Thursday, 13 March 2014


10 months old. A time of frustration. My daughter seemed desperate to access the world in a way she wasn't able to yet. Her mind was running slightly ahead of the body - she wanted to move more quickly and go places but she couldn't, and she still wasn't able to really concentrate on one thing for more than 10 minutes. 

It was difficult to keep her entertained and think of new and creative things to do; mostly for her sake but partly for my own sanity too. I was in a rut as well as her. There are only so many nursery rhymes you can sing and baby toys you can play with without going stir crazy. 

One of my obstacles was the fact that there aren't many planned baby groups where I live, so I had to utilize what I had access to. Most things seem simple, but it was just having a plan for each day - just one new thing that we would do - that turned this time into something enjoyable.

My 7 day challenge:

Animals. Go to a nearby farm, petting zoo, proper zoo or even a pet shop with fish tanks. Animals are so funny to babies at this age, and they can watch everything from their buggy or sit on your lap to stroke the animals.

Gardening. You have to be prepared to let them get their hands muddy though! I grew lots of vegetables last summer and had sugar snaps, strawberries and tomatoes which were all baby-height and she just gorged herself on them (make sure they're completely organic). Just giving them a patch of earth and a bucket and spade is pretty entertaining too. And if you don't have a garden, you could make a floating garden, take them to a garden centre, or plant some indoor flowers/kitchen herbs on the windowsill and watch them getting bigger each week. 

Go to a museum. One piece of advice I'd definitely give is not to hold back on activities which are ahead of their age range. Museums are designed to be stimulating, and they normally have a kids area (not to mention your baby will probably get in free). You can enjoy the museum whilst your baby gazes on everything in wonder! 

Visiting friends or family. They'll be interested in the new environment and you'll have an extra pair of hands to help out too. We went to a friend's house for a BBQ and she got to taste freshly caught salmon from the river. 

Swimming. Take your baby to an indoor swimming pool or, if it's summertime, pick up a little paddling pool for the garden. We're lucky enough to have great lakes and rivers to swim in, so she loved doing that in the summer. I felt that swimming in the wild felt much cleaner than being in a pool full of chlorine too. If you live in the UK, you can find local 'wild swimming' spots here:

The park. Even though they seem small at this age, and probably can't walk around yet, the park is still a great place. You can take them on the swings and help them down the slide - they love it and there are lots of other children around which is always super interesting for a baby! 

Invite another baby/toddler over to play. Pick up some blowing-bubbles in the local toy shop, they'll both love it! They'll enjoy each other's company and you can enjoy a tea and a chat. 

Skip forward 5 months and it's a whole new world. They begin to walk and look around them and understand the world in a way that is more satisfying - and that settles them down a lot. Even now she is a 19 month old toddler, the activities I listed above are still keeping her entertained, and probably will keep doing so for years to come! 

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