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What are you supposed to do with a 9-month-old all day?


“The days are long but the years are short.”

People often cite this quote when talking about parenting. And it’s true. While in a sense the past 9 months have flown by, the days often feel very f***ing long indeed. Especially lately. Sometimes it seems like the Popple and I have done an entire day’s worth of activities, and then I look at the clock and it’s only 11am and I want to weep into my cold tea.

Here’s my problem – how do you keep a very active but still not independently mobile baby entertained all day?

Seriously. I need advice.

Here are things that the Popple likes:

  • Walking. Everywhere. Constantly.
  • Following the cat around the house.
  • Everyday objects – TV remotes, flyers that have come through the letterbox for takeaways and local handymen, things she’s fished out of the recycling bin, etc.
  • Things that make noise when she shakes them or bangs them against the table.
  • Books, especially turning the pages herself when she gets bored with the story.
  • Things that open and close, like boxes, drawers and hampers.
  • Licking stuff, ie the window/chair/some stranger’s handbag.

Things the Popple dislikes:

  • Sitting for more than 5 minutes.
  • Crawling. She can’t/won’t do it.
  • Any structured activity (ie most baby classes) where she’s not allowed to get up and run over to the other side of the room if she wants to. And she totally wants to.
  • Almost all of her toys, except for a box of plastic shapes. And even then she only really likes the green triangle.

So – what would you suggest for Popple-friendly fun? I don’t care if these activities are indoor or outdoors, free or cost money, are educational or just entertaining. We just need stuff to do that doesn’t involve walking aimlessly from one part of the house to the other while she waves a cardboard toilet roll tube at the cat.


27 thoughts on “What are you supposed to do with a 9-month-old all day?”

  • Ha! I came to this looking for inspiration, as Baby Lighty is 9 months old!! We have recently invested in the V-Tech walker, which is good as he can sit in front of it and push the buttons etc or climb up against it (he also won’t crawl, and seems to be heading more towards walking). The other thing we’ve discovered recently is that he loves pulling things out of the likes of Mr Lighty’s rucksack, so we fill that up with his toys and just let him sit there and pull them out. Same with a plastic tub of Duplo / Mega Blocks. Do you do things like the library Rhyme Time? That’s about the only time that Baby Lighty sits still, I think because he likes watching the other mums & babies singing and the woman running it uses lots of hand puppets and props. If he does get bored, they always have a load of rattles / rainmakers / maracas etc in the middle of the circle!! ? Hope this is of some vague help!!

    • I’ve thought about getting a walker, though we have so little space as it is, so I’m reluctant to get another big toy! I love the idea of filling a rucksack/tub with stuff and letter her just pull it out – she’d love that. We go to Bounce and Rhyme at our local library once or twice a week, but now she mostly just wants to run around the library instead of listening to the songs!

      • It’s so difficult isn’t it? Because they can’t do that much themselves get want constant entertaining. If I come up with any other gems, I’ll let you know!!

  • Baby wearing helps a bit. Little bear lived in his sling. Had an activity centre thing that he could bounce around in (stationary, but he could bounce and spin). Lots of attached toys. He had a love hate relationship with it. He’d love it one day then hate it the next, with no rhyme or reason. Rotating out boxes of toys – on a weekly or longer rotation. Just long enough to make them new again. Got longer as he got older and remembered better. I’ll see if Will remembers anything else.

  • Oh i feel your pain! My son is 21 month old now but I found that I had to get out of the house because if I didn’t, I’d go insane! We would go to relaxed baby groups were he could move about if he liked or visited friends with children too. We went for walks, did some shopping and if we had to stay in….we would play in the ball pool, do messy play – spaghetti, cornflour gloop, pasta etc, and he liked the measuring spoons! #abitofeverything

  • Unfortunately I can’t really help you and I’m somewhat reading this post thinking…”well, what do I do with a 3 month old?” There’s no feedback and I’m not really sure if he understands the things I am doing…waving a bell in front of his face, sticking my tongue out, singing/dancing to him, do these things even matter?? I must admit, I feel a bit silly some days haha. I may be going a TAD insane. Anyway, I hope you find some answers ASAP! : ) : )

    • Three months is a tricky age – they’re becoming more aware and need to be entertained, but they can’t really interact much yet. I remember not really knowing what to do with her then either – there are challenges at every stage!

