Parenthood

Once you’ve mastered the art of packing the bag, and no longer require a team of Sherpa to carry all the gear, small babies are fantastically portable.

There are loads of places to go together; keep a camera handy to make memories. Your baby is fun-sized, so enjoy!

1. Travel

It’s far easier take a tiny baby on holiday than a toddler; you just maintain your sleeping and feeding routine. They cry during take-off and landing as their ear canals are smaller and they can’t equalise the pressure change (adults can yawn and make their ears ‘pop’). Give them something to suck on and keep them warm on the plane. They won’t remember the holiday, but you will.

2. Hit the gym

Most savvy gyms now offer classes for new Mums with baby in tow; they make space for a Maxicosi and keep music volume low so your baby can watch in amusement as you sweat off the pounds. The constant movement keeps their interest, and the classes are relaxed, without challenging choreography or shouty instructors.

3. Pack a picnic

Babies are fascinated by new textures, so pop to your local park or to the beach and let them feel the grass or sand between their little toes. Tickling their feet stimulates the Babinski reflex; they explore the environment and learn to create anticipation and pleasure. The fresh air will help them sleep later.

4. Art Exhibition

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Strong graphics and contrast capture baby’s attention, and the constant visual cues are good for brain development and forming new neural connections.

5. The Salon

This qualifies as an exotic location when you haven’t had your colour done for nine months, and babies are strangely soothed by the white noise generated by multiple hairdryers. Interaction with people maximises a critical period of receptive language development in infants, so your hairdresser can ask them if they are going anywhere nice on their holidays.

6. Talk to the animals

Have a Doctor Doolittle day at a petting farm; wildlife park or the zoo. Babies aren’t impressed with big hairy animals far away as their eyes can’t accommodate objects in the distance, but will love seeing smaller creatures up close.

7. Heavenly harmony

Very young children love rhythm and music, and studies show early exposure to music has a significant impact on physical, emotional, and intellectual development. It strengthens cognitive and sensory development, so any family-friendly hall, festival or daytime venue spells good vibrations for you and the little one.

8. Water Babies

Babies have a reflex called the bradycardic response that makes them hold their breath and open their eyes when submerged, and up to about six months old, they’ll instinctively move their arms and legs when placed tummy side down in the water. No, they cannot swim! They’ll enjoy being in the pool but keep a firm grip and make sure they don’t swallow any water. Don’t forget swim nappies are mandatory to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Enjoy it all - the minute they start walking it is a whole new story...

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