9 month old - how to fill the days??

(18 Posts)
StinkusMinkus Thu 01-May-14 15:45:28

Increasingly despairing at what to do with my nine month old.

He can't crawl yet (rolls, commando crawls and starting to push up onto knees) and although he 'can' sit unaided he can't push himself into a sitting position, and is extremely blasé about keeping his balance often crashing his head back into wooden floors.

I'm just running out of ideas of what to do with him - already take him swimming three times a week, and several times to a yummy mummy outdoor indoor garden club....I just don't know how else to fill the long, long, LONG days. He's too young for soft play, gym babes etc. Likewise the park he's too small for still really. He likes a book at bedtime but otherwise really isn't interested. And you've got no hope of him sitting with you - he's really not a cuddly boy.

I've just gotten into the habit of putting a few toys out on the floor, and letting him roll/shuffle about until the grizzle level gets too annoying - which is great for practicing his crawling, but I feel like I'm ignoring him and he gets bored very quickly.

Please no suggestions for walks. I hate walks that have no point to them i.e walking him to the park when he can't actually use any of the equipment etc. Plus I try not to keep him strapped into a pushchair too much during the week; we're out quite a bit on weekends and I try to compensate for this during the week.

I'm just really getting sick of this stage where he can't do anything. I'm great with older kids - painting, games, activities etc, I just have no idea what to do with him at this very annoying stage where he's too old to just lay raptly like a baby but too young to tumble around like a toddler.

YussMinister Thu 01-May-14 15:50:24

I sympathise! My 9mo could crawl but we had the same long days to fill and not enough young-age appropriate ideas.

Letting him lie/sit around with some toys and books and entertain himself for a while is no bad thing, keep trying it.

Your post makes it sound like you spend a lot of time alone - have you many mum friends locally? Tried any playgroups? Lots of Children's Centres and NCT groups have specific "under 1s playgroups". There might be a mums group online on Facebook?

StinkusMinkus Thu 01-May-14 16:01:37

YussMinisister - yes you're right, I do spend most days alone other than when we're at some activity. I'm lucky in that I'm in a SE commuter town, so a lot more options than most places - but I'm still desperately hunting for more activities to fill our days (can't wait until he's 'sitting confidently' just so I can add GymBabes to the list).

No mum friends at all. I don't know anyone here. All my old friends 'pre baby' were either work or interest related ie book groups, theatre friends etc. I'm rubbish at chatting to people about chitty chatty things - the couple of mums groups I went to were a compete disaster. Similarly people have tried chatting with me at swimming but I have no idea of how to keep a 'what a lovely swimsuit' costume going; I just launch into a spiel about baby wetsuits, markets into baby wet wear and trends in out-of-season retailing. I suck at small talk.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 01-May-14 20:52:47

I'd try the baby groups again, you don't have to go looking for friends. Someone on here once likened the mums at playgroups as colleagues. You are both doing the same job, and you can usually find something to talk about, even if its just asking if they know of any good places to go locally. Do you think it would help if you went along to something like the local nct? If its anything like ours, they give you a cuppa and a biscuit and you can just sit there for a while if you choose and get a feel for the conversation. Things like sleepless nights, 9 month sleep regression, what the local schools are like, weaning and holidays will probably be good topics smile

Don't think that letting him play is a bad thing either. How about trying him with a treasure basket? Have you got a jumperoo or door bouncer? My DS loved his at this age and it gave me a 10 min break to have a brewsmile

Agree too about checking out your children's centre, ours has activities most days. Does your library run any activities too? Our local wildlife trust also do regular play sessions.

Have a look at what's on offer on your MN local. If you are feeling brave you could always park yourself on the friendship bench and see if anyone fancies meeting up smile

Know you aren't keen on walks, but how about packing a rug and a picnic and going to the park? That might kill an hour smile

Other things are water play, nursery rhymes, stick him in a box and push him around, go into the garden or park and blow some bubbles, make jelly and put it on his highchair tray and let him play with it (also works with spaghetti and baked beans) hold him by his hands and swing him so he 'kicks' a soft football. Saucepans and a wooden spoon were always a big hit here and you could always stick him in an empty bath for some messy play.

