Activities For Babies Up To Six Months
New babies are well known for having two main activities in their lives - eating and sleeping, usually in that order too. Until they reach approximately 6 months of age or until they can sit up on their own, life can be pretty dull. For the first few months they can't hold their own rattles, soft toys or teething rings without some assistance. During the time between this eating and sleeping business, they need to do something for entertainment, but what? They can only stare at the ceiling for so long before they scream for something different.
Here are some ideas to help you bond with your baby and introduce them to the exciting and colourful world in which we live.
- Cuddle them and kiss them frequently.
- Give them a little massage with baby oil.
- Play a musical instrument to them, i.e. piano, flute, or guitar.
- Take them for a walk in a front pack, backpack, pram, or a little walk in your arms.
- Play ‘peek-a-boo’, ‘round and round the garden went the teddy bear’ or ‘this little piggy went to the market’ type of games with them,
- On the floor, do exercises like sit-ups with them perched on your tummy.
- Talk to them and show them things, like their own face in a big mirror, the cat next door, their teddy bear or a rattle toy, etc.
- Have an extra special fun time in the bath.
- Read a short colourful book to them.
- Place them in a bouncer, or propped up carefully in a lounge chair, or on the couch with pillows, in view of a musical mobile, looking out the window to the garden, or in view of family activities.
- Lay them on the floor on a blanket to watch you. Place a few rattles and teething rings near them so they can practice picking up and enjoy chewing.
- Play music to them.
- Take them out visiting or invite friends and family over, to provide new faces for them to look at, and people to goo and gaa over them.
- Lay them on the floor under a play gym with extra rattles and toys attached to it for variety.
- Sing to them.
- Invest in or borrow a baby swing, or play swinging games using your arms in a cradle hold.
- Take them for a car ride to see something new (if they aren't already asleep by the time you get there.)
- Let them interact with another baby of a similar age for mutual gurgling conversation.
- Give them shiny, wet, dry, soft, hard, fluffy, lumpy objects to feel, and safe household objects to play with.
- Hold them on your lap, and let them watch while you play with an elder sibling, especially during book reading time.
- Buy or make a play mat to lie on with scraps of brightly coloured and different textured materials sewn together.
- Attend a baby/toddler/coffee group in your area if there is one for mutual friendship, or advertise for other mothers and begin your own group.
- Undress them or just remove their nappy and let them kick around and enjoy the fresh air on their little bottoms, provided it's not too cold.
- Around 4 months, when they can roll, play roly-poly games with them on the floor.
- Lay them on their tummy for a couple of minutes at a time to strengthen their back muscles for sitting and crawling.
- Blow 'raspberries' all over their tummy.
- Buy, get second-hand or borrow a fun toy for them to play with such as excersaucer, swing, fancy play mat or aqua mat, hammocks, multi-gym walkers, a bouncy jolly jumper etc.
- Make getting dressed and undressed, and changing nappies (diapers) into fun and stimulating times with lots of talk, singing and tickling.
- Let them feel your hair, face, nose, mouth, fingers, etc.
- Change their scenery regularly, by just moving them from one room to the next in the house, while you do your housework, vacuuming etc.
Above all, make sure you enjoy your baby as they soon grow up!
Howick, New Zealand
Ross and Victoria have three children, Keegan, Cayden and Jaymee.