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How to Keep Your Baby Busy

We busy mothers often use swings, strollers, and activity centers to keep our babies safe as we go about the stuff of life. But babies need the chance to work out their tiny muscles and practice important motor skills, like rolling over, sitting up, and crawling. Save the containing gear for those times when you really need it, like when you're taking a shower or cooking. Otherwise, liberate those limbs! Here are times when you can put a blanket on the floor and set your little one free (and still get something done):

While you're...
paying bills
Your baby can...
crumple sheets of wastepaper for the trash (make sure he doesn't try to eat any though!).

While you're...
folding laundry
Your baby can...
"help" sort socks. There's nothing like a pile of unmatched socks to entertain a curious baby.

While you're...
reading Babytalk
Your baby can...
mimic you by "reading" a book of his own. Or you can read aloud to him as if it were storytime.

While you're...
checking e-mail
Your baby can...
listen to some tunes. Put on his or your favorite CD and sing to him. Or let him create his own music with a plastic bowl and spoon.

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