You’ve been blessed with a new little person in your world. At first everything is about coping and getting it right, but one day you are in your groove and you have baby who responds and smiles and is beginning to engage with people and things in his environment. But is it too soon to play?
Infants age 3 to 6 months are ready to play even though they are as yet unable to sit unaided or move themselves about.
How to play with a baby that is 3 months old
- Talk to your baby. Have a conversation; by this age, your baby will be already be trying to communicate with you. Listen to his gurgles and babbles and try to respond using similar sounds.
- Talk to your baby – provide a running commentary of your daily activities (“we’re going to wash the dishes now)This will help establish the foundations for language. According to the UK National Literacy Trust, “talking to your baby will help them become good communicators”.
- Facilitate touch experiences – under supervision, allow your baby touch different materials and surfaces (a towel, the bathroom tiles, a satin pillowcase, scrunched up paper).
- Facilitate smell experiences – introduce your baby to all sorts of different smells, from lavender to lemon or even a jar of cloves from the pantry.
- Read books aloud – babies will respond to the rhythm and cadence of your voice and will love looking at all the brightly coloured pictures. Choose age appropriate books such as cloth, board and plastic books that they can grab and chew without damaging.
- Play Peek-a-boo – this is a wonderful way of teaching your child the permanence of objects. Hiding your face behind a cushion and then pulling the cushion away to reveal your face, teaches your baby that you are there, even when he can’t see you.
- Hide and seek – the above game can be expanded to include partially hiding a toy behind an object and letting your baby discover it (try partially hiding your child’s favourite teddy behind a blanket and encourage him to pull the blanket away to reveal the teddy).
In short, it is possible to start playing with a baby that is 3 months old. They are far more capable of understanding things than we are. They gain an enormous amount from spending time with you, looking, listening and feeling connected to you through games. Don’t wait, try some of the ideas listed above with your little ones today.