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 Post subject: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:49 pm 
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BabyPunk is officially 2 months old and ive run out of things to do with her during the day.
she's semi interactive.
she smiles but not with any sort of reliableness.

she likes to lay on the changing pad we leave on the couch and basically thrash around. she kicks her legs and waves her arms around and seems to have a ball doing it. apparently this isnt necessarily something most babies do as people give me funny looks when i say she likes to lay on her back and thrash around. she's constantly moving. we call her "worm" i think she is just figuring out her parts.

so i am home with her all day loooooonnnngggggg
i dont know what to do with her.

we read books, i have a couple age appropriate toys i wave in front of her face. she is starting to hold things for short periods of time so i try and put them in her hand, we walk around the house and i show her stuff (this is a spoon, that is a dog, this is a beer bottle, this is a cookbook, hey look guinea pigs) but ive shown her pretty much everything in the house, until i broke my laptop we would play music and i would sing and bounce her around. we play "how big is the worm?" in which i ask her how big she is and then i grab her hands and put them over her head and say how old or how chunky she is. i bicycle her legs.
i know 2 nursery rhymes, patty cake and itsy bitsy spider.

PLEAAASSSEEEE tell me what else i can do. sometimes when she's awake and im not doing something i feel kinda like a bad parent but she's only 2 months old and barely sleeps during the day.
also i cant put her down.....like ever. she wants to be held pretty much always or laying on her mat thrashing around like an upturned turtle

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:26 pm 
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Get one of those play mats with stuff to look at when she is on her back. Most of them also play music. Sign up for a music class if you can afford it - they usually give you a cd of the music from class to take and play at home, it's a good way to learn new songs to sing to her and the cd will be entertaining in itself. Go outside, the lots of little walks. Invent errands to run. Get a mirror for her to look at. Go to the pool if you can find a warm one, otherwise take baths together. Watch TV.

If you use pandora, I recommend "music for aardvarks" channel.


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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:25 am 
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I found this book really helpful for ideas: http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Play-Gymbore ... y+gymboree

There's a toddler one too.

Though the advice I got (perhaps from here) was that at this stage, you should do what YOU want, because there's plenty of time to do kid-oriented stuff later. But I found that this worked better for some people with calmer babies than it did for me.


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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:27 am 
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LisaPunk wrote:
she likes to lay on the changing pad we leave on the couch and basically thrash around. she kicks her legs and waves her arms around and seems to have a ball doing it. apparently this isnt necessarily something most babies do as people give me funny looks when i say she likes to lay on her back and thrash around. she's constantly moving. we call her "worm" i think she is just figuring out her parts.

...

also i cant put her down.....like ever. she wants to be held pretty much always or laying on her mat thrashing around like an upturned turtle

Disclaimer: This is just my opinion and advice. It worked for me, but if it doesn't sound like it would work for you, that's cool, too.

Okay...as a mom of 3 kids who wouldn't be put down (they did not care for playmats and toys and such for months, if at all), liked to do the upturned turtle thrash (Beet and Vax, not so much Raygold), or needed a boob in their mouth (Beet, especially), that sounds pretty normal to me. I went through a similar, "how the heck do I entertain my baby all day long," and kind of felt like it was my duty to give Beetroot 24/7 attention and teach the hapless babe the ways of the world. Then Raygold came around and I didn't have time to give him all that attention -- he didn't even like to flail on his back that much, so he was even more hands-on. Now that I have 2 wild kids and Vax, Vax gets a little one-on-one time, but for most of the time, he has to just roll with what the rest of us are doing and learn the ways of the world himself.

I figure from a historical/tribal/cave-man/pioneering/etc. perspective, moms didn't have the luxury of just entertaining and teaching their babies all day (not that you or I do, either) and probably had a lot of other shiitake to do just to stay alive and warm and fed, so I don't feel like it's necessary (not anymore, at least, because I did with Beet for a while) to devote the majority of my attention to my little ones.

