For many first time parents, it can be surprising just how little a newborn does. So many ask things like, “When does it become fun?” or “what do I DO with a newborn?” Through the sleep deprived hormonal daze of those early months its common to wonder if you will ever have fun again.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to have fun with a newborn. If the kisses, cuddles, nuzzles, tickles, tummy time, peekaboo, and inhaling that delicious newborn smell get old, why not try a few of the following ideas? From creative projects to sentimental keepsakes, we have some activities that will inject a bit of fun into these early days.
- Welcome your newborn to the world, in your own special way: Different families and cultures have their own rituals for welcoming a newborn. Some folks have a party, others strip naked and dance around under the moonlight. Kelle Hampton, a well-known mommy blogger, throws a party in the birthing suite complete with champagne for attendants and sweet little gift packs. You don’t have to go quite that far but something to mark the occasion is a lovely idea. Perhaps your family has its newborn tradition. Alternatively, maybe there is a newborn welcoming tradition from your culture or religion? Many cultures bury the cord or placenta in the backyard. This is to ensure your baby will always know his roots, and find his or her way home.
- Make a fun birth announcement: Birth announcements have come a long way since our grandmothers’ carefully crafted handwritten letters to family and friends. Nowadays there are all kinds of tools to create beautiful birth announcements using nothing more than an internet connection and a digital camera. Typical birth announcements include things like; full name, time of birth, gender, weight, and a photo. It need not be anything fancy, but the sky is limit creatively. Smilebox offers a simple, free programme that creates birth announcements in minutes.
- Strike a silly pose: A newborn baby is hands down the best photo subject you will ever have. But, your cherub will only be this pliable for a few short weeks. If you can afford it, splurging on professional photos is an expense you will not regret. Can’t afford a pro? Don’t fret, you can take fantastic pictures yourself. Wait until right after a feeding when baby is sleepy. Go wild with props, colours and different textures. If you had any props in the house from theme parties of the past, they will make for some comical newborn photos. Crazy wigs, funny fake moustaches and that crazy collection of hats, they will all look super hilarious on your newborn.
- Go keepsake crazy: Those newborn feet, sweet little fingers and miniscule bits will grow all too fast. A nice way to save some of the most adorable mementoes from these early days is to put them in a photo frame. Add text, the teeny hospital bracelet and that adorable onesie they wore home from the hospital. How about adding some teeny footprints while those feet are still too small to believe? Even if you don’t manage to create your keepsake masterpiece, collecting the bits you need now will make it easier when you do have the time and energy.
- Engage your inner hippie mama: Motherhood tends to bring out the latent hippie in many women, suddenly words like ‘organic’ and ‘hemp’ become part of the daily vocab. Music therapy, aromatherapy and even crystal bowl healing are all often used on newborns to soothe and heal. For music therapy, classical music or instrumental jazz are recommended and have been shown to increase blood flow to the brain, soothe a stressed baby and promote healing. Want to go full throttle on the hippie vibes? Have a tarot card reading for your newborn.
A few more ideas for newborn fun;
– Put baby in a wrap or carrier and go exploring: any place with a variety of smells, colours and textures will be a sensory mind flip for your baby.
– Go visit relatives (or invite them over) and get those three or four generation photos: the difference between great grandmother and newborn babe will make for a striking Kodak moment.
– Make a video diary: It is a labour free project that will be so special to re-watch when your little one is all grown up or in that eye-rolling teenage phase.
These sweet newborn days are too fleeting and seem to pass by in the blink of an eye. Break out of the feed, sleep, nappy change cycle just for a little bit with some of these fun ideas.