The classic game of “where’s the baby? There he/she is!” is not only a great source of entertainment for the child – and for you to be delighted of the cute little laugh of contentment – but also to help the mother-child bond escalate to a new level. This happens because, when they’re born, babies don’t have the conscience that they and their mothers are different people. In their little heads, they believe moms are an extension of their bodies. Besides, the child also has no notion of object permanence if they don’t immediately see the object/person in front of them.
The process of individualization begins during the sixth month of life and will change these notions. That’s why, sometimes, your child doesn’t want to be picked up by other people and cries when you’re not around. That is known as the fear of separation, which is part of the psychological development and tends to diminish as the child grows up.
However, you can already start teaching your child that being away from you doesn’t mean they’re being abandoned by playing hide and seek. As you hide yourself or a toy with a pillow or cloth and then making it seem like they suddenly reappeared will help your little one learn that a person or object exists even though they cannot see it. It’s a good idea, actually, because it helps the child deal with the mother’s absence when they have to leave the house to go to work.
With this type of game, the baby acquires a sense of security: that the people they love “disappear” but always come back immediately, it’s as though they have a hand in making that happen. Another way to play hide and seek if by hiding behind a chair, couch or door, leaving one leg or arm out as a clue and then ask “Where’s mommy?”. When the child begins to crawl, they will certainly move towards you to find you and you’ll have tons of fun!
Another stimulating game you can play with your child is by wrapping a toy in a piece of paper and giving it to them to unwrap and find. It’s an interesting way not only to entertain the child but also to show them, in practice, the concept of inside and out.