Why I won’t be doing games for 0-12m

Bit of an unusual post for me this. But I’ve been thinking about it all week and thought…do you know what, I just need to ‘fess up!

So a couple of weeks ago I was asked by a few lovely followers (after my last post on activities and games for babies 1-2 years old) if I could post some ideas and games for even smaller ones of 0-12m. So I did a poll and there was an overwhelming response of ‘yes please’ to this request.

And I thought about it. I drafted a few basic but not particularly clever or insightful ideas, bashing my brain to try and remember back to Ewan and Flo being that little. What did I do then? How did I entertain them? Myself? Usually ideas just pop into my head. “This would be good”…”oh we did this”…”and this is excellent fun” etc. etc. But not this time.

So I thought hard about why not? And now I know the answer. I didn’t do much of anything when they were babies that little. And if I am perfectly, brutally honest I found it more difficult than I ever imagined. Especially with Ewan, my first born. I just survived, day to day, in a tired, cake-shovelling, weeping, foggy haze. I had no creativity in 2014, it was all blunted by this sleep-resistant baby and an overwhelming urge to ask…why am I getting it all wrong? Aren’t I trained for this? Don’t I love babies and kids? Isn’t this what I’ve always longed for? To be a Mum?

I battled through the first year with Ewan, and although Florence’s first year was much easier, I also had a potty training, busy toddler to contend with so activities were focused on him to allow me to feed, change, cuddle my new-born. The play was limited to singing nursery rhymes, reading stories, playing with baby toys, and the daily struggle of just trying to keep everyone, including myself, clean and fed. This was when I started reading The WONDERFUL Unmumsy Mum’s blog and stopped beating myself up and tried to remember I was just doing my best, and that’s all any of us can do.

It wasn’t until Ewan turned 3 and Florence turned 1 that I felt a little spark of my old self start to creep back in. Fun games and activities started to bounce into my brain. Let’s try this, I thought…or what would happen if we did this? Slowly, slowly, the stuff I’d been trained for and adored as a Teaching Assistant began to come into its own. I started writing ideas down for games and playing them with the kids at every opportunity. Flo napped in a routine so I had time to set things up, then watch and see what happened. The games began.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is this. I’m sorry. I won’t be writing up games and activities for 0-12m because I was pretty hopeless at it. Instead I will direct you to the wonderful Claire @Play.Hooray who has lots of ideas for this age group and even play prompt cards also @beckys_treasure_baskets on instagram has some fab sensory activities too. And I hope, that when your wee bubbas are a bit older, you’ll swing back over to me. A few of my ‘1-2 year old activities’ or QUICK IDEAS are also suitable for those very little ones.

And if you are a Mum beating yourself up for not “doing” anything exciting with your 6 month old…DON’T. I didn’t. I watched box sets and fed Ewan to sleep just so I could sit on the sofa for half an hour. There is PLENTY of time for play to come. I promise.


24 thoughts on “Why I won’t be doing games for 0-12m

  1. Thank goodness for that. Emma is 10 months old tomorrow and I have really struggled. Lack of sleep means that my brain has shriveled up and we do very little other than get thru each day, eating is a long and messy game and bathing follows soon after each time!
    I’m also a special needs ta now SAHM and I too thought it would go more smoothly. Other people’s children always did as I asked why not my own baby?!
    I’m very grateful for real mummy bloggers like you who are honest and live in hope that my creativity will come back, with your help after she is 1!
    Much love.


    1. Thank you so much for this lovely message. It ABSOLUTELY WILL come back and with a fresh new abundance. That I can assure you of. I really hope it reassures you that what you’re doing right now is ENOUGH and that’s all you need for now. Once they talk and run about things can start to get interesting again, but for now, loving them will suffice! Much love to you mumma. Just keep going xxx


  2. Thank you for this! I’ve been feeling so guilty over not doing anything with my seven month old twin boys. We play with toys sometimes but that’s about it. Like you said – it’s all about surviving the day! You’ve made me feel a lot better. Thank you again! 🙂


  3. Brilliant post – I admire your honesty and it’s made me feel a lot better about how tough I’ve found the first year with a non-sleeper. I’m just coming out of the fog and ready to start playing and doing a bit more than just surviving with my almost one year old.

