You’ve had a baby and have gotten through the eating and sleeping phase. Your baby is awake and while you enjoy just staring deep into their eyes, they need stimulation (and so do you). As a first time mother, I learned so much. Everything was easier with my second because I knew a lot more. Even as an introvert, it is important to get out and stay busy so I’ve compiled a short list of ideas to keep life interesting.
1. Story time at the library
The library is an amazing place for you and your baby. Many libraries have children’s areas that include books, games, and various learning tools for your baby to explore. They also have story time. Story time is THE BEST. It is where you can meet other mothers while your baby experiences a fun and engaging time. The leader will usually read a story or two, sing interactive songs, and end with an unstructured playtime for babies to socialize. They take place at least once a week. Check with your local library.
2. Visit a park
Parks are great for exploring nature and gross motor movement. I loved visiting the park while children were in school because it allowed us to move around safely. The concern with bigger kids is that they aren’t always mindful of babies and toddlers. Parks are a great place for babies to people watch and when they’re a bit older, climb the structures. I allowed my children to climb at the playground as soon as they were able to crawl.
3. Try a Pinterest project
Now, we all can’t be Pinterest moms but we can sure try! At best, you’ve created something amazing and at worst, a picture-worthy Pinterest fail. Either way, it’s a win. I love Pinterest. They have a lot of great ideas for keeping a baby, toddler, yourself, and anyone else you can think of busy. Some of the Pinterest activities I have tried have been perfect while others have been laughable. In the end, it has always been fun. Check LACH’s Pinterest page here.
4. Go for a walk
Get some vitamin D! Fresh air is so important, especially as a new mother. Sometimes it can be difficult to just get out of the house but it is well worth it. It’s great exercise for mommy and stimulation for baby. Exercise is important for lifting your mood and providing an energy boost. Both of which you need most to help your sleep deprivation from night feedings or sleep regressions.
5. Find a mother’s group
Every mother needs a support system. This can come in the form of family and friends. Mother’s groups are great for socializing your baby AND meeting new mothers in your area. These groups will often have playgroups for various age groups, outings around the area, and nights out for just the mothers. These are especially crucial for recently relocated mothers but also for new mothers in general. I have found that experiencing your area as a childless person is very different than exploring as a mother. There are so many places and events I never knew about because they did not relate to me.
6. Have a picnic
Nothing you do with your baby has to be grandiose. They are easily amused and love spending time with you. Pull out an old blanket, pack some food for you (and baby if they are on solids) and head out to any place with grass. Enjoy the sun, people watching, food, and each other.
7. Try a mommy and me class
There are many establishments that host “mommy and me” classes. They have everything from yoga to music classes. These classes often offer a free trial class. Try them out, you have nothing to lose!
8. Indoor/Outdoor water play
Again, babies do not need grandiose activities. Water play is as simple as filling plastic food containers or really anything that holds water and letting them have at it. Outdoor water play is ideal but it can be just as fun in the winter when you place a shower curtain and towel under them in a non carpeted area.
9. Pull out the pots, pans, and wooden spoons
Time for jam session! Have your baby rock out with some kitchen beats. Babies love banging on things so why not let them?
10. Grocery shopping
There is so much to see at the grocery store and so much for you to say. You can point out colors, aisle numbers, names of food, and anything else. Depending on the time of day, it is also great place to meet other mothers.
What do you and your baby do for fun?