Tomorrow I will be the proud momma of a 9 month old! LucyKate is growing and changing and getting cuter, smarter and more alert by the minute! I can tell such a huge difference in just the last week. She is totally out of that “infant” stage and headed full-speed into the world of the toddler.
Now the reason for this post, this most humble parenting post, is that I really need some advice and ideas. You see, I have zero baby experience. All the experience I have thus far is what I have learned in the last 9 months. Before now I never really spent any time with kids of any age! I am an only child. I never baby sat. I have never really had much of an opportunity to even be around babies, children, kids, you get the idea.
Before now, LK was pretty easy to manage during the day. She slept ALOT and was otherwise pretty content with a few toys and her momma. Now she has transitioned into the stage where she is super curious, she notices everything, and wants to explore everything she notices. This is a super fun stage and I am really enjoying it! But here is the deal, and where I need some ideas and advice.
My baby gets up around 6 am and goes to bed around 6 pm, with two naps that equals about 8.5 hours of time I need to be intentional with her education and development. The problem is that, by her first nap we have exhausted my entire bag of tricks. We have read, we have eaten, we have played, we have listened to music, we have practiced walking, we have played with momma’s iPhone, we have played on the computer, we have jumped in the jumper and played in the exersaucer, we have looked out the window and watched all the delivery trucks roll into the Village at Leesburg, we have done everything except watch TV, take a walk and take a bath because I am saving those for the afternoon. So my question for you is:
What do you do with your kid all day?
I feel so dumb asking this. I mean, I have a college degree and over a decade of professional experience in communications, yet I have exhausted my repertoire with my 9 month old by 9 am. And in most cases, she has not been that impressed.
I find myself wishing I had minored in early childhood development instead of political theory. Aristotle, John Locke and Machiavelli didn’t give me much to go on when it comes to leading my kid!
I am calling on you: seasoned parents, grandparents, caregivers, nannies and all of you out there who can channel your inner Mary Poppins and teach me how to awaken my own. I need some ideas here!
I am not looking so much for philosophy stuff, I want practical activities you do with your kids. Any sample routines would also be welcome.
And if you can recommend any books, websites or other resources that would also be great. Please don’t tell me babycenter.com, what to expect and other main stream sites, I have found those unhelpful. I am looking for something intentional, fun and educational. Does that even exist? Please enlighten me!
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Just off the top of my head, I say let that sweet girl have some “room time” or “quiet time”. All 3 of mine still have at least 30 minutes if that during their day at some point. For CH, she sits in her bed w/ crayons and paper and her lap desk and colors. She sometimes “reads” books in her room. For Stella and Addie, their time looks different. I put them in their cribs w/ some books or 1 or 2 toys or stuffed animals. This time allows them to use their imagination, learn to play by themselves, and lots of times allows me time to take a shower, prepare a meal, or even just go to the bathroom uninterrupted! As my girls have gotten older, their “room time” or “quiet time” has been something they look forward to. I know that I personally look forward to alone time each day. I hope this helps.
Put objects inside an empty tissue box and let her figure out how to get them out…sticker or scotch tape on her finger – that kept mine busy for a LONG time (just make sure she doesn’t put it in her mouth)…unbreakable mirror on the floor…take a walk twice a day, if you need to get out of the house. I did this with mine b/c I hate being stuck inside…just take a different route and look at the things you pass along the way. If she is interested in the computer, find an old keyboard that she can bang away on, mine loved that – an old cell phone is fun, too – mine were never fooled by the toy versions! I’ll keep thinking!
these are good, thanks girls!!
I think a little supervised “independent play” here and there is good. It is good for them to develop their imaginary play, allows them to explore and figure things out too, and mommy can put up dishes, laundry or some other tasks (with a watchful eye on the babe of course). When/if a second child comes on the scene, it is very helpful to know that big sis/bro can play independently while you feed the baby, etc. I’ve been so amazed to watch William develop in that area, and it is so much fun to listen to him “hello truck”, “hello bulldozer”.
Love it Kim!
I too have an almost 9 month. He wakes up around 8am and sleeps at 9pm. He only has a 3 hour nap around 2pm. While my fiance is at work we do quite a bit of creative play. My baby loves to fingerpaint. I put him in his highchair and give him some paper and non-toxic fingerpaints and help guide him and soon he gets the hang of it. If it is hot or warm outside where you live, you can get a splash pool and a bumbo seat and have some outdoor water time. It’s a hit with my son.
You can even make some homemade puppets and get some giggles out of your little girl.
Thank you Leah! I want to try finger paint!!