For the first 6-8 weeks most of my baby’s awake time was spent taking care of her needs such as feeding and changing. There was very little awake time. Baby play during this period consisted of talking to her during changes and baths and showing her the odd toy that she had no interest in. She wasn’t fussed about the toys on her play mat or over her bouncy chair until at least 8 weeks, possibly a bit later. I took her out to various baby groups but these were more for my benefit than hers. Once she started to have more awake time, like all the other first time mums I have met, I wondered what to do with her. So this post is to share the things that my baby has enjoyed during her first 4 months. I am no child development expert so I do not claim that these are the best toys or activities for babies. Also remember that all babies are different and what one likes another may not enjoy so much.
Bouncy chair & play mat – we love our bouncy chair and play mat. My little girl happily plays with the toys hanging above her head for at least 20 minutes. She smiles away and “talks” to them as she hits them. She grabs the butterflies and stares at them like she is taking in all the details. We have this mamas & papas bouncy chair but in the previous design. We love the design and colours of our one plus it looks so comfy (even when she was tiny due to the newborn insert) and the vibrate and music are a nice addition. This is the play gym we have. We like it as it is bright and colourful, compact compared to many play gyms on the market but big enough for its purpose. The only negative is that the butterflies and parrot are attached by velcro, which is nice for allowing them to be interchanged but our baby is now able to pull them off.
Tummy time mat – we all know how important tummy time is but you don’t need any fancy toys. However we were given this one which my baby loves. She is happier on her tummy for a lot longer than when I simply put her on her tummy on a mat. This is the newer version of this mat.
Car seat/pram toys – we have the Lamaze firefly shown in the top photo (it seems like every other baby does too!). Again my baby seems to really like it. It has a black and white side and a very colourful front. There are lots of textures, it has a bell inside and a squeaky bit. It also makes the crinkling sound that babies seem to love. We always know when she is asleep in the car as the crinkling sound stops.
Baby links – these are a more recent addition. They are great for little hands to practice grasping and also nice to chew on.
Homemade rattles – this is proof you don’t need to spend a fortune on baby toys. This is an empty water bottle with dried chickpeas. You can vary the sound it makes by changing the speed that you shake the bottle (or the angle that you tilt the bottle to). An important safety note here, although the top is screwed on tight I would never leave my baby unattended with this toy.
Bubbles – another cheap idea picked up from a baby class. The ones I bought blow lots of bubbles at once and my little girl loves to watch them floating around, you can really see her tracking them with her gaze. The only thing I watch out for is that they don’t land on her face, especially her eyes.
Books – both myself and my husband love books & we want to share this with our daughter. We have a few board books and a few picture books at the moment but I know we will keep adding to this. At the moment she will happily sit & listen to a story & look at the pictures. I have been sharing some of these books with you on the blog and will continue to do so (you can find them here).
Nursery rhyme and action songs – I’m a terrible singer but my little girl doesn’t seem to think so. She loves me singing to her and especially when we do the actions together. In the early days singing to her distracted her when she didn’t enjoy getting dressed or having her nappy changed. I had forgotten many of the nursery rhymes so I purchased an inexpensive nursery rhyme CD (£2.50 on sale in the early learning center) & also this beautifully illustrated book (that I reviewed here). I also try to take her along to one of the free rhyme time sessions at our local library most weeks.
Baby yoga – we started baby yoga at 6 weeks and I’ve really enjoyed it. It is a nice mix of exercises for mums and babies with a couple of action songs. There is also a short relaxation at the end but this is never all that relaxing as at least half the babies at crying. I’ve always fed my baby at this point as she has her best naps after a yoga class (usually 3 hours). I regularly do the baby massage and exercises at home with my baby as well. We also learnt a number of different ways to do tummy time which can be useful if your baby doesn’t enjoy being on their tummy.
Disclosure – this is not a sponsored post. All these items were either purchased by us or given to us by family or friends. I just like them so much I wanted to share them with you all.