Busy busy baby, busy busy days!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, Monthly Updates, New Mom Experience, TODDLER

Before I had Lexi, I remember talking to a friend of mine who has a particularly active baby as well, about how she HAS to take her places because staying home is a nightmare.

We are experiencing a similar thing.

While Lexi doesn’t cry or whine or throw tantrums at home, I can still see that she gets bored easier when we are not out and about.

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{This is her “bored” face on the left and “upset” face on the right}

She occasionally walks back and forth from room to room looking for things to do, picks up a toy, plays with it, feeds her bears, and then ends up picking up a book and we sit down to read. She is bored. I get it. She doesn’t like directed play and gets bored playing with toys for too long on her own. She does love reading or pretend play, as well as a few select (new-er) toys,  but let her go outside and Oh Boy!

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When she’s in one of those “I want to be moving” moods, we go outside A LOT. Running up and down the hill in our backyard is the best exercise for her. Sometimes our neighbors come out to play soccer after dinner, so we join them. Oh, it’s so much fun for Lexi. She runs around us, screaming, laughing and trying to steal the ball. Eventually we give in and let her grab it, at which point she will give the ball to me and then point to a spot in the grass where I am to put the ball. Then she sits straight down on it, all proud.  It’s so funny!

{Alexis at 12 months}

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So I try to take her outside the house as much as possible. I get lazy myself, and occasionally don’t want to go anywhere or have too much housework to do, but more often than not we have at least one outing a day, which is a big deal because we live at least 20-30 minutes away from anything kid related.

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We love going to the children’s museum, even though she caught a slight cold there that she then passed onto us ( I am now much more careful about disinfecting her hands with alcohol regularly while there). She could spend hours at the museum without any supervision, she loves it.

We have music classes that we usually go to twice a week, and I am about to sign her up for gym which will have classes twice a week, plus open gym twice a week.

We try to get out to playgrounds and splash parks and waterparks, though it’s challenging with the heat.

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When she is closer to 2, I will be signing her up for dance classes and whatever else is offered. I remember from experience when you have A LOT going on, you feel much better and have more fun. Life is just better when you’re busy. And it especially rings true for a busy baby, like Lexi, who isn’t crazy about just sitting still.

It’s been hard going to the beach with her because she would just go crazy when she’d see water and start running towards the waves like a mad woman. However, the last time we went she was actually interested in the sand and the shells, too. So that’s an interesting change that will probably mean that we’ll be going to the beach more often, if I don’t have to constantly wrangle her out of the waves.

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We’ve gone to the zoo a couple of times, but I am not a fan. We have a nice small well-kept zoo here, but Lexi will NOT sit in the stroller or carrier when there’re so many places she could be running around. So it ends up being more work than pleasure because I can’t be carrying a 27 pound girl through the zoo once she’s tired. I have to try Caribbean Gardens that we visited for her first Easter, maybe she’ll get a kick out of it this time, since she loves flowers.

We go to the pool at least every other day. She adores water and has become such a good “swimmer”. She doesn’t actually swim, obviously, but the whole time we’re in the water, she’s in horizontal position, kicking her legs. I need to look up some information on how to get her to move her arms in a swimming motion, too. We don’t use any of those blow up sleeves or any floatation device, because they prevent babies from learning about how their bodies move in water, so I just hold onto her the whole time.

outside

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Aside from all that listed, we try to take evening walks as a family. We usually walk around the golf course, walking into the wooded areas in search of birds and rabbits to show her. She was sooo impressed with the three bunnies we saw once that she kept “discussing” them for days after.

I am convinced that every time we go somewhere new, even if it’s just a day trip a few hours away, she takes a developmental leap. She started both crawling and walking shortly after each one of our Disney trip after some hardcore practice at the parks. Every time we go somewhere new I can see her little brain going “Ding! Ding! Ding!”… I try to remember that and continue exposing her to the world. In the end , nothing will help her learn and grow any more than experiences. It’s all very exciting.

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{Photo taken by friend, Kristy. It’s one of my favorites. I am trying to take an Instagram picture while holding onto Lexi who’s trying to run away.}

What activities do you do with your little ones outside of home?

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Comments (30)

  • Breanne

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    I have a seven month old and I’m really trying to enjoy the lack of mobility because I know it’s going to get WAY harder in the next few months! I loved reading about some of the activities you guys do…it definitely gave me a few ideas for my little one.

