Author Topic: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained  (Read 2463 times)

Zola.

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Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« on: December 20, 2018, 10:47:26 AM »
My wife and I are starting to go out of our mind a little bit haha... our 5 month year old son isn't happy unless he is constantly on the move in the house, being walked around endlessly room to room, looking at every object in the house. We admire his curiosity, but its a bit like groundhog day.

We do get him out for walks in the pram most days which is nice... although its winter here and getting cold.  Toys that he has hold little interest at this stage. For example, he hates the jumperoo after 2 mins, we can get maybe up to 10 mins on a good day in the lying down 'jungle gym' /  grab a toy play mat. He does this annoying fake cry until you pick him up haha... even if you are lying down in the play mat with him... he gets bored.

He will only lay relaxed and take in a baby book when he starts to get a little tired or has just finished a large feed, he wont settle otherwise! When he is visiting family and friends he is generally in a good mood and interested.

Basically, we need ideas.... what else could we think about to keep him entertained?






yourusernamehere

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2018, 12:09:33 PM »
Following along here. I have a 1 month old and I'm honestly not that sure what to do with her when she's awake (which isn't much right now.) I'm sure I'll be clueless once she starts really paying attention!

charis

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2018, 12:58:46 PM »
Put the baby in a carrier - front or back - and go about your day doing chores and whatnot.

Cranky

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2018, 01:40:30 PM »
Yes, baby carrier time.

I didn’t do a lot of sitting down when my kids were babies, but as long as I kept moving they were fine!

nereo

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2018, 02:15:00 PM »
PTF - we have a 4 month old who is acting very similarly.

About the only way we can get things done is the carrier mentioned above.

@yourusernamehere - not much you can really do to interact with a 1 month old.  He/she can barely focus beyond about 18", can't hold objects, can't do much verbalization.  Very high contrast pictures work well, but only for a little while.  You can print them out and paste them onto paper plates (google "high contrast baby images" and find ones you like). g'luck.

mm1970

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2018, 02:23:25 PM »
I remember that phase.  I had a full time job, so he was entertained by the other kids at daycare.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2018, 03:03:26 PM »
@Allie, can you come explain your baby circuit training? :-)

CNM

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2018, 03:59:25 PM »
I looked at photos of my kiddo when he was 5 months to see what he liked.  Seems like such a long time ago!
Anyway, he liked things that made noise - in particular tambourines, a "foot piano" (it's a baby toy where the kid can either lay down and play with feet or sit up and play with hands), singing (or listening to us sing) loudly and in silly ways, often with us dancing with him in our arms, and going out and doing stuff.  Babies are very social and curious at this age, so we just strapped him in and took him with us EVERYWHERE. He loved it!

chemistk

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2018, 06:09:54 AM »
Put the baby in a carrier - front or back - and go about your day doing chores and whatnot.

At 5 months old, they're too young to play with toys for any meaningful amount of time. We had a play mat that each of our kids would lay on and bat at the toys, but that lasted 5 to 10 minutes. Our younger one would be content in his bouncy seat while one of us was nearby, but ultimately they're most interested in the world around them. Having them in a carrier or right next to you as you do things is the best stimulation - both our boys were especially interested if we would talk out loud to them about what we were doing.

Laura33

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2018, 06:12:47 AM »
Oh, man.  My daughter just liked people -- her favorite game was always "whatever game mom will play with me."  Unfortunately, there is no magic cure; that's just how some kids are wired.  So you really need to figure out some combination of "blessed peace with baby attached" and "I just need to put this kid down even though it will kill my eardrums."

The only thing I can really suggest is that my DD liked motion, as long as she could see me.  So for ex the swing, the bouncy seat, the exersaucer.  But again, every kid is different (mine *loved* jumping, because she was desperate to walk -- the exersaucer was the only thing she'd do for more than 5-10 minutes at a time).

