Sometimes it’s hard to know how to play with newborn babies or what activities even count as play.

Many parents and caregivers feel this way! The good news is there are lots of easy activities to do with your baby. In fact, you may have even done some already without even knowing it!

Do Tummy Time

Tummy Time is crucial for baby’s development and you can start as soon as you get home from the hospital. Even though Tummy Time is like a workout for baby, you can make it fun for them too! Tummy to tummy is a popular tummy time move to engage and bond with baby during this time. Incorporate rattles and toys to make it more exciting for baby!

Show Baby Around

You can carry baby around the house with you and play in other fun positions like on the floor during Tummy Time. Remember, everything is new and exciting for them. Be sure to point out objects, shapes, and colors. Another tip on how to play with newborn is holding them at different heights as they can enjoy different views.

Talk With Baby

Even though baby doesn’t understand you, they will know your voice! This early communication is important, and hearing you describe objects and talk about what you’re doing will help baby’s communication development. During baby’s first year they will be cooing and babbling. Be sure to respond to baby’s coos to reinforce that you are listening and that communication is a two-way street.

Baby Loves Faces

Face to face play with baby is a primary way to incorporate faces in play! Baby will enjoy looking at your face and making eye contact. Showing them faces in books, on their dolls or stuffed animals, and in pictures will delight them. Sing songs and smile, and baby will laugh and smile back at you. You can also use mirrors to look at yourselves together.

Babies love faces and different expressions - show them as many as you can and see their reactions

Try Baby Massage

Massage+ 30, 10, 5 is a simple, quick, and powerful intervention using massage to help improve the health and development of premature and full-term infants. This is a massage of baby’s head, arms, legs, belly, and back, and incorporates communication and movement. Originally developed for babies in the NICU, this expert-backed method has proven benefits for all infants. It helps with parent/baby bonding, baby’s physical development, and feeding habits. So many benefits in one simple, daily intervention!

Singing/Playing Music

Music helps baby’s brain development! Try listening to music around the house, playing with instruments (even something as simple as a plastic cup and spoon makes a good instrument!), or singing to baby. Music also promotes bonding and helps with baby’s social-emotional and sensory development.

Babies reaction to music and singing can help parents bond with them

Overall, remember that it is okay to be silly when playing with baby. Talking about what you are doing and singing songs can make everyday activities fun for baby.

For even more activities visit our Baby Games Calendar. You can enter your child’s birth date and get new games each week to help baby reach their developmental milestones! After all of this playing, baby will be tired. When baby sleeps try to get some rest as well, but remember the ABCs of safe sleep.