By around months three and four, your baby's hands aren’t the only thing opening and closing on toys! Your newborn’s mouth is getting more and more interested in exploring, too. Here's a simple baby play activity using your little one's activity gym in a new way.
Hang Teether Toys From An Activity Gym
At this age, your baby may be able to briefly hold a toy placed in his hands but likely drops it before he’s able to mouth it successfully. Help your little one get the oral input he craves by hanging teether toys from his activity gym. Use ribbons or plastic toy links to secure toys at a height that reaches your infant’s mouth.
How Dangling Teether Toys Promotes Development
Watch for baby's hands to reach, open and try to grasp toys - excellent practice of visual motor skills ("hand-eye coordination") and grasping.
You'll see his hands come up to his mouth -the same skill that will help him finger feed and hold a bottle or cup in the months ahead. He's gaining valuable exposure to different textures in his mouth - important for accepting a variety of solid foods in the months to come.
Learn more about starting solid foods.
Oral play can be drooly but it’s an important developmental step that readies your baby’s mouth for eating and talking. He gains awareness of his tongue, cheeks and gums. The input stimulates him to move and strengthen these body parts.
Place Baby In Different Play Positions!
Because the safest position for baby to sleep is on his back, he'll spend a lot of time in that position. That makes it SO IMPORTANT to place baby in different positions when he's awake. Giving your baby a variety of awake-time positions, not just sitting in Baby Holding Devices is one of the biggest things you can do to promote your infant's development and health.
Learn more about Baby Holding Devices and how they affect development.
Sidelying is a great play position for grasping and mouthing teether toys hung from an activity gym. Notice in the picture below, that I've rolled a towel and tucked it under Rowan's blanket behind his back for this activity. Just make sure you place baby on each side equally unless otherwise instructed by baby's doctor or therapist to address head flattening.
Learn more about why your baby's head shape matters.
This and 44 other creative play activities for babies are described in my book, "Begin With A Blanket." Written to help new parents enjoy their babies in ways that promote healthy infant development. What others are saying:
"A must-own for new parents, easy and creative activities for playing with your baby!"
"Super fun book that my daughter and I have enjoyed trying activities from every day. "
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