How To Play With Your Newborn

Baby Activities
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10 Activities for babies 0-3 months

Wondering what to do with your baby all day? I wondered that too. They are at that stage where they are just beginning to interact with you while you play. They are making eye contact, following your every move, and then the absolute very best, around 2 months they start to smile and giggle.

What I never anticipated was how longgggg the days would be with a newborn. As their parent, you are the main entertainment and responsible for filling the day with enough activities to keep them stimulated and occupied. For my little guy to remain content, he wants to go go go. These are the things I found that help keeps him entertained during the 0-3 month stage.

  1. Tummy Time– this activity is to promote the baby’s motor skills by working their neck and shoulder muscles. It also helps prevent a flat spot on the back of baby’s head. Most babies don’t like tummy time in the beginning, and that included my son. The advice I received was to start small. Lay them on their bellies for a few minutes at a time. Do this a few times a day and work up the duration of time. The earlier you start, the more comfortable and confident they will become.

In the beginning when my son was first born, we would do moderated tummy time. This is great for babies who dislike being on their bellies. One way we would do this is lay him down on our chest, belly down. This would encourage him to look up at our face and work those neck muscles. We also would lay him down on his belly, over our thighs, facing away from us, with hand and chin resting on our knees.

Here are a few things I found that kept things interesting and baby engaged during tummy time.

  • Infantino Prop-A-Pillar Tummy Time & Seated Support – I like to prop Cooper up on a tummy time pillow like this one. He will tolerate the amount of time on his tummy with the support it gives. This pillow is really nice because you can rearrange the shape and it doubles as a seat prop. You could also use your Boppy Pillow if you have one.
Baby pillow

  • Teytoy Tummy Time Floor Mirror– we received this as a Christmas gift and it has been a hit! Cooper loves looking at himself in the mirror. I also hang it from his activity gym so he can look at himself while he is laying on his back.
  • Water Mat– we also got this as a gift. There are all kinds of water mats but this one is nice because of the many features, including a mirror.

2. Reading Books – this activity didn’t hold my newborn’s attention for too long, but it was a nice addition to fill the day. Books with contrasting colors are best for babies at this age. Cooper loves it when I read, make silly sounds, and exaggerated voices. His favorite book is the Little Blue Truck. We got some of our first smiles reading this to him while making all the farm animal noises.

We also have a bunch of soft cloth books. They have peek-a-boo features and the pages make crinkly sounds. My son just loves holding them, feeling the textures, and of course, shoving them in his mouth.

3. Singing/ Dancing – this is something I did a lot in the beginning before Cooper could interact very much. I can be anywhere in the house and just yell to Alexa to play a song or station. I also just enjoy having music on in the background during the day.

4. Peek-a-boo– who doesn’t love to play peekaboo with a baby? Playing this game introduces the development of object permanence. Just because an object is out of sight, it still exists. Cover your face, or your baby’s, with your hands and then dramatically open your hands and say peek-a-book! Guaranteed smile.

5. Activity Gyms– we have a few different kinds and we started using them around the 1-month mark. At first, Cooper would just lay there and look up at the hanging toys. Over time he worked up to being able to bat at them with his hands, and then eventually grab them. Watching this progression, every day being able to achieve a little more than the day before, was so exciting.

  • Itzy Ritzy Wooden Activity Gym – we received this one as a gift and it is beautiful with its wooden pine frame and soft colors. We use this one every day and I change out the hanging toys with other ones to keep it interesting.
  • Baby Einstein Activity Play Mat & Ball Pit– this activity center comes with multiple hanging toys, one that plays music, and a tummy time prop pillow. You can either lay the mat flat or fold up the sides to create a ball pit (balls included). It’s super soft and light weight so it’s easy to move around or put away when not in use.
  • Baby Einstein 4-in-1 Kickin’ Tunes– we have this activity center at my parent’s house. This also comes with hanging toys and a tummy time prop pillow, but this one has a really fun piano. This mat like the other Baby Einstein, listed above, can be transitioned as the child grows. The keyboard can be propped on its side during the early months so baby can kick at the piano key to create noise. As they get older, the piano can tilt facing up so your toddler can sit and play.

6. Monkey See Monkey Do– Your baby probably won’t be able to mimic you just yet, but you can start this process now by making silly faces and sticking your tongue out. Eventually baby will start to recognize these acts making them smile and giggle.

7. Kick-Kick-Kick– once babies start to have the ability to move and control their extremities, they love to kick their little feet. Place different objects in front of their feet that have different textures and noise.

8. Play With Toys– even if your baby isn’t old enough to play along yet, toys are great tools for cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development. Some of our favorite toys are;

butterfly toy

9. Go For A Walk– Put your baby in a carrier and get outside! Even if it’s chilly bundle them up and get some fresh air. This can help with sleep and get them some of that needed vitamin D.

10. Scrub-a-Dub-Dub – bath time doesn’t just have to be for bedtime. Get a bunch of bath toys or even just a cup and play with baby. When you get them out of the water and all bundled up in a towel, you can give them a nice baby massage with your favorite smelling lotion. You can also give them a nice stretch by doing bicycle kicks which also aids in getting rid of that uncomfortable gas.

Having a newborn can make your days feel a lot like ‘Groundhog Day’, so hopefully this list will help you inspire some activities to keep you and your little one busy.

Let me know if you have any other great ideas to keep your little one busy!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I could earn a small commission if you make a purchase using one. This comes at no additional cost to you and I will only ever share items I have used myself and tested out.


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