One final note:  you are not doing anything bad if you put your son down and let him cry for a few.  He is old enough to start being a little independent and self-entertaining, as long as he has the comfort of knowing you are there -- and it sounds like there are certain times when your son has adjusted to sitting by himself, so he has clearly developed to that point.  So if you can build a routine where he entertains himself for a few minutes at a specific time of day (like "reading time" in a corner next to you, but while you're doing something else), that might buy you another break (assuming you can tolerate the fits as he adjusts to the new routine!) -- with lots of hugs and attention when he makes it even a few minutes, of course.

EricEng

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2018, 08:20:10 AM »
It's a tough, but gladly brief stage.  They stop sleeping as much, can't move or play themselves well, but want constant stimulation.  As Laura says, let them cry some or you will lose your mind trying to find a new way to entertain every 2 mins.  Other babies about that age seem to work wonder for entertaining each other when placed close together. 

Walks...lots of long walks.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2018, 01:15:36 PM »
At five months my son liked:
1. Being carried around by me.*
2. Anything crinkly. We had a few crinkly toys. See also: greaseproof paper.
3. Other people. Especially babies or children.
4. Going outside.
5. I think at this stage we were starting to get into noise-makers. We have a big bell and two homemade rattles. He could shake them if you put them into his hands.

Our lives improved hugely when he could sit up and reach out and hold things. I wouldn't bother with books until then. He's probably whiny because he's on the cusp of doing that but can't yet. Do you spend time with him sitting up? My son loved it because he could see stuff. My son is currently 8 months and whiny again because he wants to move around the room and can't. I've also recently worked out that he doesn't like being sat on the floor while I'm standing up, so I tend to sit him on grown-up chairs or in his high chair if I need to be getting on with something.

*In my arms mostly. I trashed my back mildly during labour/post-labour and it took a long time to get back to normal so we never really got into the carrier as by then he was so big.

Zola.

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2018, 03:56:10 PM »
He cant sit up yet but I do try to help him with tummy time and sitting up, he cant roll from his front to back yet, all in good time I guess!

He is so happy and excited when being carried around the house, haha.. its not that big a deal I suppose, as long as he is happy. I know these moments in time will pass so quickly.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2018, 12:26:39 AM »
He cant sit up yet but I do try to help him with tummy time and sitting up, he cant roll from his front to back yet, all in good time I guess!

He is so happy and excited when being carried around the house, haha.. its not that big a deal I suppose, as long as he is happy. I know these moments in time will pass so quickly.

We propped BabySLTD up with cushions or rolled-up blankets on the sofa or in a high chair. Only supervised, but he loved being able to see more than just the ceiling!

Zola.

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2018, 12:59:43 AM »
we try that too, he likes the high chair when I am cooking in the kitchen, as long as he gets a full and detailed commentary !

But eventually (10-15 mins), he starts to jolt back and demand to be taken out and back on his merry march around the house haha!

Hula Hoop

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2018, 06:09:31 AM »
At that age, I remember that neither of my kids liked to anything for more than around 10 minutes so they'd do a kind of circuit between baby chair, play gym thing, lying on a towel, high chair.  The bumbo chair was good for around 6 weeks if you can find one second hand and then sell it again.  It allows the baby to sit up before they're do it by themselves and sitting up lets the baby see a lot more.  We also had a "jolly jumper" (basically a baby bungee cord) which both kids liked at 5 months.  We'd put them in there and put on some bouncy music and they'd bounce away for 20 minutes or so.

I also third putting the baby in the baby carrier and just going about your day.  Just be careful not to singe your baby's feet while cooking. 

jpdx

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2018, 04:07:01 PM »
I think this is normal. Remember that it is not your job to entertain your little ones, and boredom can actually be a good thing.

This article might be helpful:

https://www.janetlansbury.com/2009/09/the-myth-of-baby-boredom/

Here's a snippet:
Quote
...babies don’t get bored unless parents have conditioned them to require external stimulation and entertainment.

