Being at home all day long with a baby can be boring. Not because I’m not constantly busy with something, but the tasks at hand are simply not exciting. Clay works 12-13 hour shifts 3 days a week. On those days I meet up with fellow moms, go on walks, meet for coffee and enjoying adult time. However, some days (like last week when Clay accidentally took both sets of apartment keys) I spend entirely at home. These are the days that you need to really dig deep and get through.
But digging deep and getting through does not have to mean ‘doing what I need to make it to the end of today alive’. A lot of working moms would love the opportunity to spend the time we SAHM’s get. Why not make the most of the precious gift of time we have?! I get it, caring for a baby is completely exhausting and sometimes we just ‘can’t even’. It’s not surprising to hear the word sacrifice associated to being a parent; however the word sacrifice isn’t just sacrificing time, energy or money. Sacrifice is also digging deep and letting go of the things you would rather be doing and engaging in precious time with your little one.
Don’t let feeble excuses stand between you and your baby having fun together! Here are a few fun, simple and low- effort activities for mom and baby to do together. So, put your phone down, Facebook can wait. No need to post pictures of every activity you do with baby, the memories are even better than a few likes.
Head outside! Ezra absolutely loves the outdoors, and getting fresh air a couple times a day helps prevent boredom and fussiness for him and allows me to get exercise. While on your walk let them touch the trees and leaves. Babies really like texture and learn exponentially through touch. Help them stroke the bark of a tree and describe it to them. The amazement on his face is priceless!
Yes, even babies can finger paint… with your help of course. Use non toxic, washable paint and spread out a large piece of paper or butcher paper on the floor and secure both ends so the paper doesn’t move. Squeeze various colors of paint onto a paper plate. Holding baby in your lap press their hand or fingers into the paint and transfer their hand to the paper. Repeat with a variety of colors to create a masterpiece.
Art is not only fun, but actually helps develop vital skills such as motor skills, cognitive development and creativity!
Ezra and I did finger painting, which ended up being his present to daddy for Clay’s birthday.
Whether you are dancing to the music or allowing your child to showcase their inner Beethoven, music (similar to painting) is also an essential piece in your baby’s childhood development. It allows them to practice rhythm which helps in crawling, walking and speech.
Use household items from pots and pans or purchase baby music makers! Help them get started by first showing them how to make a sound, then use a hand over hand tactic by placing your hand on theirs to help them practice. Play music on youtube, cable channel or pandora to experiment with different types of music, from EDM to classical, spa or Disney. Just remember to keep it G.
Talking and Singing
Cuddle up with your little one and sing and talk to him. Babies are observers and watching your lips form the words helps them to know how to use their mouth to make sounds. A horrible misconception is that babies don’t understand anything! Wrong. While they may not understand a whole lot quite yet they can still grasp the basics such as volume, tone and inflection. Ezra mimics Clay when he says “Hi”, starting high pitch and ending low. The more you talk to them the better they’ll understand and the sooner they will pick up on language.
Follow the leader
Practice movements with your baby by first showing them, then progress to hand over hand and have them copy you. Clap your hands, shake a rattle, or roll a ball. Gross motor skills are important in development and are essential for crawling, walking and general body movement. Down the road these skills aid in dancing and athletics.
Story telling with puppets
The great thing with babies is that they don’t know the puppet is not real. Use a puppet to read a book, tell a story, or tell them about your day.
My rule with Ezra is that he has to laugh hysterically at least once every day. The easiest way to do this is tickling him. He inherited my tickle spots so I got right in blowing raspberries and attack with kisses. His little laughter quickly fills our tiny apartment and is deliciously contagious. Laughing with him is one of my favorite parts of the day. In that moment I know he is absolutely happy and in turn so am I.
These ideas are basics you can build on, but they are simple ways to spend quality time having fun with your baby at home. Create lasting memories and precious moments to reflect on when you’re in a rut. Having a baby is hard, but activities like these help to make it unforgettable. Comment to let me know an activity you and your baby enjoy together! I would love to hear from you.