How To Play With Your Baby In Your First Year

Written by Lance Green 

Having a baby is all fun games until you have to change nappies, take turns with the mid-dawn shifts of when they get upset or getting vomited and peed on. It’s the norm really and that’s what parenting is about – knowing that before you had a kid, you had it much easier and more free time than you could ever imagine. It’s tough figuring out this parenting thing and essentially, you’re juggling a full-time workload with just one tiny human.  

It’s crazy to think that the simplicity of life flashes before our eyes when we have our first child and it’s crucial that fathers understand that the first year of your baby’s life is important. Yeah, we’re often labelled the “fun” parent, but we can also create an experience worthwhile to make our child laugh and what better way to do this through play! If you’re having trouble forming a bond with your baby, here are some things to consider when trying to engage them in play during their first year…

Be imaginative 

Imagination is possible. Look at all the films, books and music created because of it. It is a wonderful gift to have and just because we like our details concrete and make things simple for ourselves, it doesn’t mean we should remove the imagination that comes from play. Being imaginative can help you engage with your baby more, whether it means acting out characters from a book or saying your favourite line from a children’s movie you watched together. In time, they will appreciate the effort as they get older.  

Be musical 

Oh, the joys of music! Singing and dancing are just part of the fun when you have a baby. When they’re in the early stages of their life, it’s fun to see them smile and marvel over the fact that they’re so tiny and delicate little things.

It’s almost a crime not to enjoy some of the children’s songs that are available for us parents to sing. Some of the songs are even better than the mainstream music they play on the radio. The gift of music is incredible when you’re trying to create a bond with your baby and close that disconnect. 

Have a sense of humour 

Whether it means dressing in a silly mask or pretending to hurt yourself, the best laughter you can hear is from your baby. Let’s face it – it can be addictive hearing your baby laugh. It helps to have a sense of humour while engaging in play because it shows that you want to make them laugh forever. Laughter is the best medicine after all! 

Be enthusiastic 

Even if your baby is small and maybe a few months old, it doesn’t mean you should lay off the enthusiasm when it comes to play. You need to be incredibly active and engaged in what you do too, not just because they like it themselves. Fathers bonding with their babies is incredibly rewarding and it’s wonderful being able to establish this through play. It helps to be comfortable in your own skin and feel enthusiastic about the play time that you share with your child.  

Be creative 

Everyone has a creative side, no matter what they say. Fathers can be creative with the simplest things. You can show meaning in what you do when you play an active role in your baby’s life. It could mean pulling silly faces, tickling or making a toy that you know they’ll love. You can put together a memory box and document these as a sentimental way of remembering the first year where you and your baby truly bonded. It’s special being a father and these moments you spend with them are the ones you’ll cherish for the rest of your life! 

All fathers are encouraged to make the most of engaging in play with their baby during their first year. Although they may be tiny and are unlikely to remember anything, just be mindful that you can establish a strong bond with them at the very beginning of their life. This is a crucial time to bond with your baby, so make the most of every opportunity to play with them and be an active person in their life. You won’t regret it if you do.