Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How do you entertain an 8 month old?

For the past 8 months, I've been saying how it seems to be vastly wrong that when you have a baby, they teach you how to feed, bathe and swaddle, but not what to do with them the other 20 hours a day. Okay, so they spend about 15 of those hours sleeping (except Baby Girl who's capping out at 10? Maybe? Including naps?), but what the heck are you supposed to do with them the rest of the time?

We read books. We play peek-a-boo (a lot of peek-a-boo). I sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider. And then there are still 3 hours left until she's ready to think about napping again.

Baby Girl has toys. A ton of toys. She has blocks, rings, stuffed animals. She has toys that sing, talk, count to 10. She has a playmat, a swing, and a playpen. She wants none of this.

Every day we take a walk. Every day we get in the car and run some errands. We go to library story time even though I'm not sure what's going on. We have been to the zoo (where she was more interested int he kids than the animals). Last week we walked 20 minutes to the nearest playground where she played on the swings for the first time. She loved it. For 5 minutes.

And then there was the rest of the day left still.

To be honest, it's a little easier now that she's crawling. She's much less bored and frustrated and is content to crawl around the living room and climb on things. She'd be the happiest baby in the world if I'd just let her play with my shoes, the remote controls, and the audio receiver. Which, of course, I don't. Much.

But I feel like a terrible mother, sitting on my computer and tweeting or reading while she crawls around. I mean, I talk to her. Sometimes I play music for her. (Children's music. And it's totally for her. Honest.) I stop what I'm doing to chase her around the house every 10 minutes or so. But I feel like I should be giving her more, whether it's more interactive play or more interesting things to do on her own.

So, please, bloggy world. I need help. How do you entertain an 8 month old?


  1. I just sent a friend an email asking this very thing! I don't know what to do either. Sometimes I wonder if Donut is bored and that's why she cries!

  2. At 5 months, the big thing I did was just move her around and change the scenery a lot. Like, she could sit in her carseat in the kitchen and watch me cook, or in her boppy on the bed and watch me do laundry. That seemed to work a little, but it's obviously not perfect. It's harder now, too, because she doesn't stay put.

    It gets easier as they get more aware, and then also less easy as the awake times get longer.

  3. Isn't it awful that I can barely remember when my 21-mo-old son was 8 mos old?! I think we did all the things you mentioned, plus probably a few more outings. Seems like I'm always running off to Target for something. But I don't think they mind doing nothing as much as we do. Mommy guilt is so awful.

  4. I don't think there is anything bad about one video a day. The Baby Einstein ones help with the guilt factor.

    You are already doing so much. You are her mom, not her entertainment committee. *smiles* It is okay to allow for independent play and give yourself permission to do things for yourself.