Let’s face it, babies can be high maintenance. If your child is anything like my latest installment, needy, then you have your hands full. Hands full of baby can get tiring! I pride myself in how big my biceps have gotten thanks to this child constantly wanting to be held. In order to give my arms a break I have set up an obstacle course of sorts for the littlest. This set cycle can give a baby the illusion of having your full attention, while you get your hands free to clean or catch up on DVR’ed shows.
The baby swing
This is stop one in our routine. We bought ours at the local mart of walls for really cheap. You can also find them fairly cheap at consignment shops (I am thrifty, Hey-o!). You can usually get a solid amount of time out of the swing too. I get at least enough time to brew a hot cup of wake me up and shovel some sort of unhealthy food in my mouth. It is perfect for a little morning me time. Our baby swing came with a music option, but I prefer the gentle soothing tunes of Dropkick Murphys to fill the room instead. Eventually the baby will probably get tired of the swing, and you will have to move him to the next stage of handy baby neglecters.
The baby gym
A baby gym is G-R-E-A-T. What really consists of nothing more than a mat and some dangly stuff turns out to be super entertaining for an infant. Like those groovy tye-dye throws your college dorm mate and you use to look at while burning incense, these baby gyms have the ability to hold an infant’s attention for a long period of time. There are cool things to grab! You can have them practice tummy time! (Warning: It is hard to neglect your child and do things for yourself during tummy time. At least for me. My kid LOATHES tummy time, lots of whining when he does it) The baby gym provides ample opportunity to give the living room a quick once over, and brush those spilt cheerios into the bottomless pit of the couch.
The car seat
Okay, everyone has one of these. If you don’t have a car seat how do you transport your kid around? DON’T ANSWER THAT! Let’s pretend no one answered that. The car seat is one of my favorite places to put the baby. Babies don’t know any better, they don’t know it’s just a transport device. You can set a child up in their car seat with a blanket and rock them with your foot as you write about putting them in the car seat! My baby loves his car seat. Sometimes I will stick him in it multiple times throughout the day. Sometimes I will cover it with a blanket and make car noises to give an illusion that we are going somewhere and I am not just ignoring him to play on the internet.
The baby bouncer and the baby jumper
The baby bouncer has been losing some time to the jumper lately. Usually this kid only likes one OR the other on a given day, so it is a crap shot. A bouncer is a good babysitter when you are cooking. It is small and fairly easy to drag room to room. Smaller kids like to sit in them and ponder important life issues like, I don’t know, formula? While he rocks out, you can scramble around trying to decide whether you have enough milk left to make Mac and Cheese and also give the kids milk before bedtime.
The jumper is new, we haven’t used it much and it has very little in terms of time. Our baby is a little guy still. We actually have to put more work into putting him IN the jumper than him staying in there. We put a pillow platform under him and such. Don’t waste your time with the jumper until your kid can enjoy it (touch the floor with his feet or not sway around like Ray Charles playing “Hit The Road Jack”) Older children get a bigger kick out of this contraption and you might even be able to sneak a cat nap because of it.
King of cushions
At the end of our neglect circuit is a little DIY project. On a corner of your couch position two intersecting pillows. Prop your child in the middle and use a boppy as a seat belt of sorts (No one wants their kid to tumble forward suddenly!). You should still sit next to your child also, unless you want to explain the infants fancy new black eye to your spouse. This is one of my son’s favorites. He sits there awkwardly watching me tap away at the keyboard and giggles. STOP JUDGING ME KID! Can you guess where we are in the circuit right now?
These are the ways, in my house at least, that I get away with ignoring my kid. Without these magical devices I really would never get anything done. We run this circuit a few times a day, stopping for meals and when daddy feels guilty about forgetting he put the baby in the baby gym and the baby totally passed out (which is a win of sorts!) What works in your house to get away from the feeling of indentured servitude to your child?