Puppet Play

One of my favorite toy stores in Costa Mesa called ‘Granola Babies’ is closing down at the end of the month to focus exclusively on classes. So, I picked up these wonderful puppets made by HABA for $10 each and we’ve been having fun with them ever since.

Using puppets is a great way to stimulate the baby’s brain and jump start language learning for infants, exposing them to sounds and pronunciations as early as possible. When doing puppet play, I speak in Korean while my husband speaks in Japanese/Mandarin.

We’ll occasionally catch Squishy engaging in “baby talk” back to the puppets (nothing we can understand…yet). In between naps, feedings, and tummy time, we use the puppets to keep him engaged during those down periods of time.

For older children, puppets serve as a great way to get their creative juices flowing and they construct scenarios and character development. It’s also a great way for children to overcome their shyness by channeling their emotions through characters. Give the HABA Puppet Frog a try.

Tummy Time

If there are any tell-tale signs of an impatient child, I think our Squishy has them all. This is why when we put him down for tummy time before feeding, he goes absolutely nuts. The best way, my husband and I figured, was to incorporate tummy time during his daily activities, as much as possible.

[Above] Squishy doing the classic tummy time where his entire body rests on his stomach – the goal is to get the infant to engage his neck muscles to lift his head and potentially be on all fours.

As you can see, this doesn’t make Squishy happy one bit. So why the tummy time? Since the increase of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), doctors require that parents never leave a baby unattended on his/her stomach – this includes sleeping. Personally, I grew up in an era when it was encouraged to let babies sleep on their stomachs, which aids in early crawling and minimizes the chance of having a flat head. To compensate for the lack of early muscle engagement that babies get on their stomachs, it is encouraged for babies to get 30-60 minutes of tummy time sprinkled throughout the day.

[Above] Football hold. This is an effective way to achieve tummy time on-the-go, from room-to-room. Why waste a single minute right?

[Above] Not really on the tummy, but… this is the surprisingly effective upright hold. My husband gently keeps his hand near baby’s head in case Squishy loses stability. This is a less straining way for babies to build their core neck muscles without the added strain on their neck.

This is little Squishy catching a breath in resting pose tummy time. For this pose, we placed the Boppy or Dockatot to support his stomach and back, so that he can regain composure when he needs the chance. It’s very similar to the skin-to-skin method where you lie on your back and directly place baby on your body. The babies don’t seem to mind it as much – making tummy time more tolerable for all.