baby play ideas, baby class, infant class, baby activities

​Play and activities for your 6-12 month old baby

Being active is natural for babies and it is an important part of your baby’s development. Do not leave your baby in a stroller or infant chair too often and for too long. These restrict his natural desire for movement. Put him in a safe place where he can be stimulated with something to look at and something to play with. Keep anything sharp, breakable or unstable out of his reach. Keep a lookout for small items left on the floor and remove them. Play ​music in the background, and cherish this time together with your baby. 

Between 6 - 9 months, it is important for your baby to continue spending time on his tummy to help strengthen his neck and back muscles, and develop coordination between his upper and lower body. He may not be able to stay in this position for long, so do not force him to. Once he gets stronger, he will be able to push up with his arms and look up. 

Also, try pulling your baby to a stand from a sitting position and let him bounce a few times before lowering him down. Between 9 - 12 months, encourage your baby to pull himself to a standing position, walk by holding onto furniture or push a strong sturdy toy. Here are some age-appropriate activities that are great for engaging babies physically as they have fun with you. 

Play ideas with your baby 

1. Cuddling and peek-a-boo 

Carry your baby out of the cot for loving cuddles. Play peek-a-boo with him, using your hands, his hands, and his blanket. Babies love the element of surprise in this game and will reward you with coos, smiles and chuckles. It is also a great way to get his muscles moving. When you need to do something, put him on a play mat on the ​​floor and let him stretch and kick his legs around. Make sure there is plenty of space for him to wriggle around and check on him frequently. ​

2. Singing and talking 

Babies love to be sung and spoken to. Sit with your heels together, forming a diamond shape with your legs. Place a blanket over your legs and lay your baby on top, so that you have direct eye-to-​eye contact with him. Sing him nursery rhymes and songs – anything with a rhythm will do. Or you could recite poetry! You can clap your hands, move his hands, rock him gently and sway as you do all these. You can also try bouncing​ games to the tune of familiar songs such as “Pop Goes the Weasel”. Your baby will learn to expect the surprise drop or bounce when he hears the individual words. 

3. Dancing 

Play some music, carry your baby close to your chest, and dance! You do not have to be an expert, just move, sway, dip, turn, glide, and bring your baby up and down different levels gently as you move to the beat. 

4. Baby classes 

There are classes organised specially for mums and their babies. These are great fun as they introduce both of you to new friends who are going through the same experiences as you are. They also get you out of the house, offer a change of momentum and keep you connected to the world out there. ​