Valentine’s Day with your Baby: Spreading the Love

Valentine’s Day with your Baby: Spreading the LoveIt’s officially February, the month of love!  We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with the newest little love in your life, your baby.  You may not be ready for elaborate Valentine’s Day art projects, decking out your entire house with decorations or a bakery full of desserts, but you and your baby can get into the Valentine’s spirit with age-appropriate activities.

As you and your baby prepare for Valentine’s Day, stay focused on what matters most to your baby.  That includes spending precious time together, partaking in sensory experiences and having a blast by learning through play.  With these key elements in mind, there are endless ways that you and your tot can get in a lovingly festive mood.  Today we’re sharing some of our favorite ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your baby:

Heart Prints:  Using non-toxic paint, create adorable heart shapes with your baby’s hands or feet.  Dip baby’s hands or feet into the paint and use a paint brush to spread the paint evenly across her skin.  Then press her hands or feet onto a paper, poster board or canvas connecting the palms or heels to form a heart shape.  You can use these “heart prints” for a “Valentiny” for your partner, grandparents, care givers or other special people in your baby’s life.  After the printing is done, help your baby do a little finger painting of her own on scrap paper.

Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song:  Select one of your favorite loves songs and make up hands motions to it that you can help your baby do.  Some of our favorite kids’ classics include “You are My Sunshine” or “Skinnamarinky Dinky Dink,” or pick any love songs in your repertoire.  Perform the song in front of the mirror so your baby can delight in her own image, or have someone record the show and play it back for your baby.  She probably won’t understand that the baby is her but she’ll certainly recognize your smiling, singing face.

Hearty Baking:  Baking with your baby is easier than you may think if you are prepared.  Before beginning your loving baking experience, measure out all of the ingredients.  This prevents down time when your baby could get bored or start wreaking havoc in your kitchen.  Help your baby pour in the ingredients and stir them together.  Try making something that requires cutting out fun shapes such as cookies, breads or pancakes so you and your baby can use cookie cutters shaped like hearts, cupid’s arrow and other festive objects.

Lovely Books:  Around Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to read all of your favorite books about love.  We bet they won’t be hard to find because love is a common theme of many books.  Find stories that represent various types of love, including that between parents and babies, friendships, grandparents and grandchildren, mommies and daddies and even love of nature.

Body Kisses:  Babies love to be touched and it actually helps their development.  When you give your baby a body massage, you’re making her feel warm and secure, and stimulating various body parts and muscles.  After a soothing baby massage, put on some deep red natural lipstick and give your baby loving kisses all over her body or face.  Then sit your baby in front of a mirror so she can see all of the body kisses you’ve given her.  Take fun photos to share with family and friends, then wash off the kisses to avoid a gigantic red mess.

Lookin’ for Love:  Set up a heart shaped scavenger hunt for your little one using heart cut-outs or other heart-shaped objects.  Give your baby a bag or basket and let her crawl around to find the hearts and drop them in her basket.  Cheer her along as she finds each one.  Depending on your baby’s level, hide them in plain sight or make her have to look for them under pillows, toys or tables.  To challenge older crawlers, create an obstacle course that your baby must follow to collect the hearts.

Family Hugs:  Spending time together as a family may be the most loving activity of all.  You do it all year long and you should absolutely do it around Valentine’s Day too.  Set aside some special family cuddling time where you can pile up for a big squeeze.  Be sure to say the words “I love you” so your child is used to hearing and feeling your love.  And tell your baby, partner and other family members why you love them.  Expressing love is a learned behavior that your baby will eventually emulate as she grows.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Month!  We wish you a lovely February!