Tag Archives: baby play

When should babies start floor time?

tummy time

Free the Babies – When should babies start floor time?

It’s important babies start floor time from an early age. Babies are raised in a world full of capsules, prams, swings, bouncers, hammocks, docks… the list is endless. More and more parents look for items to support, hold, and comfort children that it is preventing children from simply lying on the floor to play.

Children who spend most of their day in angled seats or swings are missing the valuable opportunity to stretch, play and work on their gross motor skills. Babies need the opportunity to stretch out and explore their physical world right from the newborn stage.

Let’s learn more about the benefits of baby floor time!

floor time

Benefits of Floor Time

Growth of the Skull: 

Your baby may spend plenty of time lying down in the swing or in their bassinet or cot on their back. Spending time on the floor, encouraging the baby to move head from side to side and providing lots of opportunity for tummy time is important. A change in posture, such as tummy time, will enable the head to form into a natural shape.

tummy time

Alleviates Gas Pain:

Parents are far too familiar with their baby’s toilet routines, and gas is an unfortunate occurrence at times. Being gassy is both expected and safe. The issue is, of course, sometimes babies need some help moving the gas along. Tummy time, can help as it places gentle pressure on the tummy which can alleviate gas. Lying on the back and allowing the baby to move and kick their legs can also help move gas along.

tummy time play

Spatial Intelligence: 

Allowing your child to feel the floor and play on it will help him or her develop spatial awareness. The child will appreciate and learn to recognize the environment better and gradually as they become older will be mindful of barriers such as tables, couches, or stairs.

tummy time

Balancing Act: 

Your child can learn to balance while lying on the floor. It is a natural phenomenon for your baby to turn sideways, backward, or upwards when lying on his tummy or back.

balancing tummy

When to start floor time:

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tummy time can begin when your baby is a newborn. Begin by putting the baby belly down on your chest or over your lap for a few minutes to get them used to the pose. Only don’t do it right after a feeding because the pressure on their full belly can cause them to spit up. You can do so while they are most awake and alert, such as after a diaper change or nap.

play mat time

Ideas to help babies start floor time

  • Get down on your belly with your face next to your baby’s face while he’s on his tummy.
  • Make silly gestures, coo, and other sounds to your baby.
  • Encourage your baby to grab for you with one hand at tummy time.
  • Also, inspire your baby to reach for you.
  • Choose toys about level with the floor to entertain and inspire your baby when he or she is on the floor. This allows your baby to reach out and explore the toy.
  • Toys that light up and make noise when touched are the best for keeping your baby’s attention and desire to reach for the toy and play with it.

tummy time

When to pick up the baby:

When your baby exhibits cues like yawning, looks away from your face or the toy, or can no longer support himself when raising his head straight off the floor, remove them from floor play. If your baby is repeatedly distressed and continues to be continues to be upset when doing tummy time, ensure you seek support from a health professional.

 

Getting your play mat to settle

How to get your play mat to settle? When your play mat first arrives you may find that you unroll it, and it re curls at the ends. This is totally normal as our play mats are stored in the rolled position in their boxes throughout the warehouse and shipping process. Play mats can take […]

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Preparing for childcare

It’s in the preparation… preparing for Childcare Is your child about to start childcare? Babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, it doesn’t matter the age starting daycare or type of childcare, the first time can be hard on both kids and parents. Preparing for childcare can help you and your little one make a smooth transition. Preparing […]

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Pretend play

Pretend play – What is it? How do I do it? Why is it important? “Here Mum, I made you a coffee?” PJ announced proudly as he shoved a bucket full of sand in my face. The pretend play is strong at the moment in that one, and clearly I drink waaaay too much coffee. […]

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Sensory play: How to make a sensory hoop for babies

sensory hoop play

Lets talk sensory play….

Have you ever tried to describe the smell of wet grass as you walk across it, or the taste of a warm freshly baked biscuit? It is not just one sense that we use to describe these things, but a combination of many senses.

sensory play hoop

Ethan playing with his sensory hoop. His mum @thefoolishobsession was our inspiration to give this a go. Featuring our Roadtrip play mat with Blue Geo.

Today we are focusing on baby sensory play and the benefits on their brain development as they have opportunities to explore the world through their senses. Exposure to a range of stimulating environments allows babies to understand themselves in their environment.

So why is this important?  As babies move from the newborn stage into the infant stage, their senses continue to develop. Research suggests the sense of smell, taste, sound and touch all develop while baby is still in the womb; they taste what we eat, smell what we smell, hear our voices and respond to touch when pressed. It’s the sense of sight that undergoes the most significant change after they are born. Maybe this is why we tend to focus on visual stimulation for babies. However, it is important not to neglect the other senses.

What is sensory play? Sensory play is any activity that encourages your baby to explore the world around them using a combination of multiple senses. Finding materials around the house which have unusual textures to touch, make a range of sounds, and are visually appealing are important as their senses develop. Sensory play also encourages movement, balance and confidence to explore. As babies get older you can also introduce sensory foods to further develop these but today, we are focusing on infants so that one’s for another day.

Making a sensory hoop, for your babies sensory play:

What you need:

1 x hoolahoop

Sensory items: Here are some ideas to get you started but you’re only limited by your own imagination:

sensory play hoops

Some of the things we found lying around the house for a sensory hoop.

Fabrics such as tulle, silk, chiffon, corduroy, flannel, toweling – raid Nana’s scraps pile (most fabric stores also have remnants boxes).

Ribbons (of various size, colour and texture), sequin trim, pom poms, felt pieces, velcro strips

Toys, balls, dummies, teething rings, fabric books, fabric rattles.

Scarves, bibs, wool, bath mesh sponge, bath toys, gift wrap bow, cleaning cloth, bubble wrap.

What to do?

I purposely bought the $5 glitter hoop from Kmart as this in itself is a sensory item. I started by laying the hoop on a flat surface and positioned my items (without tying them down). This way I could have a look at the balance of objects and make sure I was happy with the placements before I attached everything.

sensory hoop play

Adorable little Raffy playing with his new hoop.

I then worked my way around the hoop securing all the items. A tip here – if you do loose bows or loops with the plan to reuse materials later – make sure you supervise. Little fingers have a way of undoing loose knots. Instead we recommend securing items tightly to reduce risk. Once all the different textures and items are safely attached your hoop is ready for some play time.

Have you tried it? Make sure you tag us @freddy.and.co on both Instagram or Facebook as we’d love to see your handy work.

Note: As with all play activities, you must always supervise your baby when playing with sensory hoops. As babies may explore with their mouths, make sure all these items are clean without any loose pieces that can be pulled off or swallowed.

 

When should babies start floor time?

Free the Babies – When should babies start floor time? It’s important babies start floor time from an early age. Babies are raised in a world full of capsules, prams, swings, bouncers, hammocks, docks… the list is endless. More and more parents look for items to support, hold, and comfort children that it is preventing […]

Read more

Getting your play mat to settle

How to get your play mat to settle? When your play mat first arrives you may find that you unroll it, and it re curls at the ends. This is totally normal as our play mats are stored in the rolled position in their boxes throughout the warehouse and shipping process. Play mats can take […]

Read more

Preparing for childcare

It’s in the preparation… preparing for Childcare Is your child about to start childcare? Babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, it doesn’t matter the age starting daycare or type of childcare, the first time can be hard on both kids and parents. Preparing for childcare can help you and your little one make a smooth transition. Preparing […]

Read more