How to Play With a 3-Month-Old

Fun Ways to Help Your 3-Month-Old Baby Develop

By the age of 3 months, your baby has begun to pay more attention to what's going on around her. She's losing newborn reflexes and gaining purposeful movements. You're probably getting a little more sleep at night now that she's in a routine and can go longer without eating. Things are looking up for everyone. Keep the momentum going with fun, developmentally appropriate activities for your 3-month-old.

Tummy Time

Baby playing and discovery

19-Week Infant Development

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Your little one's muscles get stronger each day. Giving him plenty of time on his tummy helps develop those muscles, especially the important neck and upper body muscles. Put a soft blanket or play mat on the floor with lots of age-appropriate toys spread on top. He uses his arms to push his chest off the floor.

Some babies don't like being on their tummies because they can't see as much and have to hold themselves up. Make tummy time easier for your baby and squeeze in some bonding time by getting down on the floor with him. Hold up toys, talk to him and encourage him to play. Several short sessions of tummy time can make it more tolerable for a baby who doesn't enjoy it.

Toy Tracking

Tracking toys helps your baby develop hand-eye coordination. Gather colorful toys that make noise. Hold a toy to one side of your baby. She follows the sound of the toy with her eyes and hands. Move the toys around to different places, so your baby has a chance to move in different directions. Talk to your baby as you move the toys to help her develop communication skills.

Baby Gym

Baby playing and discovery

Activities That Stimulate Physical Development in Infants

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Break out the baby gym or bouncer seat for your 3-month-old for fun playtime. The toys hanging from the baby gym or bouncer seat encourage your little one to reach, stretch and build his muscles. Your 3-month-old is probably still a little too young for a stationary activity center; they're best for babies who can sit up with very little help. He may be ready by the end of this third month, although many babies take a little longer to reach that stage.

Songs and Finger Plays

Your little one develops language skills by listening to you talk. Plus, she loves hearing your voice. Now's not the time to get stage fright or worry about how you sound. Belt out your favorite songs to entertain your child no matter how you feel about your singing voice. The different pitches and sing-song sounds grab your baby's attention and make her smile while she picks up language skills.

Make playtime engaging with finger plays such as Five Little Monkeys or the Itsy Bitsy Spider. You can make up your own actions to different songs, or move your baby's arms or legs to the rhythm as you sing.

Sensory Activities

Help your little one learn about the world by giving him a variety of sensory experiences. Items made of different fabrics let your baby feel the varying textures. Offer up baby toys with various textures that your baby can chew and touch. Toys that make assorted sounds add to the sensory experience.