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Now that he's strong enough to hold his head steady, your baby is learning how to control and manipulate his upper body in preparation for figuring out how to sit, roll over, and – eventually – stand. This game helps develop full-body coordination and makes a great relaxation routine when it's time to wind down before bed.
Appropriate for: 3 to 6 months
Skills developed: Gross motor
What you'll need: A beach ball, yoga ball, or cylindrical bolster pillow
If you're using a beach ball or yoga ball, blow it up most of the way, so it rolls but still has a soft spot. Holding your baby securely with your hands on either side of his rib cage, place him tummy-down on top of the ball or pillow and roll him back and forth and from side to side. Make sure your baby stays awake for this activity, and, of course, keep your hands on him at all times.
Note: A cylindrical bolster pillow provides a gentle, soothing ride but won't allow the back-and-forth action.
Look Who's Here!
Babies just getting the hang of cause and effect are delighted whenever something unexpected pops into the mix. The surprise of seeing your face triggers the biggest giggles – make it an even sillier sight gag by using a range of goofy expressions.
Appropriate for: 3 months to 1 year
Skills developed: Sense of cause and effect, object permanence
What you'll need: Something to hide behind
While your baby is in the crib, duck down below the side, then pop up with an exaggerated smile or round-eyed "surprise face" and see if you get a giggle out of her.
As she gets older and more used to the game, repeat it with different expressions on your face each time you reappear. This can go on until your facial muscles get tired. (If she starts to follow you as you bend down, that means she's too old and too smart for the game.)
You can also play pop-up by poking your head out around doorways and corners in the house.
Remember: Each baby develops at a different pace, so if yours isn't quite ready for this week's activities, don't worry – just try them again in a few weeks.
Visit your 3-month-old, week 3 page