    Reply

  • Mrs Loquacious

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    We have Little L in a gym class and we try to hit the playground (namely the swings) twice per day. She doesn’t mind strolling if she has snacks, so we try to do a family stroll each day. We haven’t yet hit up our pool (it’s chlorinated and indoors) but are planning to go to the parent-tot swim classes at the Y this summer. We are also going to try music class again in the fall. We recently renewed our aquarium membership, and are going at least once a month. We are also planning to get our Science World membership and to return more frequently to the nearby petting farm; Little L is fond of the goats :). Our backyard has a playground and flowers and open grassy spaces for Little L to explore, so sometimes we head down with a ball or some blowing bubbles just to help her work out her energy.

    Our girl also loves imaginary play with her Little People toys and bath squirt animals, so we try to give her enough time to do this. And we also spend much time reading books to her.

    Reply

  • Verna

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    My kids are pretty good at amusing themselves at home. I just can’t take them places all the time being so big and pregnant. We do try to go outside a lot though. We have a rock pile under the swing set, Garrett calls it the diamond mine (from Snow White), they both love that. We have woods to explore. Bunnies like to hang out at the bird feeder in front of the big windows in the living room, they also enjoy checking out the different kinds of birds and tractors are always going by. We got chickens this spring also, so they’re pretty popular. Avery loves to “yell” at them. It’s hilarious! I try to keep a variety of inside games for if it’s rainy too. Looking forward to more walks after this baby comes out! haha!

    Reply

  • Corinne

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    I know what you mean! We also have a very physically active baby (shes recently been climbing EVERYTHING) and she needs to be out *doing* something to really be happy. She gets bored with toys easily and would be thrilled to just be running around outside for hours.
    For going to the zoo, would it make any sense to bring a small stroller and have someone push it around for when she gets tired? Or does she not sit in it even when tired?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      We used to bring our Emotion stroller with us which is super small and light but we just end up carting it around and then carrying Lexi AND pushing the stroller when she gets tired. Lol
      I don’t know what it is about her and strollers honestly. She has periods of time when she will actually be ok with one and I think “oh finally” and then 2 weeks later she’s over it.
      She changes constantly so I’ll keep trying. I haven’t in a long time now.
      She won’t stay in a carrier either which would be my first choice.

      Reply

  • Corinne

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    As far as what we do outside the home, we do a Tot Time at a local sports complex- huge indoor field with toys for 1.5 hours of free play, Baby Lap Rap at a library- stories, songs, interactive play, pool-my parents have one and we’ll have a small one in our yard, playgrounds, walks around a lake close-by to see the ducks and big kids playing baseball/basketball (she loves watching the big kids! Every time she sees the sports field, she starts saying “ball ball ball “).

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Oh how fun!
      Lexi loves big kids too but she also tries to run into a game (like soccer) and grab the ball to sit on it. Lol

      Reply

      • Corinne

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        Celia might do that too, if she wasn’t being pulled in a wagon or pushed in a stroller Haha

        Reply

  • Rachell Edens (@RachNole20)

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    Active babies are definitely a handful but so fun as well. I definitely feel it is much easier if we are able to get Brandon out of the house as well. We have a lot of good parks close to where I live so we take advantage of those. We also do the beach if we can but like you said, in Florida, it can get so hot in the Summer that we really have to plan ahead and do outdoor activities either early in the day or later in the afternoon/evening.

    I am thinking of trying out our local library for story time and see how Brandon does with that. At 14 months, I am just not sure if he can really sit still for any of that. He is a mover and a shaker.

    BTW, the photo of Lexi running in the beach in her pigtails is adorable. One of my favorite photos of her. You can easily see the joy in her face from this shot.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I am yet to take her to story time. We just always miss it somehow. She sits through a zillion books at home, but at a library- I am not so sure. I know during her music class she prefers walking around even when a book is being read.

      Also, during story time, they don’t have to sit still, they can move around, so you should definitely take him. It’s an experience, so who cares if he only listens to the story 10% of the time.

      Reply

    • Corinne

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      I agree with Elena. Even if he won’t sit still, take him to story time! Most of the kids at the one we go to don’t sit still. I think it’s expected they’ll be all over the place :]

      Reply

  • lauren

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    That would be tough to have such a drive to everything, especially if you ever want a nap for her, but I think sometimes the backyard and a sports ball, chalk, or bubbles will occupy my kids for hours since they can play together, but if they were alone it would be tough! With my first daughter we had a lot of story times, music class, zoo days, etc, to fill the hours. It is good for mommy too to get out of the house (at least, it was for me!)
    You sound like you will have a great balance of home time and activity time! Now, we’ve become way OVER-scheduled as a family since they are a little older (youngest is 3, in preschool, but all of them are in multiple sports) and sometimes I feel we never have time to just open the door and PLAY anymore, so when we do, I enjoy it so much.
    One other note – my kids learned the arm swimming motion by putting a ball or toy just out of their reach, holding them horizontally, and letting them reach and stretch for it and helping them imitate the forward stroking motion of swimming, just keep kind of knocking the ball of of their reach. Eventually they understand that (along with kicking) is what propels them forward. Same thing and you can practice kicking.

