Fun ways to interact with your baby in the early months

Playing…with a tiny baby?! How do you do that with a baby as young as two months old?

Actually, as babies enter the second month of life, they become noticeably more interested in the world around them. While they don’t “play” in the way that we often think of—pushing trains around a track or feeding a baby doll—they are eager to explore the objects and interact with the people they see everyday. At this age, play is not just about toys, it’s about back-and-forth interactions—anything from singing a song to your baby as you change his diaper, to cooing and smiling back and forth with him. Loving and playful experiences like these help your baby learn.

What are some fun ways to interact with your baby in the early months?

Offer interesting objects for your baby to look at. You will see that as you move an interesting object slowly from side to side, your baby will follow it with his eyes. This is called tracking and is one of the first ways that young babies explore the world while building their visual skills.

Place your baby so that she can kick or hit at a mobile or rattle. Over the next couple of weeks, she will connect the act of kicking with the sounds the mobile makes when struck. This helps her understand cause-and-effect. And your child will also discover that making noise is just plain fun.

Make everyday routines playful. For example, you can add a massage for your baby after baths or before bedtime, which helps her feel bonded to you and also helps her understand that her body belongs to her (body awareness).

Share books together, either by reading them to your baby or just letting her gaze at the pictures. When your baby gets just a little older, she will probably take the lead—grabbing the book and gumming it—while you ask her how it tastes!
Offer interesting objects to touch. You can bring the objects close so your baby can touch them and begin to learn about how different objects feel. This helps him learn through his senses. Exploring objects with eyes, and later hands and mouth, also helps babies discover how different objects work and what they do. This makes your baby a good thinker and problem-solver.



Even Babies Need a Break

Parents may find themselves confused about their babies’ responses as they play. It’s not uncommon to wonder: We were having so much fun a minute ago, and now he’s crying. What happened? It may be that your baby reached his limit for stimulation and was telling you he needed a break. Babies have their own individual ways of responding to stimulation—light, sound, touch, activity. Some can take in a lot of stimulation before they top out and become distressed. Other babies get overwhelmed very quickly by what may seem to be just a small amount of stimulation (like brightening the lights in the room.) There’s no right or wrong way to be. A baby’s ability to manage stimulation is based on his unique wiring.

Some common “I need a break” signals include:

turning his head away

arching his back

closing his eyes or falling asleep


fussing or making “fussy” sounds


When you see these kinds of signals, try giving your baby a rest for a little bit. Put aside his toys and perhaps rock and sing quietly to him. If that’s still too much, just hold him. And keep in mind that even eye contact can be very stimulating for young babies, so just snuggling him against your chest may feel best to him. It’s all about trial and error.

If your baby is falling asleep in order to rest from playing, let him snooze. You can also swaddle your baby to give him a break. The idea is to reduce the amount of stimulation—sights, sounds, touches, and movements—that he is experiencing. This gives him time to calm down, “re-group”, and pull himself together.

You’ll know your baby is ready to play again when his expression is calm and clear-eyed, when he meets your gaze, moves his arms or legs, turns toward you, or makes sounds. Watching your baby to see how she reacts to, manages, and responds to stimulation gives you very useful information. You can begin to understand what and how much play your baby enjoys, how to recognize when she needs a break, and how to comfort her when she is distressed.
Movement Games to Play with Infant Babies from Birth to 3 Months

Baby Sit Ups
Lay your baby on his back and then pll him up to a sitting position by holding his hands. Do this very slowly and gently so that even if his head lags, it is not jerked roughly at any stage. This is actually the first step of your baby’s road to walking! Support him firmly as he sits upright for a minute or two. Then lower him down onto his back.

Mobile Kick
Place a mobile within kicking or battling range and let your baby kick and bat at it while on his back. Perhaps best done after a diaper change.

Tummy Time

Provide 15 minutes of “Tummy Time” play daily. This position encourages him to lift his head. A good idea is to have black and white stimulator read here why babies love looking at black and white stuff) posters hanging around his crib or walls for his enjoyment.

Baby Massage
To a newborn baby, touch is as essential as food to ensure she thrives. Your baby will love a gentle massage from you spend a few minutes a day concentrating on touching all part of her body.

Lay your baby on her back and gently stroke her neck, shoulders, trunk, legs and feet. Downwards from head to foot. Repeat very lightly and then again more firmly. Repeat these strokes but this time very slowly then very quickly. Describe what you’re doing as you stroke her. Repeat these strokes when she’s lying on her tummy.
Fly Baby Fly
As you lie on the floor (or bed), lift your baby gently up and down. Hold your hands under his armpits or around his chest or midriff. Fly your baby forward, backward and side to side. Gently dip his head, then his feet, moving him in all directions, slowly and gently so that he is in a comfy pattern. You can play this game as soon as he can hold his head up.
Gently cross your baby’s arms over her chest, allowing her to ‘hug’ herself. Then gently stretch her arms out wide to embrace the ‘whole world’. Then bring them back to the crossed position.
Over-the-Shoulder Baby
Hold your baby over your shoulder in an upright position and let him view a stimulating black and white poster (you can subscribe to get free black and white printables in our website). This activity helps to build the muscle tone in your newborn’s neck as he studies the poster longer and longer.

Pat a Head
Begin with your baby on his back in bed or crib. Lay him down and turn him from back to tummy and back again. Gently bend and straighten his arms from side to side and over the head three times. A good idea is to sing “Pat a Cake” while performing this game.

Baby Bicycle
With your baby lying on his back, hold one foot in each hand. Bicycle baby’s legs at a moderate rate of speed for 30 seconds by flexing legs at the knee and thigh. Holding baby under the arms, pull him up to sitting position then slowy lower him, making sure his head doesn’t flop backward. Then lift baby up into your arms (or a baby sling or carrier) and twist your body to the right and left, saying “Wheee isn’t this fun?”

Rocking Chair
If your baby loves the rocking sensation, rock him to sleep. Sing lullabies while rocking to him. Rocking gently is a wonderful introduction to rhythmic movement.