Super Simple Newborn Play For Healthy Sensory Development

In the first weeks and months, parents often scratch their heads and wonder what to do all day with a tiny human who can't DO much. In the initial weeks of life, a baby mainly lays and wiggles her arms and legs. But through super simple play, you can make that laying and wiggling an opportunity for learning and developing healthy sensory skills. 

Simple, easy baby play to promote sensory learning. CanDo Kiddo

One super simple way to play with a newborn? Strip him down and let him wiggle in the nude. I never would have thought of giving my baby naked playtime if it hadn't been for a nasty diaper rash in his first month. One of the many (many) strategies we used for fighting a yeast diaper rash was to give him plenty of naked time to air out "down there" and a few minutes of sunlight to kill the yeast spores. As I watched my little dude wiggling around in his birthday suit I realized how much more sensory information his skin was getting without clothes on during belly-up, sidelying and and tummy time play. 

Naked playtime for babies - great for sensory development. CanDo Kiddo

Without clothes, your little one’s skin will experience a much richer interaction with the world around her. What looks like laying on the floor and wiggling is actually your baby learning how her body relates to the ground beneath her through her touch (tactile) and pressure & stretch (proprioception) senses. This wiggly floortime lays the foundation for the motor milestones to come - rolling, sitting, standing and walking. 

It took some trial and error to figure out the most effective way to manage all the newborn body fluids and I'm happy to save you (and your blanket) the mess.

What worked for us was using a pee pad over a blanket, keeping Rowan's rump positioned off-center on the pad, laying a cloth diaper over "Willy" when Rowan played face up, and having one of us be Willy cover monitors (I assume with girls this step is not necessary). When there's a little - ahem - incident, I just move him to the other side of the pad and fold over the soiled part so that he can keep playing on the same pad a bit longer.

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I loved kids bed pads but they were pricey so we switched to adult incontinence pads {affiliate links} and they worked just fine. Naked playtime quickly became the highlight of our baby's day and so we continue it even though we cured the yeast! Live in a cold climate or have a winter baby, just bump up the thermostat a few degrees before you take baby's clothes off or let baby have naked playtime in the warm, steamy bathroom just after you've showered. 

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