Have you got a little paddling pool too? You could put play balls in it now and water when it warms up.

Is there a baby signing class nearby? You might find your time together a bit more interesting if he can sign to you.

Have you tried the magic scarf box?

Could you try a theme like they do in early years education? If he likes animals you could plan a visit to the local children's farm, go and feed the ducks, go to the library and find sone animal books etc. For transport you could plan a bus trip and a train trip, maybe look for fire station open days etc.

Hope you find something that suits you in all of the blathering smile

Sunflower1985 Thu 01-May-14 20:52:50

Got me a 9mo ds.
We've been to soft play from under 6mo. There's often an area for younger ones and it's cheaper for non-walkers.
We do messy play - jelly/spaghetti/cold porridge on a mat on the floor and see what happens. Water play (aka sit him in a big bucket with his bath toys in the garden). Singing - group and I make up my own set list. Lots of actions. Finger painting. Dancing (wiggling) to music.
I'm comfortable letting him watch tv so I've started on Disney.

Oh and napping, of course. Hth

DIYandEatCake Thu 01-May-14 20:58:01

Do you have any children's centres near you? They usually have 'stay and play' sessions that are pretty relaxed, you just go, have a cup of tea and play with your baby and there's a good chance you'll meet another like-minded mum. You really need some adult company when you have a 9 month old! Could you meet a pre-baby friend for lunch or a coffee after work?
Perhaps think of other mums as colleagues - you don't have to be best mates, some of them you have lots in common with and others nothing at all, but you can still enjoy a chat now and then. And playing alongside other babies will be good for your ds too, especially as he gets a bit older.
At 9 months your ds could go in the swings at the playground - my dd loved that at a similar age - and you could hold him and whoosh him down a slide. When the weather gets warmer you can take a picnic lunch out to a park, let him watch the world go by/crawl about on the grass.

TheBookofRuth Thu 01-May-14 21:01:11

I'm also in a SE commuter town, but was still in London when DD was that age and we used to get on buses and see where we ended up, then have a poke about the shops, museums, cafés etc. Even now we sometimes get on trains and go have a mooch about other towns, see what there is to see.

I don't think little ones really need constant entertainment and stimulation at that age, they seem to just like being with you. I rather miss our London adventures.

mummytime Thu 01-May-14 21:16:11

When my eldest was little we lived near the railway line - it was great for distraction "Oh look there's a train".
Can you take him on buses, trains even in the car.
Look at the local board here (and maybe even the other place). The library may have ideas. Maybe even use the creche at the sports centre and go for a swim etc. yourself.

Being bored and ignored can be very good for children!

fanjobiscuits Thu 01-May-14 21:17:57

Great ideas here, making notes. I have found bubbles, walking round supermarkets, going to places baby can watch other children, and baby led weaning good ways to use time. Also putting baby in a sling and doing stuff around the house. Face timing dad at work. Bouncing (manual). Taking round house and garden and showing random things. Pointing at things and saying what they are.

girliefriend Thu 01-May-14 21:26:39

The nct are quite good for meeting other mums and libaries normally do some sort of baby group activities.

Do you have much of a daytime routine?

It never felt like a particularily long day as at that age dd was still sleeping an hour in the morning and two in the afternoons, also with fitting in 3 meals a day and the bedtime routine there was really only a few hours left to fill!!!

I think I used to take my dd out in the buggy for walks or to the park all the time, even if just to get half hr of fresh air! She loved the swings from 6 months ish.

TheABC Thu 01-May-14 21:28:17

Some great suggestions - I am taking notes. My 10month old loves wriggling his toes in sandpits, so you might want try that too. I would also relish the peace whilst you have it; as soon as he is crawling confidently, you will be running after him [Grin].

