Babies are human, too. Although they are young and as yet unable to articulate well what they need, they do need entertainment too! Because they are developing and their brains are like sponges, the manner in which we try to keep them entertained is critical. The things you do with your baby should be stimulating and educational, aside from making baby temporarily happy.

It is noteworthy, though, that babies will have different preferences, and do not all have the same rate of development. Therefore, do not be alarmed if your baby does not appreciate what another baby does. We suggest in this article some things that you can do with your baby at different ages in their first year. You can, by trial and error, engage in the activities that makeyour baby smile. Here are some recommended things to do with a baby.

Things to Do with a Baby--Birth to 3 Months

1. Let’s Go Dancing

Sometimes your baby may be unexplainably fussy. Maybe he is just bored. Don’t you like dancing? Your baby might too. Some music and a bit of a jiggle may relax him. Hold him close and take a few twirls around the room. You may find that your baby is musically inclined.

2. Let’s Tour

Show your baby regular household objects and talk to him about them. Your baby will be excited about experiencing different colors and shapes that are outside the realm of his nursery. If you mimic excitement at seeing an object, baby will react similarly. Soft colored garments from your own closet are a good idea. Your baby will learn to appreciate a variety of textures.

3. Wear Your Baby

Your baby is young and still craves physical closeness. This does not necessitate foregoing your daily activities. Rather, keep baby in a carrier strapped to your body or fashion a sling from some fabric, and make sure he faces inward, toward your own body. Baby’s back and neck should be fully supported. This activity means that baby will learn a sense of identification with the household routine.

4. Tummy Time

This activity fosters the development of your baby’s neck, back and abdominal muscles as he will attempt to keep his chest up to look around. If he does not like the padded floor, try resting him belly down on a good sized ball and gently roll him around.

Things to Do with a Baby--4-6 Months

1. Sniff Around

You may be trying to get the cooking done, and your baby is hollering for your attention. How about introducing him to the pleasurable experience of the sense of smell? Comforting scents like peppermint, clove, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg may be soothing for him.

2. Bubble World

Bubbles are an ageless form of entertainment. Your baby will be fascinated as he watches a bubble grow, reflecting light that it catches from all angles and the beautiful colors within. The surprising pop as the bubbles burst will be amazing and may elicit hearty giggles from him, especially if there are a few other kids around to engage in the activity.

3. Fly to the Sky

Sit on the floor and place baby face down on your lower legs so that his face is positioned where he can look at you. Then move to a lying position with your knees tucked in, and up he goes! Gauge baby’s reaction; if he likes it, keep your legs together and move them back and forth, up and down. The bonus is that you get some exercise too!

4. Learn Sign Language

At this age, your baby cannot talk, but since he learns so much by what he sees, you can introduce him to sign language. Even though he may not be able to sign back, he would very well understand what you are saying to him. Many parents have been successful with this activity, and it is a skill that lasts for a lifetime.

Things to Do with a Baby--7-9 Months

1. “Experiment Time”

Your baby can grasp objects fairly well now, and he enjoys banging them on different surfaces to experience the noise created. Let him experience the sounds that different objects make–hollow plastic containers, small lightweight pans, spoons, etc.

2. Peek a Boo

It doesn’t get tired, this game of peek-a-boo. Plus, there are hundreds of variations you can try, and each one may be equally entertaining to your infant. Baby is fussing in his nursery? Emerge slowly from behind the wall as you enter his room, and let him see your huge smile as you say boo. Repetition is the key to success.

3. Explore the World

Your baby explores by experiencing how things react to his own actions. That’s why he smears food on his high chair and tosses objects around. It's highly suggested cutting a hole in the lid of a container—making sure that the edges are not sharp, of course–and showing the baby how to push objects through the hole. This may keep him occupied for quite a while.

4. Pretend Play All in the Way

At this age, your baby may enjoy playing with dolls, pretending to rock them or to feed them. Pretend play helps baby develop language and social skills. So if not dolls, teddy bears or, in the case of boys, action figures are fine.

Things to Do with a Baby--10-12 Months

1. Follow You, Follow Me

Your baby likes to try to do the things you do, so make strange noises and encourage him to mimic them. Make it an amusing competition. Between the two of you, create your own song, with faces and actions to go with the noises. You may find your baby will do a cuter version out of it!

2. Splish-Splash

Passively sitting and enjoying being washed is no longer an option for your baby. He now wants to try doing it himself and see how the bathwater behaves when splashed or poured. Include safe objects in his bath that he can fill and empty and make bathing time fun.

3. 123, ABC

Baby’s speech is now in the initial stages of development, so introducing him to the world of numbers and letters at this time is a good idea. Purchase hard-pagedbooks of numbers and ABCs, and point to each character as you sound it. You will be surprised how fast baby will learn.

4. Play Puzzles

Puzzles are available for different age groups, and your baby will enjoy trying to put the big wooden pieces of a puzzle together to form a picture. Puzzle building develops hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.