Infant Play

Parents sitting on the floor watching their baby playing with baby safe toys.

What can I do to help promote play in my baby?

All children are different and may enjoy different toys and interactions, but the following are suggestions for activities and toys for the baby:

Birth to 1 month

  • Hang brightly colored objects near your baby

  • Hang mobiles with high-contrast patterns

What you can do as a parent:

  • Sing and talk to your baby

  • Play music

  • Rock your baby and take him or her for walks

2 to 3 months

  • Likes bright objects

  • Enjoys pictures and mirrors

  • Likes rattles

  • Enjoys infant swing

  • Enjoys car rides

What you can do as a parent:

  • Sing and talk to your baby

  • Play music

  • Rock your baby and take him or her for walks

4 to 6 months

  • Likes brightly-colored objects

  • Likes to hold toys

  • Enjoys rattles or bells

  • Likes swings and strollers

What you can do as a parent:

  • Talk to your baby

  • Encourage your baby to crawl and sit by placing him or her on the floor

6 to 9 months

  • Enjoys large toys with bright colors that move

  • Likes to play peek-a-boo

What you can do as a parent:

  • Call your baby by name

  • Speak clearly to your baby and encourage different sounds

  • Name body parts, foods, and people

  • Tell your baby simple commands

  • Play pat-a-cake

  • Begin saying words that tell what you are doing

  • Encourage your baby to crawl by placing toys beyond his or her reach

9 to 12 months

  • Enjoys looking at books

  • Likes hearing sounds of animals

  • Enjoys large toys that can be pushed and pulled

What you can do as a parent:

  • Take your baby to different places and outings

  • Play ball with your baby

  • Read to your baby

  • Tell your baby names of body parts

Toys for babies

Birth to 6 months

  • Mobiles

  • Mirrors that will not break

  • Music boxes

  • Bells and rattles

  • Stuffed animals

  • Swings

6 to 12 months

  • Blocks

  • Brightly colored toys

  • Books

  • Balls

  • Cup and spoon

  • Jack-in-the-box

  • Rattles

  • Teething toys

  • Toys that can be pushed and pulled

Online Medical Reviewer: Amy Finke RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2018
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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Did You Know?

Your newborn's skin color may be slightly blue, but that will shift to pink as his or her breathing becomes regular, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. In the first days after birth, it's normal for a newborn to breathe rapidly -- up to 60 breaths a minute -- and irregularly.