How I play with my 8-month old

Let’s face it, many days with a baby can be downright boring! The first six months, at least for me, were all about recovery, sleep, and survival. My little one wasn’t doing much playing. He was pretty much eating and sleeping, sleeping and eating; while I was mastering the art of exclusive pumping and bottle feeding. Since he started rolling around though, there has been a considerable less amount of sleeping and a whole lot more entertainment required.

There are many days that I find myself stuck at home with nowhere to go. I live out in the suburbs – where a car is required for pretty much any venture out of the house. While the weather was still warm, we would go for a walk around the neighbourhood, but now that winter is here, we are pretty much cuddled indoors always. It’s also just me and the Bebe most of the time, so it’s important that I’m also enjoying myself as much as possible. My hardest and most tiring days are those on which I find myself surrounded with boredom and house tasks. I have learned to get a little creative with our activities in order to help us pass the time.

Below are some of the things that Bebe and I do to keep ourselves entertained. Most of these activities are probably already part of your routine, but if you alter them just a bit, you should be good to get them to last anywhere between 20 – 30 minutes. Note that we definitely do not do all of these activities in one day. I try to spread them out so that Bebe doesn’t get too bored of things and I don’t have to come up with new activities.

Car Watching: Bebe loves to wake up in the morning and stare out the window watching cars go by and neighbourhood kids go off to school. We can do this for a pretty solid 15 minutes! I’m usually the one that gets bored of this activity first.

Eating: We take our time eating. I try to make our mealtimes last at least 20 – 30 minutes by playing little games while eating and/or holding back some of the food. I’m doing half/half puree and baby led weaning so Bebe is often getting little bits of food put on his plate. I know from too many scary episodes that he can’t have everything on his plate at once or he’ll put it all in his mouth, so going slow helps a lot.

Cat Watching: Bebe T loves our cat, Judaea. He loves to watch him walk around the house and do his thing, but he loves it more when Judaea is playing with a toy or cuddling with mama. We try to do this as often as possible, but at least once a day, as baby Jude is definitely feeling left out most of the time.

Couch Climbing: T loves to be put on the couch and crawl as fast as possible from one end to the other. He finds it so funny to be up there and goes back and forth at least ten times. We do this multiple times a day.

Roomba Chasing: This one is extra fun because not only is it entertaining, but it’s getting some housework done at the same time. I put the Roomba on and let Bebe T chase it all along the main floor.

Laundry Folding: Also a productive one. Bebe T likes to pull clothes out of baskets, so I often bring up a load of laundry to be folded and do it with him. He definitely undoes a lot of my work, but it extends the activity. I also like to think that he’s learning about housework while we are doing this.

Dance Party: Bebe T loves music and he loves to watch me dance around the house. I’ll put on some of my favourite tunes and start dancing away while he watches or I’ll pick him up and we’ll dance together. Extra credit for a Youtube Zumba class!

Floor Workout: Similar to the dance party, T seems to find it funny when I do some floor level workouts, such as pushups and leg raises or yoga. I don’t always feel like doing this activity but it’s good once it gets going. I’m hoping that one day he will join me.

Watching the News: I know it’s screen time, but whatever! He’s going to watch TV at some point. This helps keep me up-to-date and it gets another voice in the house. T is really into this one, of course.

Bath Time: I definitely don’t do this one every day, unless I have to. I don’t think that soap and cleansing your skin is necessary on a daily basis unless you are obviously dirty and stinky. T loves the water though so I’ve moved him into the big tub where he can move around and splash more.

Reading: T loves a good cuddle and reading. He definitely has his favourite books. To keep it entertaining for me I will: read the book backward, in funny voices and accents, or sing it like a song.

Napping: This one is my personal favourite. We nap together, and by together I mean, cuddled up in bed. I try to do this for at least one of his naps per day. It’s a great bonding and skin-to-skin opportunity. Best of all, it allows me to get some rest and I find that he often naps for 1.5 hours as opposed to his regular 40-minute session.

Playing with Toys: when we play with toys, I like to get down on the ground with him and play too. He can, and definitely does, play on his own, but I think it’s extra fun for him when I get involved. I like to: stack lots of his toys on top of each other for him to knock down; roll balls around and at him, in hopes he’ll roll it back to me; make teddy bears talk (he LOVES this); hides his toys and help him find them; put them all away in his basket so he can take them all out again.

There you have it! Keep doing a great job Mama!

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