Our four month old daughter likes to constantly be stimulated. She is not one to stay in “one place” for more than twenty minutes at a time. And she’s loud. So when she is unhappy or bored, there is either loud babbling (I think she is lecturing us) or screaming.
When my husband and I are trying to get things done around the house or working on our computers (we both work from home), this can be tricky. Sometimes I wear her in my Ergo baby carrier, but other times, I need a quick idea that will keep her busy (for at least A LITTLE while).
Enter baby stations.
As an educator, I’ve always used the entirety of my classroom as the kid’s space. Activities, centers, and stations, are spread around the room and the kids are able to access them as needed.
So I thought….maybe I’d try creating baby stations. Now–these don’t always keep her busy or stop her from crying. And I have to carry her from station to station, unlike my students, but sometimes these stations OCCUPY her! And that’s enough reason for me to keep trying to create simple stations for her. All. Over. The. House!
Our house is completely open, so there isn’t a room I can enter where I can’t see or hear her.
Here are some ideas for your own stations!
The Map Station-tummy time when I’m in the room with her & I prop the map up for exploration when I’m not. She literally falls asleep because she is so mesmerized by it!
Sensory Box-Hand your babe a LARGE SAFE ITEM from the sensory box. Hello DOLLAR STORE!
Fridge Stimulation– When I’m cooking, sometimes I place my daughter in close proximity to the fridge. I rotate items like mirrors, her picture, brightly colored numbers & letters, magnets, and pictures drawn by students. Sometimes she’ll gaze at this for at least twenty minutes!
Ribbons, Textures, and Sound, Oh My!– Hang safe items like colored ribbons, cloths, baby teethers and toys, from furniture around your house. Place your baby in her bouncer near the items and let her discover them with her hands (and mouth). Be sure everything is safe and not a choking hazard. This station is right by the kitchen so I can keep an eye on her!
Moving Mobile-Giving this a shout out in 2 of my blog posts. This mobile, which is completely safe and only involves her looking, keeps my daughter occupied the longest! I keep changing the ribbon and adding glittery ornaments to it. She loves, loves, LOVES it!
Pack-n-Play Station-So, we never bought one of those fancy things that your baby lays under and plays with. Instead, we fastened the cover of our Graco-Pack-n-Play and hang things from that for our daughter to play with. Sometimes I use the same items from the ribbon stations. Super safe and good for a busy bee.