3SKILLS P L YA

Ynoeuwr­b0oto 6rweneks YOU NEED NEW­BORN Not sure what to do with your baby when she’s not sleep­ing or feed­ing? Play­time at this stage is rel­a­tively sim­ple

Your Baby & Toddler - - Your New Born - BY OC­CU­PA­TIONAL THER­A­PIST NI­COLE KATZENEL­LEN­BO­GEN

The new­born stage can be a daunt­ing one for par­ents. There is a glut of in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice about new­born play and early stim­u­la­tion and it’s easy to get con­fused about how much, when and what kinds of play are ap­pro­pri­ate dur­ing this spe­cial pe­riod. Also, as par­ents, this is an enor­mous pe­riod of learn­ing and growth for us and we need to ap­pre­ci­ate the lessons we can learn from the new­born stage.

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that for the first six weeks of life, your baby will (hope­fully) be sleep­ing and feed­ing with not very much awake time in be­tween. Play be­comes a nat­u­ral part of your in­ter­ac­tion with your baby and can easily be­come part of your daily rou­tine. Also, at this stage your baby is not in­ter­ested in the latest toy on the mar­ket – her fas­ci­na­tion is with you and other peo­ple in your home, so it makes play time ac­ces­si­ble and con­sis­tent.

FLEX­I­BIL­ITY

As moms we all strive for some sense of rou­tine. That’s what the books tell us we need to do and we feel like it may be the only sense of con­trol we will ever have again. But re­mem­ber, in the first weeks of life, a baby needs to feel loved, nur­tured and sup­ported and this is of­ten not done through fol­low­ing strict rou­tines. At this time, flex­i­bil­ity is key. Yes, it is hard to do when you have all those daily chores to at­tend to or plans to make, but this is a short lived and im­por­tant stage of your baby’s de­vel­op­ment that you need to give in to.

The more you are able to adapt to your baby’s needs and be present for her, the more set­tled and con­tent she will be. And don’t worry too much about stim­u­lat­ing play. Right now, the right kind of stim­u­la­tion may well be hav­ing your baby with you in the kitchen while you cook

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