Of course, no two days will ever be the same with a baby, but calm time is just as important as playtime!

Having a few ‘go to’ relaxing activities can be a really helpful way to begin your little one’s calm time routine. This doesn’t need to be part of a strict schedule, so don’t worry if you don’t always stick to it.

Here are three easy ways to calmly play and learn with your baby, before bedtime or naptime:

1. Sharing Stories!

Sharing stories is a great way to bond and spend some quality quiet time with your little one. Find a comfortable and cosy spot to sit calmly together.

You could make up a soothing story about your baby’s day, like what they’ve had to eat, or what you saw at the park. If you have books, you could explore new words together and talk about the pictures.

Even if they drift off, your little one will love listening to the sound of your voice as they fall asleep.

By sharing a story together on a regular basis, you’re introducing your baby to lots of new words. This is a fantastic way to boost their language!

2. Gentle Massage!

Gentle massage can be a lovely relaxing experience. A good time to try this activity is after your baby’s bath time.

Lay them down on a dry clean towel, then softly stroke their bare arms and legs (maybe pop a nappy on first!) – As you repeat the soft strokes, you could name their body parts or sing them a nursery rhyme. Try to use a quiet and calm voice.

After the massage, or if your baby becomes unsettled, wrap them back up in the dry clean towel or a blanket, and gently rock them from side to side. Have a warm and cosy cuddle.

3. Sensory Calm Time!

Blowing bubbles or exploring sensory shakers with your baby, are great activities for turning playtime into calm-time.

You can make a sensory shaker by filling a clean plastic bottle with water, a dash of food colouring, and sequins or glitter. Remember to seal the lid tightly using tape and stay with your baby as they play to make sure they’re safe.

Encourage your little one to blow bubbles or to feel and hold the shaker. These activities will strengthen their hand and mouth muscles and develop their hand-eye coordination. Try to echo their amazement and make sounds like ‘ooh’ or ‘ahh’, as you play.

Sensory playtime can be really exciting, so if you’re trying these activities during your baby’s calm time routine, try talking with a quiet and comforting voice, using slow and gentle movements, or dimming the lights slightly, to make it more soothing.

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