the great illness of 06

help me internet!

Are there any secrets to entertaining a very active baby when you have no energy? I can’t eat, therefore I have no energy. She is eating lots (babyfood, unfortunately my milk supply is drying up because of this illness and frustrating us both to no end) and therefore has LOTS of energy. I’ve tried letting her crawl all over me. She’s getting tired of that. I’m letting “look” at her photo album and yank at the plastic sleeves dangerously. I even let her eat the remote and my keys that have lead in them. Any tricks out there from experienced moms? The exersaucer is out. She thinks it’s jail. Videos are not an option yet (no energy to walk to libray). Sesame street and cheerios are working now and then but I think she’s going to overdose on cheerios, not to mention Daddy says she can’t “swallow” them and that’s why she’s always making that flat beak face when they go down. I just need a minute to lie down on the couch on my heating pad and any hints for magic baby entertaining would be so wonderful. I’ll give the best idea a prize when I get better. I BETTER get better.


  • Pam

    I recommend the following:
    -Set up a card table or something and drape a sheet over it to make a tent. Both my kids love playing “peek a boo” with it (they are 2 1/2 and 9 months).
    -Set up an obstacle course of pillows for her to climb on
    -Empty the tupperware drawer and let her bang everything together

    Good luck!

  • Lola

    Do you have a learning table? I found that that killed quite a few hours on its own. Where you aren’t particularly mobile at the moment, if you had one where the legs came off that might be your best bet.

  • Jennifer

    My babe is all over the place right now. I made sure the livingroom is baby proofed and I put a gate at the two different opening so she’s corraled. I can leave her in this area for any length of time and she’s happy crawling around and getting into things I put out for her. Different plastic boxes of teethers and other interesting stuff. For some reason the same old toys she bores with after time are more interesting when I put them in a shoebox size container. I also put pillows and other “obstacles” for her to get around.

  • Bethany

    Have you tried wetting the Cheerios down? My cousin (mom of 6!) taught me this: you throw a little water on the highchair tray and then sprinkle with Cheerios. It’s mushy and messy but easier for young babies to eat. Has Baby Bug tried those star-shaped fruit or veggie puffs for toddlers? My daughter started eating them at about this age and they’re like crack for babies. They dissolve really fast so they’re not hard to swallow. Not exactly health food, but not pork rinds and vicodin either.

    Also, I second the tent idea above.

    Feel better soon! I am praying for you.

  • kelly

    Give her your old catalogs and junk mail and let her tear them up. Leave the mess for her to play with again later.

    Get a battery operated bubble blower and blow bubbles for her.

    Take her and some toys into your bed and make yourself and pillows into a barrier so the bed and you become one big playpen.

  • lin

    Perhaps getting someone you trust to take her out on walks a couple of times a day so you can sleep? All previous ideas are good ones.

  • Grace

    Hi! I found your blog through a friend’s. Baby Bug is so adorable! I love your graphic designs and wish I could have another wedding so I can use your art! =) Check out my blog and my little one Caleb! Take care!

  • Nicole

    One of the door jumper things are great for energetic babies. I have the FP jumperoo (bought used, I don’t think they are worth $65) but it does help to get the energy out. My little guy bounces like a fool in it. I also second the magazine thing, my andy loves to rip them to pieces.

  • Wendy

    If you’ve got a place to hang it, a Johnny Jump-Up can provide loads of entertainment.

    Maybe put together a box of new “toys” to explore. Things she doesn’t always get to play with like measuring spoons, pots and pans, water bottle, cards, mirror, CD, etc.

    If Cheerios are still proving a little difficult, you could always try Rice Krispies. My kids always liked those Gerber Wagon Wheels and Graham Crackers, too. They can be a little messy, but dissolve really easily.

    Bubbles are always a big hit in our house and the battery-operated blower makes it so much easier.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon. It’s so hard to be the mommy and be sick!

  • andrea from the fishbowl

    Oh honey. I hope you’re okay. All of the suggestions are good ones (although I did shudder at the tearing up the catalogue idea … I never let my kids tear any paper for fear they might tear up a photo or a dear letter or something important… how are they supposed to know what they can or can’t tear up?) I’ve done: large cardboard boxes filled with small toys, tupperware, pots and wooden spoons, ice cubes, teething bagels (small hardened bagels they happily knawed on and they slowly dissolve in their mouths).

    Good luck!

  • Emily

    (This will make me sound like a horrible mother, but hey anything for you SAJ) When my Red was baby bug’s age I got the worst cold/flu of my life. I understand what you are dealing with honey! By date 3 I was so dead to the world that I had no idea what to do with her. At this time she loved her walker, and we had a long hallway with wood floors. I used to sit against the wall on one end, and launch her backwards down the hall in the walker ( I pushed her enough to get her to then end of the hall), and had her walk back to me. We did this for hours, it gave me time to sit down and rest, and have her time to streach her legs. She freaking loved it, and took some great naps after. I hope you feel better soon lady!

  • Beck's Mom

    Do playpens exist anymore? Kid was in a safe place – whether always happy or not wasn’t guaranteed. I sure used ours!

  • kate

    do you have a big basket? S. was a big fan of being in a big basket that he
    could stand up in….. then you could throw things in for her to find…!what do you think.?? or in case all of these ingenious ideas don ‘t work call me and we’ll come walk
    the bug for an hour or so!! did you get our goodybag on your porch?

