This is Anton’s first post. He is not yet old enough to do any activities like Eva or to help in the kitchen. But he is the one I spend most of my day with these days. He is never alone for more than a few minutes when I need to help Eva or when he occasionally takes a nap next to me instead of on top of me. Just like with Eva. When babies are 2-3 months they tend to sleep most of the day (and some of the night), but when they are awake there are a few things you can do with them – and some there are more meaningful than others. Below I listed then 10 things I try to do with Anton every day now he’s 2-3 months old.
10 things I try to do every day with my 2-3-month old baby
1. Walk around the house and look at different things. I do this every day and it now seems to calm him if he is a bit upset, but not hungry or wanting eye contact. I sometimes talk about the different things with him if he is really awake, or just walk around slowly, sometimes stopping, sometimes cradling him if he seems on the brink of falling asleep. Usually I hold him across one arm so he is lying on his tummy which in it self seems to calm him.
2. Go for a walk with him in the wrap. This comes easy to me as Eva is in daycare during the week days. We’ll either go for a walk after I drop her off or before I pick her up – and sometimes we’ll all go for a walk. Currently I carry him in a hybrid wrap from wrapsody, but later I’ll upgrade to either a woven wrap (if I ever master it) or a buckle carrier like I did with Eva. Usually he’ll sleep for most of the time we’re out and about, but he’s getting increasingly interested in the world around him and he’ll more and more often just sit and look at the world, until he falls asleep. Having him in the wrap is almost a guaranteed way of calming him and getting him to sleep.
3. Let him nap on top of me. We do this every day. And many times. I love to have him close to me and I believe it’s important for small children to be close to their parents and feel their heart beat. That’s also why we all co-sleep. He have just recently started to nap next to me instead of on top of me – and I do let him sleep until he wakes if he falls asleep playing under his play gym or during tummy time.
4. Practice lying on the tummy. This is the obvious mention. Everyone you talk to will tell you the importance of tummy time. I’m not utterly convinced that you need to lie your baby and her tummy, if she gets upset by it – I do think there are other ways to train their little neck muscles, like carrying them for example, but I’m not an expert. I’ve however not had to think too much about this with Anton as he apparantly likes lying on his tummy practicing getting that big head of his to stay up.
5. Move around with him. This is a thing Ben also loves to do and does without thinking. We both dance with him, fly him around like an airplane (hand under tummy and under head/chest), practice rolling with him, hold him up side down (by the hip!), lift him on our front legs so he can have tummy time at the same time, move his arms and legs in different directions fx bicycling his legs and many more small activities like that.
6. Talk with him while holding eye contact. Anton is a big talker, so this comes so naturally to me. Whenever he gets eye contact he’ll smile and move his arms and legs and then start cooing. It love it. We’ll take turns talking – first him cooing or whatever sound, facial expression or movement he’ll make, and then me asking a question like “and then what happend?” when he is done. I also try to make different facial expressions and play with my voice and imitate him. As he approached 3 months he figured out how to scream and really reach those high notes while smiling all over his face.
7. Sing songs. Singing is an activity I think most babies will love. Anton has even started singing with me. I have the advantage of knowing quite a few children’s songs because of Eva, but to be honest I don’t think it matters. I just think babies likes hearing our voices and the pattern of melodies. With Eva I often sang the one line I remembered and then trailed of with amazing lyrics like “Mom has forgotten the words, but you don’t seem to mind” or “Will have to buy yeast, so we can bake bread today”.
8. Play with toys. The word play might be a bit to big a word for what Anton does. I try to wiggle different noise makers around him, trying to get him to follow it with his eyes and hands, let him have some time under his play gym trying to dash at things, play peek-a-boo with him with a scarf or (clean) old fashioned diaper when I change him or let him have a go with one of his soft toys. Especially the last one is starting to become a hit – especially since he is an early teether like his sister and loves to chew on it. It’s so wonderful to experience how they transition from not being able to control their movements to suddenly being able to grasp and steer a toy toward their mouth.
9. Touch. Touch is so important for humans. More important than I think many people realize. I try to incorporate touch into everything I do with Anton. I massage his fingers and toes when I talk to him, rub his belly and fart his tummy with my mouth after I’ve changed him. If I put him down, I do it next to me so we touch and I carry him when we are out and about and tickle him whenever he’s in the mood. I also breastfeed which is perfect when it comes to touch, but bottle feeding can be just as ideal if you keep it in mind. I try to get some skin on skin contact, but I’m not always so good at it, as it’s so cold during the winter, but I try to sqeeuze it in.
10. Let him have some but-naked time. I remember this almost every day, but wish I always remembered it because it’s so great for little ones to be completely free of both cloths and diaper. You can almost see it instantly how much they love it and how they move more freely when you take everything off them – and then it’s great for the skin on their bum to get some frest air, especially if they have a diaper rash or just a tendency to get a bit red in the diaper area.
11. Let him have time with his big sister. I know everyone can’t do this, so therefore I added it as an bonus. We have a play pen for Anton. I like it because it gives me the opportunity to put him down for a few minutes while I go to the toilet without worrying that Eva will try to pick him up. But both Ben and I have to remind ourselves not to keep putting him there as he gets older and instead put a blanket on the floor so he can be included when we play with Eva. Both of them love it and she gives him tons of hugs and kisses, talk to him and try to include him in her games. It’s very cute, but more importantly a great foundation for their future sibling relationship. I also try to include Eva in small task related to Anton like helping me change him (on the floor) or simply include her while I’m breastfeeding him by letting her cuddle up with us and reading a book to her – this I think also help with jealousy which we have had very little of (knock on wood).