Playing with a newborn can be quite strange as you are not getting much response yet, but I promise you that they are absorbing EVERYTHING you are showing, saying and doing with them!
So, here are 10 beautifully simple activities for 1 month old babies that will boost baby's development and mind through fun games, perfect moments & everyday tasks!
Why are activities for babies important?
From the moment your baby is born they are ready to start their amazing journey of life and you will be their guide!
As a new parent, playing with a 1 month old can be rather daunting as it will feel like you are not getting a lot in return!
However, interacting with your baby in these early days and weeks is vitally important to their development.
This is because playtime is vital for bonding, the development of your baby's motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
In order to offer your baby the right activities, it is important to understand what your baby is capable of learning and what they will find stimulating and fascinating.
Do I need to entertain my 1 month old all day?
There is NO need to feel that you need to entertain your 1 month old every minute they are awake.
Even at 1 month old, your baby will not be able to stay awake and concentrate for very long and offering them too much stimulation can backfire and result in overtiredness.
While it is important to interact with your baby during these wake periods, it is also a good idea to offer them opportunities to play alone or just observe the world around them.
For ideas on how to balance entertaining your baby with teaching them to be happy to play alone, be sure to read my post Do I Need to Entertain My Baby All Day? to learn more.
Your average 1 month old will only be able to stay awake between 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours before needing to nap again and during this time, they will only manage 10-20 minutes of focused play at the most.
9 Important 1 month old baby milestones
Your 1 month old baby’s development will centre around the senses and how you play with them. What activities you offer them will be built around making the most of this.
Sight, sound, taste, touch and smell will be their main ways of interacting with you and the world around them.
By one month your baby will be able to:
- Focus on object 8-12 inches away,
- Be drawn to bold patterns,
- Love to look at your face and listen to your voice,
- Turn their head towards familiar sounds and voices,
- Like the feel of soft toys and fabrics,
- Be able to lift their head briefly while on their tummy,
- Hold your hand tightly if you place your finger in their palm,
- Recognise the smell of mother's milk,
- Have less jerky movements.
Head over to my post The Essential Guide To Your 1 Month Old Baby for loads more information, tips, development milestones, routines and advice on understanding your newborn and how to enjoy this wonderful stage in your baby’s development.
7 Tricks to get the most out of playing with a 1 month old baby
So, how do you play with a 1 month old?
Essentially, you are their favourite play thing. Simple as that.
Your face, touch and voice will keep them entertained for ages, so learning how to make the most of this is KEY to playing with 1 month old babies!
Playing with your newborn should be spontaneous, fun, gentle, loving and enjoyable for both of you.
Although you may not be getting much of a response at first, your little one is taking in everything you say and do, absorbing it and processing it.
Your words are already planting the seed for language development and how you behave and interact with your baby will be teaching them so much about how to feel loved and how to interact with others as they grow.
Before you know it, your little one will start to respond and around 1 month old you may even be blessed with that amazing and heart-melting first smile!
So, here are 7 tricks to get the most out of playtime with your 1 month old!
1. Focus on your baby and be present
Pay attention to what your baby likes and responds to.
All babies are different and by focusing on what grabs their interest you will know what types of play they enjoy the most.
Show them different rattles such as hand-held and foot rattles and objects and see which ones they respond to the most. Even at this early age they will have preferences!
2. Take things slowly and be patient
You may feel as if your baby is not taking much interest in things and the world at times but just hang in there.
That rattle you have been showing them for the past couple of days may quite suddenly get a reaction, so don’t give up on the first try.
3. Talk a lot
This one is easy activity for 1 month old babies as you can just chat away while you go about your day together!
If you are unsure what to say... then talk about what you are doing, tell them how much you love them, you can even talk about what colour the clothes are that you washing!
The sound of your voice is what they love and they do not need to understand what you are saying at this point.
4.Show them a lot
Show them this amazing world!
Walk around the room together, take them outside and talk about what you see. Show your baby bright shiny objects, mirrors and lights.
Remember everything is new and fascinating to them.
5. Play music and sing
Babies love music and they will love it when you sing to them. So sing lullabies and nursery rhymes, play music and dance with them too!
6. Read to them!
It is never too early to introduce your baby to the wonderful world of books!
As well as being a great bonding experience your baby will love to look at the pictures and listen to you read to them.
Check out the section on books for newborns in my post on Best Books You Need for your Precious One's 1st Year for some great choices.
7. Get creative
As well as having a few focused play times such as tummy time and looking at books together, interacting while changing their nappy and bathing them is also a great way to play with your little one.
5 Perfect Sensory activities for 1 month old
Touch, Cuddle, Love
Why it's important: Your 1 month old baby is learning so much about their world through their senses. So touching your baby is hugely important in the early weeks. Bonding with your baby is grounded in touch from that first skin to skin experience to the cuddles and physical comfort that you give as they grow.