Infants and toddlers, when allowed to explore without adult interference or interruption, are endlessly curious about details of life we have long ago stopped noticing: the corner of the wall molding, dust particles in the sunlight, ceiling fans, and bumps in the Berber carpet all fascinate.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2018, 12:47:37 AM »
BabySLTD's two favourite things at the moment are a single sock and a particular empty plastic bottle. Big props to the bath mat as well. And basically anything to do with us. Looking at us, sitting on us, being carried around by us, us talking...

nereo

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2018, 09:34:35 AM »
I think this is normal. Remember that it is not your job to entertain your little ones, and boredom can actually be a good thing.

This article might be helpful:

https://www.janetlansbury.com/2009/09/the-myth-of-baby-boredom/

Color me unimpressed with your source: a child-actor turned party girl who married a rich guy and now is a stay at home mother. Her experience seems to be that she has two daughters and read some parenting articles by Magda Gerber resonated with her.

I don't disagree with the notion that parents must constantly be teh source of stimulation for their children, but that isn't the same as wanting to create situations that are tolerable for both the parent and the child, particularly during a period of development where the kid cannot sit up unaided nor reliably hold or manipulate objects.  I do not believe putting the kid in a corner to stare at the ceiling and dust motes for hours is good for either the parent or the child.

jpdx

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2018, 03:37:21 PM »
There are lots parenting styles out there so perhaps this one isn't for you. That's okay. I've found some of Janet Lansbury's and Magda Gerber's "RIE" advice to work well for my family, and thought I would share this with the group.

nereo

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2018, 05:03:25 AM »
There are lots parenting styles out there so perhaps this one isn't for you. That's okay. I've found some of Janet Lansbury's and Magda Gerber's "RIE" advice to work well for my family, and thought I would share this with the group.

I agree about the various parenting styles and would like to stress that each child responds differently, as well as parents themselves can have different goals of how they want their child to act. 
I'm glad you shared that link - others might find it useful for them, and I'm sorry if my earlier post was too hostile.  We've recently had a spat of other people thrusting parenting styles on us, typically with message of: this is the only way to raise a child / all your problems will be solved if you just follow this method / your current way of parenting is wrong and will lead to all sorts of problems down the road.

cheers and again didn't intend to sound like i was completely shutting down your valid point that you don't need to entertain all babies all the time.

mm1970

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2018, 10:45:51 AM »
I think this is normal. Remember that it is not your job to entertain your little ones, and boredom can actually be a good thing.

This article might be helpful:

https://www.janetlansbury.com/2009/09/the-myth-of-baby-boredom/

Color me unimpressed with your source: a child-actor turned party girl who married a rich guy and now is a stay at home mother. Her experience seems to be that she has two daughters and read some parenting articles by Magda Gerber resonated with her.

I don't disagree with the notion that parents must constantly be teh source of stimulation for their children, but that isn't the same as wanting to create situations that are tolerable for both the parent and the child, particularly during a period of development where the kid cannot sit up unaided nor reliably hold or manipulate objects.  I do not believe putting the kid in a corner to stare at the ceiling and dust motes for hours is good for either the parent or the child.
fascinating topic though.

My parents were of the thought that "it's not our job to entertain you".  (I'm 48.  I had a lot of siblings.  We played together or I read lots of books.)

But then...you move to the next generation where you only have one kid.  Then you are your kid's entertainment.

In any event, I've got neighbors with 3 kids.  They are of my parents' thoughts - we do not play with our kids.  We do not entertain our kids.  And their types of entertainment are - they go do what they want and the kids come along (concerts, camping, whatever).  So, that maybe works for them BUT ...

The kids absolutely love coming to our house and playing with us.  Games. Coloring.  Whatever.  We love games and they love playing with us.  Almost like they wish they had more adult interaction.

