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Baby Milestones 5-8 Months: Active Play

So long, little blob; hello, curious baby. "I call this time the stage of sitting up and taking notice," says Lawrence Cohen, Ph.D., author of Playful Parenting. Your infant still loves your cuddles, but also try:

Playing Games. Try whole-body peekaboo (hide behind a doorway and jump out), airplane (hold her above you and jet-set from room to room), and climbing on clouds (spread pillows on the floor for you to roll and climb on together).

Using Those Registry Gifts. Pressing the buttons on an activity center or bouncing in a jumper-swing will likely delight her, as will taking a ride in a jogging stroller. Babies are typically ready for these activities by 6 months, but talk to your pediatrician first. (For help choosing an activity center, click here.)

Hitting the Park (yes, really!). Put her in your lap and take her down a small slide, slip her in an infant swing for a slow push (keep your hands on her), or just admire the big kids running around.