More Ways to Enhance Playtime with Baby
4. Know when it's okay to play. Playtime is more productive when your baby is well-rested and alert. "It's not a good time to play if he's drowsy, crabby, or hungry," Honig says. Signs baby isn't ready to play? He'll turn his face or his entire body away from you, divert eye contact, or arch his back. "Respect baby's signals," Honig says. "Your baby will show you when it's a good time to play."
5. Engage their minds. Increase your baby's attention span by encouraging exploration, Honig says. While reading together, point out details about the characters, such as their color or the sounds they make, and ask your child to turn the pages. Give young babies something basic, like a rattle, blocks, or stacking toys, and let them chew, bang, and shake the toys to their hearts' content so they can determine what the toy does and learn about cause and effect.
6. Avoid over-stimulation. Stick to one or two toys at a time. Surrounding your little guy with several toys at once can do more harm than good. "He'll run from one thing to the next rather than fully exploring a single toy," Honig says.
7. Reap the benefits yourself. Playtime "enriches your entire life," Honig says. And by serving as a constant companion for your little one, Honig says, you develop solid observational skills that may allow you to detect potential problems, such as the need for language therapy, before your pediatrician or another medical professional does. "You are the first line of defense for your baby," she says.
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