I loved interacting with adults when I was a kid.  My parents WOULD NOT play games with me.  My mother hated games.  My father hated losing (sadly, I picked up that trait from him.  Once I started beating him, he refused to play with me.  I was in my 30's before I 'grew out' of that.)

It really kind of sucked.  My husband's family are HUGE into playing games.  Hanging out together.  Going hiking, to the lake, doing puzzles. 

Guess which family I prefer to hang out with?

Laura33

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2018, 01:30:12 PM »
I should also say that from my own observations, kids get fussiest right before they make a big new developmental step.  E.g., my DD was a giant PITA right before she finally learned to crawl, right before she learned to walk, and certainly between the time she learned her first words and when her vocabulary expanded enough to catch up with her even-more-rapidly-growing wants and thoughts and ideas (yes, her "terrible twos" went from around 13 months to 3 years).  I think at those points, kids build up a lot of frustration, because their world has expanded beyond what their body can manage.  So if you think you are near one of those points, assistance to do the "thing" can really help mellow out the frustration -- e.g., propping up the baby who can't quite sit on her own, exersaucer/jumpers for kids who want to stand, etc.  And lots and lots of patience.  ;-) 

@jpdx:  the only problem I have with the bit you quoted is it seems to veer over the line into "blame the parents for whatever's wrong with their kid."  Kid fussy and always wanting to be entertained?  Gee, you must have "trained" her to expect constant entertainment, so it's your own fault.  And to a parent who is struggling with a tough stage (or tough kid), that can be hurtful.  Trust me:  I spent the first almost-three-years of DD's life thinking I was a horrible parent, because nothing was ever enough for her, and none of the standard parenting advice worked.  It wasn't until I read "Your Spirited Child" that I realized she was just wired differently and was always going to need more attention than most kids.* 

So, certainly, try leaving the kid alone for a few to learn to entertain herself -- it really won't do permanent damage, and your sanity matters, too.  But if that doesn't work, don't beat yourself up for it -- just try something else.  Eventually you will figure out what works for your kid.

*Sure, maybe I was just a horrible parent.  But given that (a) the stuff in the book actually worked with DD, and (b) my second kid was entirely normal and responded perfectly to the "normal" parenting methods, I'm going to go with "DD was wired differently."

shelivesthedream

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2018, 01:43:16 PM »
It's also hard sometimes to have age-appropriate expectations when your blinkers are on in the middle of everything. BabySLTD is generally pretty chill, and can happily play with a sock for ten minutes by himself. However...at the end of the ten minutes, bye bye sock, what's next, Mummy? Other parents have wondered at how good he is at playing by himself, I'm dying for longer than ten contented minutes at a time. But he's eight months old. It's hard for him to entertain himself at all because he can't get at anything. If Friend Sock flicks too far away, he's marooned all by himself in the middle of the floor - so I always have to be on hand to rescue Friend Sock and return it to him. Once he can walk or crawl, he could go and get Friend Sock back by himself and hopefully I will stop being required every two minutes to give something back to him... and we can transition into me being required to take something away from him every two minutes instead. :)

I agree wholeheartedly with Laura33 that helping him do "the thing" makes him happier. BabySLTD wants to stand, so I stand him up and he waggles around and then he's got it out of his system for a bit and will be happier sat on the floor with Friend Sock for a while. Then we start again...

EricEng

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2018, 11:51:25 PM »
It's also hard sometimes to have age-appropriate expectations when your blinkers are on in the middle of everything. BabySLTD is generally pretty chill, and can happily play with a sock for ten minutes by himself. However...at the end of the ten minutes, bye bye sock, what's next, Mummy? Other parents have wondered at how good he is at playing by himself, I'm dying for longer than ten contented minutes at a time. But he's eight months old. It's hard for him to entertain himself at all because he can't get at anything. If Friend Sock flicks too far away, he's marooned all by himself in the middle of the floor - so I always have to be on hand to rescue Friend Sock and return it to him. Once he can walk or crawl, he could go and get Friend Sock back by himself and hopefully I will stop being required every two minutes to give something back to him... and we can transition into me being required to take something away from him every two minutes instead. :)

