Reevaluating Travel Plans
I never thought I would have to worry about Indoor Baby Activities in the South of France. We are the type of family who loves to travel with our baby despite how difficult it may be. However, travel came to a crashing halt with the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the South of France. The Delort’s had to reevaluate our travel plans quickly. We ultimately decided to stay at home with our little one vs. moving to France at our original departure date. Quarantining indoors meant having to find indoor activities for our baby. It’s hard enough to create indoor activities during normal circumstances. Let alone brainstorming coronavirus activities with babies.
There are endless amounts of activities and toys for older children; however, babies are a beast. Between the limited selection, lack of mobility, and crankiness on the horizon, indoor activities for babies in the South of France and beyond can be a handful. Quarantining indoors means having to find indoor activities for our baby. It’s hard enough to create indoor activities during normal circumstances. Let alone brainstorming coronavirus activities with babies.
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Staying at home with the baby during the quarantine.
When news of the Coronavirus first hit, I didn’t take it 100% seriously. Living in New York City, constant threats and diseases are surrounding us. My husband and I continued to take the subway, shop, and live life as usual. Until one morning, we woke up to Twitter losing its marbles. Our mindset quickly changed soon after the grocery was baren of all toiletries.
Within the next few days, New York City announced a complete shutdown of all restaurants, bars, movie theaters, concert halls, and large group gatherings.
Coping with the stop of the la bise was already hard enough. It was hard to contemplate being locked indoors without social contact.
The struggle of being indoors
There are endless amounts of activities and toys for older children and teens; however, babies are a beast. Between the limited selection, lack of mobility, and crankiness on the horizon, indoor activities for babies in the South of France and beyond can be a handful. Questions of how can parents keep their babies entertained? How will my baby get fresh air and sunlight? As well as will my baby become agitated from boredom? Started to trickle into my mind
Meanwhile, in France, people appeared to be still living their best lives hanging outside before President Macron announced the 15-day lockdown. Everyone and their mother were scrambling to the South of France and the rural areas. I can’t say I blame them as my neighbors in New York City were doing the same.
Fleeing to the South of France?
One major problem, though!! When you leave the city, you bring the city NASTY with you. The likelihood of catching the virus in a city and bringing Covid-19 to a rural town is pretty high. A part of me wonders if people are fleeing to be with their families OR if they cannot bear the thought of staying couped up in a tiny apartment.
When you have a baby, a dog, a Mr. French, it can all get overwhelming pretty fast. We started conquering up Indoor Baby Activities in the South of France. Luckily, I’ve been a stay at home mom for over 8-months now and had plenty of quarantine activities with babies ready to go.
1. Bring Out the Pack n’ Play
Graco Pack n’ Plays are hands down a godsend. I’ve been using the Graco Pack ‘n Play Quick Connect Playard with Portable Bouncer since baby Jeanne was a few days old. Yannick and I would put her inside whenever we needed time to ourselves. More often than not, I would use it for when I needed to run to the bathroom and need to put her somewhere safe. That’s what makes the Pack n’ Play perfect for Quarantine lockdown, especially in the South of France.
In New York City, the complete and utter lack of private outdoor space is laughable. However, in places like Montpellier, you have the option of taking our play yard to your backyard and provide your baby with some much-needed fresh air. NOW, do not bring your baby outside to a communal area under any circumstances unless given specific guidance. Be sure to always ALWAYS check with the CDC on the latest protocols, updates, and changes.
Alternatively, you can leave the pack n’ play in the living and keep your baby at an arms-length while you talk to her. Don’t forget the option to put your baby in the bouncer attachment. There are settings to slowly bounce your baby to sleep or keep her preoccupied with a new sensation.
2. Indoor Play gym/mat
We recently bought Jeanne a large play mat as she began to wiggle her way across the floor at age 7-months-old. It was a great buy for an indoor activity for the baby whether we were in the South of France or the States. It also worked nicely as a stay-at-home activity for when she was an infant. We pared it together with her Skip Hop baby infant play gym. Her Skip Hop play gym keeps her entertained for hours on end, but once she passed 6.5 months, she was continually rolling off the gym area and onto the harder floor surface. To her, it’s the adventure of let’s roll on the hardwood floor to see if mom can catch me.
I highly doubt you’ll want to be watching your baby 24/7 while also trying to work from home or keep the house running. I’m telling you the combo effect of having the play gym and mat will change your life and amuse your baby. Jeanne is now 8-months-old and still loving her puzzle floor mat, especially now.
Tummy Time Perks
I know what your thinking, “my baby hates tummy time.” Yes, I get it. Okay. My baby hated tummy time, BUT she eventually loved it. We used the tummy time bear provided with the play gym. You can also use a house pillow or put the baby on your chest. No matter how young your baby is, they will love this. Bonus: your little one will fall asleep fast after exercising on their tummy. No parent will pass up the chance for their baby to fall asleep quickly.
3. French baby toys for the home
No matter what type of toys you have in the house, your baby will go wild over it. Think back to a time when your baby was upset or bored or just downright rioting. Now think back to what made your baby calm down. Milk doesn’t count lol. Most likely, your baby had their favorite comfy cloth or their teddy. My baby is obsessed with her “Miss Doudou” from Doudou et Compagnie. Her Mamie brought it over from the South of France when she was firstborn. Baby Jeanne has been in love with it ever since.
I often have my baby hang out in the living room in her play area. She plays with her French baby toys as a favorite indoor activity. The fantastic thing about indoor activities for babies in the South of France is that they can be used as quarantine activities as well.
A WIN-WIN in my book as we’re only on day 7 of the lockdown with another week-ish to go.
4. French Baby Books to read at home
For starters, I’m a sucker for reading as a stay at home activity with the baby. Topple that with the current situation, and it makes me want to read even more.
The first book on my Covid-19 reading list is Bonsoir Lune by Margaret Wise Brown. We can all agree that this book is a grade-A classic. I love this as an indoor activity because it put my baby to sleep. I’m sorry, but that is always a plus in my world. Two, it’s easy for me to read. French is not my first language, so I’m making sure my baby is getting an equal amount of French and English.
The second book on my Indoor activities for babies’ reading list is La Belle au Bois dormant (Charlotte aux Fraises) by Hachette Jeunesse. Who doesn’t love this classic story? It’s the Charlotte aux Fraises version, which I adore. It’s still easy for me to read, and the baby likes colorful pictures. I’ve tried reading the other classic french books without pictures, and she’s not a fan.
The third book on my coronavirus activities with babies’ reading list is “made up French tale.” Okay, here me out. You are reading to your baby every time or at least a few times a week. After a while, your baby is going to get bored. Spice it up and create your own French story to read to your baby. Let me know in the comments if you created your own.
5. Play Music indoors with baby
My favorite stay at home coronavirus activities with babies has been playing music. This American French mom Family loves music. My husband and I fell in love through music, so it’s only natural that we play music to our baby.
You don’t have to be a musician for these quarantine activities with babies. In the South of France, Pairs, or Menton, you know the classic French songs.
Baby Jeanne and I started a coronavirus activity with babies playlist to help you if you get stumped on what to sing. I can sing these in French and English so it shouldn’t be a problem for you either.
- La Mer
- La Vie en Rose
- Les Champs Elysées
- Que c’est triste Venise
- Le sud
- À bicyclette
- Et moi et moi et moi
- Couler Cafe
- C’est si bon
- Minor Swing
- (USA)Autumn Leaves
- (made up Miss DouDou)
- (USA) All of Me
- (USA) At Last
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (our version)
Let me know in the comments what activities you’ve done thus far with your little one.