Parents: Take Care of Yourself
- Be active. Being active helps your body stay healthy. It also helps you deal with stress. Enjoy physical activities with your child.
- Eat well. Your child learns from your example. If you eat nourishing foods, like fruits and vegetables, she will want them too. Both of you will stay healthy.
- Get enough rest. Take time to be alone, even for just a few minutes, every day. Rest when your child naps. If you have a baby who wakes at night, go to bed early. Try to get enough sleep at night.
- Keep your relationship strong. All parents need to meet their needs for love and sex. It takes time, energy, care, and love to build a healthy relationship with your partner. It is worth it for you and for your child.
- Stay interested. Parents need a chance to get together with other adults to talk. Take your child to places where you will meet other parents. You and your child can learn and do new things. You can both make new friends too.
- Have fun. Having fun is part of looking after yourself. Play with your child and laugh together. Have fun with your partner and with friends too.
Parents take better care of their child when they take care of themselves too.
Fun & Easy Activities
Get Active with Your Child
You don't have to join the gym to get exercise. You can just go out for a walk with your baby in a stroller or a baby carrier. You will have more fun if you have company. Look for another parent who has a baby the same age. Make a regular date to go walking together.
When your child is older, you can pretend to be in a marching band. Pretend to play an instrument while you march from room to room. Make the noise of your pretend instrument. Your child will imitate you. When he gets tired of beating the drum, you can pretend to play the trumpet.
Try doing stretching exercises with your preschooler. Look for a video to borrow from the library or find an exercise program on TV. Have fun doing the movements together.
Laughter will help make you feel better. Make a list of what makes you laugh and plan a "laugh time" every day.
Here are some ideas to try with your child, with friends, or on your own.
- Play games where you repeat rhymes with gestures. Move your baby's hands as you say the rhyme. In some rhymes, you say the name of parts of her body while you touch them. Soon she will start to laugh before you get to the end.
- Make silly faces and imitate animal noises to get your toddler laughing.
- Make up silly songs with your preschooler and sing them together.
- Get together for fun with a friend.
- See a funny movie.
- Watch a funny TV show.
- Read the comics or a funny book.
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