  • jd

    1. Fill a bathtub with a little bit of water, and a lot of toys/tupperware/kitchen implements. Take some towels along and lie on the floor.

    2. Laundry baskets with clothes/towels. Babies can kill a alot of time putting stuff in, and taking stuff out.

    3. Strips of painter’s low-tack masking tape.

    4. Home movies of dogs and cats posted to YouTube (in lieu of videos). Salon’s “Video Dog” often posts choice ones. If you have cable, Animal Planet.

    5. Rice cakes. They dissolve in the mouth, but seem to be satisfying for babies to chew.

    6. Sacrifice a roll of toilet paper and let her unroll it.

    good luck!

  • Lexi

    All ideas above are good….
    When Jordan was that age (and ahh, do I miss it), he LOVE-LOVE-LOVED his jumperoo….it was worth every penny! Also the baby swing would buy me a few minutes. And the playpen.
    Pots and pans are good, although that would likely contribute to your headache.

  • Ellen

    This will sound stupid, but I’ve done it several times and it worked for me:

    Get all her toys and scatter them all over the floor in a baby safe room. Pour Cheerios all over the floor. Lay yourself down in the middle of the floor, because that is all the energy you have anyway. Let your child crawl all over you the entire day. If you are breastfeeding, that is all the better, because then you truly don’t have to get up.


  • ms. sizzle

    i can only imagine how stressful that is- to be sick and to have a child to care for. as a single woman with no kids all i can do is offer sympathy and think good healthy thoughts for you. hang in there!

  • Mama Knucker Hatch

    So been there with sinus infections, and young kids. I KNOW how drained you feel — STAY HYDRATED to help keep that milk alive. My youngest is Baby Bug’s age, and is just as active. When you’re sick you can barely think beyond five minutes out. And when you are desperate, just about anything goes – so no tomatoes here.

    There are some terrific suggestions listed…junk mail, pots and pans, teaspoons, bubbles. Childproof, children’s medicine bottles with the rubber dropper are great for the baby that wants to gnaw, and make fun sounds with their gums. Small water balloons are very entertaining. Babies love cupboard digging, so mine has a cupboard with cups and plastic bowls she loves to climb into and destroy (if your head can handle the clatter). Ice chips in a washcloth held tight by a rubber band. Old cellphones and remotes. Take her crib mattress and put it down on the floor with you, so it is a fun soft thing with familiarity to climb up and down around.

    My eight month old is also at the cling-on stage — which means that being on the couch while she’s on the floor is a stretch. However, if I hang out on her level in a bean bag, she seems more content to toodle around the room. Take it one hour at a time…

  • Marissa

    Oh, also what about taking a nice warm bath with her? That might help you with the sinusitis, and she’d probably love to play in the water.

  • BeachMama

    So sorry that videos are out, that is the best way to get the rest you need. Maybe send Toby out on a mission this evening to stock up for you. Lie on your side tuck Baby Bug behind your bent knees and you will get the rest you need.

    If videos are really out try putting her in her crib with some toys she rarely gets to see. Like measuring cups, spoons, plastic bowls. Or some stuffies and blocks.

    I hope you feel better soon and get some of the much needed rest you will need to get better.

  • MamaBear

    SAJ- I’m so sorry! You need some help even for 4 hours a day, so you can nap and rest, then you can handle your baby better. I know you have friends and family that can give you a 3-4 hour break, don’t you?

    Also, I hear TV can be a life-saver in these dire situations. I can mail you some Einstein videons you will get in in one day in mail. Shoot me an email.

    Swing works wonders for us. It puts her right to sleep, it’s wonderful when she needs a nap but doesn’t want to fall asleep.

    Instead of cheerios, try some other munchy food that is so engaging to them. I boil the heck of out peas and give those to her. She is busy eating them for a long time. Or other boiled veggies and cut into small pieces.

  • Marissa

    What about The Things’ Mom – does she have a babysitter network that she can offer to you, now that she doesn’t have you?

  • NAT

    Good luck on that one, I am sick too and I have a 2 month old that is keeping me up all night my eyes are soooooooo red right now I can bearly keep them open and I have no one to help me out at least you only have to deal with one child, I have to take the other one to preschool while taking care of the baby at the same time.

    I hope you get better I have no advise for you at this time but hopefully things will get better and your cold goes away…

    Take care…

  • Jora

    My baby’s favorite snack is the gerber freeze dried apples and strawberries (they make an organic version) — the pieces are tiny and they dissolve in his mouth. He will seriously always eat these things and I never have to worry about choking. My best advice for entertainment is trap her in the room you are in and dump every toy and kitchen utensil in the room and try to relax/rest knowing that as long as she is quiet, she’s safe… I wish I could take Baby Bug for a walk (but I live in San Diego — just a tad too far)…

  • Tiel S-K

    i’ve been sitting here staring at all the comments for the last 10 minutes.

    I’m blank.

    shall think seriously about this one. All the suggestions sound great. Hope that you get well soon.


  • Lauren

    when my daughter was almost 2 i was having a homebirth and i wanted her to be as uninterested in me as possible that day .. so i bought one of those annoying talking toys. it was like a driving thing and it made a lot of noise. she could honk the horn and push all kinds of buttons and turn things to get different sounds ..

    while i was in labor i kept hearing big bird say, “beep, beep! buckle up! driving is fun!”

    do you have a flashlight? all of my kids loved flashlights.