Feeling overwhelmed as a new mum?
As a new mum you’re not only trying to keep your baby alive and well but you’re also worrying about your child’s future development. Couple this with limited sleep, exhaustion, mental and physical fatigue and it’s a recipe for overwhelm right!?
I recently spoke to a friend who’s become a new mum. She mentioned that she feels guilty that she is not always ‘present’ with her little one and worries that she’s not providing enough stimulation for her baby’s language development. She described that her mind is either ‘elsewhere’ thinking of all her to-dos or, completely fatigued and unable to engage properly.
Now this just broke my heart. With everything that this new mum has been through, and all the wonderful things she’s doing to take care of her little one, she still feels guilty that she’s not doing enough…. sound familiar?
Remember, feeling guilty as a new mum is common and you’re not alone.
Stimulating your baby’s language development: An alternative solution
Firstly, let’s just put it straight. YOU ARE DOING ENOUGH! You are human, and you can only do so much in one day. ….and I am stickler for the 80/20 rule for almost everything in life, so 80% is all you need to aim for ❤️
Instead of putting pressure on yourself to be constantly “on” for your child think about maximising two moments in your day, while giving yourself a break and expecting less from yourself during other times.
Here’s what I would suggest you do as a new mum or mum with multiple children:
Choose two daily activities that you enjoy doing with your baby.
- My favourites are bath time and snack time. These both make it a bit easier too because they are confined to one place (in the water or in a highchair). However, you can choose others such as dressing, story time or tummy time.
- Make these the two moments each day that you are intentionally present with your baby. That way you know you have these two moments, and you can relax during other moments of the day!
Implement general language stimulation techniques, these include:
- Be face to face with you baby
- Comment about what is happening in the moment
- Copy your baby’s sounds or your child’s words
- Copy your child’s actions and gestures
- Don’t be afraid to talk to your baby in sentences
See more explanation about these techniques here
Stimulating your baby’s language development: activity ideas
To give you something to comment and talk about while you engage with your baby, you can add in various objects during your interaction.Now remember, you don’t need fancy toys. Use what you already have at home! Depending on which two daily routines you choose to be “on” and “present”, here are some ideas:
- Use Tupperware and cooking utensils in the bath.
- Finger foods during mealtimes to provide more opportunities for engagement. See whats age appropriate over at @solidstarts
- Use cups and spoons during dedicated play time.
- Incorporate baby friendly sensory play during tummy time – use different items that have different textures (e.g. material pieces like ribbons or scarves, keys, feathers, toothbrush, loofah, spikey ball, mirrors etc). You can also use ziplock bags with various items.
- Some examples of baby sensory play, see here- https://www.instagram.com/p/CZxfYk4hScE/ & https://www.instagram.com/p/CaRmnERM-Fq/
I recently wrote a post about baby sensory for Speechie Sunday over on @little_play_ideas, click the image to read on!