Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What To Do With Baby!?

  The first month home from the hospital was a blur...... a distant memory that I don't remember much of.  Could it have been the sleepless nights, the "am I doing this right", the diaper changing... the breastfeeding, pumping and changing the diaper again routine.  Once the routine was down I found myself a stay at home mom (which I wanted more than anything else) wondering "what to do with baby".  Here's a list of things that have worked for me :)

1. I find that my weeks go well when I have planned 1 to 2 big outings per week.  This could include a play date with friends or a mommy and baby class at Amma Parenting in Edina.  This could also include a trip to the zoo, the beach or even something as small as going to Target.  It always lifts my mood and makes me feel like I'm accomplishing things!

2. Amma Parenting has been a favorite of mine even before Merritt was born.  Amma is a place where new and expecting families can get the critical information and support they need in a cheerful, friendly environment.  They are a one-stop center for everything you need to welcome a new baby..... classes, products and advice.  Kohler and I took birthing class, breastfeeding class that I thought was super beneficial.  Merritt and I attended a new mommy class during month 2 and now we are in a beyond newborn class.  The advice and gals I've met in class have been amazing..... something to look forward to each week!  ( I also want to sign up for an ECFE/Early Childhoold Family Education Class come Fall for Merritt and I to enjoy)

3. Getting outside everyday or getting in some sort of exercise!  From day one Merritt has loved the Moby (facing in) and once he could hold his head up the Baby Bjorn (facing out).  The monkey thinks he's the coolest kid on the planet when he's being carried in the Bjorn...... it's pretty cute to watch and not to mention it gets mom and dad out of the house and burning calories.  Merritt and Mommy normally spend 30-60 minutes a day outdoors exploring while Mommy's walking at a fast pace so she can enjoy the extra piece of chocolate when she gets home. 

 4. Tummy Time is a good way to strengthen your babies neck and upper body and helps them learn to roll over and crawl. Merritt doesn't always love tummy time but I do try and do at least 5-10mins after each meal.  Sometimes I plop him on top of the boppy pillow and he seems to enjoy it a bit better being he's a little elevated. Lay them on their stomach and encourage them to move or grab toys. We usually use one of his small stuffed animals or noisy toys and wave it in front of him to encourage him to look and grab.

5. Whether it’s a mirror in their crib, pack and play, large room mirror, or a toy they LOVE watching themselves. At this age they are discovering their feet and hands so we're loving all the big mirrors in our home.

6.  Story time is key! Choose books with bright colors and patterns. They love to hear your voice and it also helps with bonding. We do our story time every day before nap time and bed time. We also make sure that we change it up never reading the same book twice in one day. variety, variety, variety!

 7. Music time is one of Merritt's favorite time of the day.  Kohler and I have made it a point from day one to constantly sing to him....... I must point out that Daddy does seem to have a better voice than Mommy...... we'll see what Merritt thinks when he's a bit older :) Mommy's favorite song to sing is "You Are My Sunshine" while Daddy's favorite song is "Colder Weather".  Merritt loves to coo and talk back during this time. The Itsy Bitsy Spider or Patty Cake will have your little one smiling and laughing. Babies love social play!

 8. Merritt has slowly transitioned into the bouncer recently.  He's loving being able to bounce and move his legs. You should see the fancy foot work he's been performing.

9. Fine Motor Skills. I saw this on Pinterest and thought they'd be fun activities for M to enjoy. (muffin tin fun and ice cube fun)

10. Finding a local farm or the zoo to go explore.

11. Merritt loves to spend 10-20 minutes watching the Baby Einstein Collection.  We also have the Praise Baby Collection and this is definitely one of his favorites.

12. One of the most important activities of all is simply talking to your baby. Your baby loves hearing YOU and seeing you while you talk. It helps language and social development and creates a better bond with you. So don't be afraid to constantly give your baby dialogue of what your doing and what happens throughout your day.


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