21 Fun Things to Do With a Baby That Will Help Them Grow | LoveToKnow (2023)

21 Fun Things to Do With a Baby That Will Help Them Grow | LoveToKnow (1)

Babies learn through play, and in their first year of life, they will make an incredible transformation! But how do you make the most out of this time, and what are things to do with a baby in between feedings, diaper changes, and those short periods of sleep? Discover 21 fun things to do with babies that are not only entertaining for both of you, but are also fantastic for helping your baby reach their milestones.

Skin-to-Skin Snuggles

21 Fun Things to Do With a Baby That Will Help Them Grow | LoveToKnow (2)

Baby snuggles are always the best, but when you engage in this activity in the most natural way possible, it can have amazing benefits! Research shows that skin-to-skin contact can help to regulate heart and breathing rates, lower stress levels, promote sleep, and moderate their body temperatures. This is a wonderful bonding activity that helps with breastfeeding, and can even lead to having a happier baby.

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So get snuggly! And for those who have busier days, consider wearing your baby around your home using a Boba Newborn Wrap. This can give you some freedom to get chores done, while still giving your baby that beneficial kangaroo style care.

Tummy Time

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Tummy time is a crucial activity for building your baby's head, neck, and shoulder strength. Best of all, with healthy babies, this exercise can begin the day they come home from the hospital. What do you need for tummy time? While not required, we recommend some sort of colorful blanket or play mat, some rattles and other small toys, and a play gym. These extra items can provide a sensory experience, which will foster cognitive, language, and fine and gross motor development.

How to Do Tummy Time

Parents should engage in tummy time sessions two to three times per day, starting with short increments and working their way up to longer time frames. Experts advise parents to start with as little as three minutes of supervised time on the tummy. Once your little one gets better at holding their head up, begin placing toys just out of their reach. This is an easy way to get them moving early!

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Musical Fun

Did you know that listening to music with your baby can help with their cognitive development, aid in pattern recognition, and even facilitate speech? It can also be a great bonding activity! Turn on some tunes or sing to your little one. Add in some baby toy instruments to introduce different sounds and tempos. This is another excellent interactive and sensory activity that can start from the moment you get home.

Visual Stimulation

Before three months of age, your baby's vision will be blurry. For the parents who want to help their little ones hone this skill, one of the best things to do with your baby is to play visual stimulation games!

21 Fun Things to Do With a Baby That Will Help Them Grow | LoveToKnow (4)
  • Look at Family Photos: While you may be a big blob to your baby in the beginning, newborns can actually recognize faces based on their shape. This means that they can discern between you, dad, grandma, and anyone else in their life. Thus, grab the photo album and show them the faces of their family! Just remember that these images need to be large and it needs to be situated less than eight to ten inches away from their face.
  • Enjoy High-Contrast Books: Babies see best in black and white. These high-contrast images make it easier for their eyes to focus. So run to the bookstore and grab some books that feature monochrome pictures and let your little one work on honing their gaze.
  • Track the Object: As your baby's vision gets better, start introducing moving objects. This can start with a low hanging mobile and then parents can transition to various toys as they approach the three-month mark. Just remember that you need to keep objects up close so that they can see these items.
  • Play Peek-a-Boo: This simple game actually has an array of benefits. Not only is it a fun activity to play with baby, but it will continue to build their visual tracking skills and it will help them to slowly understand that just because you are not in view, does not mean that you are gone forever. Once your child hits their four-month mark, they may actually begin playing along with you, which can help with their hand-eye coordination as well.
  • Play in the Mirror: Babies love to look at themselves! Add in the fact that they recognize you in the reflection, and it makes this activity even more exciting. This can help with visual tracking, facial recognition, and self-awareness. Better yet, as your baby begins to talk, this can be a great way to build their vocabulary.

Get Some Outdoor Therapy

While direct sunlight is not safe for babies under six months, you can still find a shady spot to take in the views. This can also be a wonderful sensory experience - the breeze on their cheeks, the soft tickle of fine blades of grass on their hands and feet, and the relaxing sounds of nature are not only relaxing for both you and baby, but they can also help them to explore the world!

Need to Know

Babies overheat easily, so enjoy this activity in the early morning or early evening hours when temperatures are more ideal.

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Read to Your Baby

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Parents can work on listening skills from an early age and build a lifelong bond with their baby by simply reading to them. Babies are like sponges. They learn through observation and imitation, which is why play is so important. However, another fantastic method for them to learn is through listening. Grab some simple nursery rhyme books and get to reading. This can serve as a solid foundation for their future bedtime routine as well.

