Mommies, ready for a fun week ahead with your little one? Come on, as much as your little darling makes you tear out your hair, accept the truth that your baby also makes you go back to those fun playful days of your own childhood, isn’t it? There is absolutely so much you can do with your little one, playing and doing things together and bonding!
You do spend a lot of time with your little one, but other than diapers and feeds and schoolwork, are you really spending that fun time together? Why not book a full hour of one-on-one fun with your little one? If your baby is too young to speak, pick her up in your arms and talk to her with lots and lots of smiles. Hear the giggles and gurgles, make some of your own and be a baby with baby!
Massage time is essential time for baby’s growth and development, and massage time can be an important connect time too. Remove all the noise from the room and make it your and baby’s special time; as the little one enjoys your caring fingers shaping and strengthening those little baby arms and legs, sing a rhyme or play a lullaby or share a story. You’ll be amazed at how soon your little one learns these stories and rhymes!
Time for a bath? Of course there are a lot of bath toys that your baby loves, but what about baby’s best friend jumping in to play with water as well! YOU Mamma! Splash spray and squirt…have fun, play with water with your baby as you clean up your little one, and have some cuddly moments as baby comes wrapped in a towel right in your arms!
Bath over its time for a sleep? As the baby mobile or the rhyme-toy plays a lullaby, sing to your baby, look into those little bright eyes and bring in the sleep fairy…your baby will love the bed-time ritual, we promise!
Create..take a few old paper sheets and use all kinds of colours you can. Baby crayons are quite a fun way to colour up the day! And sometimes, it’s okay to let your little one get a little dirty, of course under constant adult supervision.
Mumsies, while you’re trying to get back into your relationship as a couple, one of the first steps to start the balancing of roles of mother and partner is to help your little one sleep in the baby room, or nursery.
1. Begin by doing up the room in bright and cheerful colours, something that will instantly appeal to the little one and add a fun element to the room. Use stickers, wall decals and wallpaper to do it up in style.
2. All babies love soft toys, so why not do something creative in the nursery with soft toys? Deck up the shelves, or place them around the floor for baby to want to play with.
3. A colourful and soft play mat will be a sure hit – babies can crawl, sit and play on it, even doze off to sleep! So get one now!
4. Bright and cheery curtains in baby’s favourite characters will prove quite a hit.
5. Why not get a display shelf that allows you to showcase baby’s favourite items?
6. Brighten up the room with some fun lights.
We know that as a working mum, you may not always be around your little one. While a mother is a baby’s first teacher, for times when you’re not by your little one’s side, it’s a good idea to leave an educational toy with your baby, one that will not only be fun, but also help baby learn and explore!
One of the most basic, as well as important, tool to ‘educate’ your child and encourage them to observe, question and understand is TOYS. Your baby’s first joy will be a special toy, and what better way to use learning toys that will not only be fun, but also help them learn as they play! Today, toys are much more than just a play thing. They aid your child’s growth and development, stimulate interest and open a world of ideas and possibilities.
So be sure to pick what’s right for your little one.
Eye-Hand Coordination:Rattles, beaded toys, clip-on toys, balls, bending and twisting toys are all great to help your baby through the first learning stages of eye-hand coordination.
Colours And Shapes:Your little one will not be able to identify colours for the first two months, but after that, it’s going to be a riot of colours and shapes every where the little eyes see. Mobile toys, play gym toys, toys with bright colours and patterns, blocks, rattles with different shape and colour attachments are all a great way to introduce your little darling to the world of colours, shapes and patterns.
Movement: Toys with wheels, dangling toys, balls in different shapes and sizes, wind chimes and skiddy toys are great fun and will help your little one understand and grasp the concept of movement.
Motor & Cognitive Skills: Toys that require stacking and building aid in the development of your child’s reasoning skills, and the concept of maths and numbers. They also help develop hand and finger muscles, thus assisting your child’s motor skills.
Perceptual Skills: Musical toys not only assist your little one in learning music and rhythmic skills, they also encourage sensory tendencies in your baby, thus giving them a creative way of self-expression.
Emotional & Imaginative: Dolls, cartoon toys and puppets can open a world of imagination for your little ones, as they create and enact their own stories and plays. Not only this, toys such as these end up being your child’s comfort toy, with a strong emotional bond being formed.
Educational toys: These can be a fun way of learning. In addition, educational toys also help develop your child’s social skills like sharing, boost creativity and encourage curiosity and exploration.
Social Skills: Multi-player games, especially board games (and there are a host of board games for small babies), can help your child develop social skills, assist in public speaking, leadership qualities and the ability to manage a team. These are not only fun and interesting for your little one, but can also be a source of entertainment to the entire family.
On-screen games: Used in moderation, these are good for developing hand-eye coordination. They also enable your child’s developmental skills like problem-solving, imagination and decision-making.
A good toy should excite and encourage your child at every age. Whether it’s a rattle or a complex board game, if it can’t challenge a growing mind, it’s really no use. FirstCry recommends choosing toys according to the age of your little one. We’ve come up with a list that will help you make an informed choice.
0-6 months: For the first two months, your baby will hardly need any toy. Once they enter the third month, give them toys that will help them see bright colours, hear some music/sound, suck, grasp, shake.
