Month 3: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 3 month old baby
8 min read
As an Occupational Therapist and a Mom I have put together top activities for your 3 month old baby. They will focus on creating a bond between you and your little one as well provide opportunities to strengthen their brain and motor development.
I hope you enjoyed Josh’s 3rd month story. Look out for more stories in the coming monthly activities posts.
What to expect from your 3 month old
Your 3 month old is growing and becoming more aware every day. Here are a few things that you may see your 3 month old do:
- Your baby’s neck strength should be improving. By now when you hold them upright, you should see very little or no head wobbling.
- Their upper body strength has improved. They should be able to lift their head and chest with their arms while laying on their stomach.
- Your 3 month old can stretch their legs out and kick when laying on stomach or back.
- They can push down with their legs when feet are placed on a firm surface.
- Their hands can open and shut, come together and they can swipe at a dangling object.
- They can briefly grab a toy or a rattle that may quickly land in their mouth.
- Your baby’s hearing and vision continues to improve. They will turn their heads and smile at the sound of your voice.
- They may start using hands and eyes in coordination.
- Your baby may amaze you (and themselves) by rolling from their stomach to their back. Don’t stress if this hasn’t happened yet.
- Your baby’s communication is changing. You may be hearing more cooing or making vowel sounds such as ‘oh’ or ‘ah’. Make sure you acknowledge these sounds. You can repeat them and then expand by telling them about what you are doing.
Activities for your 3 month old baby
Hopefully you now have a bit more energy and both you and your little one have more of a daily routine. This can help greatly in regulating your little one.
Whenever you have the opportunity to play, try the below activities for your 3 month old. Through play you can help your baby’s development both mentally and physically.
Here are my top 10 sensory activities for your 3 month old baby. These activities have been tried and tested.
1. Tummy time
This continues to be an essential sensory activity in your baby’s everyday routine. It helps to build coordination and strengthens your baby’s neck, shoulders, arms and trunk. These muscles also help with the motor skills such as rolling over, crawling, pulling self up and sitting up. Read more about Tummy Time with your baby. So keep practicing this activity with your 3 month old baby.
That’s right! It’s time to get up, turn on your favorite tunes and dance away with your baby. The sillier you feel the more fun your baby is having. Not only is this activity lots of fun but it has many great benefits for your baby. As you hold them in your arms explore different movements. Move them up and down, side to side, round and round. Bounce them and move slow and fast. All this movement is stimulating the development of the vestibular system. This system is responsible for the awareness of our body in space.
You can dance in your living room, in front of the mirror or with other babies and their mamas. As you spin and move all around with your baby, make sure to stop and take a quick break every minute or so. This will let their body register the movements and ensure that they do not get over stimulated or tune out.
3. Baby moves
While doing yoga classes with my baby I had the opportunity to sing lots to him. I loved that these songs involved different hand motions. As you sing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ or ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ you move their hands and legs. Move them to the middle of their body or pass their midline (the invisible line down the middle of their body). This will get you rewarded with lots of smiles. Additionally, it encourages the development of the fine motor and gross skills.
So lay your baby down on the floor, get down to their level. Pick your favorite tunes and start moving your baby. You can pick any of the children’s songs or something that you like to sing along to. Feel free to add some colorful scarves for some variation and color. You can sway the scarves from side to side, tickle your baby with them, or let them fall from above. Have fun singing!
4. Mirror mirror on the wall
This can be fascinating and so much fun to watch. Just prop an unbreakable mirror in front of your baby and see them react. Your baby won’t realize that it’s actually their image until much later. However that doesn’t matter as you will be able to see lots of fun expressions on your baby. They will love to stare at their own reflection or anyone else’s really. They may even try to swipe the mirror or give you a big smile.
This game starts to teach your baby about object permanence. Object permanence is understanding that objects or people still exist even when we can’t see them. Understanding this concept is an important cognitive milestone. To review the specific stages of object permanence, check out the Wikipedia page.
