Need something to do with your bundle of joy? This is a great list of activities to do with babies from one day old all the way through about 6 months of age.

81 Things to Do With an Infant or Newborn

Ever wonder what to do with the precious bundle of joy in your care? It’s true: babies sleep and eat a lot. But they’re also awake for increasing amounts of time as the days and weeks unfold. The following list offers activities for infants and newborns as young as a day old all the way through about 6 months of age. Need some ideas to guide your day with baby? Pick a handful of the options below and enjoy! How many will you do?

  1.  Take a tour. Go from room to room. In each room, choose one item to show baby. Describe the item’s name, color, size, etc. When finished, move to another location.

  3. Play with the light switch. Turn the light switch up and say,”On.” Flip the switch down and say, “Off.”

  5. Read on your back. Lay baby down on her back on a blanket on the floor. Lie next to baby on your back. Hold books above yourself and read.

  7. Walk outside. It may be too hot or too cold, but even if you only walk 10 feet out your door, the change of temperature can invigorate you and baby.

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  9. Make an ice pack. Put some ice in a zipper bag. Place baby’s hand gently on pack and say “cold.” Of course, only keep baby’s hand on ice for a second or two!

  11. Do baby massage. Strip down baby to diaper. Gently rub baby’s arms and legs.

  13. Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” A classic tune appropriate for babies even a few days old. Be sure to place your hand on baby’s body part as you sing about it.

  15. Embrace the fourth trimester. Baby spent the first 9 months of life held in utero. Snuggle baby against your chest, allowing her to feel secure and relax. Snuggle for one minute; snuggle for one hour. Snuggle for as long as baby is happy!

  17. Look in the mirror. Introduce baby to him or herself. Tired of looking in the bathroom or hall mirror? Grab a small hand-held mirror and let baby find herself.

  19. Talk to baby. Get very close to baby’s face and talk. Talk about anything–going to the grocery store, what the weather is like, what you are doing at that very moment. Baby learns about language by listening, so jabber on.

  21. Wear baby. Slings, wraps, and pouches are available for babies even a day old. Walk around house doing chores while baby is secured to you.

  23. Dance. Hold baby close, turn on your favorite song, no matter what the beat. Dance, dance, dance.

  25. Video call. Use your phone or free Internet software to video call a family member or friend. Baby can get to know loved ones–even if they are on the other side of the world. A video call is a welcome distraction during afternoon doldrums, too!

  27. Sing or play part of a scale–or let someone else do it! Musical scales are fundamental for learning to play an instrument or sing. Train baby’s ear for music early and often. Here’s a vocal warmup exercise from YouTube.

  29. Make a pallet in a different room. Stuck in a rut? Pull out some blankets, grab a few objects to look at, and make your way to a room where you don’t normally sit. Make camp and hang out a while.

  31. Introduce stuffed animals. Grab a couple stuffed animals. Place them close to baby’s face and allow him to focus. “Talk” to the animal and talk to baby.

  33. Bounce to the beat. Place baby in your lap. Tap his leg or bounce him to the beat of a song. Be sure to select a variety of musical genres.

  35. Lift baby. Lift baby in four directions and say, “Up, down, left, right.”

  37. Blow raspberries or “zorberts.” Show baby your buzzing lips; or, better yet, blow those buzzing lips on baby’s belly.

  39. Say, “hello,” and say, “good bye.” When you walk into a room, say, “Hello.” When you leave a room, say, “Good bye.” You may even want to wave, too.

  41. Print black and white images. Babies only see black and white and shades of gray when they are born, so it is easier for them to focus on high contrast/black and white images. Print simple pictures to show baby and help increase her ability to focus.

  43. Drive. Been cooped up in the house? Got a fussy baby? Need some fresh air? Take baby on a car ride–even if you’re only cruising for a few minutes.

  45. Sign language. Learn a few really important signs (like milk) and train baby to communicate even before he can talk. Here’s a list of Top Ten Starter Signs for learning baby sign language.

  47. Count fingers and toes. Touch each finger and toe on baby, counting as you go!

  49. Count everything. Walking up stairs? Count them. Snapping a onesie? Count the snaps. Count, count, count.

  51. Play peek-a-boo. Cover your face with your hands. Remove hands. Say, “peek-a-boo!” Or, place a blanket over your head. When you remove it, say, “peek-a-boo!” Most babies don’t “get” the game until they’re closer to 6 months or older. But go ahead and start playing anyway!