Sensory Play

Sensory play has so many spectacular benefits. Some easy ways to start include:

  • Blowing bubbles
  • Dancing to music with your baby
  • Exploring different textures and sounds using rattles and other toys
  • Playing in the bath
  • Blow raspberries on their tummy
  • Playing with small sensory bottles (9 months +)

Go Swimming

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Survival swimming may seem like a skill that won't be needed for years to come, but once your baby begins to move, water becomes a big threat. Give your little one the tools they need to handle the unthinkable by signing up for these lifesaving classes.

Parents can enroll their kids as early as six months of age and the results can be astounding. Not only that, but this is a fantastic way to build your baby's muscles, improve their breath control, and even help them sleep.

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Give Them a Baby Massage

Infant massage is another excellent bonding activity that will help your baby sleep and even reduce gas and colic. Parents can also add this to their baby's bedtime routine to ease them into a restful sleep.

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Teach Them Sign Language

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One of the hardest parts of being a parent to a child under two is not being able to fully communicate with them. What many people don't realize is that you can bridge this gap with sign language! Children as young as six months of age can start learning this communication skill, which can allow you to better understand your child's needs.

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The words "more," "milk," "all done," "sleep," "help," "yes," and "no" are simple to teach and extremely useful for communicating with a non-verbal baby. Parents can easily introduce these signs by making them when they use the words. After a while, your child will pick up on these hand gestures, making life better for everyone.

Try New Foods

21 Fun Things to Do With a Baby That Will Help Them Grow | LoveToKnow (8)

At four months, another fun thing to do with a baby is to begin trying solid foods! Parents should start with single-ingredient foods and wait three to five days between each one. This ensures that you can spot any allergies that may arise. Once they prove that there is no problem with the item, you can include these foods in their regular diet.

For the parents who want to skip purees and try serving their baby the same foods that they are eating, baby-led weaning can be a fantastic experience that promotes healthy eating, helps to prevent picky eaters, and even improves your little one's social skills!

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Baby Play Date

Finally, what better way to play than with other kids their age! Finding families with children in the same age range as your own can allow for entertainment for everyone and it is another opportunity to work on your child's social and language skills. While they won't show progress immediately, it will make those moments easier when they arise.

Document the Things You Do With Your Baby

Remember that the more things that you do with your baby, the faster they will gain the skills they need to function independently. Also, while it may seem silly to take pictures and videos of you and your baby playing peek-a-boo or making silly faces in the mirror, these are fleeting moments you will want to remember. Your baby will suddenly turn into a little person in the blink of an eye, so don't miss it. Focus on fun with your infant and take the time to document your baby so that you can cherish these memories forever.

© 2023 LoveToKnow Media. All rights reserved.

(Video) Avoid These 5 Things for Better BABY DEVELOPMENT


How can I make my baby grow faster? ›

Many key nutrients need to be increased during pregnancy, and it's especially important to get enough calcium, iron, iodine, choline, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids.

How to stimulate a baby? ›

Smile, stick out your tongue, and make other expressions for your infant to study, learn, and imitate. Use a favorite toy for your newborn to focus on and follow, or shake a rattle for your infant to find. Let your baby spend some awake time lying on the tummy to help strengthen the neck and shoulders.

What to do with a baby under 1? ›

Indoor Activities to Do with Newborns
  • Tummy time. Lay your baby on his stomach for a short time — just a few minutes at a time, two or three times a day — while he's awake. ...
  • Baby mirror games. ...
  • Baby massage. ...
  • Puppet play. ...
  • Clap your baby's hands together. ...
  • Dance with your baby. ...
  • Smiling games.
May 2, 2021

What would I do with my baby? ›

25 Things to Do With Babies at Home
  • Explore textures with jelly. ...
  • Give baby a massage. ...
  • Make and play with sensory bottles. ...
  • Make salt dough hand and footprints. ...
  • Blow bubbles, and let baby pop them! ...
  • Finger puppet play. ...
  • Make and play with edible finger paint. ...
  • Have all-important tummy time.

What makes a baby grow big? ›

Genetic factors and maternal conditions such as obesity or diabetes can cause fetal macrosomia. Rarely, a baby might have a medical condition that makes him or her grow faster and larger. Sometimes it's unknown what causes a baby to be larger than average.

What month do babies grow faster? ›

As they turn 6 months old, many babies are gaining about 10 grams or less a day. Height. From birth to about age 6 months, babies tend to grow about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) a month. From ages 7 to 12 months, a baby might grow about half an inch (1.3 centimeters) each month.

