These days, what Baby thinks of as ‘playing’ you might call ‘flailing his hands and arms out without any apparent plan whatsoever.’ But these seemingly random movements keep him amused, build his muscle control, and teach him about the world. So really, this flailing a more important activity than it sounds. And sooner or later, all of these random movements are going to evolve into intentional movements. First it might just be exploring his face, but in no time at all, Baby will be using his hands to explore YOUR face! And by that, we mean poke you in the eye.
To this end, Baby is pretty busy figuring out his own hands – first he has to learn that they’re there – he might have reached this step already – and then he needs to make the connection that these strange, five-fingered things are a part of him. After that, he’ll probably decide that his hands are pretty neat, and spend some time playing with them.
All of this playing with his hands and fingers may mean it takes a little while longer before Baby starts to care too much about the many fun and exciting toys that may be taking up space in your living room. Like any good explorer, after discovering his hands, Baby may move on to exploring his feet, before moving on to unknown territory like blocks, rattles, and other brightly-colored baby toys. However, it’s likely that really engaging with these toys won’t happen for a few more months still.
You don’t need to wait for Baby to start to care about toys before the two of you can start to play, though. In fact, the best type of play for Baby right now is the kind that’s directly tied up in interacting with you. Baby’s fascination with his own fingers is just one way that Baby is more interested in other people than he is in any toy right now. Dancing with Baby, singing to him, and making silly faces are all great ways to start to play with him without having to wait for him to hop on the ‘toys’ train. In fact, it’s socializing activities like these that may help him make more developmental progress than anything else, physically, mentally, and socially.
- Raise head up while lying on his back: Stage 2 of The Baby Sit-up Practice Program, many very athletic babies are strong enough that they can lift their heads straight up while lying on their backs. This developing head control is hugely important, as many of the major milestones coming up in the next several months revolve around the ability to balance their head and neck, and sit up.
- Opens and closes fists: Another important one! Around this time, Baby might start opening and closing his fists. This lets him perform a number of different tricks, and will help him self-feed and play with toys, among other things.