It’s the 3rd month and by this time, you are starting to want to get up and about more – maybe you just want to get back to some semblance of what your life without a baby was like, or maybe you are gearing up to go back to work at the end of the 4 months maternity leave.
The little one is very alert now, starting to move around a little bit more and is definitely finding their voice both literally and figuratively. Many babies will be going through growth spurts or wonder weeks, maybe even teething, so there will be plenty of fussy days and nights when baby needs more cuddling and more feeding.
Hang in there, RAWKmums! Here are some Motherhood Hacks that have helped me maintain my sanity in the 3rd month!
Motherhood Hack #1: Time to play
Babies in their 3rd month are definitely much more responsive. They smile. They coo. They can recognise familiar objects and faces with more certainty. They turn their heads towards sounds. They start looking up and around when they are on their tummies.
Talking and singing to them, playing with their hands and feet, showing them rattles and colourful dangly toys, even reading little books with them is so much fun because they interact with you so much more for really very little input on your end! They’ll even be happy just sitting next to you and watching you read a book!
Best of all, they still get tired pretty fast, so their total wake time is still between 1 – 1.5hours whilst their sleep time is slowly increasing in length. So, all you have to do is put in a little bit more effort during their wake time with a few rounds of ‘peekaboo’ to get them all nice and tired out, and they’ll sleep like logs.
Motherhood Hack #2: It’s time to start practising Mummytime
Right now, your baby will be amused by pretty much anything and can even play by happily for a few minutes at a time. If your baby is completely happy in a cot with the mobile or on his tummy in the playpen with a few soft toys, take this opportunity to say ‘bye-bye baby’ and then leave the room quietly for 3 minutes for some Mummytime.
This is actually much harder for you then it will be for baby, because you’ll probably find yourself hovering just out of sight for the first few days worrying that they’ll freak out or choke themselves to death on something. But trust me, before long you’ll be SO happy that you started doing this!
Here’s what you do:
- Set the alarm clock in the room to beep after 3 minutes, then smile and wave bye-bye to your baby and leave the area to a place where they can’t see you.
- Return if you hear your baby start to fuss or when the alarm clock goes off, whichever comes first.
- When you return, make an ultimate fuss of your baby for playing by himself with plenty of cuddles!
- You’ll find that if you slowly increase the time that your baby plays alone by just 3-5 minutes each week (depending on your baby’s tolerance – ideally you want the alarm clock to go off BEFORE he or she starts to fuss), very soon you’ll have a baby that can play 15-20 minutes on his own!
IMAGINE WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH TWENTY WHOLE MINUTES TO YOURSELF! WOOHOO! PARTYTIME!!!
Motherhood Hack #3: Rock your baby, get in shape
Okay, your 3 month old is getting heavy, but what with all the teething and growth spurts and wonder weeks, settling her down to sleep can be a little bit challenging. Your baby still loves to be rocked or bounced into a stupor but she probably is getting too big and wiggly for the yaolan and your back and shoulders are starting to feel the strain.
You can use this time of baby-rocking to get yourself back in shape using simple exercises, whilst reducing the strain on your back and putting your baby to sleep! Three for the price of one!
So here’s what you do – carry your baby so that you are standing with your back straight and shoulders down (but not hunched). Try to make your spine straight by sucking in your tummy and tilting your pelvis forward so that your bum is tucked in. Keep your feet a little more than shoulder width apart so that you are standing tall with feet firmly planted on the ground.
Make sure your baby’s weight is as evenly distributed across your body as possible by the doing one of the following:
- If she prefers to be carried upright, put her head on your chest, then cross both arms with one arm under her bum and the other arm across her back. You can always switch arms after a few minutes.
- If she prefers to be carried laying down, put her head in the crook of one elbow and put your other elbow between her legs, then cross your arms under her back.
Next, try these motions:
- Instead of rocking your baby using your arms and back, do side lunges instead. Keep your arms still and make small side lunges with your legs instead. Keep your feet in place and your back straight, then bend your knees one at a time, sliding your body from side to side. Your knee should go just directly above the toe so that your weight rests mostly on one foot. This works best when you are trying to keep the motion as even as possible.
- Instead of bouncing your baby using your arms and shoulders, do demi-pliés (feet turned slight out) or squats (feet in parallel) instead. Bend both your knees, making sure that your knees do not go beyond your toes and your feet are firmly planted on the floor. If you want to be fancy, you can tiptoe (relevé) as well at the end of each demi-plié. If you want to work different muscles, put your feet and knees together to do sitting squats.
- Instead of walking your baby, march in place, lifting your knees up higher than normal.