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Play and toys to help your child develop - 0 to 6 months

Very young babies prefer to look at your face and listen to your voice, rather than playing with toys. Talking, singing to and cuddling your child help their development and confidence.

Do tummy time every day and play with them while they lie on their back.

As your baby gets older, playing on the floor will encourage them to start rolling and later crawl. Place toys just out of reach to encourage movement.

You can also:

  • hold toys close to your baby's face - this helps them learn to focus their eyes
  • play in front of a mirror
  • shake a rattle or wave a colourful toy during tummy time
  • choose clean and chewable toys - your baby will try to put everything into their mouth
  • give time for movement so they can kick their legs without a nappy on
  • have a mobile above their head - it encourages them to reach and grasp. Don't use one above their cot or bed as it can disrupt sleep
  • start movement to music. For example, guide their hands to the tune of 'Heads, shoulders, knees and toes'
  • do lots of play in the bath - this stimulates their senses, encourages movements and relaxes your baby. Never leave your baby unattended in the bath

Learn how to do tummy time with your baby

Developmental milestones in babies aged 0 to 6 months

Page last reviewed: 20 April 2021
Next review due: 20 April 2024

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.