Plan some time to meet with a friend or family member who has a baby too. Place your baby and their new friend on a soft blanket on their tummies or sitting up facing each other. Sit close by but let them “play” with each other without getting too involved.
Let your babies look at each other, touch each other, and crawl over each other. You will find they are really interested in each other’s hands and feet!
This activity is best if your babies are over three months old. Make sure that both babies are healthy! You are there to make sure that hair doesn’t get accidentally pulled, or eyes poked.
Hello Park, Goodbye Park
Help your baby learn to “end” an activity by using the words Hello and Goodbye. Start by saying “hello” at the beginning of play time. When you get to the park or start building with blocks, say,
- Hello park!
- Hello blocks!
Say hello to all the things in the park. Say hello to all the different color blocks. This gives your child time to get used to their new surroundings or activity.
- Hello swings, hello slide, hello grass!
- Hello red block, hello blue block, hello green block!
When play time is over, it is time to say goodbye. Say goodbye to the park when you leave. Say goodbye to the blocks as you put them away. Say,
- Goodbye swings, goodbye slide, goodbye grass!
- Goodbye red block, goodbye blue block, goodbye green block!
Saying goodbye to all the things in the park or to all the blocks helps your baby end this activity and move to the next one.
I am Right Here
When you hear your baby cry, or see that they are upset, try to respond as quickly as you can. Let them know you hear them. Say,
- It sounds like you are not happy.
Be right there to soothe and comfort your baby. You can pick them up, hug, rock, and talk to them in a calm voice. Say,
- It is okay. I am right here!
Crying, making noises, and making faces are how your baby lets you know that they need help. Even if you know there is no danger, it is still important that you go to your baby right away. There will be times when you won’t be able to, but most things (like chores, dishes, texting, or work) can wait. Your baby needs your help and comfort!
Cuddle With Me
Find time each day to hug, cuddle and talk with your baby. If it is warm enough, dress them in only a diaper so that they can feel your touch on their skin. Rub their back and stroke their arms and legs. Kiss their cheeks and tell them,
- I love you!
Rock them, sing to them, read to them, and talk with them. Give them lots of chances to respond.
Your baby needs to be touched and cuddled! When they think of you, they will think of tenderness and love.
So Happy to See You!
Use your face and voice to tell your baby how much you love them. You will have many chances every day to walk into a room and make eye contact with your baby. When they wake up, when you get home from work or an outing, your baby is looking to you for a reaction. Look in their eyes, give them a big smile, and say something like,
- Hi! I’m so happy to see you!
Spend a few minutes talking with your baby and giving them your full attention.