Babies can be very difficult for new parents to entertain. When they first come into your life, it's hard to think of them as anything as a very fragile package that needs to be guarded at all times. What you may not realize, though, is that your child will be ready for many activities at a fairly young age. Children develop early and rapidly, with some children already prepared to do some surprising things early on. Below are just a few of the things your baby may already be able to do. (While every child is different, this list applies to children who have met most of their developmental milestones.)
Did you know that babies are usually great in the water? The average infant can usually start floating by around six months, and most are able to participate in at least some sort of water play by about fifteen months. There are actually plenty of swim classes out there for babies, and most infants enjoy the feel of being in the water. The earlier you start the baby swimming lessons, the easier it will be for them to play in the water when they get older. While you'll still be participating in the class with your child, you'll be amazed by how much your child is able to do in the water on their own.
When you think about playgrounds, you probably think about rowdy children running around barely supervised. In reality, most playgrounds are more than equipped to handle even an infant. Look for playgrounds that have high-backed swings – if your child can support their head, there's a good chance that he or she will be fine on a swing. Almost any infant that can sit up will also enjoy time in a sandbox, though this requires a fair bit of supervision to make sure that the child doesn't spend all of their time eating sand.
Listening to Music
One of the first things to fully develop for a child is their hearing. By the age of one month, your child is able to hear about as well as they will for the rest of his or her life. This is a great time to start introducing your child to music, even if it's relatively simple. The child will latch on to the rhythms and melody, helping to soothe them while also providing stimulation. It's a great way to bond with your child in a silly, educational, or calm way.
Yes, an infant can go to an amusement park. It's fairly common to see children as young as a few months old at places like Disney World. Children may not be able to ride all of the rides, but there are many parks that have sedate, colorful attractions for children of all ages to enjoy. Even better, many of these same parks will let infants and very small children in for free. Your child will enjoy the sights while you are able to spend some time in an environment that's a bit more interactive than the average nursery. It may also be a good idea to start with smaller local attractions and go to larger venues as time passes.
Your infant is more capable than you might realize. From listening to music to swimming, they are starting to develop into a real person. If you aren't sure if your child is ready for an activity, make sure to introduce them in a safe and controlled manner. You might be surprised to find out how quickly your young child is developing. Always give your kids a chance to grow – they might be ready for far more than you realize.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Follow Brooke on Twitter @BrookeChaplan.