In this Article

Playing with your newborn is one of the most important things you can do. It encourages his development and helps him feel loved and secure. Interact with your baby by giving him experience with all of his senses. Normal newborns can see, hear, feel, smell, taste, suck, swallow, follow with their eyes a short distance, and distinguish sounds.

Newborns also show interest in human faces and voices. Infant development studies show that newborns can understand and learn.

There are many ways you can play and interact with your baby:

  • Talk and sing to your baby.
  • Give him musical toys, brightly colored toys, or a mobile for him to follow with his eyes.
  • Smile and play with your baby.
  • Try to establish eye contact.
  • Stroke, pat, massage, and rock him.
  • Make bathing, changing, and feeding times special.

You can help your baby learn more and you can enjoy her more by understanding her development. Your baby is an individual who will learn faster in some areas and more slowly in others. Don’t try to push or rush your baby. Allow her to develop at her own pace.

Tummy to Play

On the first day home from the hospital, when your baby is awake and being watched — give him some play time (a few minutes) on his tummy. Tummy time helps your baby develop muscles and gain the skills to roll over, crawl, pull to a stand, and walk.

Tips for tummy time

  • Do it early. Begin on his first day home from the hospital or at least before he is two weeks old.
  • Do it regularly. Put your baby on his tummy 2 to 3 times each day for a few minutes. As your baby grows, increase his tummy time.
  • Do it with your baby. Get down on the floor with your baby. Give him some toys to reach for, or lie down on your back an put him on your chest. Your baby will learn to enjoy playing with you in this position.
  • And remember, if your baby falls asleep, gently place him on his back. For sleep, back is best.

Skin to Skin Care

Skin-to-skin care means holding your baby so that your bare skin touches her bare skin. Skin-to-skin snuggling feels great to baby — and is nice for mom and dad too. It also does the following:

  • Helps you bond with your baby
  • Improves breastfeeding
  • Relaxes your baby


Often, older siblings have a hard time with a new baby at home. They may experience feelings of jealousy or rivalry about the new baby. Some regress to earlier behaviors such as bed-wetting. They may request a bottle when they notice that the new baby is getting a lot of attention. You can help older siblings adjust to your newborn with the following strategies:

  • Even before you bring the new baby home, reassure older brothers and sisters that they are just as important to you, even though the new baby will take a lot of time and attention.
  • Give siblings extra love, and try to spend some special time with them.
  • Read to them while you feed the baby, and help them hold or examine the new baby. (They might need constant supervision and reminders that the baby is not a doll or a toy.)
  • Give siblings a doll to care for. Having their own “baby” to care for may ease their jealousy.

Locations Near You

If this is an emergency please dial 911

Patient Name
Patient Information
Success! Your place in line is confirmed.
About Getting in Line and your Arrival Time

Please arrive at

10:18 AM

or before

  • When you arrive at the clinic inform the receptionist you used the website to get in line.
  • Your arrival time is not an appointment time.
  • You may lose your place in line if you arrive 15 minutes or more after your scheduled arrival time.
  • Wait times are estimates and may change. Patients with more severe conditions may be seen before you.