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Question of the Week - Games for Infants

First, I wanted to say how much I like you guys. Whenever I think I must be crazy for doing something or not doing something because no one else is or isn't, some wonderful people on the interwebs tell me that they do it or don't do it also! I feel such relief that I'm not the only one! Last week, I was really glad to hear that I'm not the only one who's daughter never had her hair cut. (I also can't believe how many people have never once smoked! Good for you guys!)

So, my friends in the computer, I'm hoping you can help me out with this one. You see, I love the toddler/pre-schooler stage, even with the frustration of the Twos that we deal with regularly. Because I'm good at playing and coming up with activities for that age. I'm good at communicating with kids that age. And I find playing and communicating with them fun.

But the baby stage? The infant stage? Once we are beyond the baby just eating, sleeping and pooping (which I don't exactly enjoy but can handle), I'm kind of lost.

The Pookie is spending more and more time in those "quiet alert" and "active alert" stages. He's also in a fussy phase, so I would love to be able to distract him and help him feel better even when it's not due to hunger. So I need something up my sleeve besides breasts for nursing, arms for holding and hands for changing him.

This week's question of the week is:

How did you entertain or play with your infant?

So far, the best entertainment I've found for him is basically staring at him and making big expressions (usually big smiles, the "oh" surprise face and exaggerated "hi"s work best). Londo has found that rattling keys interests him for a while. Of course, there are the ceiling fans slowly rotating after getting a push. All of this does not hold us parents' attention for long.

Did you find any good game or interaction for your infant? Something that really soothed or entertained the infant? Anything that you actually found fun? Please share!


Becoming Mommy said…
We had good luck with peek-a-boo when Sasha was at least 3 months old.

At the 9mo+ it became much easier to find games he enjoyed.
Take him outside let him look at the plants. Tiny babies just love staring at trees, probably because of the light and dark patterns that their leaves make against the sky. Even if the color perception hasn't come in yet, they seem to love patterns and movement, especially the slow, repetitive movement of branches swaying the wind.

But I honestly didn't worry about much at that stage that didn't involve sleep or nursing, and going outside was as much to keep my sanity as anything else.
songbird said…
my baby is just a few days younger than yours (although he was born 3 weeks early so there will be some variance)... right now he loves it when we sing to him and walk him around. he likes the rocking chair. I will try the big faces, and maybe he's old enough for a rattle. We tried a week or so ago and he was entirely uninterested.

He's also been in a fussy "phase" since about 4.5 weeks. I was hoping for a reprieve at 6 weeks but so far no dice. He did, however, learn to smile so I am currently living for those rare moments when he's in a good enough mood to grace us with a smile. I also can't wait to go back to work.

It will be fun comparing notes as the months roll along. He's my first, so it's good to know my baby isn't the only fussy one around, and that it's probably just a phase.
Cloud said…
Yeah, I kinda sucked at this, too.

Once Pumpkin could sit up, she used to loooove it when someone would count to three in an exaggerated voice and then knock her over on the bed. (Credit to my Mom for inventing this game.)

We read books to her from almost day one, probably just because that gave us something interactive to do. She seemed to like the pictures and listening to our voices.

She had a little "play gym" mat that had things you could hang off the cross bars, and from about 6 weeks on, she liked to look at those, and then reach for them as she got older. When she was too little to reach for them, I used to do things like make the little bell ring, and pull down the little turtle for her. We also had a tummy time mat with a little pillow to prop her on, and a place to link little toys, and she liked that OK.

And she has always loved to be outside. When she was an infant, we still lived in an apartment. I used to go outside on the balcony with her, and watch people and cars go by.
meggiemoo said…
I have the same issues...those first few months of infancy I always feel sort of lost. What do I do with this kid? I remember reading to my DS when he was an infant, although I had no idea whether any of it was soaking in.

With my DD, now 4 months' old, she seems to enjoy any song that also had hand movements (Itsy-bitsy spider, Doe a deer, Little Bunny Foo Foo).
electriclady said…
I can't remember playing any games with BG as a baby, except maybe peek-a-boo. I think we just talked to her about what we were doing around the house, and went on lots and lots of walks. Tummy time always took up a few minutes. Oh, and playing music and/or singing and dancing with baby in arms.

BTW, I just gave BG her first-ever haircut, at nearly 2.5 years old. She has very little hair still, so I was just evening out the ends (and all the hair I cut put together made maybe one good lock), but I still felt sentimental about it.
Mama (Stacy) said…
Itsy Bitsy Baby Yoga was a fabulous activity that I started with LG at 6 weeks old. You can go to a class but there is also a book so that you can just do it together at home. It totally filled the time and helped her digestion and sleeping.

We also used our gymini a lot and I did a lot of singing and dancing to amuse her.

I bet that watching Pumpkin would be very entertaining for Pookie. You could act out her favorite stories together and put on a play for Pookie!
Anonymous said…
He is too young for it right now, but we have a rainforest jumpy thing if you would like to borrow it (I think it is for 4 months and up?). He will have outgrown it by the time we would need it again, so you are welcome to use it in the meantime!

I found I talked with our LG a lot in those first 3 month, because I did not know what to do with him.

Anonymous said…
I remember feeling the same way. I don't know what age we started it but I remember Monkey laying on the floor and playing the "laundry" game. I'd fold laundry and explain that it was a shirt, what color it was, who it belonged to. He definitely didn't "get it" but he seemed to enjoy the interaction and every once in a while we'd play peek-a-boo with a shirt over my head. Other than that, I can't remember darn thing!
nutmeg96 said…
Lexie used to be soothed when I'd hold her and do "advanced step" on my Wii Fit. I'd have to do everything twice though, switching her to the other side, to keep myself even. :)
Karen said…
We were always fans of letting the older siblings and dogs entertain them. We figured this out on our own when the baby would crane his neck around mommy's face in his to see what anyone else was doing. I'm such a drag, apparently.
It was about that age I wondered what should I be doing with him? And then later I just realized I should do my life. Just being a part of our life (he loved being not at home) and seeing things interested him and hey if not at least I got to do what I needed to do. When he was fussy we sang a lot. I would bounce and swing and we would go for walks outside.
Anna said…
We played a little game called "Watch Another Episode of 'Sex and the City' With a Boob in Your Mouth." Closely followed in popularity by the "Screaming Walk Outside." My baby had a bad attitude--or, um, colic and continued grouching until her second birthday, so there wasn't much fun to be had.

Two? Love!

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