So how do we play? At this age the game is mainly one sided. Nonetheless still lots of fun. First, catch your baby’s interest. Then, cover your eyes with your hands, then open them up and say ‘peek-a-boo’. Remember to sound excited and make it fun for them. Another idea is to hide your baby’s face behind a scarf and ask where they are. Then pull it away and say ‘here you are!’ or ‘peek-a-boo’.
6. Grasp and Hold
Your little one should be able to grasp an object for a short period of time. So go ahead and encourage their eye hand coordination skills. Hold out different toys or objects and see if they will reach for them. Try to give them things that can be easily grasped. Don’t be surprised if the object quickly moves to their mouth. If it’s safe, allow them to explore it.
7. Let’s get rolling
Have you noticed your baby trying to roll from their stomach to their back? Try the following activity to support this skill.
While your baby is on their tummy sit in front of them with their favorite toy or rattle. Once you get their interest slowly move in the direction of the roll. You can gently support them at their shoulders and guide them through the motion. Move slowly and be gentle during this activity.
Get excited once they are on their back. Give them a break and try again later.
8. Seated Disco Dancer
This activity can help improve your baby’s head control.
Your position: Lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet towards your hips.
Baby’s position: Sit your baby on your tummy facing you. Rest their back against your thighs.
How to play: This activity is similar to the ‘Baby moves’ activity in this post. Main difference is your and your baby’s positions.
While your baby sits on your tummy hold their hands. Sing along to nursery rhymes while moving their hands. You can sing ‘The wheels on the bus’, ‘Patty cake’ and so on.
Make sure you watch for fatigue but otherwise have fun!
9. Ball fun
This is so much fun! For this activity it’s best to have a large exercise ball. This fun activity for your 3 month old baby provides lots of movement which stimulates the development of the vestibular system. This system is responsible for the awareness of our body in space.
As an OT I love this piece of equipment. As your baby grows, a variety of activities can be done on it. At this age you can use it three ways.
1. Bouncing: Sit on the ball with your baby secured in your lap. Ensure that your feet are flat on the floor. You don’t want to be rolling away anywhere.
As you hold your baby you can bounce up and down. To make it more fun you can bounce in front of the mirror. Also add some music to it. You can sing your baby’s favorite songs or try the following song:
‘And we bounce and we bounce and stop!’
‘And we bounce and we bounce and stop!’
and so on…
You can use any tune that you like.
Also make sure when you stop, you don’t move for at least few seconds. This will allow your baby register the movement.
2. Swaying: This is done in the same manner as the bouncing activity. Feet flat on the floor. Baby secure in your lap. Sing along as you sway with your baby side to side. You can use the following song:
‘And we sway and we sway and stop!’
‘And we sway and we sway and stop!’
and so on …
You can alternate between bouncing and swaying.
Also make sure to stop frequently. This will allow your baby to register the movement and not get over stimulated.
3. Flying time: This is a lot of fun, but also a great activity to practice tummy time. Place your baby’s tummy over the ball, facing away from you. Hold your baby at the hips for stability and gently roll the ball back and forward, making sure he/she doesn’t slide off.
10. Out and about
Going outside for walks is great and very beneficial for you and your baby. To shake things up a bit, you can also get them to a park and lay them down on the blanket. You can lay them down on their tummy or their back. While laying on the tummy they can feel the grass with their hands and be entertained by you. While they lay on their back you can talk to them about the trees, the birds, the sky and the sun. Maybe about curious animals such as dogs or squirrels that creep towards you as they want to get a closer look at your baby. What a great way to explore your senses, bond with your baby and work at building language foundations.
There you have it. My top 10 Sensory Activities for your 3 month old. Many exciting activities you can do today to help your child develop better.
These are just a few activities that are bound to spark other ideas. Just remember that every new sensory experience is helping your child’s growth and development.
Remember: each baby develops at their own pace. If your child is not ready or not interested in this month’s activities, just try them again in a few weeks.
For feedback or further questions please leave a comment below.
Disclaimer: The activities in this blog are intended for sensory play. They are not a replacement for treatment of children with Sensory Processing Disorder, are not medical advice and should not be used in place of the care of a medical doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. These activities should be facilitated and supervised by an adult. All activities are to be performed at your own risk and in no event shall Sensory Lifestyle be liable for any damages.
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