Why I like it: Your baby will love to be cuddled, massaged, tickled and will just love your touch. Learn how to give your baby a massage, hold their hands and stroke their heads, tummy and feet. Touch is the language of love between you and your baby and will be the key to your bonding.
Relax under a Crib Mobile
Why it's important: Crib mobiles are another great way to encourage your baby to play independently while improving your little ones eye sight.
Why I like it: I love crib mobiles as they are an ideal and guilt free way of giving you a short break to have a quick shower or cup of tea, knowing that your baby is learning to spend time alone and focus on interesting and stimulating objects dangling above.
Shake The Rattle
Why it's important: That good old fashioned rattle comes in so many forms and they offer so much developmentally. They expose your baby to lots of textures and sounds.
Why I like it: What I like best about rattles are their versatility. From foot rattles to traditional wooden ones, 1 month old babies will love them all. They will relish the different textures and sounds that rattles make and eventually they will be able to reach out and grab them for themselves.
Let's Get Out And About
Why it's important: Establishing a love of the outdoors is very important for sensory development and you can never start too early. Babies will love to feel fresh air and sun on their face and looking at leaves moving in the breeze. Don’t be scared to take your little one outside and (if weather permits) lie them on a blanket in their pram, under a tree.
Why I like it: Teaching our children about the joy of nature and the big outdoors improves their sensory and physical wellbeing. The seeds you sow in those early weeks are never wasted and I love to take small babies outside and show them what nature has to offer.
It's Time To Sing!
Why it's important: Singing is another means of communication with your little one. They will love to hear you sing and will be no judge of the quality of your voice. Nurturing a love of music in your baby has so many benefits from language development to being calming and comforting too.
Why I like it: How can you not love singing to your baby? Nursery rhymes, lullabies and general sing-songs will all grab your baby’s attention. It will improve their language development and be a beautiful bonding experience for you both.
5 Curious Cognitive activities for 1 month old
Face To Face time
Why it's important: Face to face time with your little one is so important for many reasons. You will be sowing the seeds to language development and how to read emotions as well as helping your baby’s sight develop as they focus on your face!
Why I like it: Your face and your voice are your 1 month old's best entertainment. Spending face to face time talking and singing to your little one is a hugely bonding experience for you both. Rejoice in getting to know each other and know that you are boosting your baby’s sensory, emotional and cognitive development too.
Why it's important: You will hear a lot about the importance of tummy time and the role it will play in your baby’s physical and cognitive development should not be underestimated.
Why I like it: You can start tummy time on your own tummy to begin with as you lay skin to skin and then progress to short periods of tummy time on a stimulating play mat or with a tummy time book. Starting with a few minutes a day tummy time will become a mainstay for your young baby’s daily developmental activities.
If your little one is struggling with tummy time, check out my Baby Hates Tummy Time post to learn how to help them enjoy this important activity.
Why it's important: Reading to your baby can never start too early! Books improve your baby's vision and helps to develop their language, cognitive development and concentration too.
Why I like it: I believe that books are vitally important in raising young children. They have so many benefits, the most important being the hugely bonding experience that reading a book with your baby can be. Establishing a love of books as early as you are able is one of the best things you can do for your child.
Chill Out In A Play Gym
Why it's important: Play gyms allow babies to play independently and are a great way to promote cognitive development.
Why I like it: Play gyms offer lots for your baby to focus on and they also teach your baby how to play alone for a while, which will sow the seeds to that all important talent of being able to play independently. Play gyms also grow with your baby as you can add to what they can play with as they grow and they will offer many hours or entertainment over those first few months.
See My Reflection
Why it's important: Showing your baby a mirror is a great way to help with cognitive development. Whether you use a mirror in a tummy time book or attach one to the side of the crib your baby will always be drawn to a mirror and it will definitely help with their visual development!
Why I like it: Baby’s love mirrors. Seeing a reflection of themselves, even though they don’t know it’s them, will always hold their attention. I love how very young babies find their own reflection fascinating as their vision improves.
Activities for 1 month old babies do not have to be complicated!
Activities for 1 month old babies Recap
Playing with your 1 month old is all about introducing them to their world.
Be patient, be creative and enjoy this time with your newborn!
Watch their awareness grow as they start to respond more and more to your voice and to what you show them.
Remember to focus on developing their senses and creating a strong bond with you with lots of cuddles.
Play and activities at this stage are about being close to you, listening to your voice, focusing on your face and looking at the things you show them.
Mix in some daily tummy time and time spent looking independently at a mobile or play gym and you will have provided all that is needed to give your little one the best start in life.
Until Next Time
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And if you're looking for products for your little one and you're not sure where to begin, be sure to check out my Parenting Toolbox.
It is full of all my favourite products which I've tried to ensure are all non-toxic, eco friendly, sustainable and, of course, they’re all baby proof!
If you have any blog recommendations that you'd like me to write about or you have any questions about activities for 1 month old babies, then be sure to drop me an email at [email protected] as I love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading and until next time, Happy Parenting!