You’re settled in at home with your new baby and the days are starting to blend into an endless stream of sleeping and eating. Here are 16 things to do with a newborn baby that will help you bond, learn and play.
Your newest family member might seem so tiny and fragile that you might think there’s not much you can do with them. Most of the day seems to revolve around the basic needs. However, as you and your baby settle into life and daily routines, there will be times that they are just awake.
Once your baby is full, fed and dry, what activities should you do with a newborn? Here are a ton of things to do with babies at home and outside. If you’re up to leaving the house, there are places to go with a newborn that you can enjoy as well.
Fun With Baby at Home
Entertaining your baby at home is simple and free or pretty cheap. I had my little one at the end of September and where I live in Texas, it’s still kind of warm. Heading into November and December the temperatures can drop, kind of forcing you to stay indoors.
Regardless of the month your baby arrives, at least some of the early days will be spent in your home. Here’s what we did to avoid going stir crazy!
1. Play music and dance with baby
One of my favorite things to do with a newborn is to put them into the baby carrier and then sing and dance around the house. It entertains baby and often lulls them sleep.
It gets you up and moving, but not in a high-intensity way. Music is also good for baby’s development.
The same way music can affect your mood, it can also relax your baby, enhance their mood and even reduce stress for them.
2. Read books
Reading to your baby this young can seem strange or silly but it’s actually very beneficial! Your baby enjoys the sound of your voice and the words.
The more words your baby hears over time, the more they learn. If you do read to your baby early and often, then they will come to enjoy this routine.
3. Capture moments through pictures and videos
You probably don’t need a reminder to do this, but take many pictures of your baby’s first days, weeks and months! Turn your home videos into a mini movie. Use baby apps to put cute graphics, words and filters on your baby’s pictures. Your smartphone does so much these days, its best to take advantage of all the technology!
Related: Best Apps for New Moms
4. Introduce baby to their new home
Take your baby on a tour of their new home! You are very familiar with your home, but your baby has no idea where they’re spending their days.
Point out your favorite things, show them the rooms. Talk them through the tour and what you love about your home.
5. Play with toys
You might have gotten a lot of infant toys at your baby shower. Put them to use and start letting your little one play with them.
They might not be able to hold them yet, but they can feel the different textures. This is how I discovered my baby loved soft toys like stuffed animals and plush toys. She still does to this day!
These are soft rattles that can go on your baby’s wrist or ankle. They will love this sensory activity that develops hand, foot, and eye coordination.
6. Let them look in the mirror
Use a baby safe mirror to let your baby see their reflection and get a good look at themselves. My baby loved looking into the mirror and seeing herself or seeing me make silly faces.
7. Use an infant gym or playmat
This is a good way to have tummy time with the baby. Your baby might not like tummy time at first, but I introduced it in small increments.
A few minutes of tummy time was rewarded by letting my baby lay on her back and play with all the toys that were on her activity gym.
8. Play and sing with hand games
You’re probably already singing songs and lullabies to your baby, but why not take the show up a notch and add hand gestures. There’s the classic Itsy Bitsy Spider and Patty Cake song you could act out with your hands.
Things To Do With A Newborn Outside
Here are some of the things I did with my newborn outside of the house besides the usual doctor’s appointments.
Once you’re ready to venture outside with your baby, you might find it’s actually easy to travel with a newborn. They sleep a lot during this time and when you get out of the house, it’s mostly for you to get some fresh air.
If your fridge and pantry are bare, or you just need to get out of the house to window shop, shopping with your baby can be a great activity. If you want some tips on how to make your outing go smoothly, then check out my post about How To Grocery Shop With a Newborn.
2. Mommy and me classes
Mommy and Me classes provide time for socialization and a way for babies to learn new skills. You can find a lot of classes based on your interests like yoga, art, music or swimming.
3. Visit the library
Reading to your baby is very beneficial. Why not take story time outside of the home for a change in pace? Look up your local bookstores or libraries for story time with littles.
4. Check out a local museum
It’s never too early to start enjoying art. Museums are family-friendly and some even offer special programs and weekday activities.
There’s plenty of room for your stroller and some museums even offer places for nursing mothers. Another bonus, if it’s hot and you want to get outside, museums are air conditioned!
5. Grab coffee
Well of course the baby doesn’t need coffee, but you can get your caffeine fix outside of the house. If the weather is nice, you can skip the drive through, throw on a baby carrier and take your coffee to go.
Walk around and take in the scenery in a shopping center or neighborhood.
6. Exercise with baby
Did you know there are exercise classes that cater specifically to moms and babies in strollers?
This can be the perfect time to get some fresh air and give baby something to look at other than the house. Plus, you can connect with other moms.
7. Take a trip to the pool/water park/beach
If you live by the beach, you can let your baby experience the sand and water. If you’re not close to a beach, your neighborhood or community pool will be just as good!
8. Have lunch outdoors
Move lunch outside and have a picnic. This can literally be outside of your home or in your backyard. Babies can play in grass with a few precautions.
You can also go to a restaurant with outdoor and patio dining. If your baby is still really young, you can wear them or let them stay in their stroller.
There are a lot of things to do with a newborn baby. You should enjoy this slow pace of life while your baby is still adjusting to you and life outside the womb. You certainly don’t have to do every single one of these things. When you and the baby are up to it, the world will be waiting!