Play is learning!
For more information on each product or to purchase just click on the image.
The brain grows by use.
Did you know in the first year you little ones brain will DOUBLE in size?! You can see this happening through the head circumference growing at the developmental check ups.
Brain development amazes me.
The simple act of a muslin passing over a newborns open hand, causing it to reflex and grip close – this is stimulating pathways in the brain which will then later help baby to learn that they can actually open and close their fist independently. This leads on to picking up toys and then holding a pencil to draw.
The process is magical.
I will be launching a video soon to download on this topic – how to create the best environment for your newborn, with as many opportunities for learning. Your baby wants to learn as much as he or she wants to eat! Learning is joy, and you as parents are the best teacher for your little one.
Did you know that you can teach your baby maths? Let me show you how!
Online course coming soon!
PLAY is also essential in helping baby understand the difference between day and night.. often this can take a few weeks. If you make play time a part of every day and nights very different (low light, not much eye contact and no talking) baby will soon understand the difference.
One of my top must have’s for early play opportunities are the ‘Etta Loves’ sensory muslins.
The wonderful Jen has created a gem of a product.
Its an absolute winner as every new mum needs muslins and these are designed specifically to help stimulate your newborns vision. Playmats are available too that are reversible so change to your little one’s age and stage of development.
Have a look at Jen’s website
Sensory stimulation for tiny eyes
Fun & games for baby
Here are a selection of toys and equipment I love for playtime with your baby.
There are so many baby mats and gyms on the market, just pick one that you like – I have the Ikea baby gym mat which Nico loves. I am currently looking for a bigger playmat for him now he is rolling. I have done a huge amount of research and am shocked to find so many toxic materials in playmats for children. Even the ones that market themselves as ‘baby safe’.
Little Earth Baby have made a lovely natural cork mat made completely from plants.
www.littleearthbaby.com – bringing natural back
After hours of research I have finally found another softer playmat which does not contain toxic foam, and PVC.
I have used mats like this in the past and they are a real investment as they have so many play opportunities available.
Lamaze Captain Calamari – or any of the Lamaze range as they are brilliant
Taf Toys Clip On Pram Book – great for in the pram or change table.
Sophie The Giraffe – a classic for teething, made of natural materials
For play inspiration and ideas have a look at playhooray.co.uk
I am a great believer in tummy time from as early as possible. Did you know that babies are able to crawl from birth?! There are some amazing videos that I have watched showing newborns crawl after birth up to their mother’s breast.
Try and get little one used to short amounts of tummy time from as early as you can. I find after each nappy change can be a good habit to get into (excluding nighttime).
If your baby suffers with reflux keep them on a slight incline rather than flat.
Here are a selection of toys that I like to use to encourage happy tummy time;
Orange Tree Toys Music Box
Bright Starts Sit and See Safari Floor Mirror
Books- its never too early to start reading with your baby!
Initially black and white is best for newborns – there are some great books available on amazon, I Love the one called faces which has a crinkley sound! This book was always in my ‘Laura Poppins’ bag for each new family.
Baby Shapes 4 Books and Mobile Set – A Laura and Nico MUST HAVE!
This doesn’t look like much but it has FOUR black and white books and also a mobile to make at home.
We put it above the changing station when Nico was born and he LOVES it, even now at four months! An amazing buy!
The Little Black & White Book Project.
Quite simply the best range of Black and White books on the market, by the lovely Ruth Bradford. I was so kindly gifted the books to try and the babies that I was working with absolutely loved them, and the siblings too!
The books and flashcards are educational for your little one (and siblings too) with gorgeous images. What’s more is that 25% of her profits are donated to wildlife charities! Amazing.
That’s Not My
As baby gets older and more interested in books, I love to introduce the ‘That’s not my’ range. These books all have sensory elements for baby to touch and learn. At four months, Nico loves feeling the variety of textures.
I also believe that music is a really important part of daily life, even with a newborn. Play different types of music, sing to your little one… and also buy a simple wooden Xylophone. Nico loves everything from Vivaldi to Smooth Jazz. One of his favourite songs is ‘Say hello to the Sun’ as part of Baby Sensory.
Playing ‘middle C’ every day to your newborn can really help them develop a musical tone and understanding! Incredible!
Also dressing them up as a morris dancer is fun but also great for them to develop the understanding that their limbs belong to them (they are not aware of this when they are born!)
My absolute favourite brand for soft toys is Jellycat. I just love the designs and the quality of their products.
It can be lovely to choose a special toy that you then use for the milestone photography (see below).
I have been using a Jellycat Penguin for the monthly photos for Nico, its amazing watching him grow.
Those newborn feet are just too cute not to capture! I love doing foot prints and find the paint pads the easiest way. Its a lovely sensory experience for baby and you will see their reflexes in their feet when they touch the paint. These can make lovely gifts.
Rainbow Ink Pad
Mini Heart Shaped Canvas
The first year is incredible in view to development/ growth and learning. Making a photographic record is very special.
I suggest choosing a favourite/special toy to you and taking a series of photographs every month showing how much little one has changed. You can also buy milestone cards.
This is my gorgeous god daughter and her collection of photos from birth to one year -such a special memory to cherish forever.
I would also highly recommend getting a professional photo shoot during the first few weeks, as they change so fast, its so lovely to have those precious early weeks captured.