Also, LP, Babypunk is tiny, so ideal for a jersey wrap (I feel like they are so much more ergonomic than other baby carriers at this age & size). You could get a moby or just go to a fabric store and get 6 yards (you might need less, but that's a good starting point, I find) of their cheapest jersey cotton (I just got some on ebay). You only need it to be about 20" wide -- most material is either 40" or 60" wide, so you will have to cut it down (you can cut & just rip it along, if you get my drift) (I used the extra material for a sewing project). Anyway, doing the front cross carry (facing in) with jersey wraps has made my life so much easier. I carry my little one around most of the day, either in my left arm (esp if he will need to breastfeed soon -- I usually designate that as my computer time) or in a carrier. That way I can get on with what I need to do and my little one is happy and snug (and we can have a nice wee chat when he's awake).

http://wearyourbaby.com/videos/FWCJarre ... pFirst.MPG -- this is how I wrap mine and I can pull the cummerbund-bit up and tuck a barf rag under the cummerbund like a pillow to support his head and then I have 2 hands free. Otherwise, I support his head with my left hand (but won't have to after ~3 months as long as he's awake).

I'm not saying to just ignore your baby and go about your day, but it sounds like you have a lot of different ways of entertaining her (and the other advice here is good, too). I'm just saying you don't need to do it all day --
LisaPunk wrote:
sometimes when she's awake and im not doing something i feel kinda like a bad parent but she's only 2 months old and barely sleeps during the day.

Rest assured, that does not make you a bad parent. I felt like that with Beet at first, too, though.

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:13 am 
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yes, wear the baby! best entertainment for a baby is to watch the world go by from their mama's arms/sling/wrap.


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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:47 am 
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Finger puppet books: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... ppet+books

Playmats with overhead arches, like this one that is good for a kicker: http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Disc ... ds=playmat

Walks in the park and anywhere else, really: free!

Bouncers -this one will moon blink them- http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-K256 ... B000I2WB6G

Baby yoga

Swing - http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Crad ... B0042D69WY

Sorry a lot of this stuff costs money, but at least the walk in the park is free! Or if you don't have a park nearby, maybe just a walk around where you live, if it is safe. It was hard, but helped, to get outside.


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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:33 am 
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thanks everyone!

we do have a pretty cool play mat but because she has the infant torticollis thing (turns her head to the side because of muscle tightness) when i put her on her back on the play mat she pretty much stares at the closet. she also cant reach any of the hangy toys because shes so small and doesnt seem overly interested in trying. she does like to kick at one toy that usually is near her feet so that;s good. i also try to turn her over for tummy time with some success thuogh some times she just does a face plant and tries to eat the mat. hahaha

i do have a moby wrap and i use it constantly when we go to the store and before it got really hot out i would use it for walks. i dont use it in the house for some reason. i think i felt it was hard to do stuff and wear her since she still doesnt have 100% reliable head control so i feel like im always down to one hand again. maybe i just need to redouble my efforts.

we do *try* to go for walks but again it's been super hot and humid here lately that the last thing i wanna do is go outside plus if im gonna go for a walk i need to take one of the dogs since they dont get the attention/exercise they used to and i dont want to take an old fat black dog (they both fit that category) out into direct 90 degree sunlight.

finger puppets sound cool! i may look into those. she does intently look at stuff even if she isnt fully interacting or reacting yet. she looks at me like "what the fizzle are you doing crazy lady"

