Play: A Playground Primer
FAST FACT Your mobile baby is bursting through her milestones. You want to keep her stimulated, but when is she ready to leave the support of the Boppy and join the big leagues outside?
Is My Baby Ready to
... play in the sandbox? Everything your baby picks up goes straight in his mouth, right? Dr. Roche takes a relaxed approach. "Try not to let him swallow whole mouthfuls of the stuff or rub his eyes, and wash his hands afterward," she says. If yours does ingest a bit of sand, offer him water -- and hope he remembers how yucky it was the next time he's tempted. (Don't be surprised by a sandy poop.)
... hit the playground? Bucket swings rock and, surprisingly, so does climbing up a slide (the small one, of course). Match the activity to your baby's motor skills and the size of the equipment. Once she's able to sit on her own -- usually by 6 months -- she'll probably enjoy a gentle ride in a bucket swing. If she's a pretty good climber and walker, she'll likely be able to go down a small slide by herself by the time she's 18 months.