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My 4-month-old was bored, so here's what I did


Brandi Riley

posted in Pregnancy

My maternity leave was just about over when I found out my job was ending. The timing was pretty perfect since I still hadn’t figured out how I would balance a baby with a part-time babysitter and a full-time work-from-home job. Although not working has made things a little tight financially, ultimately it’s been worth it to hang out with my little guy, Jamie, all day long.

All. Day. Long.

So about that…

Every week, as Jamie gets older the days seem to get longer. He takes one or two short naps a day that are prefaced with a half-hour of crying because he doesn’t even want to sleep that long. Last week, during one particularly epic nap protest, I started to reconsider finding an office job.

It’s not his fault, of course. Babies cry. When he’s fed, dry, and has been cuddled and entertained for a couple of hours, it does make me question my parenting skills. What am I doing wrong? Does he just not like me?

I was really trying to figure out what I was doing wrong when I finally got it. He was bored. During the weekend, when my husband and daughter are home, Jamie is a happy camper. We’re running errands, talking loud, having a good time, and Jamie is soaking it all in.

Sitting at home with his mama who doesn’t watch television during the day who is just trying to find pockets of time to clean a little and get some writing done is no fun for a little one.

There are only so many books you can hear your mom read, and so many tummy time games you can play before you go baby mad. I knew this, and had planned to sign up for some classes and activities when Jamie got older. I never thought that we’d be dealing with him being bored at 4 months!

Jamie’s disposition has greatly improved over the last week. I made a few changes to our schedule that seem to really help. After I drop my daughter off at school, we go right away to visit a friend or family member. I make sure to bring his stroller and blanket with me everywhere so that we can go on a quick walk in a different neighborhood, or stop at a park and sit and play for a bit.

In just a few weeks we’ll be starting a swimming class, and my husband suggested looking into Gymboree or baby sign language classes.

Taking steps to banish my baby’s boredom isn’t about spoiling him. It’s about taking care of his needs and aiding his development. If Jamie wants to be stimulated, it’s my job to make that happen. The bonus is that I get to bond with my baby on another level. Not only that, the days don’t feel so long anymore!

What are some thing you do to keep your baby from being bored?

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