If you are a stay at home mom wondering what to do with your baby all day long, then you’ve come to the right place!
My little girl is a busy high energy toddler now, but it feels like just yesterday she was this cute chubby little blob, looking at me with those big baby blues, like okay mom, now what? Just a tiny helpless peanut that needed me for everything, especially entertainment!
What are you suppose to do all day with someone who can’t walk or talk, all day? That’s the question i’d like to answer for you today!
What To Do With Baby All Day Long
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Find A Routine That Works For You
If you take a look around my blog for a little while you’ll learn that I am a huge fan of routines. I truly believe that all kids thrive on structure.
When your baby knows what to expect, they’re so much more likely to go along happily with what you’re doing.
This doesn’t mean doing the same exact thing everyday, but trying to keep the same patterns with your activities.
For example, waking up at the same time, putting baby down for a nap at the same time, keeping bathtime the same everyday are great places to start.
Finding a routine that works for you will make your long days with a baby a lot less stressful!
How Much Time Should You Spend Playing With Baby?
This is a question I hear a lot, and definitely one I had when Alexa was born. It’s also really hard to answer.
It definitely varies by age, and by the baby themselves. Some are more clingy, while others are more independent.
In my own experience, my daughter was very clingy. I had a very hard time getting any housework done because she wouldn’t sit and play by herself very long at all. Honestly if she had it her way she would have had me hold her all day long.
Here’s my best advice.
When your baby is younger, they are only awake for short periods of time, 45 min to an hour. With such a small window, after feeding and changing them I think it’s good to spend the rest of that time engaging with them.
As they get older and are spending more time awake I feel it’s important to encourage more independent play. After feeding and changing them you can read them a book or sing songs to them while they do tummy time, but then it’s okay to put them on a play mat with a few toys and go fold some laundry a few feet away.
Some babies will have no problem with this, while others will get bored quickly and cry for you to come get them.
Look for opportunities when your baby is happy to try to encourage independent play. Be observant and try to pick your baby up before they start to get fussy and cry. This can help you be able to stretch the amount of time they are willing to play alone over time.
Related Reading: 14 Helpful Lesser-known Baby Products
Get Out Of The House
It can be very isolating being a new mom, so it is very important to try to get out of the house. It’s good, not only for you, but for your baby as well.
That being said, it’s not always easy leaving the house with baby. There’s a lot to bring with you, and it can be overwhelming when baby starts to get fussy out in public.
In the early days it’s best to keep outings brief. A short walk in the stroller, or a quick stop to the grocery store can be a refreshing break in the day for both of you.
As baby gets older bringing them to library story times or playgroups are great options to socialize you both! You can find all of the baby friendly activities in your area on macaronikid.com!
Here Are My Favorite Ways To Keep Baby Busy And Happy!
You’ve feed and changed the baby, they’ve played by themselves and they’ve had enough of it. What now?
Below, you will find great activities for bonding with your baby that also help with their physical and mental development.
Tummy time is crucial for strengthening your baby’s mucsles, but a lot of babies aren’t huge fans of it.
If your baby is having trouble with tummy time you might need to get creative. Tummy time mats offer great entertainment.
If that’s not working, I had luck increasing the length of tummy time sessions by dancing, singing and acting silly. My little one was to busy laughing at me to realize she was on her tummy, at least for a little while.
Another trick I had luck with was laying down with her and letting her do tummy time on my chest. She was happy to be being held and I was happy she was strengthening her muscles!
Read A Book
Just because your baby doesn’t understand the story, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read to them!
Baby’s love to be read to! They love hearing your voice and seeing the pictures. Plus, when your baby hears more word it helps to improve their understanding of language.
Point And Identify Objects
Another way to help grow your baby’s language skills is to go on a field trip around your house!
When Alexa was a baby I would carry her around the house and point to thing and tell her what the were and what the did. Like, “This is the refrigerator, see how it opens and shuts”.
It might feel kind of silly to you but it will do wonders for your baby’s development.
Explore Safe Household Objects
Toys are great for keeping your baby entertained, until they get bored of them.
If you’re like me, you don’t have the money to buy or space to store a million toys. Again, I had to get creative.
I quickly realized that we had a lot more “toys” in our house than I thought.
Everything is new to babies and they want to explore it! So, as long as a household object is safe, it’s a toy! Pots and pans, wooden spoons, even basting brushes!
Toys Out Of Reach
A great way to encourage your baby to get moving is to put them on a mat and put their favorite toys all around them. Put the toys just out of their reach and cheer them on as they try to get them!
Talk And Sing
Talking and singing to your baby is great for those times when baby won’t play alone, but you still need to get something else done.
I was always able to do dishes or fold laundry a little while longer if I put Alexa in a seat right next to me and talked or sang to her. Old Macdonald Had A Farm was always her favorite because of the animal noises!
If you haven’t already introduced your baby to bubbles, you’re in for a treat!
Push In A Swing
It is so good to get your little one outside and enjoying some fresh air. A great way to do this is pushing them in a tree swing!
