Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Keep them busy: infants

Ideas for babies 4-12 months:

Things get tricky at 4 months, when babies begin to want to be mobile and interact with their environment.
Here are some "toys" I have found that work:
plastic lids (the rim is just right for teething and these are easy to hold.)
Ice trays, small plastic plates, a sippy cup with a little water in it, foam blocks (also good for teething), board books, towells with rough patterns, old cell phones or tv remotes (how often have they reached for yours? they love buttons!), a plastic box with smaller toys in it to shake, small squishy balls.

Activities (many need supervision):

  • A toy they really love, but you have to watch them the whole time, is a bag that crinkles- thicker than a ziploc, so they can't bite through it, but one that they can't open. Play-doh now comes in these shiny ziploc bags, and "my" babies LOVE them. I just have to watch them the whole time.
  • I also give them an old magazine to crinkle up. The trick is, put a pacifier in their mouth first! As you know, everything goes straight to the mouth at this age, but some babies will be able to keep a pacifier in while playing with paper. Of course, I am watching them the whole time, but it's worth it, bc this toy keeps them busy for so long.
  • Tie some of DH's neck ties on the fan blades & turn it on low. They can lie on your bed, & it will entertain them forever! (can start this before 4 mo.)
  • Put them in the sink with some water (or bathtub if they can sit up on their own.) Let them splash around.
  • Sit them on your lap with a toy while you work on the computer.
  • If desperate, strap them in their car seat and put on Baby Einstein. It really does work better than other shows, but won't work for every baby.
  • Make patterns that they can copy with clapping, slapping the ground or coffee table, or other simple gestures. Start very simple. This is the beginning stage of teaching baby sign language also.
  • Dance to music- "my" babies started dancing between 8-10 months.
  • Copy the noises they make- they have done studies on this, and it's supposed to be really good. It teaches them they can affect other people and communicate.

That's all I can think of now, other than the things you always hear about.
I will try to post some ideas to keep different age groups happy when you need to be busy with something else.

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