Skip to main content

Here’s why baby time equals playtime

Who invented work? Baby doesn’t know. They don’t draw a line between toy time, bath time and food time. All these are playtime to baby. We agree. We think every child has the right to play. But what about your time? Grown-ups work, kids play, right? Taking baby’s lead can make everything you do with baby feel a little more like playtime for
you, too. From your first goofy smile at baby, you’re playing. Don’t let yourself forget
it and the goofy smile will stick around.

Child’s play should be simple, but never boring. Find 4 tips for playtime below…

Father playing a game with his baby and a small wooden toy as the baby stands in a white cot holding on to the balustrade.
Father playing a game with his baby and a small wooden toy as the baby stands in a white cot holding on to the balustrade.
Person wearing yellow holding lemon slices over their eyes next to a yellow table with whole lemons and a white bowl on it.

Tip 1: Switch off the phone

Playing is easy. That’s the theory. But as adults we train ourselves to be masters of the To-Do list. The art of play is harder than it looks. To get the most out of play with baby, turn off the smartphone, forget about the next task (even if it’s only for five minutes) and let yourself be absorbed in the moment.

Tip 2: Trust in storytime

Baby loves the sound of your voice, so enjoy it while it lasts! Storytime acts as a reassuring rhythm, particularly before sleep. Picture books are perfect for telling babies pre-language stories. We have even developed picture books such as DJUNGELSKOG connected to soft toys in the IKEA range.

Explore all our children’s books

Tip 3: Be bright and bold

Babies love bling. It’s not a taste thing, it’s a perception thing. Baby’s central nervous system is still developing and so they are more attracted by strong contrasts of colour, light and shade, and bold shapes. The more you put in baby’s reach that wows them, the longer and happier play time will be.

Discover our soft toy range

We’re all born with a playful spirit, and all people should play. From the youngest child to the oldest grandparent, playing keeps you free.

Qian, IKEA Play Report

Mother doing yoga on a mat in a living room with a baby sitting on a mat watching her with sofa, sideboard and pictures.

Tip 4: Play needs a pause button

An important part of the play that fills baby’s waking hours is the recharging time. This isn’t a time when play vanishes, it just goes internal. This is the time when their brain processes all the stimulation of play and sorts out what it all means. And psst! This is also your chance for your own play time. Where was that smartphone…? (For the yoga video, of course!)

Create a space for wellbeing habits in your home

Create the next adventure

What does baby see?

The world looks different when you’re small. That’s why our mobiles, such as KLAPPA, aren’t just pretty, or colourful, or made to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They are, like all our baby products, designed from baby’s perspective, to be seen from the ground up, rather than the top down.

Explore our baby toys range

Play safe

Play is all about interaction – with others or with objects. It’s baby’s way of developing their senses, orientating and understanding their world. We make sure all our baby products are designed and tested with baby’s safety in mind, with no sharp edges, small parts, loose cords or harmful chemicals.

Learn more about how IKEA develops safe products

Baby proof before they start exploring and you can relax and enjoy it with them.

Jenny Wik, Interior Designer at IKEA

Baby proof your home

When baby begins to crawl, home gets smaller. Baby proof before they start exploring and you can relax and enjoy it with them. We have developed a whole range of baby proofing products including corner bumpers, bathtub mats, safety catches and latches for drawers, safety plugs and door stops.

See our baby proofing range

Baby-led nursery storage

When children play, it can often feel like chaos to adults. Bringing storage, like the SMÅGÖRA shelf unit, into their play space can actually aid a child’s creativity. One of the earliest forms of play is to order toys into different storage items. Lead the way and baby will soon follow with the tidy up!

More smart storage ideas for little ones

Create order from chaos

Stay safe

Read more