How much playtime does a baby need? ›

Toddlers should have opportunities to play every day, the AAP says. Many experts recommend giving toddlers at least an hour per day of free, unstructured (but still supervised) play where children can explore what interests them, along with at least 30 minutes of active, adult-led, structured play.

What activities are good for newborn brain development? ›

Play ideas for encouraging newborn cognitive development

Talk to your baby often, hold your baby, and make eye contact. Read with your baby, recite nursery rhymes, or sing songs. Repeating the same song, rhyme or story is great for babies, because repetition is one of the ways they learn. Make faces with your baby.

How do I entertain my baby all day? ›

Play ideas for newborns
  1. Sing, chat, tickle, cuddle, count toes, blow raspberries – simple things are best for newborns. ...
  2. Make faces, smile, laugh, roll your eyes or poke out your tongue. ...
  3. Give your baby different objects to feel – soft toys, rattles or cloth books with pages of different textures are fun.
Oct 18, 2022

What toys do babies need? ›

Good toys for young infants:
  • Things they can reach for, hold, suck on, shake, make noise with—rattles, large rings, squeeze toys, teething toys, soft dolls, textured balls, and vinyl and board books.
  • Things to listen to—books with nursery rhymes and poems, and recordings of lullabies and simple songs.

How many ounces should a 4 month old eat? ›

At 4 months, babies usually take 4 to 6 ounces per feeding. At 6 months, babies may be taking up to 8 ounces every 4 to 5 hours.

How can I have fun at home with my baby? ›

Activities to Do With Your Baby at Home
  1. Make noise with random household objects. Gather some safe household objects like an empty box, a wooden spoon, and the lid of a tub and let your baby pick which one he wants to play with. ...
  2. Show your baby something magical. ...
  3. Look out the window. ...
  4. Have a dance party. ...
  5. Read together.
May 19, 2020

What is a healthy baby weight? ›

According to the WHO, the average birth weight of a full-term male baby is 7 pounds (lb) 6 ounces (oz) , or 3.3 kilograms (kg). The average birth weight of a full-term female is 7 lb 2 oz , or 3.2 kg. The average weight of a baby born at 37–40 weeks ranges from 5 lb 8 oz to 8 lb 13 oz. This is 2.5 to 4 kg.

What is considered small baby? ›

What is low birthweight? Low birthweight is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Some babies with low birthweight are healthy, even though they're small. But having a low weight at birth can cause serious health problems for some babies.

What causes a baby to grow small? ›

You are more likely to have a baby that is growth restricted if you are over 40 or have high blood pressure, kidney problems or diabetes complications. Having lost a baby late in pregnancy or having had a small baby in the past also increases your risk.

How much Oz does a 3 month old should eat? ›

3-month-olds will generally drink 4 to 6 ounces of formula around every four hours. That adds up to 24 to 32 ounces of formula in around six feedings total in a 24-hour period. 4-month-olds will often drink 5 to 7 ounces of formula every four to five hours.

How can I make my baby chubby and healthy? ›

Give healthy solid food.

Once your baby is ready, give fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, and lean meats. Babies will try anything. Use this time before they become picky to build their tastes for foods you want them to eat forever. While iron-fortified baby cereals can be healthy, don't overdo them.

What month do babies change the most? ›

Between 1-3 months of age, babies begin the transformation from being a totally dependent newborn to becoming an active and responsive infant. Many of the newborn reflexes are lost by this age. At this age, a baby's vision changes dramatically; he becomes more aware and interested in his/her surroundings.

What toys make babies smarter? ›

Pegboard puzzles, nesting cups or blocks, and buckets with holes for different shaped blocks challenge hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. Mechanical toys. Pop-up toys and "busy" boxes with knobs, buttons, and levers encourage fine motor skills and problem solving, and teach cause-and-effect.

How can I build my baby's brain? ›

Creating a warm, loving environment helps your baby feel safe and loved. This promotes brain development. Everyday moments, such as having a bath and eating, are great opportunities for you to get to know each other and build your relationship. It's these moments that help your baby's brain form new connections.

What makes a baby smarter? ›

Better sleep may boost that baby IQ too. According to the Academy of Sleep Medicine, good nighttime sleep—versus daytime naps—may speed an infant's brain development and increase executive functioning, which enables skills like attentiveness, self-discipline and memorization.

What is the 15 minute rule babies? ›

STEP 1: Instead of entering the nursery, look at your clock and/or start a timer (mentally or actually set one) for 15 minutes. This means you do NOT go into the nursery when the crying first starts. Start the timer instead, when you hear that first bout of crying.

