Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Stimulating" Your Newborn

Before this whole thing called parenthood entered my life, when I was still in the infertile trenches longing for a baby more than I'd ever longed for anything before, I found the idea of comparing your kid to other kids ridiculous.  Same goes for comparing your style of parenting to another.


But then I had a baby.

And for the first time I UNDERSTAND.

I find that Baby Jett sleeps ALL THE TIME and is really boring, so when he's awake for those few hours I really feel like I'm supposed to DO something with him, you know?  Like...interact with him.

Except he's a baby...and he doesn't do a lot of interacting.

He's boring.

So I find myself just waiting for him to go to sleep again so that I can go about my day.

And I found myself FEELING BAD ABOUT THIS.

Ugh, the guilt starts already.

So I googled "stimulating your newborn" and lo and behold...let the comparisons begin.

Apparently everyone, everywhere thinks their baby is the greatest thing in the world and does not find their newborn as boring as I find mine and DOES THINGS WITH THEIR BABY instead of just wish they were sleeping more.

Like play games with flashcards, try to put things in their hands and have them grasp them, sing to them, talk to them etc etc.  The list goes on and on.

I find if I sit around trying to stimulate my baby all day I never get anything else done.

I talk to my baby but it's more like "What's the matter baby?  Hungry again?"  Etc etc.  I've also attempted to put things in front of his face or in his hand, but come on, he's 4 weeks old...and I think adjusted he's only 2 weeks old.  He accidentally grabs my hair, he does not purposefully grab anything else yet.


I find that things like baby grabbing things and baby becoming interested in things visually should sort of happen on it's own.  When he IS looking at me I make sure to talk to him, but if he's happily staring at the side of his pack n' play I don't find the urge to go pick him up and "stimulate" him.

Nor does my least we're on the same page in our parenting style.

Is that wrong?  Isn't the side of his pack n' play stimulating enough?  Should I be doing more with him now?

I found myself feeling bad that I wasn't "doing" more with my baby from one Google.


So, in a nutshell, it's really REALLY easy to feel like your parenting style is "less than" other parenting styles.  And I'm sure it only gets worse from here.

Ugh, Welcome to Parenthood Jesica.

What does everyone else do with their newborns???


  1. I see nothing wrong with what you're doing. Like you said he is only 4 weeks old. I don't understand parents who do things to make their child grow up an faster than they already do. If he seems interested in holding things in his hands then you can provide him with thugs to hold or help him! I think you're doing a great job! Enjoy him while he is little he won't be like this for too much longer :)

  2. As far as I know, all you are really supposed to do with babies is take care of their needs. The world is a stimulating place for babies. I don't know what else you need to do. The pack n play is fascinating, the smells of the apartment are fascinating, everything is fascinating. Eventually he will get more interactive and you will know when that is because you are paying attention. I doubt trying to shove something into his hands early will do much for his development haha

  3. I so hear you!!! It's only been the last week that maybe we've done a bit mite but really for 7w it's been eat feed wee and poo! As always Love your honesty and no bullshitting!

  4. everything is so new I don't think babies NEED stimulating. Trying to figure out what's going on with the side of the pack and play is probably very stimulating! It takes a while for humans to see things without seeing them. Like seeing a chair and registering it as a chair, made of wood, and it's light in color. meanwhile a baby stairs at it for hours looking at the grain, and patterns etc...

    like someone on shrooms, or super stoned, you don't really have to do much, the wall in front of them is exciting enough!

  5. Don't feel bad! I felt the same way you did. And my daughter is 4, healthy, smart, talkative, everything you would want in a child :) My only advice is to talk to Jett like you would a friend. When my daughter was tiny I just narrarated life for her. On the rare moments she was awake I would hold her and walk around and talk to her about everything in the house "These are the curtains. I bought 4 sets of curtains and hung them up before I decided on these. These were more expensive but I liked the silk." Sounds super lame but I think it was fun for both of us.

  6. Isn't classical music supposed to stimulate brains? I say throw on some Mozart and call it good.

    1. And that shrooms/stoned comment above is hilarious. I never thought of it that way, but I'm sure being a baby is like a year long acid trip. No wonder we don't remember it!

  7. Hahaha! This post cracks me up. No, newborns don't "do" anything. They sleep and poop and cry. A lot. I highly doubt they need any additional stimulation other than just being awake and looking around. That's got to be pretty fascinating and new to them anyway! I did narrate to my baby sometimes when he was that little. Just to get him used to the sound of my voice. Although it was just as much for the dogs to keep them company and keep me sane.

  8. I found my newborns very boring also... and I find the same thing with other peoples newborns... someone has a baby and everyone is like "hold the baby... why don't you want to hold the new baby?!" Ummm it is boring, it does nothing, I get nothing out of holding your new baby that does nothing! Lol... but people get mad about this and then think you don't like their baby- I like your baby just fine, but I think it really doesn't care if I hold it at this point! Lol... They do get far more exciting after the first few months :) I felt that same way tough, like I should be "doing" something with mine, but they didn't know the difference anyway- I think people that do all that stimulating stuff for new borns are mostly doing it for themselves... from a mother who didn't do those things who has a four year old and a nine year old that seem JUST FINE in life!

  9. Read to him!! It doesn't matter what...whatever you yourself are reading is fine...the newspaper, a novel, magazine...just the rhythm of language will help him get ready to talk, and get used to the patterns and sounds. And the music idea is great...classical or otherwise. Yes, kids are definitely naturally stoned. Just taking him to the grocery store is enough to amaze him. Don't stress over it--Cuddle and kiss him a lot too!! (as if you didn't already do these things...) Enjoy! -Liz

  10. There is nothing you need to be doing! Just enjoy him when you can and then let him sleep- he will grow way too fast!

  11. We do tummy time everyday. Just usually before her bath every night to help
    her neck muscles & we try to read to her everyday usually when she's nursing or right before. There is definitely no right or wrong answer here, you're loving on that baby boy and taking care of him...that is all he needs right now!

  12. thanks for sharing.

  13. newborns are rather boring... crazy cute, but boring

    we looked at some 'my new baby' 'meet baby' type books at the bookstore, and most mention baby being boring until baby grows up a bit.

    Mercer Mayer's book "The New Baby" was the most appealing to Winston, so we got it. Apparently the only things to do with a newborn (aside from feed, burp, change, soothe, rock, rinse, repeat) are: cuddle, rock to sleep, tickle the tummy, give baby a rattle, let baby grab your finger, let baby pull your nose, and take baby for a walk to show off to all your friends. your friends will think you are so lucky.

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