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How to Play with a Newborn: 10 Tips New Parents Should Know

10 Tips for New Parents on How to Play with a Newborn

1. Play Peek-a-Boo

One of the most popular and fun baby games, peek-a-boo does more than strengthen your bond with your newborn. It is also one of the best infant stimulation activities that develop the baby’s emotional, linguistic, social, and thinking skills. Playing peek-a-boo is one of the most crucial steps to developing object permanence, allowing babies to understand abstract concepts as they grow.

parents take baby for a walk in the nature

2. Sing or Share Nursery Rhymes

3. Make Funny Faces and Sounds

4. Listen to Music with Different Tunes and Melodies

a baby is playing a toy instrument

5. Offer Textured and Soft Toys

stuffed animals

6. Take Your Baby for a Nature Walk

parents take baby for a walk in the nature

7. Tickle Your Newborn Gently

8. Get Messy

baby play with color

9. Read a Book to Your Baby

a father is reading a book to his baby


What do you do with a newborn when they are awake?

You can do many things with your infant when they are awake. For example, you can give them infant toys to promote cognitive, visual, tactile, and auditory development. The activity can also facilitate gross motor development and muscle strength, depending on the toys you use.

Ideally, you will want to use toys appropriate for your baby’s sensory play age. For example, rattles, shatterproof crib mirrors, textured toys, and musical toys are perfect for up to two-month-old infants.

How do you play with a 2 week old baby?

Two-week-old babies can start to make eye contact with their parents, recognize their voices, and respond to sounds. You can engage in play activities that stimulate your baby’s visual, tactile, and auditory development. So, what kind of stimulation does a newborn need?

Learning how to play with a newborn when awake requires appreciating the value of tummy time. Place your 2-week-old baby on its tummy to strengthen their shoulder and neck muscles when playing.

What should be a newborn’s daily routine?

A newborn’s daily routine consists of sleeping (about 16 hours), feeding (about six to eight times), and playing and cuddling, all within 24 hours.

Newborns sleep about two to three hours with each sleep cycle, stirring for about 40 minutes before resuming sleep. Babies tend to wake up two to three times to feed at night. However, it is not uncommon to see fluctuations in the newborn’s sleep pattern. 

Feeding time not only supports the baby’s nourishment but is also a crucial time for newborn cuddling and parent-infant bonding. Cuddling is the best form of tactile stimulation. It can also offer the newborn visual and auditory stimulation when the mother looks into her baby’s eyes and makes cooing, soft sounds.

We recommend sticking out your tongue, smiling, and making funny faces if you want to play with a newborn after feeding. You can also use your baby’s favorite toy for them to follow or focus on. Many mothers shake a rattle for their babies to locate the sound. 

One of the questions first-time parents ask is how long to play with a newborn. Babies do not have an extensive attention span. Hence, you can play with your infant until they      fall asleep. Parents can sing children’s songs, make funny faces and sounds, and do other fun yet gentle activities. 

When can I start tummy time?

You can start tummy time from day one as part of your baby’s pleasurable everyday routine. It would be best to observe tummy time gradually, beginning with one to two-minute sessions, two to three times daily. You can slowly prolong the tummy time duration to ten to fifteen-minute sessions, four to six times a day.

How do you do tummy time?

Place your baby on your chest belly-down for one to two minutes, two to three times daily. You can gradually increase the tummy time sessions up to 15 minutes several times every day. You can place a soft blanket on the floor and lay your older baby (at least three months old) on the blanket belly-down for about three to five minutes. 


Knowing how to play with a newborn is a crucial responsibility of all parents. Sensory stimulation and motor development are important goals of playtime.