Everything you need for bonding with a newborn

Stimulation, connection and development play a big part in the life of a newborn. Shop the list of everything you need to serve up a daily dose of entertainment and joy for your baby and make bonding with a newborn a breeze.

How to bond with a newborn? 

When you bring your beautiful new arrival home, you’ll be feeling all the feels and so will your partner. It’s really important to spend some time bonding and playing with your baby straight away (we’re sure you don’t need encouragement from us here). Bonding with a baby helps them to understand that they can trust you and is essential for their development. But how do you bond with a baby, you might be wondering? Something as simple as a touch or a cuddle can help to let your child know you’re there for them. Talking to your newborn (which you might have already been doing whilst they were in the womb) with a soothing voice is another easy way to bond with them. Whether you sing to them, read little stories or just chat aimlessly, it’s a good way to calm them.

Baby development milestones

First things first, every child develops according to their own timeline. However, there are some general ages when you expect some big milestones to start happening. During the first three months of your little one’s life they will likely learn to lift their head, smile, make their first sounds, laugh and have their first bath. Spending some time to bond with your child can help them along with their developmental journey. 

Baby games to play

Now before you start getting the football ready, let’s talk about what play you can really do with a newborn. While they’re little, the best games to play are really simple ones. Something as easy as smiling back at them is ideal as it will help them to develop their emotional skills. Tummy time on a play mat is a must, since it will help them to develop their neck and back strength. Remember, everything is new to them. Shapes, sounds, smells, colours...So they’re going to love you holding out toys to them, shaking things, or reading them a touchy feely book.

Everything you need for playtime :

1. Picture Book

There’s nothing like a beautifully illustrated picture book to stimulate a baby’s brain. Reading your child a bedtime story can not only help stimulate their imagination, but also get them into an evening routine that encourages a good night’s sleep.  Touchy feely books (as in the ones where your kids can touch different textures in the book) are a great buy to help with their sensory and language awareness. We also have everyone’s favourite, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, and books every child will love from the iconic Mem Fox.

picture book

2. Learning tools

Bonding with a newborn is made easy thanks to some innovative learning tools out there. Happy Little People have developed 52 cards with a different developmental/bonding activity on each one for your child’s first year. It’s a great way to spend time with your baby and help them to develop their motor skills, body awareness, auditory and language skills, sensory play and awareness as well as exploration. We also love Wee Gallery’s collection of cards ranging from animal prints to numbers and letters of the alphabet.

happy little people cards

3. Baby Play Gym

Next up, a baby play gym is an essential investment when it comes to stimulating your little one and bonding with a newborn. A play gym is essentially a little structure to pop over your play mat that has toys dangling from it to stimulate a child’s mind and help with their development. We love the MioPlay gym which was designed by designers and doctors to enhance the physical and cognitive development of your baby through sensory stimulation and dynamic cause and effect learning. It’s portable, cute and has six dangling coloured toys to arouse your baby’s gaze. 

mioplay gym

4. Baby Play Mat

Use it with your activity gym, or simply by itself. A baby play mat is a safe, cushioned area for your baby to explore and for you to get some hands-free time in. It’s great for tummy time and can be used for newborns and beyond as they grow. The Little Wiwa play mat is everyone’s favourite. With a minimal Scandinavian aesthetic, it’s made from 100% sustainable and non-toxic materials. It’s waterproof, (ie easy to clean!!), and is also nice and thick (15mm) so perfect for cushioning precious cargo. 

little wiwa playmat

5. Comforter

Also known as a cuddle toy (how cute is that?!) A comforter is an essential baby toy because it does just that- comfort them. The idea of the comforter is that it allows your child to more easily ‘transition’ or separate away from you to become independent. This separation is made easier by giving your child a transitional object that they can eventually attach to and rely on when you are not around such as when they are sleeping. This gives them the confidence that otherwise you as a parent would be giving them.  Little children can become quickly besotted with their cuddle toys as they help to relax them and soothe them during sleep or when teething. Liewood makes truly adorable comforters you can choose from in a range of colours. 

liewood comforter

6. Rattle

Rattles are a great source of fun and stimulation for little minds. Rattles are often colourful and also make noise which infants love.They can help babies learn to coordinate their eyes to watch the rattle as you shake it for them and also help them to develop their motor skills as they grasp it. Even better, many rattles also double as teethers which allows them to soothe sore gums while playing. We love the Dove and Dovelet rattles for this reason as they are a rattle-teether-toy all in one.

dove and dovelet

Did you know lists are totally our thing? That’s right, we make downloadable, printable lists for you to check off each item as you go and help make this whole having a baby thing that little bit easier. Click here to download our bonding list now. You can also discover our full play collection here.