Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby to the heavens and back, but its EXHAUSTING trying to keep her entertained all day long! She is a particularly wakeful baby, doesn’t sleep much, and wants to play all the time!
Like most babies, she will only self-entertain for so long. I’ll put her on her play mat for a kick around. Two seconds later she’s flipped over onto her tummy and trying to pull the mat into her mouth or wiggle her way onto the tiled floor. Ten minutes later she’s getting frustrated as her crawling attempts are not resulting in actual forward movement. So its time to pick her up and move onto a new activity.
Do you ever find that by about lunch time you’ve just run out of ideas for games? You’ve sung every song in your repertoire? From one mum to another here’s some of my favorite, free baby-play, time-killers…
1. Sing Songing
I sing everything! I have a song just for nappy change time. Nothing makes her smile more than singing, especially if there are actions to go with it!
Old Macdonald is one of her favorites, she tries to sing along and now even wiggles like she’s trying to dance. Three blind mice (a sanitised version – I’m not particularly keen on singing about mice tails being cut off with a carving knife!), Upsidown Town and Hush Little Baby are favourites as well. If you need a lift put on your own music and dance and sing – baby loves all kind of music, feel free to widen her tastes!
2. Motor Skills
We do bicycle legs (cycling her legs up and down like she’s riding a bike), kicking practice, standing practice, sitting practice and pretty much anything that promotes her gross motor skills. I’m currently trying to teach her to clap, wave and blow kisses. Currently blowing kisses just makes her laugh. Practice in front of the mirror so baby can watch her own actions!
3. Story Time
You can never read too many books. If I’m at a complete loss of how to entertain my baby, I pull a book out, lie down next to her and tell her about the pictures. She always gets a book at bed time too. Sometimes she’ll even read along with me (if goos and gahs count as reading!)If you’re engrossed in a great novel sit baby on your lap and read her your story, she’ll love listening to your words. Maybe not 50 Shades of Grey though mum!
Not only is it great for her development, but for a stay at home mum, sometimes conversation is needed! I like to talk to my bub about one thing everyday. I read somewhere that babies that are talked to using full range of vocabulary, rather than baby talk, will develop language skills soon and grow up to have a higher IQ. Whether its explaining the game of cricket or telling her about different types of cats, I figure it can’t hurt.
5. Chillax time
Babies love exploring their visual surroundings and observing, this is also a great time for you to collect your energy. When she is getting particularly overstimulated, I calm things down with some relaxing time. Sometimes we sit out of my parent’s deck and watch the ducks and pelicans swim by, I point out boats and birds and so on. To be honest, I’m embarrassed to say sometimes I put on some kids TV and have her sit on my lap to watch the colours and movements. If she is particularly cranky, this often calm her down.
6. Get in some exercise
I put her in the carrier and head out for a walk! If it doesn’t put her to sleep, at the very least it keeps us both occupied for a while and I get some exercise. I previously used the pram too, but my koala is now a little tired of the pram so I’ve switched it up! Fresh air makes everyone happier and the days shorter.
7. Game play
My koala loves playing horsey, sitting on my tummy and bouncing up and down while I make click clacks. Its also wonderfully cute as she giggles and squeals away!
Playing with your baby is not only entertaining for your baby but can help them develop! From language to motor skills to social behaviour, to me the most valuable outcome is that bond with your baby. There’s nothing else like it!
About the author: Luisa is a new mum to 5 month old Elena, learning to navigate her new role as ‘mum’ while searching for who she is. Recently leaving her job, town and friends behind she has moved across the country to Newcastle and started a new challenge with her husband and daughter. Luisa blogs about family, home and life as a new mother as she tries to discover what’s next, in looking for mama me. Previously working in the Public Service, she has recently completed a Masters in Curatorships and is pursuing her love of art, writing and all things creative in those spare moments between nappy changes, washing, cleaning and stay-at-home-mum business! Find Luisa at her Blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.