baby playing with toy
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Tips for playing safely with baby

Of course, different babies have different tolerance levels for how much physical play they can take, but there are still some general guidelines to follow to keep everybody involved safe.

  1. Avoid throwing, shaking, or bouncing Baby vigorously. His head is quite heavy compared to the rest of his body and is not well supported by neck muscles, so this movement can cause his brain to rebound against the skull, which can cause serious health concerns.
  2. Make sure that all of Baby‘s toys are age-appropriate so that none of them pose a choking risk or any other type of danger. It’s a good idea to avoid toys with small pieces or other choking hazards.
  3. Instead of tossing Baby up and catching him, play gentler games such as “flying” by gliding Baby through the air while holding him securely.
  4. If you take your baby for a walk, he needs to be in an infant stroller, a stroller that reclines, or a stroller with a bassinet attachment since, again, babies at this age still can’t sit or hold up their heads well. 
  5. Allow Baby to play with toys in his own way — there is no “right way” to have fun. Baby may not be interested in toys quite yet, and that’s totally normal, even if it may be a little disappointing, or he might just want to mouth his toys – so long as they’re not choking hazards, let it happen!
  6. Pay attention to Baby’s signals – he will let you know when he has had enough of a certain activity.
  7. Create a safe and fun play space for Baby by eliminating any potentially hazardous materials or furniture before beginning any activity. Baby may not be able to do much moving around right now, but this is a good habit to get into since he will be on the move soon enough. 
  8. Young children love to play certain games over and over again. If this gets tiring for you, remember that repetition plays an essential role in Baby’s development.
  9. Wash all toys, your hands, and any other important parts of play time both before and after to minimize germs and keep Baby healthy.

Sources
  • “Emotional and Social Development: Birth to 3 Months.” HealthyChildren. American Academy of Pediatrics, August 1 2009. Web.
  • “Is your Child Safe? Play Time.” Health Canada. Health Canada, 2012. Web
  • “Playing safely.”  Children’s and Youth Health Network. Government of South Australia, August 18 2016. Web.
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