Intervention Through Play: Birth to 3 Months

Child holds a baby
This is the age when babies are slowly awakening to the world around them. They need plenty of quiet time, when they can observe and drink in their experiences. They also need the warmth and responsiveness of people. Holding and rocking babies gently, singing, or talking softly to them, are all wonderful ways to promote security and build early interaction.
 
 
Mother with baby on her chestAs the child begins to gain some head control, adults can lie down and place the baby on their chest and encourage them to lift their head by talking to them. Lying together this way, adults can place the baby’s hands on their face and throat as they talk to the child or sing. This also builds the baby’s awareness of others and of self.
 
 
baby lying on sideWhen the child is alone, side lying is a great position to help reduce tone, get visual attention, and develop awareness of the body. 
 
 
Select toys that have broad patterns, bright contrasting colours like yellow and black orbaby on tummy red and white. Use a variety of textures – natural textures like cloth and wood are important to include. Select a range of interesting sounds – soft, musical, rhythmic and surprising, like a squeaky toy. Just make sure the toys are SAFE! 
 
 
 
 
To help babies develop a sense of space around them, make sure there are some toys that the baby can see or hear and reach, and that there are others at a distance, and large enough to perceive– like a bright curtain or a large mobile. Be aware of any limitations the baby has in movement and make sure the toys are placed so that the baby can enjoy them – attach them to the mat, or suspend them within seeing/ hearing, touching distance. 
baby playing with toys on handle of trunk
 
Ideas for homemade toys are available in Disabled Village Children: Chapter 49: A children’s workshop for making toys. Chapter 35 has suggestions for early play activities and toys. Learning through Play has ideas for toys and interventions for children with sensory impairment