Developed by occupational therapists, the “Stimulate your Baby” series covers x5 developmental areas. Covering milestones and activities for caregivers and babies, this informative series has been created in video format, and can be found on the Clamber Club YouTube channel.


What your baby is learning at this stage
In the first three months, babies learn to focus. They learn to maintain eye contact and become very interested in faces. This is important for your baby to feel connected to you and to feel safe and protected. A tiny baby explores his world most actively through his eyes as his arms cannot yet reach out.

By the end of this stage they start to follow you, and other objects, with their eyes.

Activities and ideas

  • You – Your face is of great interest to your baby. Your face, smiles and soothing voice are important for developing trust and for emotional bonding. 
  • Environment – Look in your environment for movement and contrast to attract your baby’s attention.
  • Mobiles – Interchange a variety of simple mobiles that are large, bold, and incorporate a variety of sound and movement.
  • Eye targets – Help your baby focus – black, white and red are the most eye-catching colours for a new-born.
  • Eye movements – Encourage your baby to practice eye movements by moving the target of his focus.


What your baby is learning at this stage
Talking to your baby and giving them time to respond to you, lays down the foundation for communication, and language. Babies respond to sound from birth by change in behaviour. They often widen their eyes, startle, and if they are sucking, they stop sucking, or they turn their head in the direction of the sound.

Activities and ideas

  • Background noise – Be aware of background noise as your baby may have difficulty focusing on you and your voice when in a noisy environment.
  • Voice tone – Experiment with your voice tone. Higher pitched sing-song speech may attract your baby’s attention and focus.
  • Read and sing to your baby, as this lays down the foundation for language.
  • Sound toys – Make a variety of sound toys to stimulate interest in sounds and listening skills. These also encourage your baby to turn towards sound.
  • Facial expressions, Imitation and Turn taking – Use exaggerated facial expressions, imitate your baby’s sounds and expressions, and take turns in your interactions. This is important for early communication.
  • Enough stimulation – Be aware that when your baby has had enough stimulation, he may turn away or become agitated. Give him a break and use your soothing voice to support him to settle and return to a quiet alert state.


What your baby is learning at this stage
Babies learn much about their world through their sense of touch. By being touched and by exploring their world through reaching and touching, they become aware of their bodies and how their bodies move. Initially, a baby’s hand is usually fisted.

Hands start to open and fingers scratch or clutch the blanket or breast. Arm movements become wider, and swiping begins. At the end of this stage, babies begin to notice their hands. Babies can briefly hold an object placed in the hand. Hands start coming together in the midline.

Activities and ideas

  • Surfaces – Introduce babies to a variety of soft surfaces to help them become aware of their new world.
  • Deep pressure touch – Swaddling provides deep pressure that helps baby calm.
  • Massage – Rubbing, stroking or massage are other ways to provide deep pressure to provide security and emotional wellbeing.
  • Water – Bath time introduces your baby to a new sensation
  • Arm and hand movements – Introduce a variety of textured and noisy toys for baby to swipe at, motivating him to repeat the movement.
  • Hands to midline – Encourage your baby to bring his hands together in the midline and to look at them as this is the beginning of eye-hand co-ordination.


What your baby is learning at this stage

The Vestibular System is the mechanism in the inner ear that responds to movement and gravity. It lets us know where our head is in space, and it is important for balance. Babies are responsive to change of their head position in space. By being moved, lifted, and carried, they learn to hold their heads upright. Babies can be soothed by calming movements.

Activities and ideas

  • Lifting and tilting – Helps babies develop head control and orientation in space.
  • Walking – The rhythmical movement of walking is soothing for your baby.
  • Bouncing – Rhythmical and repetitive movements are organizing and calming.
  • Swinging – Gentle swinging can help calm your baby and contributes to emotional wellbeing.
  • Carrying – Carrying your baby provides movement input and develops trust and bonding.
  • Gentle rocking – Slow, rhythmical, rocking movements are calming and regulating for your baby.


What your baby is learning at this stage
When placed on their tummies, new-borns are able to briefly lift and turn their heads to clear their mouth and nose. As strength develops babies push up on their forearms and by the end of this stage they are able to lift their heads up when they are lying on their tummies.

At birth when placed on their backs, babies’ heads are usually turned to one side. As head control develops they begin to hold their heads in the midline. At the end of this stage this improved head control can be seen when holding a baby in supported sitting and they are able to hold their head up with bobbing head control.

Activities and ideas

  • Carrying your baby – Provides close contact, movement stimulation and encourages body control.
  • Tummy lying – Improves head, arm and back strength which is very important for motor development.
  • Back lying – Placing babies on their backs strengthens tummy muscles and trunk control.
  • Side lying – Supports the head and brings the hands together for baby to look at.


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