Learning Games for a 1-Month-Old Baby

Even though your 1-month-old baby spends much of her time sleeping, there are several learning games you can play together to help promote body awareness and stimulate her senses. Some of these games focus on visual learning, which can encourage her eyes to focus, build up visual coordination, and develop depth perception. Other learning games include helping your baby identify her hands and strengthening her upper body.

Learning Games to Play With a Newborn

Babies come into this world with special adaptive skills and newborn reflexes to help them survive. However, for the most part, they are dependent on you to help them. During their first month of life, their little bodies are working so hard to adjust to life "on the outside" that they spend most of their time sleeping. When they are awake, they are not able to do much more that sit, eat, and watch the world around them.
 
While most babies are born with all five senses present and working, a newborn's sense of sight is not yet fully developed. Sometimes, a newborn baby's eyes do not yet move together to follow an image.
 
This is temporary and should stop happening soon. In the meantime, you can help her eye muscles build up some strength by playing a few easy focus games. The developmental games you can play with your newborn baby are not so much learning or educational games as they are softly stimulating exercises.
 

Seeing Clearly

Babies learn by taking in the sensory information around them -- primarily what they smell, hear, and see. While his general vision is spotty at best right now, his field of vision 8 to 10 inches from the face is almost perfect. His attraction for your face is as strong as it will ever be, so take advantage of that.
 
Try these visual learning games with your one-month-old baby:
 
  • Hold her about 10 to 12 inches from your face and make an "O" with your mouth. Stay in that position for a few moments -- even minutes. Eventually, she will copy you. It could take up to five minutes, but it will amaze you when it happens. Encouraging her eyes to focus on the same image will also help the development of depth perception.
     
  • With your baby in a safe and secure position, hold a brightly colored object in front of his face. Move the object slowly from left to right -- all within his field of vision. He may lose track of it every now and again, but keep going for a minute or two. This will help to build up his visual coordination.
     
Written by/reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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