With the recent announcement that we won’t be leaving lockdown anytime soon, I thought I’d share with you my coping strategies for getting through lockdown with a baby. As much we adore our little ones, I’m sure many other mums will attest to the fact that the days can be long…and now without the possibility of coffee with friends, baby clubs and sensory groups, local community centres… the days have just got even longer. Especially as they sometimes start at 6am…
I can’t emphasise enough how much routine has helped me get through the long days. We’re not super strict in our routine but a rough timeline of how my day will go helps break it into chunks when I know I’ll be busy doing things with and for Oscar and the times that I have free. I personally think it’s quite hard to have a routine for a younger baby, I know with Oscar our feed-on-demand lifestyle meant a routine wasn’t possible. But now Oscar is older and is eating three meals a day and drinking a lot less milk, it’s been possible to put our rough routine into place.
2. Making the Most of Downtime
I try and do household jobs and half an hour of exercise while Oscar is awake. I chat to him while I’m cooking and cleaning and I try and involve him during exercise. Because I use his awake time to do this sort of thing, I can use his nap time for some me time. Sometimes this is productive like working on my blog and answering emails but nowadays I often use his nap times to chill out with a book, watch an episode of something or even mindlessly scroll my phone. And as we keep being told … this is ok, you don’t have to use lock down to learn a new language or write your first novel its fine just to have downtime.
Realistically this does always happen as I’m often doing baby laundry, cleaning up the carnage from a meal or ordering food online. But I’m pleased to say it does happen pretty often!
3. Online Baby Groups
Oscar and I absolutely loved going to babies groups, meeting our friends, listening to music and enjoying sensory experiences. We now do a weekly Zoom class with Monkey Music which is the highlight of our week!
We also love the Hartbeeps class on Facebook and I want to try Baby Broadway. On TV we love episodes of The Baby Club which are really interactive! Though I don’t really want to give him so much screen time, I’m finding it quite unavoidable during the pandemic and so I’m trying no to beat myself up about it.
4. Cooking for Oscar
Baking has become an even more popular pastime during lockdown (hello banana bread recipes!) and I’m loving trying new things for O! He really loves muffins which he can easily feed himself with. Baking aside I love trying new things with him and making fresh food! One of the benefits of lock down has been every meal is served at the table so we can really focus on his eating and the necessary skills.
5. Making the Most of our Walks
Running and cycling aren’t really possible with a baby (and honestly not my jam anyway) but we’ve really been make the most of our daily walks. We live in a flat so with no private green space, we need to make the most of London’s park and try and get out most days for fresh air and to see the ducks! St James’ Park is our closest park and so we go there all the time. I’m looking forward to going for family picnics now the new rules are in place.
6. New Toys
It’s no surprise that babies get bored of their toys so to keep Oscar interested I rotate his different toys so that they feel new again. Now he’s entered the older baby bracket I’ve got him a few new things like a ball pit, a walker and a bubble machine.
7. Get to Work on the Tasks You’ve Been Meaning to Do
Before Oscar was born I bought a baby memory book, of course this fell by the wayside as I was so busy doing other things in the early days of his life. Now I have so much time, I can work on this project as well as a few other things I’ve had in the pipeline. Particularly as is first birthday is coming up in two months!
8. Practice Skills
Before this ‘new normal’ I would take Oscar out to blogging events and such like quite often which meant I didn’t always have the time to focus on him. Now I love bring able to really give him my full attention and practice his large and fine motor skills.
9. Start a TikTok
Like many of you, I thought TikTok was for 12 year olds, I hadn’t even downloaded it before lockdown. Now I absolutely love it and I love coming up with ideas to make videos with Oscar. Ok it’s not the most productive use of our time but it’s really good fun! Follow us on AngieSilverSpoon!!
I’m really sad that I can’t take lovely photos of Oscar on day trips and holidays at the moment. Nor can I get pictures of him with friends and family members. So I’m making the most of this time to get pictures of him at home with my proper camera and using these for Instagram, memory books and larger canvas prints.
What are you doing to entertain your baby during lock down?