The importance of floor play for young babies

As a new parent, there are so many theories and tactics to digest when it comes to playing with your baby - such as that you should only hold newborn babies, or rock them in a bouncer, a swing or another contraption. In reality, play from birth can be as simple as placing bub down flat on the floor to have a stretch and wriggle. This type of play is integral to your babies development as it helps strengthen their neck and core muscles and is the first step in learning to roll, crawl and then walk!


With most babies having a very simple “routine” of eat, sleep and play, it’s important to not overthink each step! Young babies benefit from spending lots of time on the floor as it encourages development through freedom of movement and exploration of the world around them. Their little brains will be discovering how to move both sides of the body at the same time, balance and become independent.


At first, there is no need to incorporate any accessories or play bars as Bub will simply love exploring their own little hands and feet or discovering the shadows, birds or trees outside a nearby window. But, if you’re looking to deepen your connection and actively engage your bub, there are plenty of things you can do together during these moments of play!

Top 6 ways to play with your baby on the floor

Here are our top 6 ways to play with your newborn on the floor:


  1. Make eye contact. You are the best toy your baby will interact with. Simply get down on their level and your baby will learn to recognise faces and expressions with this game. Try out your best surprised face, smiley face, shocked face or whistling mouth and see what your bub does!
  2. Stick out your tongue at your baby playfully, and they will try to mimic. Try this in front of a mirror and watch them interact with their new "friend".
  3. Talk and read to your baby they will learn to listen to your voice. If you don't know what to say, simply narrate your day; "look we're doing the dishes! That's a dirty plate." - it may seem a little silly but their language development will thank you for it!
  4. Massage and snuggle your baby. You can do this special bonding after baths or diaper change. Add a few turns of "Round and round the garden" with your finger on their belly!
  5. Sing and dance with your bub. Yes, your vocals aren’t the best, but your audience doesn’t know. This game will help soothe your crying baby as they learn. Dancing will make the baby feel more comfortable in your arms as you both rock to the beats (and will help soothe a crying baby too!). If nursery rhymes aren't your thing or you never remember the words - don't worry - the song doesn't matter, just sing your favourite music (but keep the volume low! No blasting heavy metal).


The best surface to put them on during all of this floor play is something that offers solid protection for their delicate heads, is hygienic, non-toxic and comfy for the parents to get down alongside bub too! A Luxe Play Mat from us at Munchkin & Bear are a perfect option - our designs are completely waterproof, wipe clean, have a cloud-like memory foam core that protects as they play and are free from all nasties like PVC. 


The floor is your baby’s first playground so remember to have some fun together. Just keep it simple, get down on the floor and engage! 


If you’re after some more helpful resources from industry experts about all things floor play, check out these pages:


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