Get up and dance with your baby!

Have you ever found yourself wondering what the heck to do with a baby who can’t roll, can’t scoot, can’t sit up, or can’t crawl? Um, yeah, pretty sure we all have. Well, you’re in luck, because here’s an idea…


I don’t care if you feel silly or not, your baby will more than likely LOVE it and I bet it will put you in a pretty good mood, too. Find your favorite groove – be it Funky Town or Wheels on the Bus – and get to work as your baby’s favorite dance partner. My favorite place for baby-bopping tunes is Pandora…try stations such as “Raffi” or “Veggie Tales”.

Dancing with your baby is great because it:

  • gets baby off the floor and into your arms
  • allows baby to experience lots of fun movement and stimulation (such as bouncing up and down or rolling and flying in your arms) before being able to move independently
  • prepares baby for the big task of learning how to roll
  • exposes baby (and you!) to different kinds of music and rhythm

When I took a parent-infant development class taught by child development specialist Laura Sobell, we did a lot of dancing with our babies each week and it was so much fun. Not only did the babies enjoy being whisked around the room, but they loved looking at the other babies and parents who were bouncing, twirling, and swaying. It was so cute!

To dance with your baby, all you have to do is turn on that music, find a position that suits baby’s age and comfort, and start bopping around. Dance and sway and sing for 30 seconds or so and then…FREEZE!…for a few seconds to give baby’s body (actually the inner ear) a chance to process all that movement and sort of “reset” for the next round. Dancing with too consistent a rhythm and no freeze breaks can cause your little one to sort of “tune out” the movement and lull them into lala land. Since that’s not the goal of this activity, we want to break things up to keep baby alert and engaged!

Be sure to switch up positions when you dance with your baby so they can experience all different kinds of movement.

You can hold baby facing out.

Facing out

You can hold baby sideways.

Side hold

Or you can roll baby down and make him fly!

Flying baby

Make things really fun and dance with baby in front of a mirror or even during a play date with other dancing babies!

I hope you get a chance to dance with your baby every day and as you bounce and laugh and cuddle, just remember that this stage won’t last forever, so do your best to make the most of these sweet and silly times!

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Mama OTIn addition to being mama to two sweet little boys and wife to a crazy awesome husband, Christie is a Registered & Licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L). She holds a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Education from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA...Go Bruins!), and an M.A. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC OT). She has experience working as a pediatric OT in early intervention (birth to 3), clinic-based, and school-based settings. Her mission with is to encourage, educate, and empower those who care for children. Christie loves that she gets to PLAY when she goes to work, is hopelessly addicted to Kettle Corn, and is known for being able to turn virtually anything into a therapeutic tool or activity, from empty food containers to laundry and everything in between. Learn more about Christie and what inspired her to become an OT.

Occupational therapy (OT) is a holistic profession that helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities, also known as “occupations”. Some OTs help people diagnosed with disability, injury, or disease. Others help prevent disability, injury, or disease. Because of occupational therapy, people of all ages are able to say, "I can!" no matter what their struggle. Isn't that amazing?!

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Please provide appropriate supervision to the child in your care when completing any activities from this site. You as the grown-up will need to decide what types of products/activities on this list will be safe for your child. If you’re not sure, check with your child’s occupational therapist or pediatrician. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when implementing any ideas or activities from this site, particularly if there is any risk of injury (e.g., falling, crashing), choking (e.g., small parts), drowning (e.g., water play), or allergic/adverse reaction (e.g., materials/ingredients). The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site. 
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