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Thread: Getting Stuff Done With An 8 Month Old

  1. #1

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    Default Getting Stuff Done With An 8 Month Old

    Yesterday was the first day I looked after my 8.5 month old DD for three weeks because my parents have been visiting from the UK and boy was it a shock to the system. So I have two questions:

    a) What do you do with your baby when you need to get something done ie. shower, load of washing etc. etc. It's been bliss to have those extra hands around but now I can't remember what I did before! Do you wait until your baby is asleep or do you leave baby in another room? I guess my frustration is that DD is now VERY active and we are about to renovate which means that barely any room is baby-proof (stuff everywhere and no storage space which means it HAS to be on the floor). I don't REALLY want a playpen because it's just another piece of clutter that I will have to put up with and the house is driving me nuts as it is. DD is very good at getting from A to B in record speed. Yesterday she crawled out of the bedroom and down our 15 metre hallway no problem at all!

    b) How do you entertain your baby? My DD is pretty good - she will play with her toys but I think I should be playing with her more rather than letting her play on her own. I sing songs to her but it feels like I haven't taught her anything new for ages.




    Interested in your thoughts.

  2. #2

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    If your daughter has regular nap times then that's when I'd do the washing etc. My DD was walking at 8mths so I would do active chores, shopping, hanging out washing, etc while she was awake. When I needed to work in the kitchen I'd open the plastics cupboard and she'd play with that.

    Everytime she sees you doing something you are teaching her. Just by talking/singing to her she's learning how to communicate. Good luck

  3. #3

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    I used to shower and get everything else done when she was asleep.

    If she wouldnt sleep, I'd put her in the pram or rocker and bring it into whatever room I was in, or just let her sit on the floor of the bathrrom while I showered. I'm not sure why, but she has always loved to chat to me while I am showering. As like most other babies, she has always loved getting into everything and is not one of those babies that I can plonk infront of Hi-5 and expect to stay there.

    She'll definately learn from you by watching you. When Claire was 8 months old, she all of a sudden started doing all this new stuff all in one week. I too was a tad worried as she hadnt demonstrated that she had learnt anything new for a while. When she was that age, I played with her, but I also let her play by herself. She loves books and songs and loves to be tickled and cuddled. I also talk to her alot and she thinks its great. Peek a boo games are a fave and she loves toys that make music. I play with her toys with her too and when she was about 9 months she loved keyboards (old computer keyboards) and dancing with me holding her hands.

  4. #4

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    I run around like a loon doing everything at night after DD has gone to bed. Little jobs when she is first up, has been fed and is happy to play by herself for a little while. DH works away and DD has just started crawling so this will be an issue here as well. My main strategy is to completely de-clutter and baby proof one main room (family room&kitchen) and then close off the rest of the house, so she can just ramble around safely. I do have a portacot tho and will use that when I'm in the shower, etc.

    And I second everything the other ladies have said about including her in what your doing. Give her something to play with, her own 'cleaning cloth', a bowl and spoon in the kitchen, etc. Try to enjoy the altered rhythm of life.
    Last edited by AnyDream; May 2nd, 2008 at 12:02 PM.

  5. #5

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    I would shower and dress before DH leaves in the morning so he could watch the kids for 10 minutes.

    Cleaning I would put him in the highchair with something to eat that would keep him busy for a while. What I didn't get done then I would do when he went to bed.

    It's getting sooo much easier now though, he and DD are playing together in the backyard alot so they go out there in the morning and I can clean the house in about 15 minutes without them underfoot

  6. #6

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    shower before you get her up.... as soon as you hear her wake jump in the shower, she is fine to spend 5-10 minutes waking up and babbling in her cot... its amazing the difference it makes if you manage to be showered before they get up!! you can always get dressed/do hair later....

    at that age my dd began to only eat finger foods, so when she was in her high chair i would zip around the kitchen getting what i could done, and in and out the laundry, put a load of washing on etc.... you can steal a bit of time by finishing off her meals with finger foods, ie sultanas, cruskit, pieces of cheese etc - means you don't have to be sitting in front of her spoon feeding...

    it gets easier!! once they start understanding language you can keep them busy by asking them to do things, ie where's teddy, give teddy a kiss, where's your puzzle, where's your book etc.... a sneaky way to keep them out of whatever you are trying to get done... we taught our dd the names of objects around the room and her toys from about 7 months, so by the time she was 10 months we could 'entertain' her by asking her where things were.... now at 13 months she understands EVERYTHING we say, we have actually had to start spelling out the names of things so she doesn't hear what we are saying (ie bottle, teddy, bananas in pajamas etc)...

    good luck enjoy your bubba you are moments away from having a toddler but i must say i think it just keeps getting funner and funner the more they grow.