I am crap at baby group talk as well. I just go to the ones that interest me now, such as the sling meet. Rather than focus on just baby stuff, why not look at things you would enjoy doing as well? Arts, crafts, library book clubs, etc. As long as you have good and toys, your baby won't mind!

StinkusMinkus Fri 02-May-14 12:32:04

Great suggestions.

He's got a paddling pool/ball pit which I'm looking forward to putting out in the garden this summer for water play as he loves swimming and playing in the bath. Also want to get him a sand/water table once he can stand independently.

Think I may start taking him to soft play to watch the other kids; he's completely in awe of the children he sees at swimming lessons. Today, two small boys (about 4yo) were confidently swimming across the width of the pool - he was super impressed!

kalidasa Fri 02-May-14 12:50:08

I found it a difficult stage too and I was back at work by that point so didn't even have to fill the days during the week. It's much better once they are more mobile, DS cheered up a lot once he could really get around.

Definitely check our libraries (a lot of them have 'rhyme time' and big children's libraries often have good floor space and toys too). If he falls asleep you get a chance to choose a book for yourself too or read the paper.

Children's centre is a good suggestion.

At this age DS couldn't do that much but loved watching other people, especially bigger children, so e.g. a busy cafe with lots of children would amuse him for a while sitting in his high chair. He enjoyed his childminder's because she had several bigger toddlers he could watch rampaging around.

He was also an enthusiastic eater and would enjoy sharing a biscuit or trying a bit of omelette or something. He liked water play too, I definitely recommend the paddling pool/washing up bowl approach - especially with one of those wet-suit jacket things for babies which helps keep them warm.

If you're at home, at this stage DS enjoyed "things" more than toys really - stuff like plastic bowls, wooden spoons, empty small jars filled with lentils, anything that could make a noise or that he could stir. We have one cupboard in the kitchen that only has plastic/unbreakable stuff in that he can empty.

Also, dare I say it, the ipad!

BB01 Fri 02-May-14 13:51:59

You sound like me a few weeks ago, before DD started crawling!! I'd say don't to keep looking at diff baby classes and groups. Have a look on fbook for particular types of groups that may interest you. Often once you've joined one, others will pop up. For example I joined my local La Leche group for some breastfeeding support early on and have found it very sociable. Through that I've found a natural parenting group that I like too. I also posted on the fbook page of the first group asking for advice on something and ended up meeting up with some of the people who have gave advice. Round here there are some groups more aimed at the mums but you can take the baby eg buggy fit or singing for mums. Other ideas are getting a baby sign dvd or similar, playing with puppets, singing along to nursery rhymes from a cd or YouTube, doing dances or funny faces in the mirror, sensory stuff such as those emergency foil blankets and scarves, buy a cheap ballpit, feed ducks at the park and train journeys can be really fun for them.

BB01 Fri 02-May-14 13:52:33

Sorry, supposed to read 'keep looking at baby groups'!!

CheeseEMouse Fri 02-May-14 13:59:27

My daughter is super nosy so we spend a fair bit if time people watching in a local coffee shop and I stand her on my lap. She also enjoys going on the underground or a train.

We also play endless games of cups (build, knock down, repeat) and I can occupy her by sitting her in front of her toy bin as she fishes things out.

Also, if you have wooden floors, have you considered getting some of those foam mat things - cushions the impact of a wobbly baby losing balance?

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 02-May-14 15:24:02

Have a look to see if there is a Monkey Music class near to you too. Both my DC loved Monkey Music at that age smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 02-May-14 21:38:42

Is there a zoo or city farm near to you? If you aren't keen on walks without a purpose, how about buying an annual pass for a local attraction and walking around there?

Alternatively, you could always look on the walks as a way to get fit. I managed to loose my baby tum by sticking DS in his pushchair and walking up a massive hill at least twice a week.

If you are worried about him being in the buggy too much, have you considered getting a pushchair where he can face you so that you can chat as you walk around?

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