I remember coming home with Sadie from the hospital, putting her in the moses basket next to me and being like ‘now what?’ To be honest, there isn’t a lot you can do with a newborn baby! They sleep for long periods of time and believe me in 16 months time you will miss this peace. However, when you bring your first one home, you feel like you should be doing something with him/her all the time. My advice is the very cliche thing of sleep when they sleep. You will need it.
When they are awake, you will obviously want to interact with them so here are a few of the things we did.
1) Baby Mimic
Babies are funny little things. If you make a face at them they will try and copy. Try things like pursing your lips, opening your mouth wide and pulling tongues. Rest on each expression for about 5 seconds and watch as your little one tries to mimic it. Sometimes it took a while for Sadie to copy so be patient but its so cute to watch their little tongue poke out copying you. Our favourite was the pursing of the lips as you can see below.
One of my favourite things to do when I was pregnant was play music to the bump and see what the baby would react to. It was only on certain songs that I would feel lots of movement so I actually made a playlist that I would add these songs on to. When she was born I would play them to her and her little legs would start kicking or her fists would go. Once she found out she could make noises she would coo along. I have no idea if she remembered them from the womb or if it was just music in general that was making her excited but it was fun for her.
Another thing I loved to do with music was play the same song to her after bath time; we would do some baby massage and then some skin to skin while I would just sway around, holding her to my chest. Skin to skin is just amazing for the oxytocin thats released to feel that bond with the baby.
Singing is another thing that I liked to do with her; I’m no singer by any means but I can carry enough of a tune. My favourite to sing was ‘Baby Mine’ from Dumbo when we were cuddling or doing skin to skin. Weirdly, she is 16 months old now and if I sing this while she is upset she will come and sit on my knew for a cuddle and it calms her right down.
3) Skin to Skin
I think I’ve said Skin to Skin about 6 times already in the above ideas but…it is just amazing. When she was first born I was trying to breastfeed and unfortunately this just didn’t take. Skin to Skin is something that I tried to do as much as possible to try and replicate that feeling and it was close enough. It didn’t matter how upset she was as soon as we got comfy she would settle and fall asleep pretty much immediately. She was always so comfy under my nightie or dressing gown and I’m not gonna lie…when they settle on you and not your partner, it does make you feel like superwoman.
I would do this as much as possible, after the morning feed, after bath time, during the day if I had nothing to be getting on with in the house. Even if I had a ton of housework to do and started to feel a little overwhelmed I would try and do skin to skin because I found that it relaxed me immediately and made me feel very content. Sometimes you just need the cuddle too.
4) Black and White Books
My boss actually told me about these books when they were expecting. Babies are colour blind when they are born so the books create cool shapes and patterns for them to follow. Sadie loved hers and would sit there for ages looking at one page; if I remember right the spirals were here favourite.
5) Tummy Time
Tummy time is good for strengthening your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles so this is a good one to try when they’re awake. We actually had a play mat that had a mirror on it which made it a bit more interesting for her. Always supervise your baby when doing tummy time because they get fussy quite fast and never put them to sleep on their tummy’s.
Hope these ideas were helpful guys 🙂
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