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Things to do with your baby

They may not be able to tell you, but babies love spending time with their parents. And while the situation at the moment isn’t ideal, it’s a great opportunity to focus lots of attention on your wee one. Playing with your baby makes you even closer and it helps them become more sociable, and to grow up healthy and happy. Here are some tips for games you can play to have fun – and maybe prevent a few tears and tantrums!

Tip #1: Use everyday items as toys

Babies don't need lots of new toys to be happy. Wooden spoons, plastic tumblers, a drink bottle filled with colourful items and sealed shut – anything can be a toy! Just make sure it can’t be swallowed, and there are no loose, sharp or removable parts.

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Tip #2: Peek-a-boo

Hide behind your hands then surprise your wee one by reappearing – boo! For extra giggles, you can make funny noises. You can also try this with your baby’s toys. This simple game teaches them that even if they can’t see you, you still exist!

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Tip #3: Read to them

Just because your baby can’t read, it doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy a story. Your voice will soothe them, and it’s a lovely excuse for a cuddle. You might think they don’t know what the words mean, but babies’ brains are like wee sponges – you’d be amazed what they pick up even when they’re tiny. You could also try showing them books with different textures for them to feel – this will help them get interested in books.

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Tip #4: Sing star

Singing to your baby while you go about your day is a great way to keep them entertained. And babies learn by hearing your voice. They don’t care if you’re not Rihanna - they’ll love your voice more!

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Tip #5: Who’s in the mirror?

Try letting your baby look at their reflection and see if they recognise themselves.

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Tip #6: Tickle time

Tickling can be a lovely way to bond. When you're changing your baby’s nappy, tickle their toes or tummy – they love how it feels.

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Tip #7: Make some musical instruments

I’m sure you’ve noticed that babies love making noise! Make some simple instruments for your wee one by filling a plastic bottle with pasta or rice (make sure the lid is very firmly shut so they can’t open it) or give them some pots and a wooden spoon the bang them with. Then put on the radio and watch them play along!

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Tip #8: Hands-on play

As your wee one gets older, they might try grabbing everything around them. So pop them on a blanket and scatter some baby safe objects around them. And give them a kiss and a ‘well done’ when they reach them.

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Tip #9: Make a mobile

Making a mobile is great way to keep babies interested as their eyes develop and they focus more. They’re easy to make at home too. Just cut out different colourful objects from magazines, back them with card, attach them to string on a coat hanger - and you’ve got an instant mobile! If you have older kids, why not get them to make the mobile? That way, everyone’s busy!

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Tip #10: Drawing

Try drawing some shapes, lines or figures on a piece of paper while your baby watches. You could tell them a little story as you do, or help them hold the pencil or crayon and have a go themselves. Who cares how good you are at drawing? Your baby won’t judge your artistic skills!

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