3 - 4 Months

5 fun ways to play with your baby from 4 to 12 weeks old

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Your sweet baby is fed, rested, and alert. Now what? Here are some easy ideas for their first playtimes.

Hand discovery

New babies are fascinated by black-and-white images. You’ll find Black & White mittens in The Looker Play Kit or you can make your own by tying a piece of cloth with a black-and-white design loosely around your baby’s palm.

  • Lay your baby on a plain blanket without other objects to distract them.
  • Place the black-and-white mittens on your baby’s hands while they’re lying on their back, side lying, or during tummy time.
  • See if they start to notice their hands ❤️

Talking and reading

Man sitting with a baby on his lap looking at the Black and White Contrast Cards by Lovevery

Talking with your baby is one of the very best things you can do to help build their developing brain. The more you talk with them, the more they understand—and the more they’ll eventually learn to say on their own.

Here are some tips for talking to your baby:

  • Stick with it: Your baby is processing what they’re hearing even if they don’t seem to be listening to you.
  • Speak to them directly when you can: Face-to-face conversation is the most helpful kind.
  • Introduce your baby to a variety of words. Resist the urge to “dumb down” your vocabulary.
  • Speak to them in the high-pitched, singsong voice that comes naturally when speaking to babies.
  • Use a book with high-contrast images like the Wooden Book in the The Looker Play Kit
  • When your baby makes a sound, reinforce it: Mimic it back to them, then pause and make the same sound again—this “serve and return” pattern introduces your baby to the back-and-forth rhythm of conversation.
  • Don’t feel pressured to talk constantly—just 15 minutes per waking hour can make a big difference ❤️

Paper play 

  • Babies are fascinated by paper ❤️ Tear a piece of paper in front of your baby and watch them startle and focus on the sound.
  • Slowly crumple a piece of paper in front of your baby, showing them how it changes from a flat sheet to a crumpled ball.
  • When your baby  starts waving their arms (around 9 to 11 weeks)—and before they can coordinate grasping and getting objects into their mouth—try giving them a large piece of tissue paper. Position the paper so your baby can potentially hit it with their arms or feet; see if they notice the sound the paper makes when they accidentally hit it.

Sound tour

Woman holding baby at the kitchen sink while filling up a cup with water

Understanding that objects and people can make sounds is an early lesson in real-life cause and effect.

  • Go on a sound tour of your house. See if your baby tunes into the sounds of your daily life: your fingers rapping on a window; the doorbell ringing; a hairdryer; the beeping sounds as you press the buttons on the microwave, etc.
  • Talk about what your baby is experiencing as you go. 

Real-life cause and effect with balloons

  • Use a permanent marker and create your own high-contrast design on a white balloon to capture your baby’s attention.
  • Try batting a balloon in front of your baby and watch them try to track it; your baby will likely begin to track a moving object with their eyes at about 5 weeks old.
  • Loosely tie balloons to your baby’s legs and see if they notice the movement when they kick.

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Posted in: 3 - 4 Months, 5 - 6 Months, Bonding, Cause and Effect, Communication, Playtime & Activities, Playtime & Activities

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