Read all about how to keep a baby busy in this post sponsored by my partner, buybuy BABY.
It’s been six weeks since Baby Jamie has joined our family and I have a confession to make. Even though I have another child already, there was a lot about the infant stage that I completely forgot. The first couple of weeks after bringing Jamie home, I have to admit that I”m guilty of googling, “what should I do with a infant?”, and “how do I keep a baby busy?”
Don’t laugh! I just knew there was something else I should be doing besides nursing, changing diapers, and snuggling. While the priority is on sleeping when a baby is teeny tiny, there are plenty of other things to do during the wake moments. Now that Jamie is staying awake longer, I’m having fun keeping him busy while helping him develop the skills he’ll need as he grows,
How to Keep a Baby Busy
1. Do tummy time
Learning to lift their head and strengthening their neck is the first, most important job a baby will have. Tummy time, or laying a baby on their stomach while they practice picking their head up, is an activity that they should be doing every day. Since little babies are only on their stomachs for about 3 – 5 minutes at a time a couple of times a day, there’s plenty of time to do other stuff during the day as well.
2. Take a walk
Going outside and getting a change of scenery on a walk is a great way to keep your baby busy. I have found that whenever Jamie is fussy, going outside calms him down pretty much immediately. Babies notice everything from the different colors to sounds to the way the wind feels on their skin. A nice little walk is exactly what they need to engage their senses. Walking is also good for the parents. It’s easy to feel trapped inside the house when you have an infant, but you don’t have to be.
We purchased the Graco® Modes™ Click Connect™ Travel System from buybuy BABY before Jamie was even born because we knew how important it’d be for us to be mobile. If it’s a little chilly, I’ll put on a jacket, and cover Jamie up with a blanket. Whatever I do, I make it my duty to get outside at least a few times each week.
3. Have fun with a play mat
Babies love to be stimulated in different ways, and one of the most fun things for them to do is lay down on a play mat. It may seem like your baby is too little to get anything from one if they aren’t mobile, yet, but they love it. When I lay Jamie down, he loves to gaze at himself in the mirror, and look at the toys that are hanging above him. Occasionally, he’ll accidentally knock one of the toys with his hand and the sound seems to delight him. Like tummy time, babies won’t spend a ton of time on the play mat. They can have a lot of fun in 5 – 8 minutes, though!
4. Read to him
Even though parents are encouraged to read to their babies all the time, I can tell you, it’s easy to forget. When he’s crying, or you’ve just remembered that you need to do tummy time, reading can get pushed to the side. Reading is so easy, and has such a big impact on baby’s development, though. Jamie wasn’t even a full week old the first time I read to him and I was shocked by how he was able to focus. Now that he’s six weeks old, I think he might have some favorite titles already! buybuy BABY has a tremendous variety of books for babies of all ages, so make sure to check them out when you stop by the store.
5. Talk and sing to him
You know, the one thing I’ve rediscovered about babies is that they just want to be engaged. If you can’t go on a walk, don’t have a play mat, can’t do tummy time right now, or just don’t feel like reading, you can still keep your baby busy. Pick him up, turn him towards you, and just talk. Every evening I recap our day for Jamie. I let him know where we went, who we saw, and what we did. It doesn’t matter what you’re saying to the baby, as long as they’re hearing you talk. It’ll help them to develop language skills, and also creates a sweet bond between the two of you.
The same goes for singing. I sing to Jamie when I’m changing his diaper, when we’re in the car, or whenever the spirit moves me. When I run out of nursery rhymes or children’s songs to sing, I turn to hip hop and rap some of my faves! He loves it!
When it comes to keeping your baby busy, keep things simple. They’re doing enough work by growing and getting used to this new world they’re in. You don’t have to stress them, or yourself, out with dozens of planned activities and exercises. This is the time for you two to get to know each other better. Have fun and enjoy your busy baby!