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In this post, we'll be talking about dad bonding with baby, months 4-6. It will be helpful to review the previous blog about dad bonding with baby months 0-3 since many of the same bonding activities apply to months 4-6. And you may want to peek ahead to dad bonding with baby, months 7-12. Our top 5 list remains the same:
Top Five Bonding Reminders
- Make intimate eye contact with your baby daily. Babies love to gaze into your eyes. It's their favorite activity.
Talk to your baby daily about what you're doing, how the baby might be feeling, how your day has been going, and what will happen next. Just keep the conversation flowing with your new BFF.
- Talk to your baby every day and during ordinary tasks. This helps to develop language and communication skills.
- See that baby has some skin-to-skin contact daily. It helps enormously with bonding, helps to calm your baby down, cry less, and get better sleep.
And don't worry about overdoing skin-to-skin contact. When your little one starts to outgrow skin-to-skin contact, she'll let you know.
- Make expressive, daily reading a regular ritual with your little one, especially with bright, high contrast, colorful books, and simple stories.
- Be sure that she gets at least 60 minutes total on her tummy every day for physical and mental development.
Developmental Milestones During Months 4-6
Your baby is beginning to develop in so many ways. Keep in mind that the age-appropriate bonding activities we'll be presenting are at the same time among the best developmental activities. Bonding and developmental activities are one and the same.
So by now, your little one probably balances his head well. He can sit up with support with his back rounded. He's beginning to be able to support his weight when held in a standing position.
He can probably move objects from one hand to the other and grab his feet and toes while lying on his back. When placed on his stomach for tummy time, he makes swimming-like motions with his arms and legs. And he may lift up on his arms to get a better view of the room.
He now has full-color vision and can focus better. He may hold his arms out to be picked up by you. He may recognize his name and understand the meaning of "no." His fine motor skills are improving, and his curiosity about his environment is growing rapidly..
He'll grasp at things put near his face. He may bang things against the floor just for his own entertainment. He'll look at your lips while you're talking. And he may be napping 2 or 3 times a day from 1 to 3 hours each time and hopefully will be sleeping 6 to 8 hours on most nights.
He's ready for some new adventures.
A Word About Developmental Milestones
Don't worry if your baby hasn't hit all the milestones mentioned above. There are significant differences between what's considered normal in development, and some babies gain skills earlier than others.
Babies develop at their own pace. Consult your pediatrician if you have concerns about your baby's progress.
Our Top 42 List Of Bonding And Developmental Activities For Babies 4-6 months
As Author Tricia Striano, Ph.D., a psychologist at Hunter College, explains, "As long as you're having fun and feeling happy around your kid, he'll feel happy and safe, and bonding will naturally occur."
So keep in mind that there is no one right way of bonding with your little one. Think of the following activities as a springboard for your imagination.
1. Pay attention
Pay attention to your little one and treat her with kindness. Respond to her different cries, squirming, and fussiness. Try to figure out what each one means.
Keep in mind that for the first year, your primary job is developing trust by being timely when she needs attention, responsiveness, or kindness. You can't spoil a baby by meeting her needs.
2. Reciprocal contact
This is the back-and-forth communication emerging between you and your little one. At this point, a baby is primed to engage with you.
She wants eye contact when she looks at you, to be held when she's crying, a smile back when she's smiling at you, and for you to talk when she murmurs. Let your child have a chance to respond in any way that she can, whether nonverbal or by babbling.
Make your communication a two-way street. This teaches your little one that she counts for something and can make things happen.
3. Almost standing
Support baby's trunk as she stands on your lap. Lift her slightly up and down to give her the sensation of putting weight on her feet. This helps your little one learn what it feels like to stand up.
4. Play ball
Find a ball with different textures designed just for an infant. Hand the ball to baby and see what she does with it. Show her how she can roll it or drop it in a box.
5. Roll your baby onto his tummy
If your baby is not ready to roll over from his back to his stomach, hold one leg and gently help him. Then do the same, rolling him over from his other side.
6. Time for textures
Run a smooth scarf over your baby's stomach or back and see if she likes it. Let baby touch an assortment of textures, some soft, some bumpy, and some rough. Use different words to describe the feel of each surface.
7. Rollover baby
Place baby on her side supported by a rolled-up blanket. Lie down next to her and encourage her to reach for you until she rolls over by herself. Give her plenty of credit when she does. Roll baby back and keep going. This helps strengthen your little one's core muscles.
8. Imitate your baby
No, not all the time; that would become annoying. But it's a cute way to let your baby know that she counts and you're watching her with anticipation.
9. Percussion time
Give your little one some pots, pans, and spoons. Show how she can make sounds using them by banging them together and drumming on them.
10. Hang out with other munchkins
Get your baby together with other children and parents and let him play. It's a great way of socializing your child.
11. Textured stacking rings
Stacking rings come in many different colors and textures. You can also show the baby how he can stack plastic measuring cups, which can be just as much fun.
12. Reward initiative
Encourage the sounds that your baby makes. Little ones at this age may start to babble, coo, or imitate sounds. Encourage these efforts, and the sounds will keep on coming.
