Play & Learning: Birth to 1 Year Old

Play is a big part of your child’s development.  Play is something a child does and also how your child learns. Play helps your child understand the world around them and gives them a way of exploring ideas in a safe and secure way.

When a baby feels secure and happy he/she will develop good social and personal skills which will benefit him/her all his/her life.

Communicating with your child is very important.  Babies bond through touch and skin-to-skin contact, eye contact, imitating facial expressions and gestures, and communication through vocalising. Communication starts from about 2 months onwards with babbling and mimicking and gesturing. Children need to hear words been spoken, need to see facial expression and see and experience positive interactions.

Touch your child’s nose and name it, touch their ear and name it, and so on. Soon they will be able to point to the correct part when you ask where it is.  Constantly explain what you are doing like when you are changing their clothes.

Things you can do

  • Talk to your baby. They will find your voice calming.
  • Answer when your baby makes sounds by repeating the sounds and adding words.
  • Read to your baby. This will help them develop and understand language and sounds.
  • Sing to your baby and play music. This will help your baby develop a love for music and will help their brain development.
  • Praise your baby and give them lots of loving attention.
  • Spend time cuddling and holding your baby- this will help him feel cared for and secure.
  • Play games like Peek a boo and around the garden, Incey wincey spider is a good fun rhyme.


You will also notice how your baby loves to interactions with you and others.  How they look at you and smile. The way you cuddle, hold, and play with your baby will set the basis for how your baby will interact with you and others. The relationships your child forms will influence their well-being and development (bonding). All positive relationships are two-way and your baby needs to learn from you positive interactions and in doing so your bond becomes closer.

Provided by “Start Right Limerick”