It is so hard to play with Haley. I imagined myself as the mom who played her baby classical music, and read to he all the time; who played educational and developmentally appropriate games and lavished her baby with attention. I thought I would be wearing her constantly (instead of leaving her in a bouncy seat) doing infant massage and making sure she has adequate tummy time. For that matter I also though she would not be sleeping in the bed with me, but so much for that idea I love my little snuggle to be close, and it's just easier for her to fall asleep in my arms when she east at 4 in the morning, but I digress.
Most of my time spent with Haley during the day I am doing all I can to get her to stop crying... the shameful part is that my motivation is often completely selfish. I want to keep exploring things online, reading other blogs or webpages for new moms. I want to finish watching my TV show, I want to sleep, or I simply want to sit down. But the exciting thing is that Haley has finally started becoming more responsive when she's awake. She isn't cooing or saying ahhh yet (which several babies her age on you tube videos do) but she is smiling at me more often and staring at me for longer. Sometimes I can't help but play with her.
So how do we play?
Tummy Time: Usually we're laying together on her quilt, me trying to coax Haley to lift or turn her head. This never lasts very long, in fact if she makes it 3 minutes I fee like we're doing well. She has a spin and see tummy time mat that she likes a bit better than just resting on her face. I think I need to rest her on her boppy more. She can turn her head on her flat tummy, she just gets mad quickly, and can't lift her head well.
Massage Time: This usually does not last very long either, and only happens about once a week. She wears a diaper during it so I avoid being pooped and peed on. I don't use edible olive oil as suggested, if I use anything it's Johnson's baby oil or bedtime lotion.(I just try to avoid using it on her hands) I massage her face, than her tummy, her arms and fingers, her legs and toes, and if she's not screaming at me yet her back.
Baby Boxer: She holds my hands and I turn her into the million dollar baby. She jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts to my sound effects. POW!
Airplane: Now that she can hold her head up a bit more she likes to fly. She loves peering over the shower bar to see daddy when he gets home from work. I also do "baby push ups" where I lift her up, then bring her down for kisses 10 times. She will also lay on her tummy on my calves and I can do 1/2 leg lifts with her as my weight.
Finger and Toe Games: We sing "10 Little Indians" and play "This Little Piggy". We say and act out "clap your hands, stomp your feet, clap your feet, stomp your hands."
Body Parts: We sing "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes" while I show her the right body part. We play "I'm gonna get you" and I get her nose or toes etc. We play "How big is baby?" "So Big!" and I spread her arms as wide as the go.
Kisses: I say " Eskimo kisses (and we rub noses) butterfly kisses (batting eyelashes together) and Haley kisses (then I cover her with kisses all over)
Movement song: I recently stole this one from the huggies website. I move her legs in the appropriate motion for "walking, walking, walking, walking, hop hop hop, hop hop hop, running, running, running; running, running, running, now we stop! Now we stop!" (to the tune of frere Jacques)
Follow the bunny: I turn my fingers into a bunny while she's laying on her back and watch her follow them from side to side. This works with her toys or any visually interesting object too.
Sit-ups: When she's on her back she holds my hands and I guide her through sit ups, (but she has to lift her head as we go or I set her back down. This works best if she's starting on a slight incline)
Others: We dance, I sing, We go on long walks (usually in the snuggli or the moby wrap)We play peek-a-boo. I read to her, usually while she eats or while she isn't being fussy, but sometimes I read through her screams just for the sake of my sanity. I copy her sounds. (even though right now it's usually her screams and cries that I mimic) We have tickle time and make funny faces at each other,
Things to try (these are some new ideas I have gotten from a little research): Take her exploring in my closet to feel the various textures and see all the colors. Let her smell various spices up close. Blow bubbles. follow the light.