    Your blog is fantastic, thank you so much for providing inspiration and creativity xx


  4. I’ve only just started to follow your blog and it’s so nice to hear that other people aren’t playing games all day long with their littlest ones. I have a 3 Year old and a 7 month old and have started to feel a little guilty for not being able to give either of them my full attention for longer than 10 minutes before the other needs something else. I have started to do some of your five minute games and it has changed the last couple of days for us all! No stress but little bubbles of fun, absolutely perfect! So after my rant, I’m really saying thankyou! Xx


  5. I would’ve loved some ideas but I completely agree with this. I’m a first time mum to a 5.5 month old & have worked with children for 12 years. I have done so many activities over the years but right now I just seem to ‘get through the day’ with my little one. Thanks for the honesty x


  6. While most of my days between 0-12 months also just passed in a haze and revolved around feeding and desperately trying to nap and sleep, I found that the Wonder Weeks app and book had great suggestions for activities you could do for those ages


  7. Oh my gosh, thank god I found you (via the Unmumsymum, love her too!) As you can see by the time I’m posting, I’m up a lot at random times of night, feeding my just over 1 year old and using the Internet to stop me dropping off to sleep while I do so! My nearly 4 year old sleeps well enough but he likes to wake us all up at about half 6 these days and as a result; we’re exhausted and term time (both of us are primary teachers in Ireland) hasn’t even begun yet! I have basically turned into what I thought was the world’s crappiest mum over the last year to two years and have been dealing with crippling guilt about it……now I feel saved!!! Ever since I got pregnant with the youngest and I spent most of those months feeling like I was going to vom, like, everywhere! I just feel like my creative, playful teacher self had switched off and instead, the tv (CBeebies mainly) had switched on……..for ThE DAY! Everyday! This then spilled into the newborn days and now over a year after the youngest son’s birth, I’m still BFFs with that bloomin’ tv!! I am so, so, so happy to hear it’s normal to pass through this phase (I regularily am so tired I’ll try putting the milk in the cupboard or try starting the car with the house door key) and now I’ve found this blog I can feel the creativity is glimmering back to life! I’m hopeful now and I’m pretty sure that we can turn the ratio of TV time to wonderful play/fun-time the other way round and the TV will become less and less of a friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Xxxxxxxx


    1. Hi Laura,
      I couldn’t be more thrilled to read your message. It sounds like you’ve had a tough time of it and I can totally sympathise. There have been times where telly is our best friend too. And I KNOW how knackering teaching is. I really hope you start to feel like you’re getting your groove back now and parenting starts to become a little easier. I am thrilled to hear my little games help out fellow parents, as that is the sole purpose of this blog. I am grateful for your thanks, but it is really only my ideas. it’s YOU carrying them out. So pat yourself on the back if you manage that big TV/Play switchover. and thanks again for your message. xxx


  8. I really needed to hear this. The mummy guilt at not having been doing loads of activites with my 10 month old has been settling in, but between meal times, the subsequent clean up and trying to get her to nap at a reasonable time so she will happy and able to sleep at night, i dont think i could face adding another ball in to juggle! Thank you


  9. Well I’m a bit late to the party but I’m so glad I found this blog! I’m EYFS trained and imagined I’d be setting up all sorts of wonderful activities for my children when they came along. They have just turned 3 and 1 and I’ve been beating myself up about the fact that so much time has passed and I’ve hardly set up any activities for them to enjoy! We’ve played with toys and socialised and been to classes but I felt bad about not giving them a bit of what I spent many years giving to other people’s children because I was so exhausted! I’m just starting to feel a bit more human again so I’m aiming to start with some five minute activities next week. It’s great to read your comment that there’s still plenty of time for this!
    Thank you 😊


    1. I’m so glad this blog post made you realise you aren’t alone. That is exactly how I felt. I hope your little ones enjoy some five minute games soon. You’ve survived the toughest years. Lots of fun ahead. Thanks so much for your comment. FMM xx


  10. I just came across your blog and you’re my new favorite hero. I have a 11mo and a 7yo, and I’m up right now while they’re asleep hoping I can find some activity to entertain them with next week. Hoping to thrive. But I guess I’ll just settle with hoping to survive! And it’s ok, we’re gonna be ok.


  11. Aww, well done you for posting such an honest post. My little boy is 20 months and it literally feels like only in these last 2 weeks have we really been able to both do fun activities. I always thought I’d be baking with him, doing playdough, painting activities from when he was tiny but gees just having the energy to get through the day was tough enough! To deal with him denting my confidence in my arts and crafting activities as well as absolutely everything I did was not worth it! Thanks for making me think about this again, it’s good to reflect 🙂


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