Sharing our top activities for 0-3 months under two major categories : Movement and Language activities. These activities are to meet the baby’s developmental needs at every stage.
Note: All of the activities are to be done when the baby is active and awake. Feed the baby well – a hungry baby may not focus on work in the movement area.
1. Visual Stimulation
We started using our high contrast cards when M2 was a week 1 old. It can be started right from Day 1, but we took time to settle down before we started with work – especially being back home from the hospital everyone of us need time to settle.
Newborns have a very blurred vision for the first few weeks. Simple high contrast black and white images are a great way to help them develop their eyesight. These high contrast images simulate the development of the optic nerve.
High contrast cards to be placed 8 to 12 inches away from their face | eyesight. To begin with we started with real time object black & white images, later moved onto pattern cards. Our high contrast cards are from Blommybrain toys
In addition to these cards we also used high contrast cards in a card holder – it was easier for us to prop it up around and move it around as desired. Considering the weather in the hill station using our movement area at all times wasn’t easier, so having this cardholder made things easier for us. Our card holder is from Curious Cub – level 1 subscription box (Discount code : “ATD5” can be used storewide)
To know more on VISUAL STIMULATION FOR BABIES
2. Visual Mobiles
We majorly focused on the Montessori mobile series. These Visual mobiles are used in the baby’s movement area, we have a small movement area for M2. The movement area has a floor mat on which we either use a light thin quilt or a small bed. If the weather is nice and warm we don’t use the bed, otherwise I preferred going with the small bed as the floor happens to be really cold. Considering the geographical location and the environment of the house you can plan the movement area. The movement area also has a play gym and the side wall is propped up with high contrast cards.
These Montessori visual mobiles are a series of mobiles that are followed in a specific sequence. And these mobiles support the baby’s developmental needs in many ways – helps with development of visual sense, gross and fine motor development, helps with adaptation into the new environment. All of these Montessori mobiles are light in weight and they slowly move in the natural air present in the room.
Mobiles are rotated : When ? A mobile is changed when the baby looses interest or if you get to observe that the baby is ready for the next mobile. Also, a previously used mobile can be brought back to use after a few weeks or days.
Note: Though there is a specific timeline given for these mobiles, we didn’t exactly go by it. We focused on the progress and decided on if a change of mobile was needed or not.
The Munari Mobile (black-and-white): is the first mobile in the series and we introduced this to M2 when he was almost 3 weeks old. Initially, the attention span was very less, it lasted just for a few minutes 2-3 minutes and gradually day after day the time spent under the mobile started to increase. The Munari consists of black and white 2D geometric shapes and a glass sphere that catches and reflects light. We got our Munari here
The Octahedron Mobile: This is our favourite – M2’s and mine. Special mention to the husband who DIYed the mobile beautifully for us. We introduced Octahedron towards the end of week 6 and this is the second mobile in the series. The mobile is made of 3 octahedrons in the primary colours. Reflecting paper is used to allow the mobile to catch and reflect light. Also, this is one mobile that we used for the longest.
We referred on “Our little nest” for the DIY of the mobile and for the free template : check it out here. We couldn’t get our hands on holographic cardstock paper, so we use plain white cardstock paper and simple holographic paper together – by putting them together we got the desired output.
The Gobbi Mobile: is the third in the series. It consists of 5 same sized spheres made of embroidery thread with different shades of one colour. The mobile helps with the baby’s visual discrimination skill and helps them in developing the sense of differentiation – they see the small change is colours. Our Gobbi mobile is from Shumee, you can get yours here. (Discount code: LYLKEERTHANA). This was introduced when M2 was almost 3 months. At this stage he was occasionally beginning to bat the mobile.
The other mobiles that we used are high contrast flash cards from Shumee : part of their Black & White flash cards for babies : 0-6 months box. (Discount code : LYLKEERTHANA) and a kicking ball which is from our Curious Cub subscription box (level 1) (Discount code : ATD5)
Note: Most of the visual mobiles can be easily DIYed. And for the Montessori mobiles there are free templates available online.
3. Our First Rattle
At around week 11 he was introduced to his first rattle. A very simple black and white rattle (in the image). This is to help M2 develop his grasping reflex and helping him with his hand coordination.
In the first few weeks the baby is being mostly held by us. It is a great time for us to bond with the baby. Speak to the baby – The baby will have points of reference that help them in making the transition from being in the utero to the world outside the womb. One of the main point of reference is “Our voice” ; voices that they have heard throughout pregnancy. You being there for the baby, being present at the moment – communicating, cuddling, helping them meet their needs is the most important of all things.
More about “LANGUAGE FOR INFANTS AND HOW TO SUPPORT?” : click here to read.
To support the baby’s language here are things we did with M2:
- Speaking to the baby using rich language : We speak a lot with M2, we speak about the weather, we greet him “good morning”, “good night”, we speak about his clothing for the day, we speak about the environment that he has a view to, we speak through everything we do with him : bath time, diaper change time. And M1 has learnt beautifully communicate with his little brother, and the boys talk so much. The way little responds to the brother, they communicate so much to us.
- Music & dance : this falls under both the categories – language and movement. Babies enjoy a rhythm of music, the respond very well to it. M2 enjoyed some selective music and some slow dance.
- Books : we used some high contrast board books or cloth books. We also read some very selective books together as a family. Also, books can be propped up during tummy time.
Books for 0 to 3 months (books we used) : Black on white by Tana Hoban ; Little baby books Everyday – this was M2’s favourite. And selective books like “hand in hand” and “the wonderful things you will be”. A quick look through for the books and types that can be used.