One of the many perks of having a baby is being a stay-at-home mom. Whether it be temporary or you plan on taking a year or two off work, you are suddenly found with all this time on your hands. What can you possibly do with a baby to stay occupied, other than lay on the couch and stare at the beautiful creation in your lap. Here are some activities Charlotte and I do on a regular basis:
1. Tummy time
I started tummy time from day one. I laid Charlotte on my tummy (tummy to tummy) and allowed her to make her way up onto my chest by herself. She would push her feet against my bent legs and scoot up to my shoulder. Pretty amazing to watch a newborn do. When I introduced tummy time on the floor, at about two weeks of age, I made sure she was in a good mood and wide awake. I wanted tummy time to be a positive experience and I have stuck with that rule since. I make sure to pick her up and end the session on a good note. The Boppy pillow was a must have on my registry. It helped with correct positioning when I first started breast feeding and now serves as a tool for tummy time. Charlotte enjoys the support of the pillow while working on lifting her chest and neck.
I got the Boppy pillow with the Whale cover to match her nursery. It comes in tons of different styles.
Another way to strengthen a baby’s core and neck are “pull-ups”. I introduced them when Charlotte was able to lift her head by herself during tummy time. I also use the “pull-ups” when Charlotte is gassy, it helps to work things out. To do a pull-up place the baby on the bed (or other soft surface), place your hands behind their shoulders (to begin with) or have them grasp your fingers as you hold their wrists for support (as they advance) and slowly pull them up. Lay the baby gently back down to rest in between reps. Use your own judgement when using this exercise. If you think your baby is not ready for it, don’t use it yet.
3. Hey-Bear Videos
One day, Charlotte was being fussy so I googled “Videos for baby”. I stumbled across the Hey Bear series which is a stimulation sensory experience for babies. Charlotte laid on the bed with me for a good 45 minutes gawking at the moving objects on my phone. I watched in awe as she would smile, coo and reach for the phone. As I moved the phone from side to side, Charlotte watched and followed the object by moving her eyes and turning her head.
4. Roll over
Use you baby’s favorite toy for this activity. As mentioned above, Charlotte is fascinated with the Hey Bear series. I use it to help Charlotte work on her rolling from side to side. First, place baby on their back. Then, move the object from side to side to get their attention. Finally, move the objet so that have to twist their body to see it. If they don’t twist or roll onto their side, assist them until they are strong enough to do it them-self.
As a teacher, I am a huge advocate for reading. A child is never too young to read to. When I read to Charlotte , I prop her up on my lap, I point to the pictures and name each item and read with expression to keep her attention. Pick books with bright pictures, you will pick up on which books hold your child’d attention the most. Check out the link below on The Benefits of Reading to Your Newborn.
I have always enjoyed photography but haven’t always had the time to use my Canon the way that I should. Instead of paying for newborn shots, I decided to create my own little set for shooting some pictures of Charlotte and her fur-brothers. I recently entered a couple of my favorites into a cute baby competition in hopes of winning a little spending money.