At Home Activities with Your 6-12 Month Old Baby
Today we’re talking all about at-home activities perfect for stimulating your baby between 6-12 months of age.
I’m sitting in an airport putting the final touches on this post while I fly to a conference and I miss this cute little face so much already! But really, does it get any cuter than chubby little babies in sweet little outfits? Just me? Didn’t think so 🙂
My little Adelaide became a seven months old baby this month and this stage is SO much fun. With the exception of the nasty cold she got and the ensuing sleep regression (everything regression), she is my little angel baby. She loves nothing more than to sit and hold toys while watching big brother Lincoln play Her cries are reserved for “it’s time to go to sleep” and “Mom, I need a little more food before I go to sleep.” Even when she wakes up after 11-13 hours of sleep and no food she just babbles to herself in her room until I come in with some milk.
Adelaide at 7 months old
She isn’t crawling but loves to be standing up and leaning on things. As a 7 months old baby, she also loves putting everything within reach in her mouth and LOVES the solid food she’s tried. She’s getting better about actually swallowing it and she gets so excited whenever it’s time to eat that the food ends up everywhere (she insists on holding the spoon with me and by the end it’s all over both her hands, her mouth, her clothes… you name it).
We are finally starting to get into a more normal routine around here and we have afternoon naps lining up for both babies. Because Adelaide’s naps are shorter than Lincoln’s one long nap (he just turned two and takes one afternoon nap while she takes one morning and one afternoon nap), I find myself with 30-60 minutes each afternoon when it is just the two of us, me and my 7 month old baby.
Often I catch myself just staring at her, wondering what in the world to do with this 7 months old baby for a full hour. I’m trying to find things to do to specifically engage with her instead of spending most of it checking things off my to-do list with a baby on my hip (don’t worry, I do plenty of that during the day but usually it’s when she’s happily playing with Lincoln).
So, here are some things I’ve been trying or have added to my list for my Adelaide time over the next few months. I’d love to hear what you’d add to the list!
Learning Activities to do with your 7 month old
Simply put an ice cube on the high chair tray and let your little one push it around (Lincoln was FASCINATED with this). You can also put the ice cube in a shallow bowl of water. Bonus points if you plan ahead and add food coloring to the water so as the ice melts the colors mix together on the tray.
Adelaide loves to entertain herself in the mirror. I’ll take our full length mirror and lie it horizontally on the ground against the wall and put her next to it or I’ll just hold her and we’ll look into the big mirror in her room together.
Fill the same bin with 6-10 new safe household objects each day. The kitchen is a treasure trove filled with tupperware and wooden spoons and is a great way to mix up the toys without actually buying new ones.
One Too Many
Find three objects and hand two to your child so her hands are full. Hold out the third one for her so she has to make a decision between the three (try and guess which one she’ll pick!).
I’ve been doing this classic with my hands, blankets, and most recently colored magna tiles we bought for Lincoln’s second birthday.
The towers don’t get very tall but we’ve been stacking blocks and cups and books lately.
Some of my two year old’s very favorite books are the ones I started reading to him regularly when he was only a few months old so I’m trying to be better at reading one-on-one with Adelaide. I stick to board books because she’s quite rough with books and often hand her something to chew or put in her mouth so she doesn’t try to eat the book while I’m reading. I’ll point on different things on the page as we go. We’ve also been trying to say the title and the author before we begin each book with the kids and I’m getting a bit better at remembering to do that before we start.
As 7 months old baby, Adelaide can’t quite catch the bubbles yet but she does love just watching them and experimenting with her hand-eye coordination.
Name the people in family photos
I do love naming the people in pictures around our house (or on my phone if I just want to sit down on the couch with her). I’ll tell her stories about the people in the photos and remind her how much they love her.
Turn on and off the light
This cause and effect game is simple yet fascinating to little babies. I’ll explain that the lights are on and that it’s light. When we flip the switch I’ll exclaim that it’s dark because the lights are off.
Pots and pans orchestra
Now that Adelaide is sitting up so well on her own, using wooden spoons to play the pots and pans on the floor of the kitchen is a great way to entertain her while I clean up from lunch. She is also fascinated as I drum out simple patterns and loves when I help her use the wooden spoons to repeat the patterns.
If Adelaide is cranky a guaranteed way to soothe her fussiness is dancing around the living room. I’ll put on a Pandora station and we’ll sing and twirl (or just do weighted squats) until she’s ready for her nap.
We’ve all heard how important talking to your baby is but sometimes I just run out of things to tell her. And so I love to pick something that is important to me right then and then through it out loud. Maybe it’s planning what we’re having for dinners next week (doubtful), or simply what the schedule for the evening is going to be. Sometimes its talking through the next big project for this blog or something else on my to-do list. I feel a little bit like a crazy person talking to myself but it’s also very fun when she babbles back, like she has an opinion on whether we have pasta or soup.
Remember, you can make just about anything an adventure. I love just going on walks and pointing out the things we see or browsing TJ Maxx and pointing out all the things I’d like to buy. I’ll narrate my cleaning routine as I get things done around the house or tell her the story of how she was born while I fold laundry (which she loves to unfold right afterward).
What are your favorite activities with your 7 months old baby? What other things should I start going?
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I still can’t believe that there are kids who sleeps so much……….. 11-13 hours………. I would be so happy if I can get my baby girl to sleep 4+ hours at a time at night!
Right now my baby girl Ilinca a 9-month-old bundle of joy, loves books and story times; this is our favorite activity!
Well first. You’re awesome! I cut myself so much slack on days where I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep and you’ve been surviving off of 3 hour increments for NINE MONTHS! Is she always waking to eat in the night?
We did start a gentle form a sleep training early on (the result of being the second child with only one parent home a lot of the time). Often when Adelaide was struggling to go to sleep I would have to let her fuss for 2-5 minutes while I finished up something with Lincoln (getting him out of the bath, finishing a diaper change, etc) and I think it helped with her ability to self soothe because now she does really well at being put in her crib and putting herself to sleep.
That said, she was sick two weeks ago and I was up 3-5 times a night so it comes and goes 🙂
What are your favorite books to read with your little girl right now? I’m always looking for new ones!
So cute. We have the red fresh picked moccasins, but thr pink is too cute. I wish my baby was that content. She cries all day long and wakes most night. Hard. We all have our challenges.
Oh I love the red ones! And hang in there mama – how old is your little girl?
This is a fantastic list, Liz! Great ideas and many I’ve never used before! The talking one is so important! And I’m sure you’ve maybe heard this but I have noticed with my children that their vocabularies have soared when I speak to them as I would an older child or adult. I rarely do baby talk (except maybe with a newborn;) because they need to hear the language as we use it. I try to speak simply and clearly, but I still use most of the words I’d use if I were speaking to an adult, I will just pause to explain what a word means in simpler terms as I go. I’m not sure if that’s partly why my kids have been early talkers or what, but my in-laws seem to believe so!
Anyway, I’ll be taking some of these great ideas! And she is so lovely! Her outfit is perfect!
Aw thanks sweet friend! And I love the reminder to speak to our kids like they’re older — I’m pretty good at narrating our days to them and speaking often, but I usually find myself searching for words they’ll understand instead of using words they can learn so I’ll try and make that a priority this month!