How to entertain a 3 month old(59 Posts)
This is probably a really stupid question but I'm a first time mum and have no clue what I'm doing.
My dd has just turned 3 months and has suddenly become very fussy during the day. Before this she wasn't really interested in anything. I'd show her toys and talk to her but she just had this blank stare. The HV suggested she might even be deaf! (She isn't).
Now she seems to want to be entertained all the time and if I leave her for even a minute to get a drink she cries and often becomes inconsolable which I find quite hard to deal with.
I read to her and get her to hold soft toys but I think both of us get quite bored of this. I'm wondering if there are other activities I should be doing with her now that she is more responsive.
I used to put mine in a bouncy chair and take them round the house with me and chat whilst I cooked/cleaned/showered etc I know some people swear by slings - I never got on with them, but you might want to give it a try.
We had a few sessions of playing with toys on the floor. Rather than plain soft toys, try things that rattle, or with buttons to push, things that pop up etc. Your dd won't be able to do things herself yet, but you can help/encourage.
We tried to go for a walk each day, as well as a separate outing - baby group/library/park/friends/swimming etc
they both seemed to enjoy singing/music/dancing
Mine loved her playmat at that age - had a toy arch over the top. She would lie on her back and stare at the toys and begin to bat at them. Ours had lights and a rainforest soundtrack but a simpler one would have been just as interesting. Also worth watching out for overtiredness - at 3 months it's easy to overstimulate them!
This is such an annoying stage as they get bored quickly but can't play or even hold things themselves. Luckily it's only a month or so before you can at least hand them a toy to shake themselves. In the meantime I suggest just going out a lot and using a play mat when you get really sick of peekaboo and rattling stuff in front of them.
Do you have one of those floor gym things? They lie on their backs and bat around at the dangly bits. Or pop her on her tummy for a few mins (I used to use a cushion to prop ds up) and investigate some crinkly toys together. Lamaze toys are great and can be attached to Parma/pushchairs etc. I think around that age they become more aware of their surroundings so it's all new to them. You could also pop her in a sling and take her for a walk, show her the neighbourhood. Being snuggled up warm and near you will help calm fussiness (and she might well nap in it too).
Is she bf? Could be a growth spurt- I seem to remember feeding a lot at that time! Not sure how it works with ff as to feeding on demand but sticking a boob in usually calmed my chap when he fussed (although not always).
They get more fun when they can crawl but I sometimes miss just curling up with ds watching to when he was tiny.
Really great suggestions. I hadn't thought of a playmat, I'll definitely look into getting one.
I try and get her to nap about twice a day but she really fights it and I end up having to take her out in the pram to get her to sleep (then I get home and have to get her up the huge front door step without waking her!)
Yeah she's breastfed. Some days I feel like a spend all day feeding and others she doesn't seem interested and I'm leaking all over the place.
If anyone has any sling suggestions that would be great. I bought one but really didn't get on with it. I can't remember what it was called but it was like a hammock that you wore across one shoulder. She hated it and it really hurt my back! We had a carrier but she's outgrown it now. She loves being picked up and I'm not very strong!
I'd suggest finding a baby group that runs in the morning, entertaining a baby at home is hard and IME was mind numbingly boring too! Check the local village halls, church groups, children's centres and NCT. They'll be fairly cheap or donation based.
The journey out, the different surroundings and stimulation of any kind (toys, other children) will tire her out by 11am/11.30am for her to feed then nap.
I got into this pattern with my DD and it helped hugely with napping during the day when we got back as she'd be so tired.
I'm not a routine type person but definitely going out in the morning helped with structure (and my sanity) during the day for naps, feeds etc.
After nap, utilise existing toys or make some noisy ones (pots, pans, pasta in a bottle always goes down well).
We just bought the V Tech Little Friendlies Glow and Play playmat for our 3 month old DS. It has buttons at the bottom which play music when he kicks them
Maybe she's getting over tired. My DS is 3 months also. We get up 7.30 and his first nap is at about 8:30/9, he'll then nap again at about 12ish, then at 3/3:30 then 5:30ish then 8ish then up to bed at about 9:30pm. We go out for a walk twice a day because of older DD's school run and he likes taking in his surroundings then will sleep for a bit.
Manduca sling. Lasts 3+ years a scan move onto back when baby is bigger.
Pop in sling and take out where you like, walking, visit people, exhibitions etc
At home you can just use a folded up large towel as a playmat. I find by 5/6 months mine would crawl or roll off so they don't last long, save investing.
A strong hook in ceiling can then add ribbon and attach a toy a bottom as a baby gym. Means they can look at stuff without you holding. Can change often as they grow. Look up Montessori mobiles as an idea.
Pop some music on
Wow beckslovestimmy that's a lot of naps! Maybe she is overtired then, she just never seems to want to sleep! Sometimes she's awake most of the day from 8am-8pm! It's exhausting how do you get your ds to nap if he's fighting it?
DrLockhart great ideas. I don't know why but I'm so nervous to go to baby groups I used to be very confident but after spending most of my pregnancy pretty much in isolation I'm very anxious. Dp works long hours so we don't get a lot of time together. Might have to rope my mum into coming along.
Artandco that's a good idea. I think I'm too lazy though
A stretchy wrap sling is good for a 3 month old but they aren't much use past 9 months. Something like a Manduca might well work at this point.