  53. Sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Sing the classic Itsy Bitsy Spider song, making sure to walk Itsy Bitsy up baby’s belly!

  55. Say the alphabet phonetically. Instead of just breezing through singing or stating the alphabet, make the sound each letter makes.

  57. Sit in silence. Sometimes, doing nothing at all is refreshing, stimulating, and good for baby.

  59. Read to baby on your lap. And the older baby gets, he’ll start to feel the texture of the pages you read. Try reading a glossy magazine or book, for example, which make “squeaky” sounds.

  61. Feel different textures. Grab a scarf, wax paper, a sheet, or whatever you can find to help baby heighten her sense of touch.

  63. Whisper. Even babies love sweet nothings whispered in their ears!

  64. Hang items from a wooden spoon or rod. Tie ribbons, scarves, panty hose, etc. from a wooden spoon and let baby watch and feel the items.

  66. Do tummy time. Some babies hate it. Some babies love it. Regardless, it’s good for the little one to be on her belly. Placing objects such as stuffed animals or books in front of her may help increase the fun.

  68. Give a hand massage. Ever notice baby’s hands are often clinched into a ball? Help relax those hands with a massage focused on fingers and baby’s palms.

  70. Smell some citrus. Peel an orange, lemon, or lime. Place rind under baby’s nose. Does he react to the scent?

  72. Talk through a toilet paper or paper towel tube. The unique sound surely heightens baby’s auditory curiosity. Say the alphabet. Sing a song. Tube talk is totally tantalizing!

  74. Slide across the floor. Place baby on a piece of cardboard or a blanket and gently pull it across the floor. What a sensation for your little one!

  76. Create sound with wax paper. Crumple it. Crunch it. Crinkle it. If she’s old enough, baby will certainly try to grab it. If manual dexterity is still a few weeks away, the sound is enough to stimulate baby.

  78. Blow bubbles. And if it’s cold outside, blow bubbles into the bathtub instead of blowing bubbles outdoors.

  80. Name body parts. Place your hand on baby’s head and say, “head.” Place your hand on his feet and say, “feet.” Wanna get academic? Try using science names. For example, place your hand on baby’s collarbone and say, “clavicle.”

  82. Rub baby’s forehead. Foster relaxation by gently and slowly running your fingers back and forth over baby’s forehead.

  84. Look at pictures. Pictures of relatives. Pictures of friends. Pictures of animals. Pictures of nature. Pictures of food. Get the picture? And, of course, name everything you look at!

  86. Play in the crib. It can be dangerous to place stuffed animals and toys in the crib while baby sleeps, but why not let him play with those things or look at them while he is awake? The mattress is surely a comfy place to hang out.

  88. Lay on the bed. Beds are, by nature, made to be comfortable. Grab a book or two, a stuffed animal, and a rattle and hang out for awhile on the bed.

  90. Rhyme. Bat, cat, fat, hat. Bar, car, far, par. He, me, she, we. Speak in rhyme for a good time.

  92. Imitate baby. Imitate his sounds and motions. Be sure to smile while you’re at it, and capture his eye contact as much as possible.

  94. Tear paper. Forget the shredder. Grab those documents you need to rip up. Tear them right in front of baby. The sound and movement of paper ripping is sure to prove entertaining–for adults and infants alike.

  96. Walk in or open the closet. Chances are, there’s a piece of clothing or jewelry item baby could feel or gaze upon.

  98. Open the freezer. Then, watch baby’s reaction to the cold air. While you’re at it, take out something frozen, close the freezer door, and then let baby touch the frigid item.

  100. Fill a bowl of warm water and a bowl of cold water. Dip baby’s hand in each, alternating by saying the words “warm” and “cool.”

  102. Play near-far. Stand in front of a mirror or another person while holding baby. Get close to the mirror or person and say, “near.” Back away and say, “far.”

  104. Brush tissue over baby’s face. Have you heard the claims? You can get baby to fall asleep in about a minute by lightly brushing a tissue over his face. See this technique in action on YouTube.

  106. Sound a wind chime. Ah…. So soothing.

  108. Discover different instruments. Do an Internet query for different types of instrument sounds. Play soundbites of a cello, trumpet, guitar, harp…anything that will acquaint baby with various instruments. Perhaps you’ve got a pianist or saxophonist in the making.