13. Act silly
Make faces, make silly sounds, snort, stick out your tongue, pull on your ears, and try to do anything else that comes to mind to get your baby to smile.
14. Make a music shaker
Take a sealable container, fill it up with rice or cereal, and close the lid tight. Then show your little one the sound it makes when you shake it and encourage him to do the same.
15. Reach and grab
Place favorite toys near or just out of reach of your baby to encourage reaching and grasping.
16. Crinkle and crackle
Take a ball of wax paper, wrap it in a scarf and tie the scarf. Let your little one reach for it and crinkle and crackle it. Talk about the sounds it's making. Pass it back and forth, making noise with it yourself.
17. Create a sensory bag
Combine textured items in a sealable plastic baggie, such as gummy bears, rice, Play-Doh, a ping-pong ball, even liquid. Place tape around the edge of the sensory bag, place your child on his tummy and let him explore. If your little one tries to put it in his mouth, tape the bag to the floor.
18. Edible bubbles and bubble bath
That's right. You do not need to worry if your kids get a taste of them. There are edible bubbles on the market. And what is more fun than watching a cluster of bubbles fall around you or taking a fun bubble bath?
19. Laugh with your baby
If he finds something funny, go ahead and laugh along with him. Also, try blowing on your little one's belly and see if he laughs. Hopefully, the funny sound and feel will get him to giggle.
20. Make a playlist
Choose a few of your favorite songs and sing them regularly to your little one. She'll love the sound of your voice, and before long, she'll be bopping along with you.
21. Musical toys
Get a set of musical toys that a child can play with when on their back or tummy. Listening and playing music create neural connections in the brain.
22. Setting a schedule
For stability's sake, try to stick to a regular program that you and your little one will feel comfortable with. It'll be a lot less strain all the way around.
23. Fishing for a toy
Tie a favorite toy to a string and drape it just out of sight over the side of the couch. Tug on it so your little one can see what's attached to it. See if you can get her interested in pulling it up. You can even help her with it.
24. Colorful stories
Now that her color recognition is improving try reading books with large, brightly colored pictures that your baby will enjoy staring at. Cardboard books are great in case she wants to put the book in her mouth. They're indestructible and non-toxic.
25. Texture time
Gather pieces of material with different textures. Hold baby upright under her arms with her feet on one of the fabrics. Talk about what that texture is and how it may be feeling. Find out which ones she likes the best.
26. Grasp and transfer
Hold your little one on your lap and have him reach for a toy. Help him to transfer the toy from one hand to the other.
Babies like predictable, repetitive games, so place a toy, book, or your face under a blanket but partly exposed and ask your baby, "Where is it?" They'll usually grab for the blanket. If that doesn't work, remove and then replace the blanket again.
About six months is a good time for your baby to try a sippy cup or regular plastic cup. Use water because it's better for your baby than juice and easier to clean up.
29. See the world
Take your baby out into the wide world. That might include a walk in the stroller, a supermarket stop, or a trip to the zoo.
30. Glide away
Take some time on the glider or rocker with your baby, even if he's asleep. These are times you'll miss later on, so enjoy them now.
31. Now you see it
Take a cardboard roller from a paper towel roll and stick a lightweight scarf in it. Let the edge of the scarf show through and show your little one how you can pull it out. Soon he'll be doing it himself.
32. Give him a pet name
Give him a nickname that only the two of you share. It's like an intimate, inside secret.
33. Act it out
Sing songs that incorporate hand gestures and sounds. Use songs that include clapping, thumping, and rhyme to thoroughly engage your little one.
34. Ring a bell
Gently ring a bell and sing a song about it. Let baby grasp the bell and ring it too. Try hiding it behind your back and jingle it there. Slowly bring it back out and start singing again.
35. Tummy ride
Place baby on a blanket or thick towel and grasp the corners. If she feels comfortable with it, pull and slowly circle the room on a soft surface. Be sure that she can hold her head up.
36. Decide to leave a mess
There you are. You have a choice to tidy up the house or spend a little cuddle time with your baby. Let the housework slide every once in a while.
Lie on your back and hold your baby facing you. Slowly push him up in the air calling out floor numbers and when he reaches the top floor, call out "Ding"! Then lower baby back to your chest and call out "Ding" when he comes to the bottom floor.
38. Dance moves
Dance with your baby. This doesn't always have to be so gentle anymore. Some babies love being twirled around and jostled.
39. Shaded baby pool
This is an excellent way to get your little one used to water, and you can have fun with it all summer long. A shaded baby pool protects your baby's sensitive skin along with sunscreen.
40. Sky pilot
Lift your baby high above your head and bring her down to the floor. This helps her develop her sense of balance and body position.
41. So big
Ask, "How big is the baby?" Lift his arms in the air and exclaim, "Sooooo big!" Pretty soon, he'll be lifting his arms on his own.
42. On and off
Show baby the difference between these concepts by repeating "On!" and "Off!" each time you use the faucet, the light switch, or the television.
And so there you have it; 42 ways to bond with your little one months 4-6, which are also 42 activities that promote growth and development. I hope you enjoyed them. If you have any comments, I hope to hear from you. I respond to all. Happy parenting!