    (i realise funner isn't a word )

  7. #7

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    I give DS his breakfast of Weetbix then put him in the high chair in the bathroom and he munches on some toast and saltanas while I shower. I then put him in his Jolly Jumper in the doorway while I do makeup, hair etc - which also tires him out so he will have a nice big sleep . I do stuff like cleaning bench tops etc, toilet, bathrooms while he is in bed. Stuff like changing the linen on the beds etc I usually pop him in front of our full length mirror and he plays with the 'baby' in the mirror while I do it. He 'helps' when I fold the washing - I give him some little things like socks to mess around with
    DS is also happy to play by himself but I also like to play with him and interact at stages during the day. I have filled some little containers with dried pasta and we stack them like blocks and he knocks them over and shakes them. Today was raining and horrible here so I put some bread outside for the birds and he watched them for ages through the glass window. We were also given a helium balloon on a string at a shop yesterday and he is obsessed. He has been pulling on the string and watching it float around. Simple pleasures I guess but will defiately getting him another when this one goes flat! He also likes those touch and feel board books at the moment - we lay down on the floor and look together, feeling the different textures.

  8. #8

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    I'm kind of "lucky" as DS has decided the vacuum cleaner is one of the most fantastic things ever, so he follows it around as I vacuum the house, I just have to watch him to make sure he doesn't try to eat the cord. I tend to plonk him on the bathroom floor with his bath toys when I have a shower. If I'm cooking, I open up "his" drawer, which I've started to fill with things that make good noises (tin plates, wooden spoon, couple of plastic containers so far). I mop the floors when he is asleep, as it gives them a chance to dry. And everything else I tend to just squeeze in to my day when I can, so sometimes the dishes don't get done till late in the day, but I'm one of those people who don't think that that's a big crisis as long as DS has had a happy day. I do dinners when DP gets home, as he takes over the entertaining/bathing duties, which gives me a break to do the cooking (which I like doing, so it mostly feels like a break after a day of Mum-duty)

    To entertain him (DS, not DP), I sing lots of songs, or if I'm sung out I sometimes just have the radio on, or a CD. I'm not a TV person, I feel guilty if I have it on because he's now at an age where he stares at it & stops moving, which I think can't be that great for him. We also read lots of books, mostly when we're having quiet time before a sleep. And I try to get out for a walk with him every day if I can, even if it's just to Safeway for some milk. I spend quite a bit of time just hanging out on the floor with him, but then there are also times when I just let him sit on the floor with his toys and entertain himself. I know he's had enough when he starts to climb my leg...

    It can be hard adjusting to not having visitors around, we had the same when my MIL went back to the UK after 2 months with us, it took us a couple of weeks to re-establish a routine. Probably harder for you as it was your parents, not so hard for my because it was my MIL (even though she's a pretty good MIL as far as these things go).

  9. #9

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    I do a lot of my housework at night when all girls are in bed.....but if ive got a cake or dinner, or dishes to do (no dishwasher in this house ), i bring the highchair into the kitchen and give her some toys, or some sultanas and chat away to her whilst i do what i have to do.

    If i need to put washing away i will pop her on the bed , pillows around, with some toys and sing/chat to her whilst i put the never ending piles of clothes away .


    having siblings is a great distractor too....but thats not instant now is it ????

  10. #10

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    I use to shower when DS was sleeping, but if he was awake I would put him in his cot with his musical piano, and he was happily play with that for ages, and our bathroom is next to his room, so I could hear his lovely music!!! I wasn't too concerned doing this as I wasn't in the shower for a long time

  11. #11

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    I shut off the doors to the rooms I don't want Charlie in whilst in the shower, bring him into the bathroom & he usually stays & chats to me & plays with his toothbrush etc....if he wanders off then I know it's not too far. If he's too cranky I just undress him & pop him in the shower with me, he loves it & I get to have as long as I want. Though atm I am trying to get up when DH does for work & shower etc then before Charlie wakes up. I find I function better if I'm all fresh & feel nice.
    I wash throughout the day, just fill up the basket & DH helps me hang it out at night. I always do dishes etc in the kitchen when Charlie is having a snack or playing in his draw or tupperward cupboard. He too love the vaccum cleaner so no probs there, clothes get folded when he's asleep & that's when I tend to my BB addiction LOL.

    As for playing, any interaction will teach them. Even just simple telling them what you are doing, playing peekaboo...I often pop a CD on & dance around the room with Charlie like a dill & he loves it.

  12. #12

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    I have just bought security gates for the lounge to hall and halfway in the kitchen. It means ds can freely roam but I know all the really dangerous places are not available to him. Although because there is still a large space I have to watch. It does leave me pretty free to be in the kitchen with some of his toys.
    Easing I do when he's sleeping and folding I do with him while he plays. The rest getvfit in....sometimes and sometimes not!!
    I make sure we are out at least once a day. It can just be walk around or a lunch with other mothers. I have found playgroup and mothers groups great. I try to talk to him all the time. We lay around and play with his toys too. I have just joined my toy library which can help. Also like everyone else -- a lot of reading and signing!
    But the going out has been the best thing for us.

    All best

  13. #13

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    I have the portacot set up in the lounge room for such occasions. LOL
    DS does not sit still, and is now attempting to walk everywhere. He loves being in his highchair with something to eat.
    I try and do a few things when he's asleep aswell.
    DS loves playing on his own. I am forever talking to him, or singing to him, trying to repeat all the sounds he makes, playing peek a boo, and hiding things to see if he can find them.
    I give him empty bottles, boxes, wooden spoons, pots and pans to play with aswell.
    He's happy and healthy, so I must be doing something right hey

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