Baby Loquacious and I are spending lots of quality time together, now that she's even more alert than she used to be. Being the Type A that I am (and having the lectures of Dr. David Smith still reeling in my head), I have vowed to make every moment count for my kid. I don't want to waste opportunities for her to be stimulated and to learn, and I don't want to overstimulate her during moments when she needs to just be by herself and stretch or play or observe her surroundings. Everything we do is pretty much intentional as far as I'm concerned.
So, having brushed up on my infant (up to 3 months) development, I've been introducing little games and little routines into Baby L's daily life to try to engage her developing brain. I've already been taping high-contrast images to the back of my nursing rocker so that when she's feeding, she has a stimulating image to gaze at (though it sometimes distracts her from the task at hand). Here are some other ones:
Old MacDonald, BINGO, Wheels on the Bus, If You're Happy (And You Know It)
Baby L loves these songs, which I sing to her when she's lying on her back on our guest bed (which is a lot stiffer than our own bed). I will move her arms or legs or beep her nose along with the song, and in the last week or so she has begun to sing along with me (by that, I mean cooing and gahgahing along). It's adorable.
Humpty Dumpty Knee Bounce
I've been bouncing her on my knee while reciting (in melodramatic fashion), the nursery rhyme. When I get to the "great fall" part, I usually move her little body in a semi-circle position, and when I hit the part about "couldn't put Humpty" I gently rotate her body back and forth the way we shake our heads when we say NO.
This one I inadvertently discovered today when Baby L was hiccuping and fussing. I stood holding her in upright burping fashion, in front of a full-length mirror. When she saw her reflection and was engaged, I semi-squatted (didn't go all the way down but definitely bent my knees 30 degrees) and every time she hiccuped, I'd stand straight up really quickly and make some little noise (Whoop!). For some strange reason, this gave her the biggest case of the giggles, which really reinforced it for me and I kept doing it and she kept laughing until her hiccups went away a minute or two later.
I've been putting on little skits with the stuffies that are hanging from her playmat. In particular, she's taken with a little cow and a little bird, so I've been making up little conversations between these two characters.
Actually, this is not really a game. It's me responding to Baby L whenever she coos or makes babbly sounds. I pretend like she's talking to me and I talk back. It helps promote turn-taking and encourages her speech development. Plus, I think she likes the attention of my looking her straight in the eye (and vice versa).
Okay, so there's only a couple of games, not like thousands. But for a 2-month old, this is already quite a bit of variety. It has been fascinating watching her discover things around her and try to reach for them, figuring out distances and developing control over her arms. Today Baby L found her feet. She's still not sure that they're hers, but she has begun to reach for them and reacted when she saw her foot move. It was super cute, especially when she was successfully able to reach out and grab hold of her foot. It gave her much delight as well. :)
I'm not a big protein shake sort of gal, and I hate cleaning our gigantic super-heavy blender, so I was thrilled to discover that Similac (makers of the formula) also makes a Similac Mom meal replacement shake. It's by the same people who make Ensure, so taste-wise it's comparable. However, this shake contains specific vitamins/minerals that are useful for pregnant and breast-feeding moms. Along with a multi-vitamin, it helps ensure I get enough nutrients to be able to pass along the goods to Baby L, which is great since my diet leaves much to be desired at the moment.