at the very least it's good to know leaving her on her back thrashing around like a turtle isnt a bad thing. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:35 am 
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I felt the same way - that I needed to entertain this baby and I realize now that he didn't need any entertaining. Just cuddling and feeding pretty much. Giles did enjoy laying in front of a mirror and see himself and me waving at him. We also did a little "game" where I had a burp rag and I would start hold one end and slowly drag the rest of the blanket over him starting at his head and working to his toes and back, we would use different texture fabrics too and he liked that. We did a lot of singing with arm and leg movements - like adapted "if you're happy and you know it...bounce your butt" and would hold his legs and bounce his little tush up and down on the bed. We really avoided going out because I was so scared of how unpredictable he was, but now I realize that was the PERFECT time to take him out! When he was out in public he would love watching everything blur by and was so good and if he did start to cry he was usually easily calmed (totally unlike the yelling, throwing, thrashing, kicking 1 year old I have now!) I also vote for the baby gym - he really liked his and it gave me a chance to get some stuff done around the house while he laid on his mat. Get one used on craigslist though - those suckers are so expensive for what they are! Even if the mat doesn't come with the toys, you can just buy the plastic clips and put your own toys on it and save a bundle!


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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:34 am 
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LisaPunk wrote:
since she still doesnt have 100% reliable head control so i feel like im always down to one hand again.

It took me 2 kids to figure this out, but you can stuff something under her head to keep it propped up. I just use a barf rag, since I need one on-hand anyway. I've heard you can just pull the wrap up over her head to keep her head in place, but stuffing the wrap works a lot better for me. I've tried pulling the wrap up, but it just makes my kids look like they are gonna get a crick in their neck.

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:22 am 
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Well, I only have one, but I still want to second everything Crabby said since tiny wu is exactly like that!

Definitely wear the wrap out, if you can, for some you-time while BabyPunk is asleep. I would plan a big walk during the middle of the day nap and just stick tw inside my coat. She slept through the farmers market, public library, art museum, and many long walks in the Danish winter. It's like a nice break from being so baby-focused all the time. As long as you know a place nearby where you could go for an emergency diaper change or nursing session, you're set, and that place is just a back-up, so it could be even a department store or the park or whatever.

Also, for actual entertainment, there's the hokey-pokey, while lying on the back (you know the hokey-pokey, right?), also head and shoulders knees and toes. tw likes a game we call "band" where I drum on her tummy and then make different sounds when I tap or tug her other body parts--like ding ding on her nose, or boing on her knees or whatever. And she's currently a huge fan of "I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor" too.

Finally, someone posted this link in another thread here a few months ago and it was really interesting and helpful, so here it is again with thanks to whoever it was! It's pediatrician recommended activities for babies and toddlers, divided by age.

http://www.polarisparkwayimpeds.com/pli ... ntal2.html


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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:42 am 
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The wonderful Guineapig posted that and we love it!

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:32 am 
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I'm late to the thread, and I'm pretty much just echoing what other people already said better but yeah: I think when they're that little, you do whatever is entertaining for you that they'll tolerate. The nice thing about a baby that young is that EVERYTHING is still new to her; thus everything is still extremely interesting and stimulating.

M was little during the rainy, rainy winter, so I couldn't take him out quite as much at first as I would've wanted to. It was my common practice to stuff him into the MobyWrap, put on some music that he particularly liked (a favorite album of mine is now forever tied to his infancy for me), and paced back and forth around the living room while he slept. Sometimes I'd read a book, sometimes I'd PPK on my phone, sometimes I'd just think about stuff or sing along with the music. Maybe it sounds crazy but it meant I got some exercise even though we were stuck inside, and he was happy because he was sleeping.

With both kids, I got in the habit of reading adult books out loud to them. It meant that I got to read some of a book (though slowly, because of course reading aloud is always so much slower) I actually wanted to read, and they were happy to hear my voice.

I spent a lot of time singing to both of them when we were at home. Both of my kids have always responded a lot to music so I worked that angle. Plus I love to sing, and like I said... it was something I enjoyed that they would tolerate! And I think that's pretty much key!

It will get better and less challenging to fill the hours in a few months. I seriously think one of the worst parts of the first few months of having a baby is just how forking boring it can be at times.

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:23 pm 
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On the boring front - I watched a lot of TV and read huge swaths of the Internet.

