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4 things to do with baby: baby sign language

While most babies won’t be able to sign back for several months, it’s never too early to start introducing key signs.

4 things to do with baby: baby sign language

So you’ve made it through months one and two. You and baby


already have your own special language with each other and he’s starting to

respond to your baby talk and smiles. So… now what?

Three- and four-month-olds are in an interesting transition

– just starting to gain mobility and awareness of people and objects

surrounding them, but they’re also still bitty babies. Since he’s still not

able to crawl away, this is a great time to do your own thing, but you can also

take your mama-baby activities to the next level. Check out the suggestions

below and stay tuned for more!

1. Baby sign language

While most babies won’t be able to sign back for several

months, it’s never too early to start introducing key signs – if anything,

it’ll get you into the habit of integrating signing into your regular speech. Think

of this as you sowing seeds for five or six months from now when baby is trying

to communicate, but can’t yet use words. Instead of frustration, you’ll have a

secondary outlet to share his wants and needs!

There are quite a few products you can buy to learn to sign

with baby, but there are also plenty of videos on YouTube, and a quick Google

Image search turns up more instructional images than we could count. If you’re

a hard-copy info fan, check out Baby Signing Essentials: Easy Sign Language for

Every Age and Stage by Nancy Cadjan, which takes you from introduction of

signing around four months all the way through two years, including which signs

to integrate at each stage.

2. Organize

For lots of moms, organizing is on the level of having a

tooth pulled. But like a trip to the dentist, organization is an unfortunate

necessity – especially after you’ve added a load of baby gear to your house. It’s

easy to get completely overwhelmed when looking at the big picture, so take it

one room at a time or, even better, one four-foot section at a time. Everything

needs a home and if it’s not used or needed, toss it!

We recommend checking out The Organized Mom: Simplify

Life for You and Baby, One Step at a Time by Stacey Crew. Crew is the

founder of the GOPACK Method, which stands for Grouping Objects, Purging,

Assigning, Containing, and Keeping It Up. While this book was originally

intended for expectant moms prepping for baby, it’s just as useful now that

baby is here. She breaks down a standard house room-by-room with tips and

tricks in each.

It’s the perfect time to organize, mama, especially before

baby is on the move!

3. Tummy time

While tummy time isn’t possible with every baby, research

shoes that by three or four months, babies should be getting at least 20

minutes of tummy time a day. Make this time fun for both of you by laying

out her baby gym or a thin, but comfy, blanket. Pick a few board books and

select toys, introducing one at a time. If you offer too much at once, she

could get over stimulated and upset, so pace yourself! Read a few books, shake

a rattle or two, and be sure to give her positive reinforcement with a, “You

go, girl,” “Good job,” and “So strong!”

Speak with your pediatrician to find out if tummy time is

right for your baby and if not, what alternate methods you can try.

4. Sleep

It’s still early in your mama journey and man, are you

tired. You are owed a daily nap for at least the first six months, so do not

feel guilty about grabbing a power nap or even a lengthy afternoon snooze

session.

My village lives far away—but my Target baby registry helped them support me from afar

Virtual support was the next best thing to in-person hugs

They say you shouldn't make too many major life transitions at once. But when I was becoming a mama for the first time nearly five years ago, my husband and I also moved to a new town where we didn't know a soul, bought our first house and changed jobs.

To put it mildly, we didn't heed that advice. Luckily, our family and friends still made it feel like such a magical time for us by supporting our every move (literal and otherwise) from afar. They showered us with love through a virtual baby shower (expectant parents nowadays can relate!) featuring the unwrapping of gifts they were able to ship straight to me from my Target registry.

Here's one piece of advice I did take: I registered at Target so I could take advantage of the retailer's benefits for registrants, which include a welcome kit valued over $100, a universal registry function and more. Fast-forward a few years and Target has made the registration perks even better for expectant parents: As of August 2020, they've added a Year of Exclusive Deals, which gives users who also sign up for Target Circle a full year of savings after baby is born on all those new mama essentials, from formula to diapers and beyond.

Honestly, even without the significant perks of a free welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons, additional 15% off coupons to complete the registry and a full year of free returns, registering at Target wasn't a hard sell for me: Even though the experience of shopping for baby items was new, shopping with Target felt like returning home to me… and the comfort of that was such a gift.

And of course, Target's registry plays a vital role right now, as expectant parents everywhere are being forced to cancel in-person baby showers and navigate early parenthood without the help of a hands-on village. A registry like this represents a safe way for communities to come through for new parents. If you're anything like me (or any of the other mamas here at Motherly), you certainly have emotional ties and fond memories associated with Target.

What to register for at Target was also an easy talking point as I began to connect with moms in my new community. I will always remember going on a registry-building spree with my next door neighbor, who had young children of her own. As we walked the aisles of Target back in 2015, she suggested items to add… and we laid the foundation for what has since become one of my most cherished friendships.

Even as I made connections in my new hometown, I was nervous that expecting my first baby wouldn't feel as special as if I were near family and friends. But my loved ones exceeded all expectations by adding the most thoughtful notes to gifts. They hosted a beautiful virtual baby shower and even encouraged me to keep the registry going after my baby made his debut and new needs arose.

In the years since, "community" has taken on a wonderfully complex new meaning for me… and, in these times of social distancing, for the rest of the world. I've come to cherish my newfound friends in our local community alongside those long-time friends who are scattered around the county and my virtual mama friends.

Now, as my friends' families grow, I'm so grateful that I can show them the same love and support I felt during my first pregnancy. I sing the praises of Target's baby registry—especially in light of the pandemic, since I know mamas can do everything from a distance thanks to Target's website and the added benefit of getting trusted reviews and helpful registry checklists.

And now that I'm on the gift-buying side of the equation, I've found new joy in picking thoughtful gifts for my friends. (Because goodness knows Target has something for everyone!)

For my friend who is a fellow runner, I teamed up with a few others to give the jogging stroller she had on her registry.

For my friend who is a bookworm, I helped her start her baby's library with a few books that are also well-loved in our home.

For other friends, I've bundled together complete "sets" with everything they need for bathing or feeding their children.

I know from my own experience that, yes, the registry purchases are so appreciated, but the thoughtfulness and the support they represent means even more. Because although my village may have been distant, the support they showed me was the next best thing to in-person hugs.

Start your own Target Baby Registry here to experience a Year of Benefits including a Year of Exclusive Deals through Target Circle to enjoy for a full year following your baby's arrival, a year of free returns, two 15% off completion coupons and a free welcome kit ($100 value).

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

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With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

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