5 things to do with baby: get touchy feely

Introduce her to different textures by letting her touch everything (safely, of course).

5 things to do with baby: get touchy feely

One of the perks of being an at-home mama is the potential

for all-day play. You may think that babies can’t do much in the playtime

department, but there’s plenty of play to be had! Check out a few ideas below,

inspired by the book Brain Games for Your Child: Over 200 Fun Games to Play

by Robert Fisher.

1. Make music

Now that baby is likely sitting up, it’s the perfect time to

introduce him to the classic pot drum. The perfect distraction for when you

have to cook (or basically do anything around the house), open up your pot and

pan cabinet to the next great rock and roll drummer: your baby. Encourage him

to “make music” with everything around him – drums being the obvious first

step. Point out how different object make different sounds – hit a pan with a

wooden spoon, then the pan lid, and then the floor. Music is everywhere!

2. Get touchy-feely

Introduce her to different textures by letting her touch

everything (safely, of course). Have her grab a handful of sand, bread dough,

or corduroy pants; pet a dog, stroke a feather, or play with ice cubes. Open

her eyes to touching and feeling the world around her – don’t forget to

identify every object she touches and reiterate how it feels: hard, rough, wet,

furry, etc.

3. Baby got rhythm

Rhythm is a natural part of life, ingrained in us when we

heard our mother’s heartbeats while we were inside cookin’. After birth, babies

love to be rocked or sung to rhythmically. Continue this rhythm nation by

singing or dancing with him to rhythmic music – at seven months he’ll be more

interested when you add actions to rhythmic rhymes, think “Wheels on the Bus”

and “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.” Rhythm is a dancer, and babies love

to dance.

4. Cawfee tawk

Your baby is the perfect listener and budding

conversationalist, especially now as she continues to find her own voice. Talk

to her all day – point out names of things in her bedroom, explain every

step as you do the laundry or make lunch. Make a game of bath time or a diaper change

by pointing out different body parts with an extra tickle or kiss. “Chin –

tickle tickle!” or “Ear!” accompanied by a big kiss.

5. Counting games

Count EVERYTHING out loud. Literally. Count his legs when

you put each one into his pants. Count the ingredients as you cook. Count the

number of soup cans you add to your grocery cart. Bonus points if you turn the

counting fun into a song – “One, two socks in your shoe. One nose and two eyes

of blue.” (Rhyming optional. But encouraged.)

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

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.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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What went viral this week: Pregnant Disney Princesses + an airline nightmare

Now, more than ever, we need to hear those good news stories.

Last week was a week.

We lost a legal and cultural icon with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and deadly wildfires continue to blaze on the West Coast. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity, kindness and compassion in our world—we need to hear those "good news" stories, but we also need to see the headlines that show us how and why the world needs to change .

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