You can totally support her head in the Moby by pulling a shoulder strap forward and it is awesome and snuggly in there. You can also wear the Moby (and her) under your shirt and keep her in just a diaper so you get some extra skin-to-skin time which chills them out and is good for brain development and attachment. Maybe she'd nap more like that?


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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:32 pm 
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I don't think I ever did a lot to entertain Sven when he was a newborn -- I basically spent the first few months nursing on the couch with Netflix, or taking him along shopping in a sling or the car seat stroller frame. I read my books out loud to him too, and I would sing or narrate what I was doing during the day. But yeah, Netflix is a godsend.

At that age Sven really enjoyed receiving massages. Now he's way to impatient for anything but a quick back rub, but I look back on the after-bath massages I gave him as some of my sweetest newborn memories. I tried to play with different sensations and textures on his hands and skin, just using random stuff from around the house. He also liked those Tanya Hoban black and white image books, and a mirror that had black, white and red patterns on the back.


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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:54 pm 
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I have a hard time with skin to skin because my boobs are so leaky. Maybe I should just suck it up and not care since everything I own is already covered in milk anyways.

I definite need to moby her around the house morw

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:01 pm 
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And yeah thank god for Netflix & my dvr. I've watched all of the new arrested development episodes......twice, season 1 & 2 of bobs burgers, I started watching season 1 of king of the hill. I've watched billions of dvred cooking shows like iron chef, master chef, cupcake wars, etc

I feel like such a lazy crasshole but in all honesty she wants to nurse constantly so I guess it works for both of us. If only my living room could be air conditioned or we had a tv in our bedroom is be watching tv right now

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:33 am 
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I was doing it before then, but between 8+9 weeks I noticed westiebaby started to enjoy looking at/'reading' books with me, she was also right into the put-everything-I-can-in-my-mouth stage [still there, by the way], which mostly meant her own clothes, she would lift up the hem of her shirt/dress/whatever and suck on the fabric, so around that time I started giving her small rattles/toys to play with so she didn't get her clothes all wet! I had to put them in her hand, but she loved to hold on/shake them around/suck/chew on them. She was also really into checking herself out in a small mirror - I had one hanging from her baby mat thing, but I would also remove it and put it on the floor angled up at her for when she was on her tummy, so you could put one on whichever side babypunk likes to look towards.
Or yeah, naps in the moby are always a good idea! You should definitely be able to get her nice and snug/supported even if she doesn't have great head control - that's the beauty of the stretchy wrap!
I never watched tv/used the internet while she was awake, but I read a few books on the kindle in the early weeks when she used to feed for longer than 5 minutes at a time.


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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:38 pm 
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ignore the baby! kinda joking, but really, this stage is about taking in broad sensations... think of it like if you took someone to a concert of a world-famous musician, and the only thing the person really noticed was that it was dark and the seats were comfy. that's kind of how it is to be a baby. they really REALLY don't care at this stage. and, in the grand scheme of things, this stage is incredibly short, so enjoy getting out (or sitting still) and doing the things you like to do. in less than 7 or 8 months, this little kiddo is going to start demanding a more intense kind of interaction. lying next to you while you surf the net or do your hobbies isn't going to cut it and you will look back sadly on these boring, long days and wonder what happened to the time.

wear her if you like, but certainly don't be afraid to test out how long she'll be content kicking and thrashing on a mat on her own. i really love babywearing but i tell everyone now to save the babywearing for when they really need it (like when they're 7 months old and PISSED as hell that they can't crawl yet and oh, also cutting their top teeth) if it's not something they really want to do all day.

anyway, yeah the boredom comes with the territory. it's over really quickly though!


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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:24 pm 
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littlebird wrote:
think of it like if you took someone to a concert of a world-famous musician, and the only thing the person really noticed was that it was dark and the seats were comfy. that's kind of how it is to be a baby.

Seriously! I'll be talking to Vax and he will just stare at the curtains like they are SO AMAZING. Forget about mom if there aren't boobs involved because curtains!!

