How do I entertain my 3-month-old without dying of tedium myself?
posted by forza to human relations (43 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
I have a wonderful 3-month old son, who I love a lot. However, spending an entire day with him is still really freaking boring a lot of the time. Although I find him fascinating in the abstract -- I love trying to figure out what he can and can't do, thinking about his cognitive skills and theories of the world -- the minute-to-minute details of playing with objects, sticking objects in the mouth, being held up, looking at things, ad infinitum really wear me down. Since realistically he's not going to be qualitatively that much different for many months until he begins walking and talking, I'm looking for suggestions of things I can do with him that will add some interest to our days.
Things we do right now:
- He loves loves loves to be made to stand. Probably about 40% of his waking hours are spent standing, propped up by us. He can hold himself up by only holding onto one of our thumbs with one of his fists at this point. This is, as you can imagine, kind of tedious for us. We have gotten him a Jolly Jumper and a walker, both of which he also loves, although we don't want to overuse either.
- He also loves to listen to music. My partner plays the guitar, which is good for many minutes of fascinated listening. He also likes to be "danced" to anything, especially if it has a strong rhythm. AC/DC is a favourite. This is also a good time suck, but you can only dance for so long, every day, without your brain turning to mush.
- He likes to hold objects and put them in his mouth. If we put him in his chair with some objects he will self-entertain for 10 minutes or so, several times a day. Will last a lot longer if we "help" him hold the objects, or interact with them at the same time. This is boring but consumes a lot of the day. We try to vary the objects but there are only so many that are safe for him to put in his mouth. Mainly this involves a lot of toys, fingers, cloths, and safe kitchen utensils. Other suggestions here welcome.
- He loves to go "out" and look at people and things. Hikes, parks, wandering around malls, it's all good. In fact, if he spends a day just around the house he is really fussy from boredom by the end of the day. The issue with anything outdoors is that we're in Australia, so it's often super hot and the UV index is extreme. So we try to minimise outdoor time even with sunblock on. As for malls and stores, we pretty much try to visit one or two every day. I am SO sick of wandering around these kinds of places. I vary it between the mall, Target, the grocery store, IKEA, the hardware store, the library, and the pool. Pretty sick of them all at this point.
Things we have tried but don't work well:
- He is high energy. Just putting him in a backpack and "going about our day" is too boring and doesn't let him move, which again, he wants to do all the time. Also, our day often consists of sitting in front of computers, which he is not a fan of.
- He doesn't like the car very much. Either falls asleep or starts squawking after a while of driving. I think it is not stimulating enough(?). Thus, long trips are out.
- He likes to read books but only in small doses. I think he's still a bit young to get much out of them other than gnawing on them and turning the pages.
- He can occasionally be induced to whack at my iPad, but it's not that interesting, and I don't want to get a 3-month old too dependent on screen time anyway.
- We have one of those little gyms where he lies on the floor and swats at dangling objects. This is okay but only for about 15 minutes total all day.
- We do do tummy time, many times a day, but he's not a huge fan and it is more of a chore than anything.
- We often make sounds back and forth to each other but he's mainly only into this while doing something else as well.
- He is in daycare 2 days a week and likes it, but we can't do more than that.
- We do not have a TV.
So… I realise that to some extent the answer may just be "babies are indeed boring" and we're doing about what one could expect. I also realise that all these activities sound like they fill a day, but every day of the same thing, and with many hours of them over and over again, is still really dull. So if any of you have found awesome activities that work to pass the time with your pre-walking, pre-talking, loves-to-move-around baby, I would love to hear about them.