6-12 months: As your babies begin to crawl and explore the world around, give them toys that will help them explore, observe and use hand and leg movements. Let your child play with toys that let them put things in and out, make them understand concepts like up down, big small, let them stack and build.
Ideal toys for this age group are:
- Blocks – big blocks, colour blocks, shape blocks, soft blocks
- Pull Along toys – vehicles, wooden toys, rolling toys,
- Musical Toys – Drums, rattles, chimes
- Books – Picture books, Musical books, Bathing time books, large books
1-2 years: Your baby will now crawl, walk and run! So it’s only natural that their toys too need to keep up with this little bundle of energy. Your baby is also ready to co-ordinate well now, so it is advisable to buy toys that will help them with proper co-ordination.
2-3 years: You will need toys that will enhance their creativity. Since they can identify words, animals or characters now, but things that will interest them
- Books – Picture books, Musical books, large books
- Sorting toys : These are typically where the child can sort and build a character
- Educational DVDs
Remember, toys are never a replacement for the quality time you spend with your little one, so make sure you do a lot of that!
From the time that you introduce your little one to their own room, it will become ‘their’ space, a place they will occupy most of the time while they’re home, a room that will contain all their essentials and knick-knacks. Decorating the nursery is one of the most fun parts of becoming a new parent, and is something that should ideally be done before the baby arrives, while you’re still comfortable moving around, and especially if you’re planning on getting the room re-painted (which in all probability you will).
Ensure that you buy furniture which can be used now, as well as come handy when baby is older. See that the furniture is of medium height, neither too high nor too low, so that your baby can use them as the years pass by. In the initial few months, you too would be spending a considerable time in the nursery, so it needs to be comfortable for you both, and safe and hygienic for your baby.
Before you begin decorating the nursery, you may need to re–paint or use wallpaper. Choose colours that are bright, yet not too loud, like greens, blues, pinks, yellows, oranges, lavender. Doing up the room in neutral colours (other than the clichéd blues and pinks) will help in case of more than one child. You may decorate the walls by using stencil art, stickers, colorful picture frames, child-friendly clocks, patterns, alphabet patterns and much more. Keep space to change and re-do things as little one grows, like making hand-print patterns, framed kid art and the like. You can also use single-sheet story pages and get them framed; not only will these brighten up the room, your baby can later read from the same. Use baby’s pictures, make a family picture tree and mix-and-match the picture frames to create a dramatic wall.
One of the first things you would need when baby comes home is a crib or a baby bed. Go for one that converts into a cot later. For the first few days or weeks, you may want to keep baby near your bed, so get a crib that can attach to your bed, one with a three-way-rail system. Most infant cribs come with pillows and comforters, but if your new-born is sleeping in the crib, make sure to place ALL pillows, throws and comforters outside the crib, as these can cause infant suffocation. Your baby will be comfortable in proper warm sleeping pyjamas, so no added blankets required. Choose the right pillows and bed sets.
If your baby is a little older and can now sleep on a full-size bed, go for a pull-out kid cot or pull-out couch that can accommodate guests later. A bunk-bed is another great option as this will save space and provide adequate sleeping space for multiple kids, kiddie sleep-overs as well as for grown-ups.
As a new mum, you’ll be spending a lot of time in baby’s nursery, so make sure it’s comfortable for you too. If you’re going to feed baby in the nursery, get a comfortable rocking chair to sit in while you feed, and if you want to give those tired feet some rest, get a foot stool. These can later be shifted to your bedroom once baby overgrows feeding. Add cushions and rugs to make it cosy and easy to feed.
Many parents change a baby on the bed, but this is an extremely unhygienic practice. Get a bureau and attach removable rails on top, so that once your baby is out of diapers, you can remove the rails and use it as a storage option instead.
With a baby in the house, you can never have enough storage, so go for smart storage ideas like beds with storage, boxes designed to look like bunk-bed ladders/steps, window seats that can double up as storage. You can also keep a collection of baskets and bins to hold things like toys, board games, diapers, towels, baby bath accessories, art and craft supplies and other small items. If you don’t want to spend on much furniture right now, place low-height plastic storage trays under baby’s crib or bed to hold essentials. Cloth storage racks place alongside the crib or baby bed are a great way to hold essentials.
A nursery is a great place to introduce your baby to reading, so make sure you keep some space for books. Bookshelves, book racks, or a comfortable window-seat converted to a reading area, complete with rugs, cushions, pillows and a handy book basket will help your child’s interest in reading.
While baby will make the transition to a separate room, it’s extremely important to make sure that the lighting in the nursery is adequate – not too bright, yet not very dim. A good idea is to get lights that can be controlled with a regulator, to brighten up when you want to read out stories to little one, and dimmed when baby is sleeping. You can get multiple lamps and shades to make the room interesting and cosy. Sensor-lights are another option that comes handy when your toddler sleeps alone.
An easy-to-wash colourful rug is a good idea to brighten up the room and make a cosy place for baby to play on the floor.
Remember, the nursery should be a reflection of what your baby likes and how it connects to a little one, not just what you like. Though we love doing up a kids’ room, in the end, it’s just that, so it’s okay to go a little overboard, while making sure it’s comfortable, safe, hygienic, stimulating and interesting enough to make baby want to spend time.