Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Playtime for Baby: 0-3 Months with Bloom Guest Lisa

Yay! Lisa is back! We've had several Bloomers ask, "what should I do with my infant all day?" and when I went to visit Lisa and her new babe this spring, I knew she was just the person to answer that question. Lisa is brilliant at enjoying and interacting with her baby. Today she shares some of her secrets with you.

Sometimes spending time & playing with your baby seems effortless while other days you may feel stumped as to how to keep this new little human entertained.

Before my first baby was born in February of this year, my sister gave me this darling jar as part of a baby shower gift. It has been one of the most valuable, used and treasured gifts I received.

Inside, it contains several ideas of ways to play with your baby.

There have been several afternoons where I've opened the jar to find some inspiration. Although some of the ideas may just be familiar to you, it's helpful to have those reminders!

The slips of paper are organized by color and in layers 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, etc. As your baby gets older, it may be a little easier to know how to play with them although it's still nice to have suggested activities on hand. I was really excited to have ideas I could use with my baby right away for 0-3 months when we were spending even more time at home.

Some of the ideas for 0-3 months include:

-Bumble Bee:
Make a buzzing sound with your index finger circling around in the air above your baby. Your baby's eyes will follow your "bee." Build suspense before landing the "bee" on your baby. Next, take the baby's finger and help it be the "bee."

Hold your baby's feet and gently direct them in a cycling motion. Babies do this naturally, so you just need to guide them. Make baby's "workout" fun by singing a song such as "Row Your Boat." (My husband prefers "Bicycle Race" by Queen...)

-Who's in the Mirror?:
Hold your baby in your arms and face a mirror. Point out baby and Mommy in the mirror. Take your baby's hand and touch the faces in the mirror. You can play peek-a-boo in the mirror with baby by moving to the side of the mirror and back.

-Dance with me:
Dancing is fun for Mom and baby! Turn on any kind of music you enjoy and ask your baby for a dance. Sometimes you might feel like a slow waltz to a classical song and other times you can liven it up with rock, hip-hop or whatever you like to dance to! Sing along to the music as you sway or bounce together. Baby will learn to look forward to dances with Mom.

-Baby massage: (usually after baby is a month old, he or she will enjoy this)
Learn to give your baby a soothing massage. Rub a small amount of massage oil or baby lotion onto your hands and give your baby a gentle massage. Start with the arms and legs, stroking gently but firmly. Moving to the head, use your fingertips to make soft, rhythmic circles on the baby's crown, forehead and temples. Stroke from the crown along the sides of the face. On baby's back (have baby lying comfortably on his or her tummy) stroke down from the shoulders to the lower back, then go crosswise on the back from side to side. Finish up with tiny "rain drop" finger taps. Be sure to only massage if your baby is enjoying it and don't try to massage if baby has a full tummy!

-All Washed Up:

Sing about parts of baby's body that you're washing in the bath. Sing the following to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush."
This is the way we wash our face,
wash our face, wash our face,
This is the way we wash our face
during bath time
You can include verses of scrub our feet, wash our toes, clean our arms, etc.

These just give you a taste of ideas for what you can do with your new 0-3 month old baby or of things you might want to include in giving a similar gift.

Do you have any fingerplays, songs or baby "games" you've enjoyed with your new baby?


Jill said...

I used to have these tiny toys handed down to us from a family member - they were little cloth bracelets and anklets with mini rattles attached to them. When my daughter would move her hands and feet, it would make the rattles sound which she found very fascinating (Did *I* do that?). You could probably make something similar by stringing a bell onto a ribbon and tying these to their ankles and wrists.

We live in a Zoo! said...

Singing dorky songs to my babies while tickling and loving on them was always big at my house. cute ideas :D

Carla said...

What wonderful ideas! And I absolutely love the pic of the mobile. I've been wondering what I could do because I can't bring myself to spend so much money on the ones in the store. So thank you!

sumthinghappened said...

I needed this today, thanks.

Bloom said...

1. I am stilling laughing about Andy singing bicycle race to her...

2. My opinion on the subject:
-I think a lot of us think, "oh, she's just an infant. she can just sit there and stare at the ceiling." And of course they can, and of course sometimes we need them to, like when we're cooking dinner, but I just can't say enough about the power of music, touch, etc. with a baby. Even at that tiny an age, it really matters!

-Also, I think it's easy to say, "oh, well I have too many kids to spend that kind of time interacting with my tiny baby." Of course I only have two, so I'm not going to pretend to know what it's like to have a ton of kids, BUT I have been super impressed as I watch my sil Melissa with her baby--#4. She dotes on him like you wouldn't believe and what's more, she's taught her other children to do the same. When he's upset and she can't be right there, the older sibs are right there singing to him, bouncing him, showing him a picture book, doing hand games with him, etc. It's awesome to watch.


Cassie said...

Great ideas! Please post more for the older infant ages too!