As a new mom, when I had my first child, I sometimes found myself a bit bored. I had chosen to be a stay-at-home mom, which was a decision I did not regret, but there were definitely days that went very slowly before Carter was old enough to enjoy a trip to the park or a play date with his other little baby friends. I found myself struggling to fill the days at times, so I set out to find things that Carter and I could do together to help fill the time. Here are some of the things we did:
- We read. This may seem obvious to some of you, but it wasn’t to me at first. Now, I know that it really is never too early to read to your children. It is so good for their development! Not only do they see the picture and hear the words, but they learn to sit still in your lap for a period of time, which helps tremendously at church, restaurants, and other places where your little one will need to be still and quiet for a bit.
- We went for walks and bike rides. I needed the exercise, and I think we both needed the fresh air. Walks and bike rides helped me stay in shape, but they were also entertaining for Carter. It is definitely worth investing in a good jogging stroller and bike carrier at your local Babies R Us. Biking and walking allowed us to easily go exploring together throughout our town.
- We went for coffee dates. I have always loved small town coffee shops, so I decided to plan a “coffee date day” once a week. At first, Carter was too young to get anything, but as he got older, he looked forward to his coffee shop muffin each week. Our once a week coffee dates have continued as I have had more children, and it is by far the highlight of our week. So glad I started this tradition when Carter was tiny!
- We went to the park. Carter might have been too small to slide or swing, but we went to the park anyway. At the park, I was able to meet other moms. Some of them had babies Carter’s age and some had older babies, but I met some of my best friends at the local park. It wasn’t long before Carter was old enough to have fun playing at the park, but at first, he was just glad for the fresh air and change of scenery, but that’s okay too.
- We went shopping. Carter and I did all kinds of shopping when he was a baby. Sometimes it was Walmart for groceries, and other times it was Kohl’s for clothes. I am so glad I did this because as he got older, he was used to shopping with me. He still had his issues, but because he had been shopping with me since babyhood, he is still very easy to shop with today.
The main thing I learned was that even if a baby is too young to really participate in an activity, they can still tag along. It will not only help them to enjoy the activity later, but it also helps them grow and develop. If you’re a stay-at-home mom or even just home on maternity leave, don’t feel like you’re stuck inside with your little one. Incorporate them into everyday life things. It will be good for them, but it will be especially good for you.