Baby Milestones & Activities to Enhance Baby's Physical Development:
0-3 months old
Touch Your Baby
It builds your connection with your child and stimulates her to move those parts of her body that are touched. Give her hugs and kisses and blow raspberries on her stomach.
Give Your Baby a Massage
Rub her back or belly, and stroke her arms and legs.
Hold Your Baby
Wear your baby in a sling or front pack while you do household chores, go for a walk, shop, or work on the computer. It’s especially useful at the grocery store because your baby stays happy longer when she’s being held.
Make Eye Contact
Smile at your baby. Give her lots of love and attention. You can never give her too much.
Bounce and Sway
Help your baby have a sense of movement. Gently bounce, sway, and rock her. Dance with her!
Keep Her Alert
Shake a noisy toy and let your baby turn her head to look and then reach for it.
Give your baby some tummy time, where you lie her down on his stomach to play. Talk to her so she will lift her head to see you. Or hold a bright or noisy toy in front of her so she’ll try to look at it. Your baby will learn to lift her head and push up on her arms. She might even learn to scoot around on the floor. She will strengthen her back and neck muscles that she will need in the future to help her crawl.
Hug and Kiss Him
Bond with your baby by touching him. Give him hugs and kisses and blow raspberries on his stomach. Physical contact builds a connection with your child, and it also stimulates him to move those parts of his body that you touch.
Smile at Him
Smile at your baby. Look into his eyes. Give him lots of love and attention. You can never give him too much!
Make Some Noise
Shake a noisy toy to entice your baby to turn his head to look and then reach for it.
Let Him Squirm
Allow your baby to move around. Put him down on the floor so he can look around, kick his legs, and wiggle. Don’t let him spend much time in a swing, car seat carrier, or bouncy seat. These limit movement, and he needs to move to develop.
Stimulate Him with Toys
Dangle safe toys in front of or above your baby. Set up a floor gym where the toys hang over him while he is lying flat on his back. This will encourage his hand-eye coordination as he learns to focus on an object before reaching and grasping it. He may also randomly kick the toys as a prelude to more deliberate leg motions.
As you baby gets more comfortable sitting up, place him in the middle of several supportive pillows or a C-shaped cushion. This will allow him to practice making minor adjustments, using his torso muscles, without risk of falling over and hurting himself.
Get on the floor with your baby and play! Talk about toys, colors, and shapes you are playing with. Roll a ball over to her and show her how to roll it back to you.
Be Her Jungle Gym
Lie down and let your baby crawl all over you. (She’ll do this naturally, without need for encouragement, and she’ll do it for years to come!) She’ll also use you as a support to pull herself up to standing.
Exercise With Baby
Do baby yoga. Find a book that suggests exercises you can do with your infant.
Play with Sorting Toys
Have toys with openings that you baby can put smaller objects into — such as a shape sorter (though she’ll need help with getting the right shapes into the holes). You can make your open from an empty wipes container and clean frozen juice lids. She can slip the lids into the wipes container and open it up to dump them out again. That’s hours of fun and development right there!
Make Her Reach
As you baby is learning to crawl, place toys just out of her reach so she’ll need to crawl over to get them.
Don’t Be Afraid of Noise
Provide some noisy objects, such as pots, pans, and wooden spoons. They are fun, and as your baby keeps banging because she loves to make noise, she’s also enjoying cause and effect!
Get on Her Level
Play with your baby down on the floor. Talk about the toys, colors, and shapes you are playing with. Roll a ball to her and encourage her to roll it back to you.
Let Her Crawl Over You
Lie on the floor and watch as your baby crawls over you. (She’ll do this without any encouragement, and she’ll do it for many years!). Using you as a support, she’ll pull herself up to standing.
Create An Obstacle Course
Make an obstacle course for your baby to move through. She will love climbing though a tunnel made out of boxes and under the chair or behind the couch.
Play with rolling toys such as balls and cars. Your baby will have the stability to sit and push these back and forth, either by herself or with you.
Play peek-a-boo with your baby, using your hands, towels, or blankets.
Play pat-a-cake with your baby, alternately clapping your hands and then patting her hands.