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how to 'hang out' with my 12 month old?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My baby is 12 months old now, and I need ideas on games or ways to spend time with her! I'm very quiet by nature, and she's my complete opposite, very loud and active. Nothing keeps her attention for long. She always wants others' attention, but she doesn't like to play with toys. My parents never spent much time with me growing up, and I find that I don't know how to spend time with her. Is that strange? I carry her out whenever I go out or run errands. And occasionally we play peek-a-boo, sing songs, etc, but for short stretches at a time only. I find she is starting to prefer to play with other people who are more 'fun'. How can I be more fun with her?

post #2 of 7
Can you include her in things you do? My Little is a lot younger (7 months) but she likes to sit up in her chair in the kitchen and watch me cook or watch me put laundry in the washer, or spread clean laundry around while i fold it. We listen to music together, lots of walks outside, swimming class, and sometimes I just sit on the floor with her and make towers of blocks for her to knock over, or pull her around in her wheeled toybox. Sometimes we just need to go hang out with family because I do feel like she can get bored with our routine, but she always likes me best smile.gif
post #3 of 7
Going to the park is great for us and so is "helping" mommy fold laundry lol. I blow raspberries on any exposed skin and she's been doing it back on me. I laugh and she thinks it's hysterical. Dressing up in each other's clothes: I'll put her hat on my head and mine on hers. We laugh and she whips them both off. Repeat. Incessantly. Lol. The more grown up things you can use, the better. We stack plastic measuring cups. She takes the remote for a ride in her doll stroller now that she can walk.... We bounce balls and I pretend to race her to them... What you do isn't nearly as important as how you do it. Pick safe items for her to work with, give her your undivided attention and laugh when she does something funny. She will love to make you laugh and will do it over and over. 14 month old DD's latest trick is to take my glasses of while she's sitting on my lap nursing and put them on her own head. I couldn't help laughing the first time I saw those big glasses on her little face. She thought it was funny and now it's a daily thing. Just give her your attention and she will love whatever you do together
post #4 of 7
We love going out and playing with moms and babies. I found being with other moms helps my sanity and I'd swear my LO gets sick of me from time to time (tho he'll never admit it, if he could articulate it).

I met a great group of moms with babies around the same age as my DS by signing up for local Music Together classes. Not only do these mom/baby classes engage your LO and you, but gets both of you out of the house for an hour. And, most importantly, takes the focus off Mom teaching for a bit, which is a nice break while still being involved with your LO.

Have you tried searching for local moms groups on MeetUp or BigTent? For me, having other little ones my DS can play with, even if just once a week, really helps break up the daily routine and often gives me new ideas of things to do together from watching others.
post #5 of 7

OP, I can really relate to this! I am such an introvert and my DS (9mos) is such an extrovert already... he flirts indiscriminately with strangers and loves to play with other kiddos. Mama meetups have been great for us. I can usually find one or two people to talk with on the edges of the group or just quietly listen while DS plays with the other kiddos. Sometimes it's exhausting for me and I go a little crazy because we introverts need to recharge in a quiet space (which I don't get very often), but please know that you're not alone in being an introverted mama with an extroverted kiddo. My kiddo has learned to play by himself creatively with his toys, and as long as I set aside an hour or so a day to actively engage him, we both seem to do fine. Otherwise, he just tags along on errands and chores and I give him "grown-up" things to play with (safe things though of course) so he feels like he's "helping". I felt bad at first that I'm not as active with him as some mamas, but I got over it. I'm me and he's himself... we don't have to be anyone different. He's ahead of schedule in development, and he's a super smart kid (if I do say so... LOL), so I don't think that my introversion is negatively affecting his development at all. And although he really likes to laugh and play with grandma (maybe more than with me), when he bonks his head, only mama's arms will do to soothe him... :)

post #6 of 7

I think at this age your little one still thinks that his mama is the coolest. :) 12 months is the time when they start branching out a bit and exploring the world, and experimenting about what the world is and how it works. When you carry her out with you, show her and tell her what's out there. Show and tell her even the most mundane things (look, a lamp post!). Yep, definitely include her in. Do activities together, it doesn't have to mean playing with toys with her (I know someone whose DS just plain ignores toys - nothing fancy, just tiny cups and he'd rather be held and talked to). Have fun, momma, and know that your daughter is comfortable playing with other people because she is secure in the knowledge that mama is always "there" for her. :) 

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you, mamas! She still likes to play with me most, and constantly wants attention! I can't get anything done anymore, even chores. I try to involve her, and we manage to get by. She's a delight and I love watching her learn and grow every day. My dh does his best to help and play with her. Can't believe chasing a little baby around can wear out us both, lol!

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