Keep baby busy: The best play ideas for newborns

The best play ideas for newborns 2

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In addition to sleeping, drinking and extensive cuddling, newborns want to explore their new world in their first few weeks of life to satisfy their innate curiosity. Above all, babies find the feeling, hearing, and touching of things particularly exciting. But how can parents keep their newborn baby sensibly busy? In this article, we will introduce you to various play ideas for newborns and give you valuable tips on how to create a stimulating environment.


Are you wondering how you can keep your offspring busy and whether they are even ready for small suggestions? Of course, drinking, physical contact, and sleeping extensively are the most important main occupations, but newborns want to be entertained and amused by you in between. This is the only way to ensure the babies’ cognitive, gross, and fine motor development.

By carrying, rocking, cuddling, or bathing your child, you establish important physical contact. By singing, reading aloud, or simply speaking and by making direct eye contact, you offer your newborn baby a varied activity. When making eye contact or showing objects, however, you should note that newborns can only see clearly and recognize things up to a distance of about 30 to 40 centimeters.

In the first few weeks after birth, motor skills and eyesight are not yet sufficiently available. Nevertheless, you have to be actively involved with your newborn to ensure variety in your baby’s everyday life. As soon as your child can grab things more purposefully and see into the distance, they are better able to occupy themselves and perceive their surroundings more intensively. However, the focus is on simple and direct jobs.


Shortly after birth, newborns begin to explore their surroundings. Thus, newborns are already more receptive in their first weeks of life than one might think. To promote development, it is therefore essential to create stimulation for the baby.

For example, the different senses of newborns can be stimulated and promoted sustainably through movements, colors, surfaces, touches, and different shapes. By playing, talking, and providing a stimulating environment for your baby, their brain can develop optimally.

Good to know:

If your baby yawns, averts his eyes or starts crying or screaming, this is a sure sign that he is overwhelmed by the activity and needs rest. Newborns in particular can only concentrate on one thing or object for a few minutes, which is why regular rest breaks are essential.

This is a great way to keep newborns busy.

One of the most beautiful and favorite activities of newborns is the intimate contact with parents and listening to the sound of their parent’s voices. In the first few weeks of life, gentle baby massages, finger games, and word games can also be used.

Babies are already a lot more active between the sixth and eighth week of life than they were in the first few weeks after birth. To inspire you and so that you don’t get bored, we have summarized the best activities for your little darling at a glance:

Stroller walks:

Pediatricians recommend that babies should get regular outdoor activities, and with good reason. So, grab your stroller, make your little one comfortable and explore your surroundings together. It is also exciting for babies if you put the stroller under a tree. Thanks to the new perspective and the sound of the wind, you can keep your baby busy for a while.

Eye contact:

Eye contact with parents in particular is the most enjoyable activity of all newborns. In the first few weeks of life, your baby literally cannot get enough of you.

Let there be light:

Shortly after birth, newborns can see a maximum of 30 centimeters and colors cannot yet be recognized. Until about the third or fourth month of life, color nuances can be distinguished, babies only see black and white. For this reason, among other things, small light and shadow games are ideal. To do this, all you need is a dark room and a flashlight, with which you can cast shadows on the wall.

Listening to music:

Newborns can’t get enough of listening to familiar tunes or your voice. For this reason, it is important that you regularly sing something to your baby or play songs. Newborns can recognize songs and melodies and sometimes even imitate them. But of course, you can’t sing to your baby all the time. So, turn on the radio now and then or play your playlist, because babies are very open when it comes to taste in music.

The aviator grip:

Newborns like variety and this also applies to your carrying technique. So, try to carry your baby in the so-called aviator hold: To do this, lay your baby face down on your forearm and support the little head with the crook of your elbow, for example. This grip has not only proven itself for stomach aches, flatulence, and general digestive problems but is also well suited for a small massage and a changed perspective. In addition, the fly hold is used to promote the balance of the newborn and to strengthen its neck muscles. Therefore: lift-off, please!

Mirror, mirror on the wall:

Many babies are fascinated by their reflection. It is best and safest if you hold your loved one in your arms and admire yourself together in the mirror.


Around the age of 4 months, babies begin to actively reach for objects. This is also the time when toys make sense and should be included in everyday life. Small babies don’t need much to be happy, but to make sure they don’t get bored, we looked for and found 3 age-appropriate toy ideas for your baby:

Rubber ducks made of natural rubber

Babies love to bathe! Bathing is even more fun for the little ones with a colorful rubber duck. So that your baby can chew on it without hesitation.

Mobile with melody

The different figures, movements, and sound effects on a mobile encourage babies’ senses. At the same time, the muscles can be trained by babies trying to get to the mobile to touch it. Furthermore, looking at and observing a mobile can provide relaxation and calm.

Play pillow for cuddling and playing

With a play cushion, you can encourage your child’s sense of touch, hearing, and sight playfully and improve his motor skills. Due to different materials, stimulating effects, and exciting motifs, your baby will be encouraged to discover and play.

Sue Brown

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