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:55 pm 
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I know this is an old thread, but I'm

1) so glad I found it, bc I was just going to ask the same thing. Little S is starting to be awake way more and I am feeling guilty about reading, internet on my iPad, or watching Netflix, like I should be talking to her all day or something. But I run out of things to say and/or my mouth dries out. ;P

and

2) bumping it in case any of the other new moms start to feel this way in the next few weeks too.

I'm extra tired today (I rarely feel like a zombie like so many people talk about in the newborn stage, but today is DEFINITELY a zombie day. zzzzzz...) so I'm super vegging out but I think I will try wearing her in the moby more next week to get some cleaning done that I've been really wanting to get to. we'd go for walks more if it wasn't so damn hot.

we're driving tomorrow (25 ish minutes to visit inlaws) so my ipod is still in the car, but I'll bring it in after that trip for more singing/dancing times too. Don't get me wrong I love binge watching netflix but I feel like a total slug. At least I feel less guilty that I should be 12 hours a day talking to her/narrating life/stimulating her social and mental development in impressive and specific ways now...

She's doing her upside down turtle thrashing right now and loving it. I find in the past week if she's fussy and won't nurse calmly she is likey bored. I put her down on the mat to thrash for 15 min or so & = SUPER HAPPY. I think she likes stretching out.

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:21 pm 
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oh wow what a trip down memory lane!
such fun memories came up for me so thanks for bumping this thread up :-D

i have to say i dont think i really came up with anything else to do with an infant other than the things listed.

we walked ALOT when she was a baby. i used to stuff her in a wrap and go to a local walking trail with one of the dogs and we walked like 3 miles a day and if i was super lucky she might fall asleep for part of it.

in retrospect the only thing i wish i had done differently is really had her feel more different textures maybe by rubbing them on her arms or hands or something. alot of kids love those taggies blankies because of all the different soft and silky textures and we had a small one but she was never that into it. now of course i know she has mild sensory issues so i wonder if i pushed it more if it would have helped a bit. obviously most kids would just grab it and explore it themselves so im not saying shove textures on your kid but it can be something to do with an infant is explore different textures

i was never good at the "talk to your baby all day" thing like narrating your day. i felt really stupid doing it when she was really little. im just a quiet person so jabbering through the entire grocery store to a small human blob whose biggest interest is stairing at the lighting fixtures was not my forte. once she seemed to understand or at least be interested in what i was saying even if she didnt understand i got better because i at least felt like i was talking to someone

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:06 pm 
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yay!

yep that's where I'm at. I'll narrate more when she seems like she's listening more.

I'd love to do tons of walks but most days it's tooooo hot or humid or both. I have a pretty low heat tolerance. :( we've had a few evening walks when mr spork is running late and we have to take smudge out, haha.

mostly now I lay with her when she's doing her upturned turtle thing and "talk" to her when she seems interested - i mimic her crazy baby sounds back at her and she gets all smiley and makes more sounds at me. IT'S SO DAMN CUTE.

and then sometimes she's "talking" to her toys or her reflection and when I try to get in on the conversation she shuts up. LOL.

from what I've read she'll be better with games (peek a boo, holding toys, etc) in another month or so. she doesn't even really grab things yet, just kind of swats at stuff. she hasn't discovered her hands yet so we'll probably do more textures and holding toys and that in a few more weeks.

I made a playlist of all the songs I might feel like dancing to so we'll try some dance party times this week. I sing to her every night and she loves it so maybe she's more of a "sounds" baby at this point.

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 Post subject: Re: how do you entertain an infant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:45 pm 
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yeah the summer is tough. it gets way to hot and humid to wear a baby around so i think that is pretty much the only time i used my stroller. the one i have has a little hood thing on it that sort of works depending on where the sun is in the sky.
but sometimes it's even too damned hot to have an infant and an old black furry dog out in the sun

upturned turtle time is awesome. sounds like she is really responding to your talking and singing (unless of course you are interrupting her converstaion with her reflection GEEZ MOM!)

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