    Reply

  • Missy

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    My favorite activity with my 18 month old is the zoo. We have a zoo pass therefore no pressure to stay all day. We go for an hour or two.
    In the last month she has become obsessed with animals and what each “animal says”. She wants to read her animal books several times a day. The last time I took her to the zoo, she was able to piece together the real animals to the ones in her book. To see the excitement in her face was priceless. The last time she was so excited to finally see her favorite animal, the penguins, she was sooo excited that she became a bit overwhelmed
    Also, I have a restless toddler too. I gave up on the stroller there. I just let her run. All that excitement and running equals excellent nap times.

    Reply

  • Sarah

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    Most toddlers love being outside. They just go nuts being outside even if it’s just an open space. We love going outside everyday. Our dd stopped using the stroller when she started walking…. It’s harder for us controlling her but it’s better for her bc she’s always stopping when she needs to touch or look at something new aka learn. At 2, she was walking 2 miles straight!!! I understand many parents like the convenience of the stroller for containment but it’s so much better for the kid to be free. If she’s tired we lift her and head home….but she’s rarely tired lol.
    Anyways, apart from what you mentioned, we visit playgrounds a lot bc she socializes with other kids there and has learned to take turns to use the swing, slide etc.

    Reply

  • Anna

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    I so fill her lol however it probably driving u crazy and exhausted poor things

    Reply

  • Tawny

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    The beach picture is sooo adorable!!!! Would she sit in a wagon maybe?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      She will sit in a new interesting thing for a few minutes at most. But then we end up being saddled with a baby we need to carry (when tired) and a wagon lol
      When she isn’t feeling good/tired/feeling feelings, she gets very attached to mommy…

      Reply

  • Rockie

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    I just about DIED looking at that picture of Lexi running in her little Lourdes bathing suit and the pigtails!!! That is probably one of the cutest pics of her I have seen!!!! LOVE!!!

    Reply

  • Brooke

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    Alexis keeps getting cuter and cuter! I was just wondering if you had seen this article yet cautioning about too many/too much structured “event” -like activities. It’s an interesting read and, I think, a good jumping off point for more research into the subject. I thought you might be interested since you seem to always have Lexi’s best interests at heart, but are finding it a struggle to give her busy-body tendencies time to be still. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder that it’s also important to encourage little minds that it’s okay to not be “on” all the time.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I think the article applies more to older kids specifically. Small kids of Lexis age usually have plenty of “so what do you wanna do now?” time.
      Besides classes at this age are anything but structured. Location changes and so do the props but what they get to do at this classes is largely determined by them alone.
      Good article though. I love free play.

      Reply

    • erin

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      It’s tough to balance the benefits of the stimulating, mind-broadening activities with the benefits of appreciating stillness and encouraging free play…
      An interesting book on the subject by an author that advocates more simplicity – but a good read and good food for thought is Simplicity Parenting.

      Reply

  • Julia

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    1. Put her in gymnastics! I bet she would love it!
    2. Do you read littlebabygarvin.blogspot.com? Jessica (the owner) has a daughter who is literally two weeks and a day younger than Alexis. You should read it!

    Reply

  • Julie

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    I am constantly amazed at how different toddlers can be from each other! I always thought I had some control over how much stimulation my now 3 year old needed by how much I exposed her to. I worried a bit about her needing to be constantly entertained and encouraged her to play by herself for a little while each day so she’d enjoy it. But now, it’s very clear that parental guidance in that area only goes so far. You get what you get! Good grief, it makes me nervous our second that’s due any day now. :)

    Reply

  • Brooklyn

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    Hi Elena, such cute pics of Lexi! She’s so pretty! My lil guy is pretty much the same always on the go go go. We spend most of our time outside, going to parks and taking walks.
    Just a question, do you ever put safe or natural insect repellent on Lexi? I’m trying to find a brand I can trust.
    Thanks:)

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      No we don’t. Somehow bugs haven’t been an issue since we don’t camp or walk in heavily wooded areas.
      Check out Celadon I think they have a good product. I haven’t done the research though so look at ingredients.

      Reply

      • Brooklyn

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        Okay I will look into that brand. Thanks so much for your suggestion I always love things you recommend.

        Reply

    • Pam

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      Try Scarlet’s Naturals BugBee Gone at scarletsnaturals.com. I love all her products. They work great and smell fabulous! I have no affiliation with the site, just a fan :)

      Reply

  • Anna

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    Just cannot stop them from running!!! Lol

    Reply

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