The more your newborn experiences, the more they learn. New experiences create new neural pathways in the brain and at this young age the more play and stimulation and development, the better.
A huge percentage of brain development in young minds derives from core activities and movement. This means the more they do, the more their brain grows. Leapfrog courses and sign language can be useful tools, but they can never replace the development caused by simple movement and play activities.
The first movement your baby will develop is the ability to move their heads and re-focus their attention. By you creating incentive and reason for your baby to turn their head and re-direct focus, you’re helping them workout and boost brain development.
“Not only is this important for developing head control and sensory processing skills, it helps baby work through any minor muscle imbalances from being confined in the womb. Lack of adequate opportunities to strengthen and balance the muscles of the neck (very commonly caused by too much time in Baby Gear) increases the risk of Torticollis, neck muscle tightness that leads to a tilted head and is a very common contributing factor in the development of Flat Head Syndrome (Positional Plagiocephaly) – and very frequently is diagnosed only after head flattening has occurred.” -Rachel at candokiddo.com
Some simple play tips:
- Simple ways to get baby to redirect focus is to make noise with a rattle or simple toy outside of their peripheral, alternating sides. You can also use touch sensations, such as soft or bumpy, to cause them to look in a different direction (at what they are touching).
- Place your child on their side and play with them, challenging them to turn their head and attention. Switch sides to balance out the movements.
- Even just a few seconds to a minute on their stomach will help newborns develop. Gradually work on boosting the amount of time they, and you, are comfortable with them in this position. This change from their usual positioning goes a long way towards challenging and boosting their development.
- Two to four minutes is great playtime for a newborn.
Make sure to go at your child’s pace. Through simple developmental play, you can help them quickly expand their range of experiences and abilities. The more simple tasks they accomplish, the more dramatic their development.
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