Playtime and the Newborn Baby
Congrats on your new tiny human! Parenthood looks good on you!
You've been figuring out all the "how-to-keep-said-tiny-human-alive" things like the super parent that you are. Sure, it can be overwhelming sometimes and maybe like there's no end in sight of the feedings, sleep (or lack of), diaper changes, and spiting up! But you've got this!
You love this tiny person so much and you want to get to know them and be a part of their life. I mean, you're their parent, so obviously... Bonding is important to you! You feel like you should play with them. But what does that even look like on a newborn? It's not like you can go to the backyard and play ball (Yeah, please don't).
So what does playing with a newborn and young infant look like? (0-3 months)
Well I'm glad you asked. It's very simple at this age, but is key in your baby's development!
Engage their senses.
Babies don't need great fanfare of entertainment; they just need to be allowed to see, hear, smell, touch (not taste yet) the things around them. Carry your baby around your home and show them things such as the art on your walls, let them look at the ceiling fan, put their hands and feet against different textures (wood, metal, fabric etc), get face-to-face with them & talk to them about what you're doing, play music in your home. These all stimulate your baby and your baby is learning from these experiences.
Exercise their bodies.
Your baby doesn't have great control over their body yet, you've noticed by now I'm sure. They *probably* can't roll yet, they can't grab things on purpose yet and they can't hold their head up for very long. So doing tummy time while showing them toys that get their attention and make them lift their head, gently making them clap their hands while you sing a song, laying baby on their back & doing bicycle legs (Pro tip: this is also effective in getting a slightly-constipated baby to poop) are a few things you can do that provides exercise and stimulation to your baby.
Your baby doesn't need a lot of *things* to be stimulated. They need YOU and to be purposefully included in your day-to-day life. It's simple, and bonding with your baby shouldn't be complicated.
I hope this is helpful to you as you embark on this wonderful journey of parenting and get to know more about your baby and their personality.