  • Hook yourself up with a mom group and fast! A happy and sane mommy makes for a great mommy. Walk around your local mall with her in the stroller, get yourself some retail therapy. Indoor playlands, or any baby class you can take. Great time to connect with baby and to connect with other moms:) Fingers crossed for you:) #bestandworst

    • I’ve been to a few mum and baby groups, but they mostly seem to be geared towards younger babies or toddlers, not the in-between stage the Popple is at. We’ve tried a few baby classes, but the only one she really likes is Baby Sensory, which we go to every Thursday. It has structured activities but enough flexibility for her to explore for herself, which is great.

      • I’m glad you’ve got something, I remember how boring it can be…and how the guilt can set in because you don’t feel you’re doing enough. Wishing you good luck with whatever you come up with:)

  • For me it was to go out and it still is with a 2.5 year old!! Walks, go to town, soft play, see friends, cake anything!! I go mental being inside all the time as they have attention spans of a goldfish! Even now my daughter wants to be surgically attached to me, help with every job I do and just be “involved”. No playing by herself!! OMG! Good luck lovely and thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  • I totally feel your pain! I agree with the other moms about getting out of the house, which you’re doing and is a total sanity saver. I think the change of scenery is good for them, even if they aren’t doing new stuff and stuffed in a stroller. If the weather is horrible, have you gone to a mall and gone to one of those indoor playgrounds? She might just like hanging out, watching the other kids run around like mad and then you get to throw in a bit of shopping. #StayClassy! and stay sane

  • I found the best way to get our kids to play with a toy is to try and put it away or sort for charity (keep or throw?).

    We made heavy use of our SureStart centre and the library. We also bought an annual pass for the local aquarium so we can go as much as we want and get a 20% discount in the cafe!

    If toys aren’t cutting it, your bag is probably a treasure trove of fun (sharp implements and staining stuff removed beforehand) and never underestimate the power of a large cardboard box!


    • Today’s big hit was a box of pens. I just let her take all of the pens out of the box and bang them together. That was it. It entertained her for at least 30 minutes. Success!

  • I have different boxes and bring on out every few weeks or days if you are stuck in for a bit. I’ve found the Rhyme time at the library and even toddler groups help. A cardboard box is always a favourite and keeps them quite for a while xx Thanks for linking #abitofeverything xx

  • I used to take my son library just for him to run around. We go upstairs, downstairs over and over again. Just get out of the four walls. We did library like yours never sit still but still attempted.it even just for two mins. I got him to pick thr books and scan them in the machine. We went to art galleries, castles are great to run around, fields etc bit tend to be best try. If your fortunate to have a ikea they are ace abs can sit on all the sofas.
    At home I had a bubble machine (best from the entertainer, throw a ball in the hallway, had a bath in the afternoon, sang nursery songs off YouTube,) hope this helps. It does get easier my son now loves library time and books. When he was 9 months he walked and climbed everywhere this is boasting more of a pain in the arse. He used to jump of sofas absolutely nightmare at times X

    • I’ve found the library to be pretty good for running-around purposes too. The bubble machine would be a big hit – the instructor at Baby Sensory uses one and the Popple gets SUPER excited whenever it comes out.

  • You’ve had some great replies! My 8.5month old is on the cusp of moving, he’s rolling and backwards shuffling. So I’ll be keeping some of these ideas for when moving!

    I baby carry and love taking him on walks. We have a baby group for 0-2 yr olds locally so it’s nice not to have big toddlers running about.

  • I completely understand and I remember these days very well! I stayed sane by going out A LOT. T and I were doing a lot of groups and classes around this time – real favourites are Jo Jingles, Talking Tots, Baby Sensory and Hartbeeps. We also used to make good use of the baby/toddler sections of the local soft play areas. And swings at the playground – swings kept him happy for ages back then! x #stayclassy

  • Sometimes I don’t know what to do with my 6 month old either, but then I’m thinking that I wish he could stay a baby forever and don’t grow up anymore. I will miss the baby stages.

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