  110. Place baby in car seat carrier. She fits as snug as a bug in a rug. Sometimes, that snugness is comforting, relaxing. Other times, the seat positions baby just perfectly to be able to look at the world around her–even if she’s just sitting in your living room.

  112. Shine a flashlight. Shine it on your hand. Shine it in the dark on a wall. Just don’t shine it in baby’s eyes!

  114. Play “This Little Piggy.” Say the classic nursery rhyme while grabbing baby’s toes. “This little piggy went to market [grab big toe]. This little piggy stayed home [grab next toe]. This little piggy had roast beef [grab middle toe]. This little piggy had none [grab next toe]. And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home [grab little toe and then tickle baby!].

  116. Brush hair. Baby may be bald, but grab that soft-bristled infant brush and run it over baby’s head. It’ll be novel for the baldies, and (hopefully) relaxing for the kiddos with hair.

  118. Swat bottles. Place an empty plastic water bottle or two in front of baby. Move her hand so it knocks over the bottles. Repeat. See if baby can swat the bottles herself!

  120. Kick Bottles. Place a few empty plastic water bottles on a table or down on the floor. Hold baby so that his feet dangle. Move baby so that his dangling (or kicking) feet knock the bottles over.

  122. Offer your pinkies. While baby is sitting in a seat or lying down, place your pinkie fingers in his grasp. See if baby moves his arms (and, therefore, your fingers) or if he lets you guide his movement.

  124. Run water. There’s just something soothing about the sound of running water–even if it’s just coming out of your faucet. Turn on the tap and let baby listen to the rush. You could even move baby’s hand through the water. In order to conserve, catch the water in a container. Then, you can pour the water for baby….

  126. Pour water. The sound of water is sure to captivate baby’s attention. Pour from cup to cup or pitcher to pan. Pour fast. Pour slow. Pour a little. Pour a lot.

  128. Imitate the sound of a heart. The constant rush of a beating heart comforted baby for nine months in utero. Mimic the sound now that the bundle of joy is outside the womb.

  130. Make funny sounds with your mouth. Click-clack, buzz, pop. Do whatever comes to mind!

  132. Make a sheet tent. Lie down with baby underneath a sheet, whether on your bed or on the floor. Lift the sheet up with your legs and then let the sheet fall gently on you and baby.

  134. Show baby video of himself. Can he sense there’s something special about the sounds that the baby on camera is making?

  136. Do flash cards. Show baby numbers and letters and simple pictures. Be sure to talk through each card, explaining what baby is looking at.

  138. Pat the window. It’s a unique texture and may have a different temperature than the room, so let baby pat away.

  140. Take a bath. Even if it’s not bath time, entertain or relax baby with a warm bath.

  142. Elevate baby. If baby has a seat he likes to sit in, why not move that seat upon your bed or put it in baby’s crib? Baby may enjoy the change in perspective.

  144. Take a break. Does baby have a favorite seat or swing or toy? Take a break from it for a day or two so baby is extra intrigued/relaxed/excited when she comes back to it.

  146. Talk to a baby doll. Hold the baby doll near you and your kiddo. Pretend you’re having a conversation with the baby doll. You could even pretend the baby doll is talking by using a different voice to speak for the doll.

  148. Wave a scarf. Scarves are often colorful and long. Wave a scarf above baby; let him grab it if he’s able.

  150. Repeat the beat. Clap your hands or tap an object in a certain pattern. Then, repeat the same tapping pattern while moving or patting baby’s hand or foot.

  152. Fan baby. Reach for a magazine near you, then proceed to fan baby with it. Fan near; fan far. Fan fast; fan slow.

  154. Position objects just out of reach. If tummy time is ready for the next level, place alluring objects just out of baby’s reach. Her desire to get the objects may encourage crawling or creative moving!

  156. Do the bicycle. Especially good if baby is gassy, lay baby down, grab his feet, and pedal backwards and forwards as if baby were on a bike.

  158. Make squeaky sounds. Place baby’s hand on a glossy magazine or book. Pull her and downward, creating a squeaky sound.

  160. Push legs. Lay baby on his back. Place the palms of your hands flat against the bottoms of baby’s feet. Allow him to push against your hands with his legs. Keep your hands from moving and see if he can scoot his body back.

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1 Response

  1. The first few years of your child’s life will leave you exhausted. Make sure the child is physically active.

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