Bonding Games for Babies
Parent-baby bonding can be a lot tougher than you'd think. Here are a few simple games to help foster the connection.
Most moms and dads believe that they will form an instant bond with their newborns the minute they hold their little one in their arms. However, this is not necessarily true for everyone. It is natural for parents and babies to experience fear, anxiety and confusion in the initial few days, which keeps them from developing that bond instantly. In fact, building a strong bond with anybody is a process, which takes time and effort. This often applies to parents and babies too! Breastfeeding, cuddling, talking to babies and massaging them are all different ways of bonding with the new-arrivals.
You can make the bonding process a lot of fun too, by playing simple games with your little miracle for just a few minutes each day. You don’t have to wait till your child is sitting to play many of these activities, as they have been designed for even three-month olds. Some of the games that could bring you closer to your bundle of joy include –
- Peek-a-boo: In this simple game you just have to hide your face behind your hands for 2 or 3 seconds. As you move your hands away and show your baby your face, say “Peek-a-boo”. Most kids enjoy staring at faces; interestingly, little kids think that you are not around if your face is covered. Seeing you disappear and then reappear instantly is fascinating for your baby. As he figures the game out, he may try to “find” you by reaching out for your hands, to uncover your face.
- Patty-cake: This age-old nursery rhyme can be made into a delightful game for your infant or toddler. All you have to do is sing the rhyme and clap hands together (or include other easy gestures). This may seem silly to some, but your baby will enjoy it! It also helps your little one develop language and motor skills. As he grows older, start clapping your hands to his, to stimulate his sense of touch. Before you know it, he will start imitating your hand movements.
- Where is…?: There is no better sound than your baby’s giggle and this game is sure to get a lot of those! All you have to do is ask “Where is your nose” in an animated, sing-song voice. After a second touch your baby’s nose gently and sing “Here is your nose!”. Repeat these steps with different parts of the body. You touching your baby throughout the game will make him feel that you are actually playing with him. Needless to say, it is also excellent for developing your little one’s language skills.
- Baby has a ball: Did you know that your baby can play ball way before he is able to catch and throw it? Find a small, soft ball that has been designed especially for infants and try handing it to him just to see what he does. Teach him how to roll the ball away with his hand or foot, while you go and bring it back (good exercise for you). Gradually, your toddler will learn to throw and kick that ball all over the place and perhaps even put it into a container.
- Shake-it and find-it: There is a reason why all rattlers are so popular; babies love them! During playtime, shake the rattler while your little one watches. Slowly, try to move the rattler out of his sight. Continue rattling so that he turns his head in the direction of the sound. Locating the rattler will give him a great sense of achievement! As he grows, you can hide the rattler behind your back and then have it reappear after a few seconds.
Your baby will give you a sign when he is ready to play. He may smile, reach out for or just watch you with interest. Too much of fun time could also be tiring for your little one. It may be best to stop playtime in case your baby starts crying, looks away or spits up.