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Things to do with your Baby
by Jeri Carr
A baby doesn't need a lot of toys or baby videos to be happy. The thing he enjoys the most is simply being with you. He will enjoy doing things with you--even things which you feel are boring--not only because he loves being with you and feels secure with you, but also because everything is new to him. The way a baby wiggles with excitement and makes little squeals is very fun to see.
Talk to your baby while you go about your daily activities. Explain what you are doing. If he starts getting a little fussy, he might enjoy hearing you sing what you are doing! You can put your own tune to fascinating words such as "I'm putting the dishes in the si-nk."
You don't always have to talk or make an effort to do something with your baby; many times just being together is enough. Watch his cues. Sometimes he may just want some quiet time with you while being held or nursed, or he may enjoy quietly playing on the floor with his soft toys.
Your baby may like to watch you do things while sitting in an infant seat and observing, but don't be surprised if he wants to be held. That’s normal! It’s okay to pick him up and hold him. It's good for him and for you.
Being together will help you get to know one another, and you don't need to force him to be alone or to play alone if he doesn’t want to. Be assured that listening to his cues and meeting his needs will not spoil him, but will help him to become secure and independent when he is ready.
Here are some simple activities to do with your baby. . .
- Read to your baby. He may particularly like stories with a sing-song sound such as nursery rhymes. He will, however, also enjoy just hearing the sound of your voice and might be happy hearing other things such as Bible verses, short stories, or even the magazine you are reading.
- Play singing games with your baby such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Pat-a-Cake” and “This Little Piggy Went to Market.” He will enjoy watching you move your hands and hearing you sing. As he gets older, he will start joining in! If you are in the car, and someone else is driving, these games can sometimes help an unhappy baby last a little while longer in the car.
- Blow bubbles for your baby. He will enjoy watching the shiny bubbles and as he gets older he will eventually begin trying to pop them.
- Play blocks together. Even before he can build towers of his own, he may enjoy knocking over your towers.
- Sit on the ground and let him sit in your lap and lean against you while you play cars, doll house, or a similar activity with an older sibling.
- Dance with your baby. Turn some music on and let him move to the beat or pick him up in your arms and dance around the room with him.
- Wear your baby in a sling or other soft carrier. He will enjoy watching you do your activities. He will learn lots from watching, plus the movement is good for him, and it help the two of you get to know one another better.
- Go for a walk with your baby. You can either wear him in a soft carrier or push him in a stroller. Perhaps go to the park if the weather permits. Talk about the beautiful trees, flowers, and the sky. Point out the animals such as dogs, birds, and squirrels.
- Let him sit at the table during mealtimes--perhaps at first in your lap and then in his own chair as he expresses a desire. As he gets older he may enjoy playing with cups and spoons during the meal, and then finally he will enjoy finger feeding himself.
- Take a bath together and play and relax in the water. If your baby doesn’t enjoy taking a bath by himself, he might enjoy it if you take a bath with him.
This article was first published on suite101.com.