Sensible Stimulation: Introduce Your Baby to Play

By the time your baby reaches 4 months, he’ll be active enough to start wanting to play. Baby games are stimulating and exciting for your little one, but too much excitement can end up being overwhelming. Here’s how to get your baby playing -- without offering too much too soon.

Keep it simple
With young babies, simple’s almost always better. Keep your baby’s toys tucked away, pulling out one or two at a time for him to play with. The fewer toys he’s faced with at any given time, the less likely it is that his senses will be overloaded.

Stimulate his senses
Your baby’s first toys don’t have to be fancy or expensive -- they just need to capture his interest. And if you’ve ever watched a baby or little kid show more interest in a toy’s box or wrapping paper than the toy itself, you know exactly what we mean.

Try giving him items with a variety of textures, patterns, colors, shapes, or sounds, like a big red bouncy ball, a fuzzy plush toy, and a noisy rattle. Just make sure whatever toys you choose are large enough so he can’t put them in his mouth.

Interact -- a lot
The more you communicate and interact with your baby, the more he’ll learn and the happier he’ll be. Here are some activity ideas that’ll have you giggling and playing together:

• Get on the floor and explore his toys together

• Rock him in your arms while listening to your favorite music. Try singing to him!

• Read out loud to him--even if he’s way too young to understand the story

• Take him for a walk in his stroller and talk about all of the interesting things that are happening outside  

• Try playing peek-a-boo and patty-cake. These games may make him laugh, which is just about the best sound in the world