I agree wholeheartedly with Laura33 that helping him do "the thing" makes him happier. BabySLTD wants to stand, so I stand him up and he waggles around and then he's got it out of his system for a bit and will be happier sat on the floor with Friend Sock for a while. Then we start again...
My 13month just went through this transition too a few months back and it was a pleasant change.  However he still likes pretty regular interaction every few minutes.  He will be good for 3-5 mins, but then want some attention for 1-2 mins before playing by himself again.  There are longer spurts on both sides though, but we were all ecstatic when he got mobile enough.  He was very frustrated the week or two prior to finally getting crawling down.  I'm sure this will vary a lot by the child though.

nessness

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2019, 09:11:16 PM »
That age when they're too old to lie on a blanket contentedly, and too young to sit up and play with toys, can be challenging, but fortunately it's short-lived (the stage where they can sit up but can't move is awesome, but unfortunately it only lasted a couple weeks with both my kids). At that age, I remember that my daughter liked to "help" me fold laundry (I'd spread the laundry out on the floor and she'd grab at socks and what not). She also liked me to hold her in a standing position ALL the time, which got tiring, but slightly less tiring than carrying her around the house.

Goldielocks

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2019, 09:52:19 PM »
Jolly jumper until walking age, after the vibrating bouncy chair was not enough.

Then using a high chair was a big win, once sitting well.   My kids could see me, interact, play with toys / feed themselves a bit, and I could get stuff done.   

 Because of the high chair, we rarely used a stroller or playpen like my friends did.   We found that our kid hated them, beause they could not see well from either (too low / on back, etc).

FLBiker

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2019, 01:51:02 PM »
Huge +1 for babywearing.  My daughter is 3.5 and I STILL do it sometimes -- ie we were walking all over Toronto a month ago and I'd just put her on my back whenever she got tired.  It's great!

Zola.

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2019, 04:35:11 AM »
My little boy is now in his own room at night, after 5 nights of this he has finally slept his first full night through :O


Hula Hoop

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2019, 04:39:57 AM »
So glad to hear that, Zola.  I hope you and your spouse had a nice long sleep too.

LadyMaWhiskers

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2019, 12:36:13 AM »
Plus 1000 for the baby carrier. Babies biologically expect to tag along, strapped to an adult at that age.

If you hate that idea, check out something called RIE, which is a child care philosophy where you would let your five month old lie on the floor most of the time, with and without interaction from you, and always avoiding any notion of “entertaining” them.

Personally, I like the following biological expedition route.

Zola.

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2019, 01:50:27 AM »
So glad to hear that, Zola.  I hope you and your spouse had a nice long sleep too.

Thanks! Since then he has only woken once each night for a very quick feed and then hes back to sleep. We hear him first thing in the morning now babbling and talking to himself before we get up, its so cute! We let him do this for 5 or 10 minutes as it will hopefully be good for his imagination!

I am hoping he has turned the corner a bit now... he seems a bit more settled and happy in himself. He still loves being walked around.... But he's a bit more patient with his toys. He is now grabbing everything he can get a hold of!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 01:52:24 AM by Zola. »

Cassie

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2019, 03:48:35 PM »
I used bouncy chair and swing. Once they can crawl they will follow you everywhere. I devoted time to play with the kids too. As they get older games can be lots of fun and my mom and sister would play also. Lots of great memories raising the kids and playing with them.

CNM

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Re: Keeping a 5 month year old entertained
« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2019, 10:20:21 AM »
Another game my kid liked around this age was letting a silk scarf fall on his head, and then he'd pull it off.  Sort of like peek-a-boo, but he was the one pulling off the scarf.  He thought it was the funniest thing ever!