So you’ve made it through your delivery. You’ve survived your first few weeks of no sleep and feeding routines. Your baby is starting to have regular awake periods where they’re REALLY awake and… you’re not sure what to do with them.
And it’s a little embarrassing to not be sure what to do with your baby. Parenting is supposed to be instinctive, right? So you don’t want to ask someone, but you still need help.
Well, we’ve got you! Here are our seven best activities for mom and a baby that still needs constant attention!
1. Skin-to-skin/tummy time.
Studies abound on the benefits of spending time letting baby lay against your skin. Peel baby down to their diaper, wrap a blanket around the two of you if it’s cold, and let baby lay on your chest and practice their head control.
2. Movement Tracking.
Prop baby into a leaning-back posture and sit in front of them. Show them different toys to get their attention and slowly move the toy back and forth so they can practice following it with their eyes and head.
3. Floor Play
Lay baby on the floor and sit with them. Let them do their baby wiggles for some of the time, and some of the time, guide a hand and opposite foot to touch, separate, and touch again, building the pathways in the brain that develop into crawling.
4. Talk to them. (A lot.)
If you need to get something done while baby is awake, have them near you on a soft blanket or in a seat, and talk to them while you get your task done. Narrate what you’re doing or tell them whatever you’re thinking about. Hearing your voice will help them stay content. Plus their brains are soaking up every scrap of language they can right now so they can understand and communicate as soon as possible.
5. Get outside!
Get baby into a stroller or spread a blanket on the ground and spend some time outside! Sunlight and fresh air are both bountifully beneficial for you and baby, and the change of scenery gives baby so many new things to discover.
6. Try a baby carrier.
It’s not for everyone, but it can be a respite for the mom who has a cuddly baby and needs a break from sitting down and cuddling. Make sure to get a carrier that has a wide seat so that baby’s legs are supported all the way to the knee. Narrower seats can cause hip damage. Babies can be worn on the front until they’re able to sit up independently, and either front for back after that.
7. Sing and Dance
You don’t have to be any good at singing or dancing to do it with your baby! Just hold them safely and jiggle your hips, step back and forth, and do a little spin. Put on a playlist and hum along!
8. Read to them.
Grab a stack of board books (or those cool Indestructibles with the waterproof pages), prop baby up on your lap, and combine a bunch of earlier benefits at once with reading! You’ll be filling baby’s mind with language while you meet their near-constant touch needs. Baby will have something new for their eyes to focus on and follow. Don’t be surprised if baby decides this amazing book needs a thorough examination and drags it to their mouth for a good chewing!
If you want more ideas, we post them regularly on our social media accounts. Follow @babydiscoverybox on Facebook or Instagram for more activities and developmental tips. Happy parenting! You’ve got this.
The Baby Discovery Box Team