Most everyone has heard the flight attendant tell them to put their own oxygen mask on before helping others. The same goes for parenting—your health and well-being is important so that you can nurture your child. Self-care is not selfish or indulgent—it’s how we keep ourselves well to ensure we are physically, emotionally, and mentally capable of being there for our young children.
- Bonding – When you sing to your baby, they bond with you and your voice. Singing makes yours the first and most important voice in her life. Your baby learns that you LOVE him.
- Transitions – Babies feel safe when life is predictable. A song for waking up, sleeping, and other routine transitions and activities helps them know what comes next.
- Language – Language is in itself musical, and when you sing and speak, your baby learns about words, language, and communication. Through your singing, baby’s language comprehension begins.
- New words – While you sing and hold your baby, you introduce new vocabulary. When you hold up a stuffed dog as you sing about a dog, baby learns to associate the name of that toy with the words you sing. When you sing about parts of the body and kiss your baby’s feet or tickle his tummy, he learns new words.
- Rhythm and rhyme – Music includes rhythm and rhyme, again, part of our language. In time, babies will recognize rhymes and rhythms.
- Play – Singing is one of many methods of play and “sing-play” is a fun way to interact with babies.
- Family fun – Singing is a great way to involve older siblings in welcoming a new baby to the home. Singing to and playing with the baby builds a bond between siblings. Make singing a family activity.
Even if you’ve kept your toddler away from news about COVID-19 in the media or from overhearing adult conversations, they are bound to have questions. Here are some age-appropriate responses to the common questions a toddler might have. Most importantly, remember to keep your answers simple and age-appropriate.
Family bonding time is not limited to the people who live in your home. Extended family can be a great source of love and learning for children, and parents too. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins each have special roles, and different things to share. They can give your child love and encouragement and a bigger sense of belonging.
Becoming part of a blended family means big changes for everyone—grown-ups and children alike. Children may feel uncertain, afraid, and mistrustful as they adjust. Consider these strategies for helping children through this transition.
Gradual weaning involves loss, but your child is able to do her grieving in small, manageable doses as she learns to meet her physical and emotional needs in other ways. In fact, gradual weaning becomes a series of healthy stepping stones in the child's development and in the mother-child relationship, in which the child "ripens." Here's how.