0-9 months

Play helps babies learn about their bodies and their world. Many of the interactions you have with your baby are subtle forms of play.

How can I play with my baby?

  • It is essential to provide your baby with floor play, especially placing your baby on their tummy.
  • It is never too early to begin reading to your baby. Babies love book
  • Babies learn and grow rapidly in their first year. Toys and music can help to stimulate their development. 
  • Play helps babies learn about their bodies and their world. Many of the interactions you have with your baby are subtle forms of play. 

Floor Play

You can start to give your baby time on their tummy during their early weeks. This will help your baby to develop head control, body strength and assist with their ability to learn to crawl.  

Tummy time

  • Place your baby on their tummy, on a rug on the floor and place a small brightly coloured toy in front of your baby, so your baby can see it
  • Some babies don’t like to be on their tummy and will protest. It helps to reassure your baby if you get down to floor level with him/her.
  • Start with a few minutes and gradually increase the time. Talk to your baby to reassure him/her, especially if this is the first few times on their tummy
  • Never leave your baby alone on their tummy

Keep it simple

  •          For babies play is part of everyday activities such as nappy changes, mealtimes and bath times. The more you interact with your baby the more your baby learns
  •          From an early age babies respond actively to their parents by watching faces, listening to voices, smiling and making sounds. At this age your baby’s play is centered on what you do so sing familiar songs and rhymes; touch your baby and look at picture books with your baby. 
  •          As your baby grows he/she will discover objects to shake, suck, bang or roll. Your baby will enjoy learning to coordinate eyes and hands and feet, and bring anything and everything to their mouth using their hands. 

Reading to your baby

Babies love books. They provide opportunities to tell stories using descriptive language. Remember to position your baby so he/she can see your face as you read.

eBook readers are fine to use occasionally but a balance is needed as your baby may miss developing the fine motor skills that are required to turn pages of a hard covered book. 


Playing music and making music with your baby, is a very positive and enjoyable activity and key to supporting baby’s development. Start by singing nursery rhymes and doing the actions. Move to the rhythm of the music while holding your baby.

As your baby grows, they will enjoy making music by banging on a saucepan with a wooden spoon or banging on a toy drum


  1. You’re the best play object your baby can have.
  2. Very young babies enjoy looking at toys and objects with contrasting colours – red, black and white. They particularly like objects that have faces on them or checks and strips.
Download Tip Sheet
image description

Need More help?

Was this useful?

or Donate now