24 THINGS TO DO WITH A 3-MONTH-OLD BABY
Spending all day every day at home with a 3-month-old baby? Wondering how on earth you’re supposed to entertain them and don’t get bored yourself? Want to help them develop?
Here are 24 ideas for things to do with your 3-month-old baby.
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Let me start by saying that every baby is different, may develop at a slightly different rate, might need different things plus every family’s lifestyle, and schedule may allow for different activities.
However, if you’re a stay-at-home parent you might ask yourself what you can possibly do with a 3-month-old baby all day long.
Once your baby starts to take shorter naps during the day, stays up for longer periods of time, and becomes more active, curious, and aware you will surely feel like you want to entrain them, help them develop, and well, make looking after them non-stop more fun for yourself. Even though, they can’t do too much yet…they can’t crawl or walk or talk. They probably just recently discovered that they have hands, but don’t use them much unless it’s for stuffing them into their mouth. Still, there are things you can do with your 3-month-old baby. All you need is some creativity, a positive attitude, and patience.
Check out the list below for some ideas.
With an emphasis on “ideas”, as you are the parent, you know best what you can and want to do with your child. I’m a big believer in sharing ideas, but I don’t support anyone telling you how to parent your kid. I think the beauty lies in following your heart, your intuition, and adapting to your munchkin’s needs. Don’t compare yourself to other parents, do what’s right for your family.
This post is all about things to do with a 3-month-old baby.
x make sure to get down on your child’s level or lean over closer to their face while standing above them
x make eye contact
x smile at them
x the easiest way to talk to your baby is to simply narrate your day
x you won’t spoil them by holding and cuddling them
x you don’t have to entertain them every single second of their awake time, give them and yourself time to rest in silence
Things to do with a 3-month-old baby
Have a dance party
Your baby probably spends a lot of time in your arms. You might as well make it more fun for the both of you by putting on a fun playlist and dancing around with your little one in your arms. Of course, like with any activity, make sure to support your baby’s neck and never shake your baby.
Bounce on a large exercise ball
If you haven’t tried it already, you should asap. I’m aware of the fact that it might not work with every baby, but it’s sure worth a try. It might be the perfect way to calm your little one, it works for mine every single time (unless he’s going through a wonder week and has moments when literally nothing helps…). Moreover, it can be quite relaxing for you as well. It will take off the pressure of your feet and back.
Tell your child affirmations
This is one of my favorite things to do with my baby. There are different ways of talking to your baby, using affirmations is one of them. You can do that at any given time during the day. Of course, it’s best when your baby is calm and in a comfortable position, maybe in their rocker/bouncer chair. Simply go down to their level, make eye contact, you can even hold their hands. Use positive, empowering words to describe them, for instance, “you are loved”, “you are capable”, etc. Although your baby doesn’t understand you yet, it’s a great habit to build now, which surely will have a positive effect on your child once he’s/she’s older. What is more, this is a great activity for you as a parent. It will boost your mood and immediately put you in a state of gratitude, and confidence. It is perfect for bonding with your little one.
Sing to your baby
Singing can help soothe your baby and help with language acquisition probably even more than talking does. Whether it’s nursery rhymes, lullabies, or a song you just made up, your baby will love when you sing to them. And no, you don’t have to be a good singer!
Let them look at a mobile
Most activities mentioned in this post are focused on bonding with your child and require your active involvement. You don’t need many toys or any special equipment for a 3-month-old, so don’t waste your money on all the plastic toys advertised all over the internet. If you do however want to have something to keep your child entertained for a moment, while you grab a snack or simply catch your breath, a mobile could be a great investment. For this age, a black&white or well, a black, red and white mobile is recommended.
I’d recommend a mobile either with no melody at all or one that gives you the option of having the music on or off while it’s spinning around. Try it out and you’ll get a feel for what your baby prefers and when. I always thought that mobiles help put kids to sleep but I must say my son only loves looking at it when he’s well-rested otherwise it seems like he is overstimulated and gets fussy, even when the melody is off.
We have Tiny Love’s portable mobile and for now are only using it as a daytime activity as it can be easily moved around and attached in different places, rather than having it over his crib at nighttime. I’m super happy with this purchase, it’s small, has contrast patterns and you can let it sping with the melody on or off. But again, you do you. Test it out and see what your little one loves most.
Use a play gym
Similar to a mobile, a play gym placed in a safe spot can be the perfect way to keep your baby occupied and stimulated, while you get your hands free for a moment.
Try different ways of tummy time
It doesn’t have to feel like a chore, you can simply integrate tummy time into your day, making it fun for your baby by trying out different ways for them to spend some time on their tummy. Whether it’s laying on your chest or on a large exercise ball. Since your baby is getting more interested in objects and sounds now, place a high contrast book in front of them or shake a rattle to encourage them to look up. You might be surprised when your baby rolls over to the side and their back for the first time.
Help them into a sitting position/practice sitting
Simply changing positions can make the day more interesting for you and your little one and it’s a great exercise for them that will strengthen their muscles. Just make sure to always properly support them.
Do a photoshoot
Let’s be honest most of the time you can make your baby really happy by simply being close to them and interacting with them in one way or another, so why not take some photos of them? It’s a win-win.
You can talk and sing to them, and they’ll surely make you smile by making silly faces, which then again will make them smile too. I know you probably have tons of random baby pictures on your phone already, but most likely you can do better. And I’m not talking about dressing your baby in random clothes and putting them in weird positions…I’m really not a fan of that, but if you are then go ahead. I’m talking about simply taking some decent photos, as in paying attention to the quality, the lighting, the background, not cutting off their body parts, and so on. In that way, you’ll have some pictures that you can actually frame or send to family and friends.
