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What do you do with an 8 week old?

(22 Posts)
TransatlanticCityGirl Thu 01-Sep-11 14:23:33

I'm wondering how other mums spend time with their young babies. At 8 weeks old, my DD is spending more and more time awake but is not old enough to have much of an attention span.

We play on her playmat for around 10-15 minutes before she has had enough, we sing songs, say nursery rhymes, read her books (the baby ones that typically have only 3 words in them so it doesn't take long!), massage her, give her cuddles and play games like 'this little piggy'... Put her in her swing and take her for walks... But all of the above doesn't take long and there are still significant number of hours left before Daddy gets home.

I know it's ok for baby to do nothing and we are not trying to over stimulate her, but equally she seems to get bored and ratty after 10-15 minutes of just sitting there so I'm constantly having to find new things to do with her, even if it's just moving her from my lap to my shoulder. I'm finding this whole maternity leave thing rather dull as there are limited ways for me to spend time with her and she never settles long enough for me to entertain myself.

So I wonder what do you or did you do with your young babies to pass the time?

AngryFeet Thu 01-Sep-11 14:27:03

I just went to lunch with friends and took them in the buggy, watched TV while they lay on the floor on a activity mat, cuddled them. Babies that age need little more than food and cuddles from you, sleep and maybe a trip out in the buggy every now and then. Honestly just do what you want and take baby along. You have years ahead of you where you really need to entertain them. Take advantage of this time! smile

Albrecht Sat 03-Sep-11 12:26:57

Oh man I remember this. You've done all your activities by 9.45am and you have no idea how to fill the rest of the time. Its like being in a crap job, clock watching some of the time!

At that age all they need is you, your face, your voice. We used to sit up on the sofa, prop ds on your legs and make faces, chat, peekaboo etc. Then do something you want to - what do you like doing? - shopping, museums, walking, just take her along as long as you have supplies and know where your nearest changing room is.

Meet some other mums for coffee or lunch, ds is very interetsed in other children and someone might even hold her so you can eat!

Go to the library every week to get new books. She is too young to rip pages out so you can get her older children's books and read anything to her, maybe something you liked as a child.

Go round your neighbourhood / house explaining the history of everything, who lives there, where you got this picture frame from etc. Sit her in bouncy chair and explain how to do chores you have to do.

I don't think they get bored at this age, more uncomfortable and just need to be close to you. It gets a lot easier when they can grab stuff and sit up and later crawl and you don't have to be director of entertainment all the time.

Octaviapink Sat 03-Sep-11 18:59:23

Good grief I never bothered trying to entertain mine! The outside world is plenty stimulation enough - otherwise you run the risk of a) overstimulation and b) needing you to interact with them the whole time. Put her outside on a blanket under a tree and she'll be quite happy. Or wear her in a sling (which she'll like anyway) and then she can watch everything you're doing.

plinkplonk Sat 03-Sep-11 19:39:48

Yes, just go out and sit in coffee shops. Babies just like being carried around, so do what you want. Bouncy chairs a godsend (Baby Bjorn one is pricey but brilliant) for when you are at home, as are play gyms.

It's easier when you are on your second and have a nice mums' network sorted out - then you really do just go out and drink coffee.

mawbroon Sat 03-Sep-11 19:48:57

At 8 weeks, I pretty much did what I wanted and the ds's had to come along too in the sling.

MidnightHag Sat 03-Sep-11 20:01:43

Get out and about: babies love watching the action around them!

RitaMorgan Sat 03-Sep-11 20:09:07

I never did any games/entertainment/activities - ds has always been good at entertaining himself, whether that is a direct result I don't know!

As others have said, we napped a lot, met friends for coffee/lunch, went to baby cinema showings (showings that you can take babies too rather than showings of baby movies), watched TV with him in bouncy chair/on playmat, went shopping. I also went to a couple of baby/new parent groups at Children's centres to get out and meet people, and did a baby massage course through the CC too.

SiamoFottuti Sat 03-Sep-11 20:10:42

I watched tv, knitted, went out, went to the cinema. I never did anything specifically with them as babies.

2cats2many Sat 03-Sep-11 20:11:38

Go to a nice cafe and read the paper! In 12 months time, you won't be able to do it, so take your chance now!!

Nagoo Sat 03-Sep-11 20:13:55

Yep, do what you want to do. Don't sit around the house. Mine at that age would sleep when and wherever so I got on with my day and they came too. Don't rely on the baby as entertainment as that only works for 10 mins at a time.

bejeezus Sat 03-Sep-11 20:16:43

put in creche at leisure centre and go to the gym...used to walk there and back so it was a 3-4 hour round trip. That way you get to have a shower in peace also! and baby gets used to other people/babies

Zimbah Sat 03-Sep-11 20:17:38

I'm on DD2 who is now 3.5 months, and on the two days a week that DD1's at nursery I wonder the same thing! Mostly what I was doing around 8 weeks was watching television while I fed her or she slept on my lap. She would sit in her bouncy chair while I do chores, then when she was bored I put her in the sling and she was quite happy staying in that for ages. There are loads of different kinds of slings you can try, I've got a Moby wrap which is much more comfortable than the Baby Bjorn style.

I do remember it being very hard to fill the days when DD1 was a baby (except for with the endless, endless walking in the buggy that was the only way she would sleep), although I had a few mum friends it wasn't enough to meet up every day so it was fairly boring and lonely. Try Sure Start, local playgroups, NCT coffee mornings, anything just to fill the time really, it doesn't matter if the baby sleeps or just watches what's going on it's more to give you something to do so you don't go mad.

