It’s no secret that babies pretty much take over your life–and that’s a good thing! Though it sometimes seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything all done while still giving your child the best head start possible.
It’s important to set aside quality cuddle time and playtime with your little one whether it is to read a book, take part in a little tummy time on a play mat, or interact with sensory toys. There are tons of great activities and games you can play with your little one, but today I’m going to focus on simple things you can do to enrich your babies day while still going about your everyday tasks, routines and responsibilities.
- Make up songs about nose, fingers and toes and point them out and touch and wiggle them during diaper changing time.
- When in the bath name each part of your child while you wash. “E.g. I’m scrubbing your head, I’m washing your feet…”
- Sing the ABC’s or other nursery rhymes anytime you think of it (while your baby is in a carrier and you’re doing chores, during meltdowns, to soothe before bed and so on)
- While cooking put spice jars near your babies nose and let them experience lots of various smells.
- Also in the kitchen let your child play with safe kitchen items such as banging on pots or pans, feeling the texture or chewing on clean dish towels, playing with large spoons or stacking measuring cups. Just be sure to keep on eye on them if there is anything that might be a safety hazard.
- When dressing your baby in anything with snaps, count each snap as you attach them “e.g. ONE snap, TWO snaps…”
- Play different styles of music throughout the day wherever you are with your baby. Classical, jazz, world music, etc… Change up the rhythms, the beats and the instrumentation. Just watch the volume level and try to stay away from harsh, discordant music.
- Exercise with your baby. I know a lot of you probably want to lose those that maternity weight. Take a baby and mom exercise class, take that stroller and go mall-walking, or when your baby is older and can support their head go jogging. Dance with your baby (again, support that head and practice safety!). I’d bring my baby bouncer in the room with me to do Zumba and my baby imitates me and dances along with me kicking her feet and throwing her hands up to the beat. I even help her wave her little feet or hands and she LOVES it!
- Let your child watch you do your everyday tasks. My daughter marvels at me brushing my teeth, giggles at me chewing food, and is mesmerized by my closet. Let them touch things like your clothing, eating utensils and other objects to feel the various textures and shapes.
- Talk about EVERYTHING you are doing. I tell my daughter when I am picking things UP, putting things DOWN, OPENING and CLOSING things and emphasizing basic words to teach her language skills.
Basically, the key is to spend plenty of time demonstrating things to your child, telling things to your child and letting your child touch and experience things for themselves. You can still get a lot of tasks done while involving your baby at the same time.