Make a video
This one is for when you feel extra creative or silly and it will make for great memory years down the line. You can pretend to be interviewing your child, record their funny faces and add a voice-over or fun music later on, or just do a remake of a funny baby video you once saw online.
Give your baby a massage
Your baby loves your touch, besides who doesn’t love a good massage?! This can be an additional part of your bath-time or bedtime routine or simply a way to calm your baby, help them with constipation and gas, or to bond with them and well, simply have something to do.
Talk to them
I’m sure you’re talking to your baby throughout the day. If not, start now. If you feel like you don’t know what to tell them all day long, you can simply:
x narrate your day
x take them for a tour around the house explaining what you see
x take a book or a picture and describe it to them
x tell them affirmations
Use wooden toys to stimulate their senses
I really don’t think kids need toys at this age, you and your natural surrounding will offer them enough entertainment. However, there are a few things you might want to use besides a mobile and a play gym and that would be some basic wooden toys. I really find all the advertised plastic toys unnecessary on top of looking and sounding artificial and oftentimes annoying. We usually find some super cute, simple yet fun wooden toys at second-hand shops. Examples of wooden toys for a 3-month-old would be: different kinds of wooden rattles, a play gym, or even simple figures painted black, white, or red so baby can see them more easily. They’re great for tummy time, to encourage them to grasp an object, to have them follow the object with their eyes, or to follow the sound. Plus they will look nice in any home as opposed to the plastic ones.
Go for a walk and spend time outdoors
Even if you don’t have any errands to run that day, make sure to take your little one outdoors for a walk. If the weather allows, don’t just limit yourself to a short walk. Take a blanket with you, and simply spend part of the day outside. Take some snacks for yourself, maybe a speaker, a book, and their favorite rattle. With kids this age, you can basically do everything you would be doing indoors- outdoors. You’ll both get some fresh air and by being outside your little one will get plenty of entertainment just by observing and listening to the outside world and to nature.
Read to them
There are definitely books designed for young babies, focused on different sounds that are more engaging. However, if you’re tired of them one day and your baby is calm and not bored, besides reading children’s books I honestly think you can easily read a book out loud that you actually wanna read yourself. As long as it’s nothing too crazy or inappropriate of course, so you don’t feel guilty, haha. They don’t care about the plot and will gain a lot from it as long as they hear your voice and lots of new vocabulary. Plus, if you read books in which message you believe, why not let them hear it as well.
Listen to an audiobook or podcast*
Ok, this one is for you more than it is for your little one, but…
If you do own a TV, try to avoid having it on as background noise. I know it’s hard to just talk in “baby language” all day long, you wanna hear an adult conversation as well. It’s not easy to control what’s on TV. The sounds will probably be too much for your baby and won’t make you feel relaxed either. With an audiobook or a podcast, you have more control over what you and your little one are “exposed to”. While you want to stimulate your baby, make sure you don’t forget about yourself. The better you feel, the better you’ll be able to take care of your little one.
Listen to different types of music and see how they react
You probably heard that listening to Mozart is supposed to stimulate your baby’s brain development and make them more creative. Well, why not put it on your playlist. I highly recommend playing your little one various genres of music, different songs, different lullabies as well as nature sounds. You never know what will be the most fun or calming for them. Also, it’s said that babies recognize sounds they heard while being in the womb so if you had a song or playlist you listened to while being pregnant you might want to put it on again.
Teach them a foreign language
I don’t mean giving your 3 month-old baby typical language lessons, but rather raising them bilingual. I’m mentioning it for parents who did not grow up bilingual themselves and don’t know the language they’d like their child to speak on a native level. So even tho they have the desire, they think it’s not for them. That is not true. You don’t have to be a native speaker to raise bilingual kids. There are many ways to go about it and if that’s something you were thinking about I encourage you to actually look into it.
Use high contrast books or print out pictures
High contrast pictures make it easier for your baby to focus and are great for their visual development. You can use them whenever you want, during tummy time, or while your baby’s chillin on its back, whether it’s on a playmat, in the crib, or even in the stroller. You can use high contrast books to help you make up stories for your baby or simply describe to them what you can see in the picture.
Smile, make faces, and sounds
You might be your baby’s favorite “thing” to look at, so use it to your advantage, engage and entertain them by making silly faces and making different sounds, no toys needed. Your baby might be too young to imitate you just yet, however it can still help with their development and will definitely make you both smile. That’s all that counts.
Let them look in a mirror
Your baby doesn’t know that it’s them who they see in the mirror but seeing the reflection may spark their interest, entertain them and encourage them to look up during tummy time.
Change positions and change surroundings
For both, you and your baby changing positions as well as your surrounding (which can be as simple as going to another room) will make your day more enjoyable and interesting. If you hold your baby in your arms, in the same position, in the same room all day long, whenever they’re awake you’ll eventually feel very frustrated, tired, and bored. Simply going to another room, bouncing on an exercise ball, etc. can make a huge difference in how your day goes and how much fun you’re both having.
Your baby should be in different positions of course for their physical comfort and development. And like I’ve said many times before in this post your baby doesn’t need much to be entertained. Simply change their surroundings to spark their curiosity. New sounds, different light, different textures will help them discover the world and keep them entertained.
Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle them
The best thing you can offer your child is your love and affection. Coming up with ways to engage and develop their senses is great, but sometimes all they need is love. So just be fully present with them.
Just let them rest in silence
Don’t overthink it. Your baby doesn’t need a whole day packed with activities. I know that you might be wondering whether they’re bored sometimes just laying there and if you should do something to entertain them. But let them rest in silence. They need time to process everything, no need to overstimulate them. As long as they’re dry, fed, and content, let them chill, take a deep breath and enjoy the peace. Take a break, you deserve it!
This post was all about things to do with a 3-month-old baby.