This is a partnered post written by me, in collaboration with Theodore + James. All opinions are 100% my own.
Keep reading to find out how you can win a gorgeous custom Theodore + James Playmat!
One of the biggest priorities for me, from day one, after brining little J home was to try and get him into some sort of routine. There are so many books, articles and blog posts out there on different ways to do this. We settled for a Sleep / Feed / Wake routine. Basically the idea is that, after baby wakes, you feed him; and you work really hard at keeping him awake during his feed. The reason for this, is so that they can get a full feed. This ensures that they are full, and prevents them from snacking every 20 minutes. It also helps the baby to transition into a consistent three hour feeding routine. After they’ve had their full feed, you keep them awake a little while longer (during the day only) as this helps the baby’s sleep/wake cycles to regulate. It has worked wonders for us so far, Jasper is in a predictable 3 hour routine during the day, and he is starting to sleep longer each night. We have been really lucky and haven’t had any sleepless nights yet. Jasper knows when it’s time to eat, and when it’s time to sleep.
Anyway, the biggest struggle I’ve had so far, is trying to keep him awake during his waketime in the day. I wanted to share with you 5 playmat waketime activities that we’ve been having some fun with. I find he loves his playmat, he seems really comfortable on there and it’s great because it means that I don’t have to hold him all the time (as tempting as that it)
 Independent (p)Lay
Being a newborn, Jasper can’t really do all that much “playing” but he can do a whole lot of “laying” hahah!
After J’s first feed in the morning, I’ll get up and go straight to the playmat to pop him down on it. He’s usually pretty alert first thing in the morning and he’ll just lay there and look at all the different toys dangling down. His neck is also starting to get stronger, and he’s looking around the house a bit more. He’ll look at pictures on the wall or he’ll eyeball the couch. It’s great for him to be able to have independent time so he can learn to play by himself and be happy and content even if mum and dad aren’t giving him their full attention. I also use this time to make myself a delicious coffee and some breakfast, because breastfeeding makes me hungry yo. Once I’ve got my brekky in hand, I’ll usually just go and sit next to him, and chat to him while I’m eating. He continues to look at the toys and he’s super chilled. I am also super happy because I’ve had my coffee!
 Tummy Time
There is a lot of research to show the benefits to development when babies have tummy time. It allows bubs to try a new position and can also help in the prevention of them getting a flat spot on their heads from laying on their backs so much. Not only this, but it can also help build strength in your babies head, neck and upper body. As well as this it will help them to develop the skills they’ll need to crawl, roll over, sit up and stand.
I always make sure that I’m close by when we do tummy time, and we started with just 1-2 minutes a day, but as he gets stronger, we’re starting to increase that time. It’s the best when he is super alert, because he’ll look around, he’s even done a half roll from his tummy to his side already which is awesome.
 Reading Stories
It’s never too soon to start reading to babies and we’ve definitely taken advantage of this during Jasper’s waketime. We’ll show him the pictures in colourful books and read short stories to him. I read somewhere that they love to hear the sound of their mum and dad’s voices so this is a great way to interact with them while they’re awake. The pillow that comes with the Theodore + James playmat is great, because it props up little J’s head and allows him to look at the pictures in the story as I’m reading them.
 Singing Songs
This is very similar to reading stories in that, bubs loves to hear our voices. They are constantly learning and taking in everything that they see and hear. We’ll often makeup songs or sing about our love for him eg “oooh baby I love your way, every day ay ay, I wanna be with you night and day” hehe He sometimes pulls faces at us like “ummm can you stop those noises”
*disclaimer, I am a terrible, terrible singer. Sorry J.
 Family Play time
When Dad is available, we’ll often pop Jasper on the playmat and both of us will sit and sing/talk to him. We’ll also just talk to each other about our days. We were very intentional that we were already a family before Jasper came along, he was a welcome addition to our family. So we try very hard to continue to have the same conversations that we did beforehand, we just include him in them now. It’s nice to still be able to chat about the highlights/lowlights of our day while little J just chills on his playmat and listens to our voices.
I’m still learning a lot about motherhood and parenting, but I must say, I am loving that Jasper is becoming more alert, and awake during the day. And I love being intentional about our activities and what we can do while he is awake. It’s nice to have him in a predictable routine where I can plan our day out and what activities we’ll do each day during his waketime (even if he’s only awake for 20 minutes in each 3 hour cycle)
I’m so thankful to have a playmat that is comfortable, stylish and moveable so that we can do all sorts of playtime while Jasper is awake. Theodore + James do customised playmats, so they can fit into the decor of your home. I am a lover of all things monochrome, so I was stoked when I saw how beautifully my playmat turned out.
Not to mention, the quality is amazing! And it’s super comfortable for little Jasper. He’s really happy and content when he’s on the playmat.
I love this playmat so much, that I have teamed up with Theodore + James to give one of my lovely followers the chance to win one of their own. If you’d like to enter, check out my instagram post here for all the details!!
Entries close at midnight AWST Friday 11th May, with one lucky winner chosen at random and announced the following day. Open to AUS residents only.