Babies need physical activity too. Help your baby be active for a few minutes every hour, unless they are sleeping or eating. Active babies:

  • Sleep better at night
  • Grow strong bones and muscles
  • Reach a healthy weight
  • Do more physical activity when they are older

What counts as physical activity?

You may think babies are too little for physical activity, but in fact, they are naturally very active. As a parent, you can help your baby be active by letting your child:

  • Kick
  • Reach for toys and mobiles
  • Shake a rattle
  • Have "tummy time" (letting babies lay on their stomach and kick, reach, roll around, and hold up their head)
  • Learn to roll over
  • Scoot and crawl

How can I help my baby be physically active?

  • Let your baby explore
    Babies are naturally curious. They are learning all about the world. Let your baby reach, grab, and crawl. This helps them develop movement skills, like hand-eye coordination.
  • Keep your baby in a safe space
    Babies need safe spaces to move around. Remember to always watch your baby, even if your baby is using a playpen or baby seat.
  • Be a role model
    Participate in activities with your baby and make sure you are being active on your own. Learn how to be an active parent on our Move More page.
  • Keep the focus on fun
    When babies enjoy an activity, they want to keep doing it.
  • Practice a skill
    Practicing a skill, whether it's learning to crawl or walk, can be exciting and make them feel good.
  • Don't be a couch potato
    Unless your baby is sleeping or resting, help your child stay active throughout the day. Avoid letting your baby watch any TV. (Reading books is okay!)

How do I keep my baby safe during physical activity?

  • Watch your baby all the time
    Babies are naturally very active. They must be watched at every moment. They are too young to know how to stay safe on their own. That means they still need a parent or trusted adult to keep them safe.
  • Make sure your baby's environment is safe
    Whether your baby is inside or outside, make sure the area around them is safe. Review this checklist for making your home baby-safe pdf format of    safe-home-checklist.pdf  doc format of Home Safety Checklist .

What if my baby has a physical disability?

It is important for children of all abilities to be active every day. Check with your doctor for advice and visit the National Center for Physical Activity and Disability's Program Directory for more information.


This information is provided by the Department of Public Health.