The Wonderful Experience of Playing With Baby
Floor play can be one of the most developmentally stimulating activities for your baby between two and four months. As your baby begins to enjoy time on her back reaching for hanging toys and gazing at mobiles, it’s tempting to leave baby to herself for these quiet play times while you get some work done around the house. But wait! Don’t miss out on playing with baby during this stage that will pass all too quickly. Of course it is nice to be able to put baby down for part of the day so the dishes and laundry don’t pile up or for you to take a much-needed break. But you should also take full advantage of the close one-on-one interaction that you and baby can enjoy together in these early months.
Floor Play Together Stimulates Baby’s Development
Playing with baby on the floor can help their mental and physical development:
By two months of age, your baby will start to follow objects with his eyes from one side of his head to the other. Lay baby on the floor and slowly move toys back and forth before baby’s eyes to enhance these visual tracking skills.
Fine Motor Skills
Around two months of age, baby begins to more accurately reach out and grasp objects. You can sit on the floor next to baby and dangle a favorite toy just within reach. Baby will also love to grab your fingers, mouth and nose. By four months of age your baby should be an expert grabber for anything you bring near.
Gross Motor Skills
Between two and four months of age baby will learn to lift her head and push up while on her tummy. Lie on the floor facing your baby during tummy time to encourage her to push herself up to see you. At this age baby will also begin to roll onto her side and by four months may roll all the way over onto her tummy. Lie just out of reach while playing with baby and she’ll reach out toward you while learning to roll onto her side. A favorite toy will also spur her on.
Language and Social Skills
Between two and four months baby’s smiles will turn into delightful laughs. Floor play gives you the perfect opportunity to play kiss and tickle games with baby. There’s nothing more rewarding than a baby’s laugh.
Floor Playing With Baby Brings You Closer
Playing together on the floor is a great opportunity to strengthen the bond you have with your baby:
It Does Good Things for Baby
If you are blessed with an “easy” baby, how tempting it is to leave baby on the floor with his toys for hours on end while you “finally get things done around the house.” But the time you spend playing with baby is so valuable to his emotional and physical development. Of course, there is more to life than just baby, so try to find a good balance.
It Does Good Things for the Parent
A baby can be so much work sometimes that parents can forget to just stop and have fun. Floor play gives you some much-needed playtime with baby. Setting aside all your cares for an hour a day and just basking in the fun of your baby will relieve stress and worry and make you a happier, more relaxed parent.
It Simply Brings You Closer
The parent-child relationship is just like any other relationship. You both get back what you put into it. By spending time playing with baby daily, you are building trust and closeness that will last a lifetime.