Top 10 Tricks to keep baby’s fingers busy

Keeping your baby’s fingers busy would likely be a big thing for you, as it is for me. Your baby may have already formed the habit of scratching, such as Marcie has. Marcie started scratching intensely from 3 months old and now scratches our hands, her legs or anything that is close to her. Our little relief from scratching came when she’s 8 months old, when she started to explore the world around her. I’m sure you would have your own ways to keep your baby’s fingers occupied, but here’s mine!

1. Let your baby play with cold teether

Teether with Water

Teething ring filled with water that can be placed in the fridge worked wonders for Marcie from about 5-7 months old. Besides the obvious use for biting, Marcie loves holding cold stuff. Now, at 15 months when she’s scratching say in a cafe, I’d buy a small bottled cold drink for her to hold. That can buy me enough time to feed her and myself.

2. Never mind that the magazine or tissue is torn

Babies somehow love to tear tissue paper, magazines and pamphlets. Marcie has not only torn them but also eaten quite a fair bit of her books. To date, Marcie has eaten rubber ball, phone leather straps, paper and plastic film! As much as I don’t like her biting inedible stuff, I figured that it beats scratching her scalp out.

3. Have her hammer some balls!

Hammering toy

Hammering toys are a hit for babies of about 12 months. Your baby can learn to grip the hammer, practice her hand eye co-ordination to hit the balls, get a kick watching the balls roll down and probably end up biting the balls or the hammer! Main point is it keeps your baby occupied and her fingers active.

4. Never leave the home without finger food

Banana Milk Rusks

Graduate Puffs

One item that I definitely have to bring out is biscuits. Teething rusks that your baby can hold and eat on her own will occupy her hands. Marcie’s favorite is banana flavored teething rusks, followed by small star shaped puffs and baby rice rusks. I never leave home without them.

5. Catch the Wind in the stroller

Stroller Fan

If your baby has a tendency to scratch her head in the stroller, letting her play with the stroller fan is a good idea. Marcie has destroyed one fan by pulling out and tearing the wings but I’m fine as long as she’s not scratching her head. Do peep into the stroller every now and then as you never know when your baby will wake up and start scratching.

6. Or Read a Buggy Book

Buggy Book

Your baby may like flipping the book and Marcie particularly likes this peek-a-boo book as there are felt flaps to flip up to reveal hidden kids. Of course, she chews the book too!

7. Offer a Juice Cup but Watch out for the straw chewer

Juice Straw Cup

Baby loves juice and Marcie likes it cold best. I offer about 120ml to her daily and juice is another item I never leave home without. Once she has finished her juice, ate enough of finger food, I will offer her water bottle. Sometimes, I let her play with straws but watch out that your baby doesn’t chew and swallow the plastic straw of the juice cup (which Marcie did and ate the straw up too, I suppose it feels like jelly beans?)

8. Move and Groove and Play

Chasing after a car

Trust me. It gets easier when your baby is able to crawl and walk. Having more things to do such as crawling after a toy, kicking a ball will definitely take your baby’s mind off the scratching.

9. Hit the TV

This one is not an ideal thing to do but will certainly give you some time to work in the kitchen while your baby watches the TV and hit on the ‘items’ she wants to catch from the screen. My LCD screen hasn’t broke but is always dirty with food stained hand prints.

10. Push a chair

Junior Chair

This one works too! Marcie also pushes her high chair and crawls under the table.

There may be some items listed here that you find questionable, such as biting stuff and hitting TV. You don’t have to agree with all of them as these are the tricks that I use to keep Marcie busy. To me, raising a kid with eczema involves more trade-offs and these are some that I’m willing to compromise. Have a good day with your child and enjoy your time together.

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9 thoughts on “Top 10 Tricks to keep baby’s fingers busy

  1. Singapore’s weather has been hot for the past week and Marcie started to have scratch marks on her face and hands. She was cranky and nothing except my mobile phone could distract her. The result – teethmarks and mouth mark on my mobile phone. 🙁

  2. Pingback: Why Scratching Feels So Good but is So Bad for your child | Eczema Blues

  3. Pingback: Saying (or shouting) “Stop Scratching!” to your eczema child | Eczema Blues

  4. What’s everyone’s thoughts on foods? Clayton is on a strict diet at the moment and slowly we are reintroducing foods to see if the eczema flakes up. My gut feeling is it’s got nothing to do with food as it’s bad when he is on 4 foods and it’s bad when he is on 10 foods? Any thoughts

    • Hi Elice,
      How old is your son? Food is one of those triggers that are more suspected by parents to be, than it really is a trigger. For older children, environmental trigger such as house dust mite is more prevalent. An allergy test should be able to help you figure out, though it’s not 100% accurate and just avoiding all the tested positive allergens may not help some children – but it’s a place to start. From 6 month old, can take allergy test.
      Even for foods, it’s mainly a few common allergens that may be involved, like eggs, milk, soy, wheat, unlikely to be many many foods. So, for a growing child, my feel is always to confirm there is an allergy before avoiding the food and compromise nutrition, risk nutritional deficiency for something that may not be anything at all.
      Hope that helps, take care, keep us updated too,
      Mei

      • Thanks mate, he has been allergy tested and is allergic to peanuts and dust mites only, nothing else. But have been advised to put him on a low chemical diet the problem with that is he is only eating, rice, choko, chicken, potato and pumpkin. I feel that’s not enough food and we still haven’t seen much of an improvement on this diet and it’s been over 2 weeks. I feel like he is always hungry too. what to do, I don’t know

        • Hi! Good to know he’s allergic to 2 items only. Dust mites can’t be removed completely, but always good to take measures such as washing in 60degC, changing mattress, wet wiping vs dusting. I don’t quite understand why he has to be on a low chemical diet, (what’s that by the way?). As far as I know, if he’s allergic to peanuts, then avoid peanuts (or to play safer, other nuts till older) but no reason to exclude any other food. Just feed him all the usual yummy food! Unduly restricting diet affects nutrition and if kids also have to eat a variety with different textures and tastes to get them used to eating variety and learning to swallow different textures, have fun cooking!
          p.s. once I knew my daughter has no allergy, I borrowed many recipe books and started cooking foods that’s yummy to her and me too!

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