If you are like me, after my babies finally made their debut into our live, I was stuck at first, what am I suppose to do with them all day? During my twins infant years they slept, ate, and needed changing enough to keep us occupied. However as they begin to grow and I could no longer leave them on the bed without keeping a close eye on them I had to come up with a plan. Here are some things that you can do with your 6 -12 month old child.
The Most Important
- Be patient. Your child will reach his or her milestones all in due time. Don’t rush it, enjoy each moment as they arrive and cherish the little things that your child learns to do.
- Nurture. You and your child need to build a loving bond. Hold, protect, teach, love, hug, kiss, etc just make sure that your relationship is growing and your child feels secure.
- Introduce. Your baby is new to life and every little thing in it, so introduce your child to new things. Help your child explore the world, together you can begin a journey that will be never ending, and always building.
- Create. Tap into your fun creative and/ crafty side and make beautiful memories. There is no cookie cutter that will slice perfection. Try to use every moment as an educational or fun opportunity for you and your child grow.
- Enjoy. The memories will be etched in your mind forever so take lots of pictures because children grow up so fast.
Putting the 5 Into Action: Activities
1. If your infant is crying, explore the root of the matter. Ask these questions:
- Does my child need to be changed?
- Does my child need to be fed?
- Does my child need to be put to sleep?
- Is my child hot or cold?
- Is my child afraid?
- Is my child lonely?
- Does my child need to be entertained?
2. Talk to your child/children even when they cannot respond. Babies are comforted by your voice because they heard it continually while in your womb. Sing songs, tell them what you are doing. I use to tell my children everything that I was engaged in. I described my actions using numbers, colors, shapes whatever came to mind.
3. During bath time I taught my children about their body parts. As I washed each part I told them what it was. I tried to make every moment fun even though I was still teaching them.
4.Listen to your baby as he or she coos, laugh, respond, and at times you may also want imitate him or her so they feel comfortable making noises around you.
5. Read often. I started reading to my babies before they were born. As they grow expand their book selection so they can learn new words. Some authors my children enjoyed during infancy was Eric Carle, Dr Seuss, E.B. White, Frank Asch, etc.
6. When you go out with your child describe and explain. While driving talk to your child about the cars, signs, lights, etc. Tell them about the world. While walking, talk about the things you see such as trees, homes, grass, flowers, etc. In the grocery store show and describe the food you see. Tell them about which foods are the healthiest, when they are older your words will be etched on their hearts and they will began to understand the “why” behind their choices.
7. Get on the floor during tummy time and pretend to swim. Add stuff animals and go on a dive quest telling them about the underwater sea creatures. Don’t be afraid to be silly.
8. Teach about textures and shapes from things that are around. Take a box and add different materials so that your child can pull them out and feel the differences.
9. Let your child eat soft foods and tell them what they are (This activity depends on how soft the food is – you may want to try this between 8-12 months). What comes to mind right now is cut kiwis, chopped bananas, cooked soft carrots, cheerios, cut tofu, cut avocados, soft pasta, etc. Visit Kids Health to learn more about food options. Little City Kitchen Co. Blog also has a great post called “Beyond Steaming: Flavorful Cooking Methods for Homemade Baby Food.”
10. Create puppet stories or stories that you act out. At this age children enjoy visual learning as well. Tell your child about shapes that you see around the house. You can also make shapes out of sponges that you can use to aid you teaching lessons.
Visit Fun and Engaging Activities for Toddlers for more information on very cool activities that you can do with your child.
Quote, I want you to remember – True compassion is cultivated when you parent.