Between three and six months your baby will discover how to use his hands, putting everything he can into his mouth. He’ll also be developing a sense of humor, and will enjoy playing with you, laughing and smiling when you spend time together.

Best toys

  • Toys that don’t have small parts that come off, or strings or wires that could hurt your baby

  • Rattles are the perfect toy for this age, and although your baby won’t necessarily be able to control his movements, he’ll love to make noise—choose one that fits neatly in his little hand

  • Baby gyms come into their own from three months—choose one that reacts quickly to your baby’s touch or kicks, allowing him to spin, grasp, push, pull, and manipulate the hanging objects

  • Squeaky, ringing, or crackling toys respond easily to your baby’s grip

  • Textured fabric toys help your baby explore different sensations

  • Board books with firm lift-the-flaps are excellent for reading together, and are also a good chunky toy for your baby to chew on or gaze at on his own

  • Blocks with “surprises” will entertain your baby endlessly; as he examines them he’ll be delighted by what’s inside and the sound they make

  • Although he won’t quite be ready for stacking toys, rings that fit on to a central spike are a good idea, particularly if they are resilient enough for chewing, and easy for chubby hands to grasp

  • Stacking cups make a satisfying noise when banged together, and your little one will enjoy swiping at towers and knocking them down

  • Bath toys that squeak, leak, and float encourage your baby to bat at them and to learn to pour

  • A music box that responds to your baby’s touch with nursery rhymes or lively music will astound and amuse him when he learns that he can make things happen all by himself

  • Toys that pop up when buttons are easily pressed will provide endless entertainment, and he will slowly become more adept at actually hitting the right spots to make the toys jump out


  • This is the perfect age to read regularly to your baby; he will love sitting on your lap and listening to the sound of your voice as you point out colorful pictures, make animal sounds, and encourage him to lift flaps

  • Try books with sounds and music that respond when touched; they will help your baby learn that he can control things himself

  • Place favorite toys just out of your baby’s reach to encourage him to move toward them—this will also help development of his balance, hand-eye coordination, and gross motor skills

  • Provide plenty of things for your baby to kick, including your hands; try to grab his feet as he lifts them, and see him laugh when he hits the target—make plenty of noise in response

  • Prop your baby up on pillows so that he has a view of his surroundings, this will also strengthen his neck and back

  • Place your baby in front of a mirror: he’ll be fascinated by the “other baby,” and will often smile at and talk to his new friend

  • Encourage his cognitive development, problem-solving ability, and memory by putting a ball under one of his toys or blankets, and encouraging him to find it

  • Show him how to make things happen by himself by banging a wooden spoon on a pot, for example

  • Tickle, cuddle, and play with his arms and legs as he gets used to new sensations and learns what his body can do

  • Don’t forget tummy time, which will encourage a strong neck, excite his curiosity, and get him ready for crawling and rolling

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