Pull In A Sled
Alexa absolutely loved getting pulled around in her little red sled. Snow or no snow, she loved it! And I swear, that and breastfeeding were how I lost the baby weight 😂
Make Shadow Puppets
A nice quite activity. Grab a flash light, turn out the lights, lay down with your little one and watch their amazement as you make a bunny appear on the ceiling.
Play Music And Dance
My toddler has some killer dance moves and I credit it all to playing music and for and with her when she was a baby. An activity she still loves today!
Show your baby how to stack blocks and encourage them to join in. At the very least they will enjoy knocking them down, they’re very good at it!
Stack some legos too! My daughter loved pulling them apart so much I couldn’t put them together fast enough. Great for developing their motor skills.
I also used that activity to talk about the colors of the legos, sort them out for her and count them too!
Explore Hot And Cold
This is a nice high hair activity. Fill one bag with ice and another with warm water. When baby touches the ice tell them brrr that’s cold, and mmm hot when they touch the water.
Play With Water
A little messy, but if you lay down a towel you should be fine. When she was younger I put my daughter on her tummy on her boppy with a shallow dish of water and small toys in front of her.
She loved to grab the toys and feel the water, another great tummy time activity.
Toys In Jello
Messy fun is the best fun in my book, at least until clean up time.
For this activity you make some jello, preferably in a shallow wide see through dish. Before you put it in the fridge fill it with a few small baby toys!
When the jello has set, put baby in the high chair or on the floor on a towel and let them go to town. You’ll definitely want the video camera for this one!
Stick pieces of tape to the tray of the high chair, leaving a little bit unstuck for grabbing onto. The fun sticky texture and trying to pull up the pieces should keep your little one busy for a little while.
I recommend using colorful tape with fun patterns To keep it more interesting!
Paint In A Bag
Let your little Picasso creat their first master piece without all the mess! Queens a few drops of different colored paints onto a piece of paper and slide the paper into a sealable plastic bag.
Now tape the bag to the floor for tummy time, or on the high chair. Your baby with love to see how touching the paint moves it around and changes colors!
Look In The Mirror
Oh do I remember the giggles I would get out of Alexa with this one, still to this day actually.
Hold you baby or sit with them in front of a mirror. Show them how to make funny faces, wave to the baby. Jump in and out of view, get silly with it and they will love it.
I noticed after a while that Alexa would get bored with her toys, but if I put a few in a basket and put it in front of her, something about pulling different things out of a basket was fun to her.
It’s worth a try!
Another messes activity, and a great source of calcium. As long as you don’t mind cleaning up the mess, put a dollop of your on your babies tray and let them do some finger painting.
The fun texture makes for another great sensory activity.
This one was definitely one of my favorites, I had to play right along with her. Grabbing and squeezing spaghetti is yet again another super fun sensory activity.
Make it even more interesting by dividing the spaghetti into a few separate bags. Then add a few drops of water and food coloring, and shake it up.
Lay some towels down, toss the spaghetti into a sensory bin or a bowl and let your baby go crazy!
Build A Fort
I don’t care who you are, there a little kid inside of you who still love a good old fashion blanket fort.
Take some couch cushions and some spare sheets and build your castle, then crawl around with your little peanut, they’ll love it!
Discovering baby pops had to have been the best mom hack, by far. My daughter loved them, and I loved that she could feed herself while I could get some dishes done, or make dinner for her father and I.
All you need to do is fill a baby popsicle mold with baby food or breast milk, pop them in the freezer and your good to go!
Nothing fills my heart more than hearing my daughter laugh, especially that deep belly laugh! And I almost always got it by pulling her around the house on a blanket. You can use pillows on top of the blanket for support.
Sit In A Laundry Basket
Before Alexa could sit up well on her own I would prop her up in this laundry basket and toss in small stuffed animals to her.
This is another activity that keep Alexa busy for a while.
I took a small cardboard box and cut a few widows out of it, poked some whole and stuck Christmas lights in and dangled some string and ribbons from the top.
Then you put the box on the floor on its side and lay you baby in it. I swear Alexa played with her for a half an hour straight the first time.
Sensory bags are a safe way for baby to explore all sorts of objects in a different way.
When All Else Fails
Let’s face it mama, there are days when it doesn’t matter what fun activity we try to get our babies to do, they just want us.
When all else would fail, putting Alexa on my back in a baby carrier was they only way to make her happy while still allowing me to get some housework done.
Like I said, she was a clingy baby, so she spent A LOT of time on my back. And you now what, most of the time I loved it, I loved having her close to me.
And no, I don’t think it did her any harm because she always hit all of her milestones on time and even some a little earlier than the average.
That’s What You Do With A Baby All Day Long
- Finding a routine helps baby stay calm and happy because they know what to expect. Routines set you up for success!
- Find a happy balance between time engaging with your baby and time allowing them to learn and grow on their own.
- Try your best to get out of the house at least once a day. It’s good for you and your baby!
- Fill your day with the fun baby friendly activities you learned in this post
- When all else fails, throw that little peanut in the baby carrier for some much needed snuggles
What do you do with your baby all day long? Let us know in the comments below!