Looking for activities for your 4 month old? As a stay at home mom, my brain sometimes turns to mush after the monotony of life with a baby. The feeding, the changing, the rocking, the reading…it gets a little mind numbing after awhile.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my daughter more than anything. Being a stay-at-home-mom at this point in my life has been an absolute blessing. It was the best decision for me and my family.
When I had a newborn I was parked on my couch for two months. All I did was nurse, eat, and watch Bravo, and all my daughter did was eat and sleep.
As my baby has grown older, she definitely needs more active play during her wake periods. At 4 months old, she is awake and ready for the day at 7 a.m. in a way I can only be after 3 cups of coffee.
We were chugging along with our daily routine of books, walks, songs and more.
“I’ve got this motherhood thing,” I would say.
“She’s so easy, let’s have another now,” my husband would say.
And then it happened.
The dreaded 4 month sleep regression.
My daughter went from sleeping 8+ hours straight to waking every 45 minutes. She would fight naps and we would both end up crying. I was barely able to take care of myself. All my energy went into taking care of her and meeting her needs.
Most days I felt like we were just surviving.
I was keeping her fed, clean and healthy. But, I didn’t feel like a good mom, even though all her needs were more than taken care of.
Some days I felt like all we were doing was just reading books or just working on tummy time.
As a former early child educator, I know how important it is to work on all baby’s skills every day. They learn so much from watching us go about our daily lives; watching how we hold a cup or move our bodies. However, as a parent it’s my job to make sure I’m helping my child work on skills to meet milestones in a reasonable amount of time.
I’m a list person and benefit from writing down what I need to do so that it’s out of my head. I knew I wanted to do more to meet my daughter’s growing needs.
So, in my exhausted state I wrote down developmentally appropriate activities for my 4 month old that I can do on a daily basis. I keep this print out in the nursery for when the stay-at-home mom burnout hits and I can’t think of a single thing to do with my daughter.
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I divided it into five categories:
- Fine Motor (small body movements)
- Gross Motor (big body movements)
Obviously, many of these overlap, like grasping objects with different textures can be sensory and fine motor. Singing songs while dancing can be music and gross motor. You get the point.
It also helps me make sure I’m working on each area of development. It’s become like a checklist to ensure for a well rounded day.
When I was a preschool teacher I had to be seriously intentional about what games and toys I chose to bring into the classroom. It’s important to have developmentally appropriate expectations of different children at different ages.
By switching my mindset back to teaching through play rather than “entertaining” or “keeping my baby busy” I’ve found that we are both so engaged in whatever it is we are doing. It’s so easy to give her a toy and let my mind wander to meal planning, laundry, or just zone out. When I’m intentional and focused on us exploring the world together we are present together and bonding.
How do you play with your baby? Do you find that a list helps you stay on top of motherhood? Let me know below.