What is the 15 minute rule newborn? ›

And with the bedtime fading technique, you put your baby to bed a little later each night, shifting bedtime back by 10 to 15 minutes, until your little one is tired enough to fall asleep on their own, even with a bit of crying. Once you hit that sweet spot, you label it as your baby's official bedtime!

What is the 90 minute rule babies? ›

According to the BRAC, baby should go back for a nap a mere 90 minutes after waking up—that's right: 90 minutes. The program is called N.A.P.S. —Note time when baby wakes up, Add 90 minutes, Play, feed, or pursue other activities, then, at the end of the 90 minutes, Soothe baby back to sleep.

What are 3 ways that you can increase the development of an infant's brain? ›

3 ways parents can improve their babies' brain development
  • Get to know your baby. The most important thing that any parent can do to support the development, and particularly the brain development of a young child, is to be able to read your child's cues. ...
  • Have fun with your baby. ...
  • Boost your baby's brains with games.

What are healthy activities for newborns? ›

Provide finger foods as the infant learns to self-feed. Encourage movement throughout the day. Being active as an infant means lifting the head, kicking, and reaching during tummy time; reaching for or grasping toys or other objects; playing and rolling on the floor; and, crawling around the environment.

What are babies thinking? ›

The current consensus is that infants are thinking all the time, busy trying to make sense of the world around them from the moment they emerge from the womb. "Babies are little experimenters," says Susan Hespos, Ph. D., a cognitive psychologist at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois.

Should babies be held all day? ›

You can't spoil a baby. Contrary to popular myth, it's impossible for parents to hold or respond to a baby too much, child development experts say. Infants need constant attention to give them the foundation to grow emotionally, physically and intellectually.

Is it OK to not entertain baby all the time? ›

Baby's mind and body are constantly developing in the most amazing ways right now, and we get your enthusiasm about maximizing every moment of this key period. But the truth is, you don't need to do a heck of a lot to entertain a newborn.

Should you talk to your baby all day? ›

Talk to your child a lot

Children learn to talk when parents and caregivers talk to them a lot. You don't need to make a special time for talking. Any and all talking is good for your child. This includes talking while you dress or bath your baby, talking while you play, singing songs and nursery rhymes, and reading.

What toys help with cognitive development? ›

Building and construction toys, such as blocks and sets of connecting pieces, promote cognitive development. They are considered “open-ended” toys, which means that children can use the toys to create structures or designs in many different ways.

When can babies see color? ›

5 to 8 months

It is not until around the fifth month that the eyes are capable of working together to form a three-dimensional view of the world and begin to see in-depth. Although an infant's color vision is not as sensitive as an adult's, it is generally believed that babies have good color vision by 5 months of age.

What kind of toys should not be given to babies? ›

Avoid marbles, coins, balls, and games with balls that are 1.75 inches (4.4 centimeters) in diameter or less because they can become lodged in the throat above the windpipe and cause trouble with breathing. Battery-operated toys should have battery cases that secure with screws so that kids cannot pry them open.

Can I give my 4 month old baby mashed banana? ›

Bananas are an excellent source of nutrition and make great first foods to babies. Banana puree can be introduced as solid food anywhere between the age of 4-6 months. Did you know: Bananas are often called one of nature's perfect foods because they are said to contain all essential nutrients.

What age is an infant? ›

Infants (0-1 year of age)

How long should you stay home with a baby? ›

There are no set rules about how long to wait before taking a newborn out into the world or when to let people near the baby. Some doctors recommend that parents wait until their baby is a few months old before going to crowded public places (like malls, movie theaters, and airplanes).

Do babies need to leave the house everyday? ›

The idea that babies have to stay inside the house for several weeks after they're born is FALSE. In fact, as long as your baby is healthy, getting some fresh air can be great for mom and baby if you take a few precautions.

Does my baby get bored at home? ›

Your baby will give you little clues that they're bored, such as yawning, looking away, squirming and crying. If you think your baby's bored, show them you're listening by giving them something different to do. Move them to another area of the room, pick up a different toy or just give them a little quiet time.

How do I socialize my baby without daycare? ›

Get-togethers: Whether it's a family party or a playdate, the most important element of getting Baby socialized is for them to be around other people. At family functions, there are often people of a range of different ages, which is a great way for Baby to see how adults and children behave.

Do babies do better with stay at home mom? ›

Studies Link Kids in Child Care With Behavioral Problems

Good news for stay-at-home moms knee-deep in diapers and temper tantrums. Two studies state you being home with your children during those early stages is better for your kids than them being in childcare full-time.

How do I mentally stimulate my 1 month old? ›

Gently clap your baby's hands together or stretch arms (crossed, out wide, or overhead). Gently move your baby's legs as if pedaling a bicycle. Use a favorite toy for your baby to focus on and follow, or shake a rattle for your infant to find. Make different facial expressions for your baby to imitate.