I agree they like to be shown what you're doing, keep talking to her. DS also liked playing in a jumperoo at that age.
Mine never napped either, some babies just aren't into sleep. I agree with the other folks about getting a sling - some babies want to be carried all the time. I used a really really cheap meitai off Amazon the most. I wouldn't worry about entertaining her, what babies like most is just being with mummy mostly. Put her in the sling around the house. Mine loved grabbing anything crinkly when he was wee, we had several crinkly fabric toys.
I found it really exhausting before mine got mobile, too. He's a much happier little boy now he can get around on his own, although he still doesn't sleep much!
Do you have a Children's centre nearby? I found that the staff there would really try to include new people and (gently) introduce you to someone you might get on with, so it wasn't as daunting to go alone.
You'll probably find she goes down for naps easier when she's not overtired. Maybe try putting her down for a nap around 1 hour after she wakes up? Use whatever method works - bfeeding/rocking/swaddling/dummy/etc. If she doesn't start looking as if she's going to sleep after a few minutes (like 5-10) then do something else for 10-15 mins and then try again.
Or...if slings work for you, you can always try a few out to see what works best for you, either at a sling meet (google to find one local to you) or from a website like Its a Sling Thing. I hired a Connecta when ds2 was tiny and it was amazing. He basically lived in it for 2 months.
BertieBotts i do have some centres near me. I don't know why I'm so nervous. I think maybe because she cries so much I'm embarrassed of her tantrums. She gets very loud
Sianihedgehog the meitai looks good. And more in my price range. Some slings are so expensive! I can't justify spending £100 on a piece of material.
Trinpy itsaslingthing looks good, will definitely try that. I was nervous to try different ones because returning my first one was quite difficult because I'd obviously tried it out. And yeah, I think I do need to encourage her to sleep more.
I feel completely clueless. I don't know why but I thought it would come naturally once she arrived. I did read some parenting books but I've found the whole experience so far very overwhelming. And I feel as if I'm the only person not enjoying the tiny baby time!
You are definitely NOT the only person finding it hard and NOBODY enjoys every minute at this stage! It's a huge change and can be quite overwhelming.
I would recommend two groups in particular, not general ones. Children's centres as said. Because the staff will make you feel normal and accepted even if there isn't anyone friendly there, somehow.
Secondly if you have an NCT or other group near you for "Bumps and Babies" or anything for babies under 6 months. There WILL be other babies who cry a lot, and I promise you, it's really not as loud to everyone else as it is to you.
Another suggestion might be a breastfeeding group just because it's fairly common that other mums of little babies will be there, and you'll also tend to find people who understand that it's not always rainbows and roses because breastfeeding can be really tough in the early days. (I'm sure FF mums feel like this too, BTW!)
Do check the age range of any group you go to. It will be easiest at first to aim for groups where everyone has little babies without toddlers running around. And it's also extremely helpful to find people who are in the same stage of parenting as you.
Lastly, if books are giving you the impression everybody else knows what to do, you're reading the wrong books. Try "What Mothers Do" and "The Mama Trip".
In fact, try contacting your local NCT branch and seeing if they can put you in touch with a postnatal group. It might help to have a smaller group to begin with and it can really help to meet others who are going through the same things, makes you feel less alone.
Just thought of something you can do, and it requires very little effort. Put some music on that you love, and sing along to it whilst looking at your DD. My DS loves it, he always starts laughing although that could be because he already realises what a terrible singer I am :D
Thank you BertieBotts all really great advice. I will look into those books. Might adjust my expectations!
A breastfeeding group is a good idea. I struggled a lot after an emcs and a week in hospital. She wouldn't latch and I ended up expressing for 6 weeks then really fighting for a latch. We're getting there but I really struggle to find a comfortable position which is giving me lots of back pain which then prevents me from carrying her as much as I'd like
I think the isolation is the hardest part.
Melibu84 haha. I'm also a terrible singer so maybe that will work!!
Slings are a very personal choice as it depends whether you like to wrap or buckle the sling up, have padding or not etc.
I would recommend finding a local sling library or group and you can try on a few.
I know £80 or so seems like a lot however in terms of pence per use the sling has been one of my best baby buys by an absolute mile. It has saved my sanity on many occasions, including a huge middle of the night screaming session from ds when he was about 16months old and we had no clue what else to do with him!
There are many bad and uncomfortable slings around, so don't think they are all the same, they definitely aren't! I've used mine every single day since ds was born except when it was boiling hot. I have a Lillebaby and they are one of the best selling sling brands in my local sling group. They really are fantastic slings and have some beautiful prints too. Ds is 18m now and I've just learned how to back carry him. My 4.5year old also got on my back in it the other day when she was tired, it can be used for a really long time!
At three months you could pop dd into the sling and just go anywhere! She might sleep in it too and you can get a bit of a break. Ds used to still be asleep at 3 months for a very large portion of the day. He basically lived in the sling til he was about 4 months! (I had a stretchy wrap at first though).
It can be a bit boring at this age to be honest. Going to groups helps and if she tantrums there, take the sling with you and pop her in. She might calm down and you can have a cup of tea I used to go shopping a lot when ds was that little, make the most of his naps!
I think a sling should be the next thing I buy. It would be easier than taking the pram everywhere. Hopefully she'll like one of the first ones I try.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.