Have you ever found yourself wondering what the heck to do with a baby who can’t roll, can’t scoot, can’t sit up, or can’t crawl? Um, yeah, pretty sure we all have. Well, you’re in luck, because here’s an idea…
DANCE WITH YOUR BABY!
I don’t care if you feel silly or not, your baby will more than likely LOVE it and I bet it will put you in a pretty good mood, too. Find your favorite groove – be it Funky Town or Wheels on the Bus – and get to work as your baby’s favorite dance partner. My favorite place for baby-bopping tunes is Pandora…try stations such as “Raffi” or “Veggie Tales”.
Dancing with your baby is great because it:
- gets baby off the floor and into your arms
- allows baby to experience lots of fun movement and stimulation (such as bouncing up and down or rolling and flying in your arms) before being able to move independently
- prepares baby for the big task of learning how to roll
- exposes baby (and you!) to different kinds of music and rhythm
When I took a parent-infant development class taught by child development specialist Laura Sobell, we did a lot of dancing with our babies each week and it was so much fun. Not only did the babies enjoy being whisked around the room, but they loved looking at the other babies and parents who were bouncing, twirling, and swaying. It was so cute!
To dance with your baby, all you have to do is turn on that music, find a position that suits baby’s age and comfort, and start bopping around. Dance and sway and sing for 30 seconds or so and then…FREEZE!…for a few seconds to give baby’s body (actually the inner ear) a chance to process all that movement and sort of “reset” for the next round. Dancing with too consistent a rhythm and no freeze breaks can cause your little one to sort of “tune out” the movement and lull them into lala land. Since that’s not the goal of this activity, we want to break things up to keep baby alert and engaged!
Be sure to switch up positions when you dance with your baby so they can experience all different kinds of movement.
You can hold baby facing out.
You can hold baby sideways.
Or you can roll baby down and make him fly!
Make things really fun and dance with baby in front of a mirror or even during a play date with other dancing babies!
I hope you get a chance to dance with your baby every day and as you bounce and laugh and cuddle, just remember that this stage won’t last forever, so do your best to make the most of these sweet and silly times!