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  • 5 Ways To Play With Baby And Boost His Learning And Development

    Play your way to your baby's developmental milestones!
    by R.M. Mauhay .
5 Ways To Play With Baby And Boost His Learning And Development
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Your baby’s first year is crucial to his development. This is when he starts to explore, grow more active and become more responsive to you and his surroundings. You can help him achieve his developmental milestones through playtime — as early as 3 months old, baby activities can be your bonding time as well.

    TRACK YOUR BABY'S DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES

    How do you entertain a 3 month old?

    At 3 months old, your little one will start supporting their own head and holding it steady. To develop his muscles and motor skills, give your baby plenty of chances to stretch. A play mat with toys suspended above him will give him the opportunity to kick and reach. This makes your baby stronger and also teaches him about cause and effect.

    What should I do with my 3 month old at home?

    At this stage, your baby is now starting to watch and observe their surroundings. They are also able to respond to your facial expressions and move with more purpose! With that, here are more activities that you can try with your baby at home.

    Tummy time

    Tummy time helps your baby become stronger and gets her ready to sit up and crawl. Babies need to be exposed to different kinds of textures throughout the day, and tummy time is the perfect opportunity to accomplish this.

    During tummy time, the skin on baby's stomach, legs, arms, and face is in contact with the surface she is lying on. As babies move their arms and legs against the surface, the friction it creates lets her know where her body is located in the space. Try a clean floor, a nap mat, or blankets to provide different textures. Blankets should be secured so they don't slide around when baby moves her arms and legs.

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    Through this activity, your baby's strength and flexibility are also developed. Dressing them up for tummy time (a cute onesie, for example) also allows them to explore the various textures on her arms and legs. 

    Lastly, tummy time allows your baby to use her eyes to explore the environment in a new way. When on their backs, they can only see the ceiling or whatever is directly around them. But when on their stomach, they can use their muscles to lift their heads and see the world at eye level — giving them a brand new perspective!

    Lap time

    Apart from tummy time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also encourages you to try lap time. Position your baby with their stomachs down and across your lap lengthwise while providing head support. Remember to keep her head aligned with her body. If she falls asleep in that position, just transfer her to the bed (make sure to place her on her back).

    For more stimulation, slowly raise and lower your legs at the same time, then move them slowly from side to side. This motion helps calm your little one. You can also encourage your child to make eye contact with you by making funny noises!

    Talk to them

    Talking to your baby often not only develops her language skills but promotes cognitive development as well. Try calling her name from different positions around the room and see if she looks at you or tries to find you each time. Praise and snuggle her if she does!

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    Having conversations with your little is also the perfect opportunity to socialize and encourage lots of eye contact. Remember to speak in animated tones and use exaggerated expressions to get her to look at you. This allows her to learn about emotions using the tone of your voice. You can also modulate your voice while singing to her.

    Give them toys

    While on their tummy or on their back, you can entertain babies by giving them clean toys that they can hold and put to their mouths. This not only improves their grip but also develops their motor skills.

    If you can, give them toys with various textures so they can feel it when they put it in their mouths. Be careful to give them a big enough toy so that they won't choke.

    Read books

    Experts always say that it is never too early to read to your child. According to Learning Library director Vanessa Bicomongreading to your child at a young age is crucial because it activates an important part in the left side of their brain, which involves understanding the meaning of words and helps your child learn concepts tied to memory.

    “Kahit ‘yung bata hindi pa marunong magbasa, basta binabasahan ninyo… then you are activating an important part of their brain and you’re helping them understand the meaning of words and remember them,” Vanessa says.

    For your 3-month-old, choose colorful picture books and touch-and-feel books that have different textures. The bright colors and bold, contrasting patterns will attract them and they will love looking at it while listening to your voice.

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    TRACK YOUR BABY'S DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES

    Looking for baby books to read to your baby? Get a guide here.

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