Call it a coincidence or call it me just not paying attention until we had Sloan, but ever since we gave birth to our daughter it sure seems like everyone else on my social media feeds are having (or recently had) babies too! It is great. I love watching the progress of all these cute little ones who light up my Facebook and Instagram feeds.
Because I know that I receive a large portion of my blog traffic from my social media audience, and because I want to write about topics that my readers can relate to, I do feel it is my duty to write about babies, especially my daughter, every now and then. This afternoon is another one of those times.
As a parent of a newborn, we of course spend a lot of time changing, feeding, rocking, and loving on our babies. But in between all that important stuff, there is plenty of downtime (although sometimes it might not seem like it) to bond and sooth your baby.
For today’s Sunday blog post, I want to highlight ten of the things I do with Sloan when we aren’t in the middle of “the essentials.” Now believe me, I am not re-inventing the wheel here. Many of these are tried and true parenting techniques. But perhaps in your introduction to the hectic world of parenting, you might have overlooked one. In no order, here are several ideas to pass the time with your baby boy or baby girl.
Make Baby Laugh – It is almost a game for Sidney and I. We will lay Sloan down on her back on our bed and see who can make her laugh first. She is always usually really calm when her little body is sprawled out in the middle of our bed, allowing us to be as goofy as we want with her. The reward for succeeding, an excited shriek of laughter, is the best.
Reading – Most of you know I am a big proponent of this. Since the last time I wrote about how we enjoy reading to Sloan, our library has grown considerably. Sloan’s appetite for having a book read to her has grown as well. Not only a great way to relax your baby, it will help develop their little brains as well.
Look in the Mirror – This one is straight out of Sidney’s playbook. My wife, since day one, has taken Sloan to our mirror in our living room and declared, “Who is that pretty baby?” I think by now Sloan knows it is her but the excitement is still there.
Go for a Walk – I used to have a perfect track record of taking Sloan for walks with fantastic results. However, after a small crying episode in the stroller yesterday, I am at about 98%. Nonetheless, taking your baby for a walk in the neighborhood is a way to relax him/her, gain some exercise, relieve some stress, and meet the neighbors. It is the perfect way to pass the time while also giving your spouse a break.
Belting It Out – Your baby knows and loves your voice. Amplify your soothing vocal cords by singing to your little one. I know Sidney probably hates hearing my off-pitched renditions of nursery rhymes and church hymns but every now and then they help Sloan fall asleep.
Walk It Out Indoors – Is it dark out or otherwise unfeasible to take your baby for a walk outdoors? Just stroll around your house. This is one of my main hacks I use with Sloan. When she is fussy, she usually won’t allow us to sit down, or, for that matter, just stand up stationary. But, if I hold her and do laps around the living room and kitchen she will become much more content.
PLAY! – This is one of the greatest joys of being a parent of a newborn! Nothing beats getting on your hands and knees and playing with your baby. Introduce toys, play peek-a-boo, or shake the animals/shapes dangling from whatever play space she is hanging out at. You can get extremely creative and the bonding opportunities are endless.
Pray – No matter how upset or preoccupied Sloan might be, she always settles down for prayer time. Just like the peace that falls over her when we take her to church, she is usually a little angel when we say our prayers. You can’t go wrong introducing your baby to his/her Savior early on.
TV…With Limits – Sid and I have already found out that Sloan LOVES television. She will gaze at it intently, no matter what is on. So, with this is mind, we are trying to cut back on the time she is in front of the screen while offering educational programming during the time she is. Our cable lineup offers some great baby stations that we rely on for quality shows that teach Sloan basics such as colors, animals, and shapes.
Lap Time – Never underestimate all that can be done with your baby while he/she is on your lap. Although Sloan prefers to be loved while we are standing up, there are plenty of times when she is sweet and content sitting with us. When it comes to what babies enjoy while sitting on your lap, I imagine it differs for each individual. With Sloan alone she has evolved with her preferences over the past few months. Currently, she likes to stand on my lap looking directly at me and also she enjoys sitting down on my left lap while looking away from me to her left. You just have to experiment to see what works.
There you have it, my baby hacks! I want all my new (and seasoned) moms and dads to give me their favorite tricks as well. I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday with their babies. Don’t Blink.