So our little man’s first tooth, or more accurately teeth since the bottom two came in together, popped through about 6 weeks ago. Immediately we wanted to help him develop good toothbrushing habits so we started having family toothbrushing parties right after breakfast. In the beginning, our son would just turn the toothbrush over in his hands and we let that be enough, but after a couple of days of “brushing” his teeth with us he started putting the toothbrush in his mouth. Now, when he did this it was often the wrong end but we would gently tell him and pull the toothbrush out. Amazingly in only one month, he started using the correct side of the toothbrush and is now mimicking our movement fairly accurately. In the last week, we have added baby tooth and gum cleaner (fluoride free of course) to his brush and you can see our 8 month old bursting with pride each day as he cares for his own teeth!
So we all have a list a mile long of things to do while Baby is sleeping, but what about that all important awake time? Below you will find just a few activities you can do with Baby while he/she is awake.
- Read Together – Yes, your baby is young, but as a teacher, I know it is never too early to start instilling a love for written language. Some personal favorites to read with Baby include:
- Anything written by Eric Carle
- Moo, Baa, La La La
- Lift the Flap Books
- On the Night You Were Born
- Mouse Paint
- Nursery Rhymes
1. Hickory, Dickory, Dock: And Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes
2. Dance Together – Babies love motion! Rocking back and forth together or turning in reasonably paced circles to the beat of the music gives you and Baby some much needed fun movement time.
3. Tummy Time – Babies need to spend time on their tummies in order to strengthen neck and core muscles. It is also important for gross motor development (think crawling, walking, and climbing). Put a blanket on the floor and lay Baby belly down. I prefer to lay with Baby as we talk and exercise together. Sometimes we even play with toys while on our bellies!
4. Sing Together (especially if the song has motions) – Songs are easy to learn and remember. They also are a great way for Baby to hear spoken words directed at them since most people feel less inhibited singing to a Baby than when speaking to them. We don’t always sing with a cd but some of our favorite cd’s for when we do are:
- Red Grammar – Favorite Sing-Alongs
- Red Grammar – Hello World!
- Red Grammar – Teaching Peace
- Fisher Price Little People: 50 Sing-Along Classics
- Vol. 2-We All Live Together
5. Baby’s Alone Time – Everyone needs some alone time. Try swings, bouncing chairs, activity mats, and mobiles. Baby won’t entertain him/herself for long times, but I love watching him play by himself for a few minutes while I dust, sweep, or cook dinner.
6. Take a Walk – We love to walk outside! As we walk we talk about what we are seeing. Sometimes we walk with the stroller, sometimes with the carrier, and sometimes just being held. However you choose to walk, don’t forget the sunscreen!
Graco Metrolite Stroller, Clairmont
Infantino Ecosash Baby Carrier, Bloomin Vines, 8-35 Pounds< Whatever you choose to do with Baby while he/she is awake, remember to have fun!