How do you tire out a baby? ›

Why rocking + lullabies really can work
  1. Swaddling (for infants).
  2. Massage.
  3. Any light, repetitive movement, like swaying or swinging.
  4. Feeding (not until babies fall asleep, but just until they become drowsy).
  5. Dimming the lights.
  6. Playing soft music or tranquil sounds from a white noise machine or app. (Turn off the TV.)
Mar 15, 2019

What are the major baby milestones? ›

Major achievements—called developmental milestones—include rolling over, sitting up, standing and possibly walking. And your heart will likely melt at the sound of her first “mama” or “dada.” No two babies are exactly alike. Your baby will develop at her own pace.

At what age do you start stimulating a baby? ›

Newborn activities for development are important and they can start as early as 1 week old! What is this? These early months are the building blocks of your newborn's development. It's important to stimulate them as much as possible to get their body's systems off to a running start.

How to simulate being held for baby? ›

Try swaddling him, to mimic the feeling of being held, and then putting him down. Stay with him and rock him, sing, or stroke his face or hand until he settles down. Babies this young simply don't have the ability to calm themselves yet, so it's important not to let him “cry it out.”

How long does it take to stimulate a baby? ›

Play with your newborn: this helps your baby's brain to grow and helps them learn about the world. It also strengthens the bond between you. Give your baby tummy time: start with 1-2 minutes and build up to 10-15 minutes several times a day.

What color does baby see first? ›

Young babies are indeed capable of seeing colors, but their brains may not perceive them as clearly or vividly as older children and adults do. The first primary color your baby can see is red, and this happens a few weeks into life.

What age do babies feel love? ›

Around 4 to 6 months, your little love bug will start mimicking your facial expressions. When they're excited and happy, they'll know to smile. And don't forget to keep an ear out for the most adorable noise of all: their intentional laugh and little giggles.

Do I have to entertain my baby all the time? ›

Baby's mind and body are constantly developing in the most amazing ways right now, and we get your enthusiasm about maximizing every moment of this key period. But the truth is, you don't need to do a heck of a lot to entertain a newborn.

Does TV over stimulate babies? ›

Compared to real life, many television programs aimed at young children have rapid image and sound changes that, although they are extremely interesting for children, can over-stimulate their senses and brain.

What is the purple crying phase? ›

What Is PURPLE Crying? PURPLE crying is a stage that some babies go through when they seem to cry for long periods of time and resist soothing. Your baby may find it hard to settle or calm down no matter what you do for them. The phrase PURPLE crying was coined by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Can TV overstimulate a newborn? ›

Yes, babies can absolutely become overstimulated. This happens with “they're overwhelmed with more activities, sounds and sensations than they're able to handle,” says Alexis Phillips-Walker, DO, a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Pediatrics in Atascocita, Texas.

What happens if you don't stimulate your baby? ›

Failing to provide children with adequate sensory stimulation puts them at a high risk of developmental and cognitive delays. This is known to have been recorded in young babies who grew up in orphanages, as well as in preterm babies. One such sensory pathway is touch, which facilitates normal growth and development.

What makes a baby want to be held? ›

Sometimes, or a lot of the time, they want that same close, warm, safe feeling they had when they were in the womb. Being held is as close as they can get to the comfort they're familiar with. Additionally, research shows that physical touch is calming for babies and facilitates the parent-child bond.

How do you get things done with a needy baby? ›

So here are some tips for managing this 'clingy stage'...
  1. Build up the separation gradually. ...
  2. If they're old enough, plan for later. ...
  3. Leave something familiar with them. ...
  4. Don't weep in front of them. ...
  5. Wait it out. ...
  6. Hang around. ...
  7. Get a routine. ...
  8. Let them have some independence on their own terms.

What toys stimulate a newborn? ›

Play mirrors, high-contrast flashcards, colorful rattles and textured, cloth activity books are all standout examples of newborn toys that'll stimulate your little one's senses. Better yet, these toys promote baby's fine motor skills, social abilities, pattern recognition and visual development.

What does it mean when a baby smiles at you a lot? ›

Somewhere around 2 months of age, baby will look at you and flash a full-on smile that's guaranteed to make your heart swell. Doctors call that kind of smile a “social smile” and describe it as one that's “either a reaction, or trying to elicit a reaction,” Stavinoha says. In other words, baby is interacting with you!

Is clapping a milestone? ›

The cool thing about clapping, though, is that it isn't just a party trick: It's actually an important milestone for babies.


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