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How much active parenting/interaction does an under six month old really need?

(9 Posts)
DitaVonCheese Thu 20-Oct-11 11:22:29

DS is 12 weeks and is a NSC sad By this age my PFB had had six weeks of board books and wasn't too far off baby signing (didn't mean to go so early but I enquired in case there was a waiting list and she said I might as well start going along blush), plus baby massage, swimming etc. DS's entertainment consists of watching DD, watching me wash up, travelling in the car to different places and that's about it. He's just starting to reach out to the toys on his bouncer, doesn't really like being on his playmat yet and isn't very interested when I dangle toys at him, so I generally don't bother yet. He gets to look at a book if I'm reading to DD and he's awake

I'm just worrying constantly that he doesn't get enough attention or interaction or stimulation sad He has his basic needs met: nappy changes, clean dry clothes, boob on demand. We're co-sleeping and he goes in the sling quite a lot. He sleeps quite a lot blush I probably play actively directly with him 3 x 5-10 minutes a day blush plus nappy changes when I chat/blow raspberries. Try to talk to him but struggle to keep up a one-sided conversation.

Is that enough? Feel like I'm not doing this very well sad

throckenholt Thu 20-Oct-11 11:26:19

Babies of that age do sleep a lot - they need to.

And when he is awake he has all the stimulation of a family around him - he really doesn't need much more. When you have an only they don't have so much going on in the home and possibly benefit from going into other situations more (but personally I think it is more to keep the mother sane than anything else !).

Give yourself a break - he is fine and you are doing fine.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 20-Oct-11 11:45:50

That's plenty. That age they're just soaking up all of what's going on around them. If you're talking to them while you're feeeding, changing, and doing things around the house with the occasional game of peek-a-boo that's more than enough entertainment and interaction. Second children are often more chilled than PFBs because circumstances dictate that mum is less full-on with them and leaves them to their own devices more. Wouldn't worry.

DitaVonCheese Thu 20-Oct-11 11:48:15

Thank you both. I am now feeling a bit weepy in that way you do when you are feeling down and someone is nice to you blush He is definitely very chilled smile

BertieBotts Thu 20-Oct-11 11:53:46

You sound like you're doing loads smile I actually think that 2nd/3rd/etc children have it better - what they want or need at this age is to be close to you and be able to nose at what everyone is doing. They are learning about the world and what humans do and what it means to be a human in our culture smile With the first there isn't generally much for them to watch, because there are no siblings, and you're usually at home on your own if partner is working. So you end up doing stuff with them to sort of make up for the fact they don't have much human interaction to observe.

I didn't really talk to DS until he could make some kind of communication back blush it doesn't seem to have harmed him, he talks constantly now, and quite well for his age, so I'm told.

LingDiLong Thu 20-Oct-11 12:09:26

Agree with the others - sounds like you're doing plenty. He's only just stopped being a newborn after all! Believe me, once they NEED more they soon let you know. My 2nd and 3rd children were very happy with minimal entertainment at that age, they became much more demanding as they got older.

lucindapie Thu 20-Oct-11 13:50:48

here is a really interesting blog entry about how babies really don't get as bored as we think they do, it's all about how they really make their own entertainment by watching things, and learning about their environment, and if we don't interupt them it helps them to develop good attention spans.

http://www.janetlansbury.com/2009/09/the-myth-of-baby-boredom/

throckenholt Thu 20-Oct-11 14:40:39

if you think about it - the whole world is new and stimulating to a baby. What is ordinary to us is totally unknown to them. Their brain is busy making sense of it all. That is partly why they need so much sleep.

eeyore2 Thu 20-Oct-11 14:48:03

Also the whole reason you did so much with the first was that it is agonising to be stuck in all day with just a newborn at home - precisely BECAUSE there's not much interaction you can really do with them! I remember guiltily having the laptop with bbc iplayer on the coffee table or radio 4 in the background while I waved a rattle at ds on his playmat when he was around 6 weeks old, just because how much rattling and one sided talking can any sane person do???? Now I am expecting a second I there will be no need for distraction because there'll be a whole family life going on around us, which will (hopefully) also be interesting for dc2 to watch.

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