DedalusDigglesPocketWatch Sat 03-Sep-11 20:44:36

When I had dd we used to go out a lot and then spent the afternoons cuddled up watching Midsommer Murders.

I used to think of her as my little companion, I would still do my thing but she would be there too. A completely different story once dc2 arrived (frazzled) grin

pointydog Sat 03-Sep-11 20:57:57

Concentrate on things that you can do and take the baby along. Find out about baby/toddler groups, visit friends if any are about during the day, that sort of thing.

TransatlanticCityGirl Sat 03-Sep-11 21:24:29

Thanks for all the ideas. I must wonder though.. is my DD particularly fidgety? I've been taking her along to cafes / restaurants to meet up with friends etc, and I find it quite stressful when she's having one of those days, crying and fussing the entire time. Of course it's not like that every day... but it's a bit like playing Russian Roulette.

Equally, I often try to put her on her play mat or in her swing while I do things around the house, take a shower, or otherwise get on with things, and it almost never fails... just as I start to do what I'm doing, she wails.

Although I do manage to make it out of the house at least once per day, half the battle seems to be getting myself out the door. I struggle to get showered, dressed, and packed up until I'm organised with military precision.

I guess I just need to get on with it and suck up the crying!

mrshotrod Sat 03-Sep-11 22:10:39

I had a fidgety, ratty, quickly bored one. He was the one who cried when ever we were with other mums and babies. I always felt a bit crap at it all. When he was a little older I was forever moving his bouncy chair round to change his view whilst I hung out washing etc. It does get a little irksome, but they change, and then you realise how good some bits of those early days were! Mine also never crawled so used to yell and scream cos he couldn't reach stuff and/or entertain himself. Now that was frustrating.
I used to congratulate myself on every morning nap with DS. I would manage to get him to go down in cot, then shower, dress, pack bag etc and then I could 'escape' for a few hours. Oh how I now miss those long pram walks. When he was older he had to be in chair in bathroom with me cooing at him from around the shower curtain every five seconds till he was getting really pissed off.
With DC no 2 baby Bjorn (ebay, £15) has been a god-send so far, mainly to get her to sleep. At 9 weeks she can't manage to stay awake more than an hour without getting majorly over awed by everything around her and crying till she sleeps.

bilblio Sat 03-Sep-11 23:09:27

Keep a bag packed ready to go at all times, re-pack it as soon as you get back from anywhere. It seems so much easier to do then when you know what you've used than when you're desperate to get out of the house.

Also as others have said invest in a sling, then you can get on with all the other things around the house and DD will be entertained just watching. My DD had colic, so evenings at first were spent pacing around because she'd only be quiet when she was upright and moving. Life became so much easier when I thought of putting her in the sling, then I could hoover, bake, tidy up, and she was relatively happy.

Finally, accept that showers will be 2 minute affairs, sometimes with a baby crying on the bathroom floor. Save the long soaks and hair washing until DD is either definitely asleep, and likely to stay that way. Or until someone else is around to entertain her.

Octaviapink Sun 04-Sep-11 08:03:57

TransatlanticCityGirl you don't need to suck up the crying at all! (Crying is bad for babies.) You just have to take her with you. No baby likes to be left alone. SLING HER!! The Close Baby Carrier is very good.

I never bothered with coffee shop meet-ups - they seemed massively stressful affairs. Nobody really had a good time and nobody could do what they really wanted to, which was focus on their baby. It's one of those things that sounds good on paper but doesn't really work for most people unless their baby's actually asleep. There's a very good book called What Mothers Do (Even When It Looks Like Nothing) which is all about putting a name to the days when you feel like all you've done is be with the baby and haven't done anything else!

broomformychin Sun 04-Sep-11 08:29:55

My dd is 7 weeks old and I spent the first 6 weeks trying to entertain her and do different things with her while trying to work out why she seemed so fidgety and grumpy. I then read a book that pointed out babies under 3 months need at least 16 hours sleep in 24 hours I realised she wasn't bored she was just tired and couldn't get herself to sleep, I've since been making sure that she gets more sleep (usually by putting her in the sling and going for a walk) and she's seemed much happier. Admittedly this still isn't much fun and I also find myself counting the hours til daddy comes home

loubuch09 Sun 04-Sep-11 13:51:43

Ifeel exactly the same, i have a coliky baby who gets herself overtired and then sweats majorly....Ihave a sling but most days does feel like a real battle to keep her happy and get her out the door for my own sanity. I am just hoping it will get easier and more enjoyable. I am by no means suffering from post natal depression but can so see how people do.

Albrecht Mon 05-Sep-11 12:04:11

Sometimes you need to go out in order to be grateful to get home wink! If coffee or lunch out is hard, it'll help to get to know someone well enough that you can go round their house instead, for a change of scene but homely environment.

And ds would not go under his gym long enough for the loo never mind a shower, so we had a bath together in the evening and dh took him out while I got to soak (sometimes we swopped roles). Now I have a nice long bath or quick shower in the evening once he's asleep and dh can deal with any wake ups. Its easier to change your habits than theirs.

It really does get easier, when they smile when you bring out a toy or book etc. I just sat on a beanbag for ages watching crap property tv while he pulled the contents of the kitchen drawers out (move all the unsafe stuff out of reach and what is left are fascinating objects!). Place is a mess but he's happy and I get a rest.

I found the early days miserable, shackled to an unresponsive alien. He's just gradually turned into a funny person. If you don't love it now, don't worry, they change completely by the time they are a year.

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