around next to other babies starts socialization.

Oh, and one of DS's favorite things ever is a mylar balloon that just floats around the living room. He loves to look at it, for it, around it, talk to it, etc.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I love all the ideas - there are some that I already do and some that are new and different for me and my baby ... I appreciate the tips ...

Also, I do believe babies get over stimulated so I let my baby sometimes just chill out in her crib by herself for a while and I kind of know her patterns so I know the times of days she just seems to like being left alone and just play by herself in her crib.

Also, when I said my baby seems like she is getting bored, it is not that I get bored. Sometimes she plays with something, and then gets seemingly mad at the toy. Like she has a rattle that has these rings around the handle and she investigates it and tries to get the rings off, and of course they don't come off, so she will start talking to the rattle and that turns to screams and that turns to cries - I've learned to give her a different toy around the talking time, but she does this with a lot of toys. She looks and examines them like she is being clinical and if I am not managing her play, she will get really mad and starts screaming at the toy and then eventually cry. I just translated that to be "bored with the toy" ...

I didn't want to just buy a bunch of toys because I have found there is so much to explore that is not "toy" related.

Like for example the sound of running water, we just started going outside more so the outside air which is different than inside air. I let her touch a wet ice cube recently. I turned on the lava lamp (yes I actually have one, lol), we listen to different kinds of music, I let her tap on my keyboard (she had a ball with that mocking me and it was interesting seeing how I guess she sees me at the keyboard), I also let her push my mouse on the mousepad, I let her feel different textures, I let her feel different clothes in the closet, I learned she is interested in patterns on clothes so sometimes we sit on the bed with one of my pattered dresses and I let her just trace the pattern with her fingers, I've held two different color ribbons in each hand and we see which one she grasps at - we do a lot of fun stuff, and I figured other mothers probably have other ideas too.

I love the aquarium idea ... I think she will love that.

We went to the circus last week - it was a little circus, not a big one, and omg, she was so excited and engaged through the whole thing. We don't go out much except to go on doctors appointments (and she has a ton of those), so it was nice getting out and actually doing something recreational.

I have been wanting to take her to the baby friendly movies - Alice in Wonderland is playing, but the baby friendly versions are so early in the morning - the theater is an hour away from where I live, and ugh ... but I am going to do it one of these weeks ... lol

Keep the ideas coming if you got more! Thanks!
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