Stuck inside with a baby during lockdown? We look at ways to bond with baby at home and pass some time which you can both enjoy.
As we find ourselves stuck at home once more, it may feel harder this time around to find the motivation to try something new or get involved in online chats and classes. However, as much as we are all getting weary of lockdowns and restrictions, it is worth remembering that we have never had as much time to spend with our family, or ourselves, without the hustle and bustle of normal life. If you are a new mummy or daddy, this can be a lovely time to cherish these first few months and have a go at some paren and baby activities such as baby yoga, sensory play or massage, all of which are great ways to bond with your baby during lockdown.
So, if you fancy taking the opportunity to try something new in the comfort and warmth of your own living room, there are lots of online classes and videos to choose from.
Baby Yoga and Massage
Babies are complete naturals when it comes to yoga and baby massage is a brilliant add on to the natural instinct parents have when they cuddle, hold or stroke their baby.
Combined with soft words or gently singing, baby massage can be an extremely enjoyable bonding experience.
Suitable from birth, baby massage has many benefits, not only for your little one but for you, too. It can help soothe baby and improve sleep patterns, and also enable you to understand your baby’s needs and improve your confidence when handling your tiny new addition!
Yoga can aid the gross and fine motor skills and creates a lovely balance between strength and flexibility in developing bodies – some research even shows that enjoying baby yoga can help little ones to crawl or walk quicker! You can start Baby Yoga from around 6 weeks old, although if you have had a c-section, then it is advised waiting until the 12 week stage.
Baby yoga has also been proven to help ease the pain of colic through relaxing yoga movements that help release tension and digestive discomfort, including constipation and gas, and can ultimately lead to parents and baby feeling happier and more relaxed. This could be a great addition to any anti-colic methods you are already trying.
Encouraging a baby to feel relaxed is essential to developing their ability to self-soothe and this can be incredibly helpful in terms of improving sleep patterns. Yoga also helps parents to relax and calm their minds too which in turn will naturally help keep baby soothed. Some yoga moves involve placing your baby a little further away from you, but this can help with babies who are particular clingy as they learn to trust that it’s ok to be away from you and that you are close by for cuddles.
Kat King from Love U Yoga is currently running online classes for all sorts of wellbeing and mindfulness including Pregnancy and baby yoga and she can be found via Instagram @loveuyoga. This video is a great instructional from Kat to show you basic techniques of yoga and massage.
View this post on Instagram
When it comes to equipment needed, the Shnuggle Baby Yoga Play Mat has been made from a comfy warm-to-the-touch material, ensuring baby stays cosy and helping them to relax and is ideal for these activities.
Dedicated Floor and Sensory Play
If yoga or massage is not your thing, you don’t necessarily have to take part in a class to get some quality bonding time with baby. Just simply setting aside some dedicated, quiet time to play and interact together is all you need. Lockdown is forcing us all to slow down and be still (as much as you can slow down with a new baby!), so finding a little bit of time in the day for just you and baby to relax can be bliss!
You could also try some dedicated Tummy Time. This is great way of improving your baby’s muscle strength, mobility and independence which will in turn aid your baby when it comes to head lifting and crawling. A great way to start this is to have baby lying face down on your chest – being close to you for this starter stage can truly help with bonding and eye contact as your baby seeks you out. Then once ready, you can try moving to the floor and placing your baby on a mat for a couple of minutes to start with. Give them a little tummy time each day and gradually increase the minutes when they are ready.
With a non-slip back, the mat is perfect for floor play time, especially when your baby starts to crawl and walk – you can be safe in the knowledge the mat will not slip on hard floors.
Baby Centre has put together some great videos and ‘how to’ tips. Take a look here.
The Shnuggle Baby Yoga Play Mat
For a comfy, hygienic place for your baby during floor play, tummy time or any online classes you are considering doing together, the Shnuggle Baby Yoga Play Mat is perfect.
Being lightweight and easy to carry, the Shnuggle Baby Yoga Play Mat is extremely portable and hassle free to take easily from living room to nursery, or when government restrictions permit, to classes or a friend’s house. With a stylish removable, faux leather strap which can be easily placed in a pushchair basket or onto handlebars, the roll up system means the mat can be easily put away when not in use without taking up much room.
The mat is brilliantly resistant to moisture and bacteria and can be easily cleaned so you can be reassured you can make sure the mat is clean and safe for your baby – especially as the world navigates it’s way around COVID-19.
Click here to find out more.