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How (and how much) should I be playing with my baby?

(12 Posts)
TwitchyTail Sat 04-May-13 20:07:58

Sorry for the daft sounding question. I'm a first time mother to a 10 week old son (he was a month early so developmentally probably less than that). I've never had anything to do with babies before and haven't got a clue what to do with him beyond feeding and changing his nappy. People I ask in real life seem to think it's obvious and intuitive and are no bloody help at all

I have books, baby gyms, toys, nursery rhyme CDs, and have been chucking them all at DS in a haphazard fashion, trying to entertain him. I don't know how much time I should be spending directly playing with him versus just cuddling while watching TV, going for walks in the pram etc. Or how much he should be left to look at dangly toys and entertain himself. I have no idea if he is under-stimulated, over-stimulated, or somewhere in between confused

Please could someone tell me, in real idiot's terms, what I should be doing?

glenthebattleostrich Sat 04-May-13 20:10:14

Pick your baby up, cuddle him, talk and sing to him. That's pretty much all he needs right now. I loved popping DD in a sling and taking her for a walk. Or just pottering around the house.

As he gets older and is more able to interact with things let him explore fabrics and soft toys. Look into heuristic play too, basically a fancy way of saying chuck a load of bits in a box and let baby have an explore!!

Bumpsadaisie Sat 04-May-13 20:24:30

Congrats on your DS.

At this age he is quite happy to be cuddling while you watch TV. The reason you feel you don't know what to do is probably that he is so young he hasn't yet started "leading" you to play/do more stimulating stuff with him.

Don't worry too much anyway. My DS is my second child, I never played or consciously stimulated him at all, he spent most of his early infancy parked in his bouncy chair while his toddler sister ran wild around him (I grant that that must have been quiet stimulating in itself grin). He seems to be a happy enough chap now.

TwitchyTail Sat 04-May-13 22:14:57

Thank you so much glen and Bumpsadaisie - that's really reassuring. Cuddles and singing I can do smile Bumpsadaisie, I think you're exactly right with him being too young to lead - not sure why that didn't occur to me before.

I'll relax and stop waving Lamaze toys in his little face all day.

Bumpsadaisie Sun 05-May-13 08:39:04

Enjoy him! When he is really ready for playing I think he will make it obvious to you by giggling and gurgling and going mad when you do sth he likes, to make you do it again. Lovely times ahead smile

MummyJetsetter Sun 05-May-13 10:18:07

Ha ha I felt the exact same way! Playing in front of him and basically feeling stupid doing it! After a few days of this I realised he didn't care and was happy just looking at things so I'd just put nice pictures near him, he liked the tv right away too and just gym and bouncy chair were the main entertainment. I felt bad like I was neglecting him but he didn't care, there's plenty of time where he won't leave you alone so enjoy it whilst it's easy! x

BiscuitMillionaire Sun 05-May-13 10:24:24

Yes, don't stress about it. The first 12 weeks are the '4th trimester', aren't they? When he starts interacting more with you - smiling and laughing and holding things - then you'll naturally want to play with him a bit because it's fun. Peekaboo (hiding yourself or him behind something, then revealing yourself or him and saying boo!) is a good one.

shufflehopstep Sun 05-May-13 10:46:20

Congratulations flowers. Enjoy him being a tiny baby - there's nothing like it.

As others have said, at 10 weeks, he's probably happy just to be around you. He'll be stimulated enough by what's going on - everything's new to him. Go for walks with him, sit outside and watch the world go by.

My DD is 1yo later this month and she's probably only been interested in playing for the last 4 months really. At 10 weeks old, we went to stay with a friend for the weekend and she spent most of the time sleeping. We didn't even get a baby gym until she was 3 months old as she was just starting to reach out for toys. At Christmas, she was 7 months and received lots of toys but even then, I would say it's only been from 8 months onwards where there's been proper interaction with them and she'll sit "talking" to herself and playing with things (usually in the way that makes the most amount of noise wink).

As long as you're talking and engaging with him, you'll be fine. I used to put her in a bouncy chair in the kitchen doorway while I washed up and had the radio on in the background. She just watched me and smiled or laughed when I sang along to whatever was on the radio.

shufflehopstep Sun 05-May-13 10:51:24

BiscuitMillionaire The best feeling ever was when DD started playing Peepo with me, unprompted. She'd just had a bath and I had one towel laid out for her to lie on and another to dry her with and she just started pulling it up over her eyes and then quickly peeping out. As soon as I realised what she was doing, I started saying "Peepo!" every time she brought it down and she screamed out in fits of giggles. It was hilarious and cute and just beautiful all at once. grin

dizzy77 Sun 05-May-13 10:59:57

I felt the same when my DS was small - had all the Lamaze toys, the black and white sensory books etc... DS was 3-4 months really before he started interacting with any of it, and as he grew older and developed further (eg able to sit up and hold things at around 6 months) it was great watching the different things he tried.

Eventually relaxed and just focussed on involving him in my day, chattering/singing/giving a running commentary etc.

TwitchyTail Sun 05-May-13 11:50:21

Thank you everyone smile That's really helpful. I feel much better now! Will try the suggestions for involving him in everyday stuff more.

Purplecatti Sun 05-May-13 19:00:37

At 10 weeks dd enjoyed:
Smiling and looking at squeaky toys
The mirror
The chimey music on mobiles
Just being cuddled and having 'conversations'
Looking at the world from her wrap carrier

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