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    Default Is my baby getting enough stimulation?

    How do I know if my baby is getting enough stimulation for his development? He's 8 & a half weeks old & because I am totally struggling with sleeping/settling & feeding is still a bit of a nightmare too, we rarely leave the house except on weekends. Even going for a walk around the block is a massive logistical nightmare. I just get really anxious about him cracking up on a bus/train or out in public somewhere cause he is always overtired & then the only way I can settle him is to feed him. No way am I breastfeeding him on the train or bus & I struggle with it in public places without dh there to help.

    So he basically sees the same things all day every day. And because most of my day involves trying to get him to go to sleep I often forget to give him any more playtime other than talking to him.

    Everyone keeps telling me that he needs to go out & be stimulated so im getting worried

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  2. #2
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    harvs is offline Winner 2014 - Spirit of BubHub Award
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    Do you have a back or front yard? I used to feel the same anxiety about taking my son out alone at that age, but he would lie in his bassinet and coo for ages if he could watch trees blowing in the breeze and hear birds/cars/planes etc., and I figured it was better than being cooped up inside all day.

    Practically everything is a sensory stimulation for newborns, so you can expose him to different textures, sounds and smells even at home.

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    heartstringz  (03-09-2014)

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    Be kind to yourself and ignore the comments. Getting out even for a few mins is beneficial more to you I feel than bub
    At such a young age both my kids saw either my boob or inside of their eyelids. Enjoy your 1:1 time - it doesn't last long x

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    People shouldn't be telling you that for a start! The first 3 months are about establishing a bond with bub and getting feeding established. They don't need interaction or to be out and about at that age all they want is mummy and enough sleep/ feeds to develop. Interaction and play time come later IMO. Please don't think you need to be doing a million things with bub because you will just stress yourself out. Many new mums including me and everyone I know didn't even leave the house for the first 6+++ weeks! Breast feeding is hard work and this is the time for snuggles and getting to know your bub not for other people to be poking their nose in and OVER stimulating when you are already having trouble settling. You are doing a perfect job concentrating on sleep patterns. That's all your day will be consisting of for a while.. Don't worry I couldn't do it without dh either for the first couple of months. Don't listen to them and keep doing what your doing, your doing a wonderful job. Don't underestimate the amount of work your doing I couldn't even fathom leaving the house by myself for a very long time! Your bub your routine. Xx hugs xx

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    Thanks ladies!

    I worry what will happen if he's not exposed to the bus or train early though (I dont drive) - when I am eventually able to go out im concerned he'll just freak out & crack up every time which means I wont be able to get anywhere

    Does lack of sleep affect his development? Im very lucky if he gets 2 hours of sleep during the day, some days he only gets a couple of 10-20 minute naps. I hope its not affecting him too much

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    This is such a cultural thing. I can't find it just now, but I remember reading something really interesting when DD was little. It was a survey of mothers in the US and one of the Scandanavian countries. They asked questions about how much the babies slept and what things they thought were most important for a baby's development. They found that the babies in the US got, on average, 2 hours less sleep per day than the Scandinavian bubs. The US mothers focused on 'stimulation' as most important for development, whilst the Scandanavian mums focused on 'rest' as the most important thing.

    Now here's the thing... Scandanavian babies, on the whole, do fine. There's this weird focus in the US, and certainly in Australia, on stimulation stimulation STIMULATION. And, like everything with our parenting, if you don't do this very specific thing then you MUS BE FAILING YOUR CHILD.

    But seriously. Babies don't need much. Seeing you, seeing your house, your back/front yard if possible... hearing your voice, looking at objects and patterns... it's all stimulation. Your son will be fine. All he really needs is you.

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    Catnapping during the day is pretty normal lucky if I got 40mims sometimes! Don't worry too much they do need sleep but you try telling a 2 month old that sometimes! Look after yourself x

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    hi heartstringz, think about it this way, everything bub sees, hears, touches, is a form of stimulation. the bath is stimulation, the soft baby blanket, or the cotton wrap, all these things are also stimulation. There is no way to get a baby used to buses or trains. Even a toddler could be a bit nervous one day and totally fine the next day. At the age your little one is now, feeding and sleeping are the most important. Just focus on your bub and your own routine. and don't let others tell you what you should be doing. you are doing just fine. Marie.

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    Is he sleeping a bit better at night now? There have been a few threads on here lately about the 'average' sleep required thing. My super-alert DD catnapped but had started sleeping better at night by that age. At 8 weeks she'd get a total of around 10-12 hours per 24hrs and by 12 weeks it was 13-14 hours. As for how it impacted on her development, she's 6 years old now and is 6 months ahead in all areas of literacy, loves maths, can swim like a fish, has started playing basketball and an amazing little artist. She also still sleeps a bit less than average/recommended. Yes, sleep is important to their development - but her and I were so much happier when I stopped spending time trying to get her to sleep more during the day. She'd still get grumpy late in the day but for most of the day was fairly happy, just very social/always wanted someone's attention.

    Don't worry about the bus/train thing. Most babies just see home/car/shops/park as the majority of people don't use public transport. The first time we took DD on a train (5? months) she LOVED it!

    As for the general stimulation thing - honestly, I want to slap some of the people offering you (what I believe is well meaning) advice as it is causing you to stress unneccessarily.

    Here are some ideas for at home with bub.
    - Going out in the yard, even just to hang out the washing.
    - Using your hand to 'trace' around their body, so they feel you touching right to the ends of their hands feet. This is supposed to help build body awareness.
    - Clapping their hands or feet together (singing optional ).
    - A playschool CD is great to put on and see if you can remember any of the hand motions. (again, singing along optional) This will also prepare you for Rhyme Time classes down the track.
    - Place objects with different textures into bubs hands or near bubs.
    - Draw patterns with a black marker onto white card (eg. paper plates) for baby to look at. Babies at this age see contrast more than colour. Similarly, toys with strong contrast are good.
    - Massage baby and play hand/feet games like This Little Piggy and Round and Round the Garden.

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    heartstringz  (03-09-2014)

  17. #10
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    Thanks ladies!

    Stretched he sleeps quite well overnight now, usually gets a good long stretch & then 1-2 shorter stretches. Some days he hardly sleeps at all during the day so hopefully he is making up for it at night

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