New moms often ask, “How much should I play with baby?” The simple answer is, “As much as you wish to.” Babies love faces and the best time to interact with those they love is face-to-face contact times such as bath times, diaper changes, and feeding times.
During those contact times, it helps to sing, talk, tickle, read, make facial expressions and use vocal variety to baby. Don’t forget to smile. Babies love facial interaction and they will naturally turn their head away when they have had enough.
Try to give baby some “tummy time” for several minute periods each day. It helps baby to develop neck and upper arm muscles and it relieves pressure on the head so that the risk of plagiocephally (flat head) is reduced. Many babies don’t like tummy time, on a hard floor, so it can be helpful to put baby on parent’s chest while parent is lying down on the sofa. This counts as tummy time. Also, keep in mind that tummy time can be several minutes, several times a day, instead of a twenty-minute marathon every day.
Baby carriers are a wonderful way for babies to be stimulated and entertained through the day. Baby watching you make dinner from the elevated view of a backpack is fascinating for him and is just as stimulating for his brain development as watching “educational” videos.
In spite of our society’s intensive push to give early learning to young children, try to avoid worrying about how much stimulation and playtime she is supposed to be getting. If you enjoy spending time with baby, interacting with your natural enthusiasm, rest assured she is getting enough stimulation!
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Bored children? Need some ideas for getting children away from screens? Here are some tips for all ages:
In many parts of the world, we are coping with recession. Are there benefits to a simpler life? Yes, trimming-down lifestyle is a great way to focus on what is really important – family and friends. Here are some additional benefits:
- Kids learn how to do chores and become more self-sufficient.
- Kids learn money management because they need to earn enough to pay for their wants.
- Recessions reduce environmental impact because people buy less consumer items.
- Kids spend more time outdoors – camping, hiking, biking, geo-caching and playing
- Kids spend more time volunteering.
- Family dinners with home-cooking foster socialization with family members, siblings and friends.
- Low-cost activities are often the best for bonding – board games, video games, baking, gardening, camping, projects, walks etc.
- People take better care of their health with home cooking and nature/ outdoor activities.
- People are more creative; they start businesses or turn hobbies into ways to make income.
- People become more resourceful, such as learning to fix machines, mend jewelry, and repair clothing and toys.
If you are living in a recession economy, look on the bright side and see how freeing it is to let go of possessions and focus more an relationships.
Judy Arnall, BA, DTM, CCFE, currently teaches parenting at The University of Calgary, Continuing Education, and has taught for Chinook Learning, Families Matter, and Alberta Health Services for the past 13 years. Judy is the author of the International bestseller, Discipline Without Distress: 135 Tools for raising caring, responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery and the newly released Parenting With Patience: Turn frustration into connection with 3 easy steps.