Get Up and Grow: Get moving, birth to 1 year

Moving helps babies grow strong and healthy

Page last updated: August 2012

Commonwealth of Australia 2012
State of Queensland 2012 (marked photographs only)

Health disclaimer

The information in this publication is for general information only, and must not be used as a substitute for medical advice. You must seek independent professional medical advice before relying on any information contained in this publication.

Readers should be aware that these resources may contain images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are now deceased.

Moving and playing helps babies to:

  • build strength and balance
  • learn about the world around them
  • play with others.

Tummy time:

  • helps baby learn to push up, roll over and crawl
  • builds muscles in baby’s head, neck and body.

Give babies play time on their tummy every day

  • Put baby on different surfaces like rugs or mats.
  • Put toys where baby needs to reach for them.
  • Stay with baby while they play.

Babies like to move around

  • Give baby a safe space to explore.
  • Baby can crawl to toys and people.
  • Give baby a sturdy bench or table to pull up on.

Babies learn by touching

  • Help baby to touch things and explore the world.
  • Give baby toys and other safe objects to touch and squeeze.
  • Let baby play on different surfaces like grass, sand and leaves.
  • Touch and cuddle baby.

Babies like words, sounds and music

  • Sounds help baby grow and learn.
  • Give baby rattles or other safe toys to play with.
  • Baby can play with a wooden spoon and bang pots and pans.
  • Play music and sing to baby.
  • Very loud, sudden noises can scare baby. Top of page

Talk and sing to babies

  • Baby loves to hear your voice.
  • Make up songs to sing to baby.
  • Talk and tell stories to baby.
  • Read to baby and look at pictures together.

Babies learn by looking

  • Give baby lots to look at while lying on their back.
  • Play ‘peek-a-boo’.
  • Put toys near baby where they can see them
  • and reach out for them.
  • Read books that have large, colourful pictures.

Playing outside helps babies learn about the world

  • Put baby down on the grass.
  • Let baby look up at the sky and listen to the sounds around them.
Talk to baby about what they can see and hear.

Babies need time to kick, touch and play

  • Play is the way baby learns.
  • Let baby be active – try not to leave baby in a stroller, high chair or car seat for more than 1 hour at a time when they are awake.

Keep babies safe

  • Playing should be fun – watch baby at all times.
  • When outside, use sunscreen and hats and play in the shade.
  • Make sure baby has plenty of breastmilk or formula, especially in warm weather.

Turn off the TV

  • Kids under 2 should not spend any time watching TV or DVDs or using electronic media like computers,
  • hand held games or electronic games.
  • Watching a screen at a young age may:
  • cut down on time for playing with others cause delays in learning to talk.

Information and help