We brought Sky home at the same time that the World Surf League event in Australia started. I am not a huge fan of TV, however with my delicate postpartum recovery situation (the doctor recommended me to rest for 12 weeks), sitting down on the couch holding my baby and watching the Quicksilver Pro Gold Coast became our daily routine. However, after hours watching (and enjoying a lot!) those boys and girls flying in beautiful waves, I realized that I needed to be more present and create a more meaningful routine for my baby and I, so I searched for a few ideas. I asked a few friends, “What is your favorite way to spend time with your baby,” and I even Googled “fun things to do with a new born.” Most of the ideas that came up were things to do outside the house. Well, Sky and I had a bunch of days ahead of us to spend inside the house, so little by little we created our mini-retreat at home with simple yet fun activities that we look forward to doing together every day.
Hipster Cocktail Party
I am not familiar (yet) with baby music, so we listen to my favorite Pandora station “Hipster Cocktail Party.” After our morning routine, which consists of nursing, changing diapers, putting new clothes, etc., we usually have a little morning party in her room by dancing and singing some mellow songs. Sometimes she falls asleep – not sure if she is bored by my songs or if she is relaxing with our moves.
Tummy Time + Books
Someone told me that reading books to new born helps them to develop their brains, so in the first month I tried, but it felt a little awkward. Before I had finished reading the first page, she had started to move around and complain a little. Or at least that is what I thought. But I kept reading one or two pages at a time, and eventually she started to show interest in the images in the books, and in my voice as I read the words. Now, I found out that she likes to stay on her tummy when we read books. So we combine two good things at the same time – exercising her brain, and strengthening her back and neck muscles.
Watch the Day Turn into Night
Late in the afternoon, Sky gets a little bit harder to please, but if we are outside she calms down. So during sunset, I put a blanket in the yard and lay down with her to watch the clouds pass by, watch the neighbors walk their dogs, listen to the birds playing in the trees, and wait for the first star to pop in the sky. I love to watch her watching the details of the world.
Good Night Massage
I love massage! I wish I could get one every day before I go to bed. So I assumed that she would love it too. I started to massage Sky when she was just a few days old. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if she liked it, but now I know that she loves it. She knows when I am getting ready to massage her when I lay the under-pad down in her bed (in case she goes shishi) and grab the coconut oil. She opens her little arms and relaxes her legs and waits for me to start. It’s one of our favorite rituals of giving and receiving love from one another.
I am pretty sure that Sky is not going to remember our mini-home-retreat the way that I will, but I like to believe that every day she is becoming a happy, serene, and confident baby because of these moments that we are sharing with each other.
“Effective early childhood development takes place when children feel nurtured, cared for, protected and loved. When children receive all of these key elements in their formative years of life, they have the best possible chance of developing fully.” – The Beginning of Life, Documentary
Oh! We are still following the surf contests (Go JJ Florence!), and now she is also watching the Tour de France with Tim (Go Team Sky! lol).
I would love to know what your favorite thing to do with your baby at home is!
some dreams are worth sharing…
photos by: Mercia Starominski