Creative Baby Games for Newborns

Just because your newborn can’t lift her head or grab a toy doesn’t mean she’s not interested in playing. Infants spend a lot of time sleeping and eating, but when they’re alert they love to explore. Babies love interacting with people and the world around them, and as a new parent, there’s nothing quite as special as watching your child discover something for the first time.

But it’s not all fun and games -- there’s a purpose to the play, too. The act of exploring helps develop important cognitive and physical skills.

Baby games: 1 month old or under
Introduce your little one to the “baby in the mirror,” who just happens to look a lot like her! Newborns love to study their own reflections and can look at their features over and over without getting bored. If you put a mirror in your baby’s crib, just be sure it’s unbreakable.

Infants are also fascinated by mobiles. Choose one with bright, contrasting colors, and if it’s above your baby’s crib, be sure that it’s out of reach (she’ll be sitting and pulling up before you know it!).

Just like adults, babies love listening to music. You can jam to more upbeat tunes when your baby is alert, but switch to softer sounds when she’s sleepy. You can hold your baby in your arms or in a sling and dance to the music, too.

Baby massage is one of the best baby games out there. Gently touching your baby’s arms and legs helps build connections in her brain and makes her feel safe and secure. Who doesn’t like a foot rub?

Baby games: 1 to 3 months
Older newborns love to look at books with bright, colorful, and contrasting pictures, so now is the perfect time to pull out those board books. Even if your baby can’t understand the story, she will enjoy the pictures and listening to the sound of your voice.

Noisemakers are also fun at this age. Rattles or squeaky plush toys are a big hit. If your infant can’t make the toys rattle on her own yet, gently squeeze them into her palm and shake her arm back and forth. She’ll love it.

Your funny face is one of the best baby toys! Don’t be afraid to get silly: Your baby will get a kick out of watching you stick out your tongue, blow up your cheeks, and make funny noises with your mouth.