Do you have a baby 0-12 months old right now and are thinking—what the F**k? And HELPPP?
I mean, it’s hard enough to have kids of any age during this time. Mine won’t let me finish a thought without coming in to ask me to cut a rainbow, make a sandwich, play a game, or just to whine.
Parenting during the Corona virus FEELS like that period of having a newborn for most of us. But you all actually HAVE one.
Which means, on top of dealing with the insane reality we’re living in and being cooped up inside, you are just trying to figure out how to get through the day with no sleep, and a creature who needs tending to 24/7.
So Tunie, I can’t do your laundry or babysit right now, but I can give you some ideas on what to do with your baby to feel more connected, more at ease, and help you better speak your baby’s language.
These 6 little gems will help you fill your day with giggles and restful naps. You might remember them from the Baby in Tune class. If you have taken it, use this as a refresher to help during those trying days.
1. The Mirroring Technique – Mirror your baby’s vocal sounds. Our babies register when we speak THEIR language. You can do this with older babies using instruments or vocals. This is the building block of connecting to your baby, making them feel heard and understood. If you’ve taken the class you remember how this technique can spur on a full back and forth conversation. In fact, this is usually the activity that gets dads feeling like – “yeah! we can hang!”
2. Passively Present Play – It takes focus to truly let your baby take the lead. Put aside your thinking self and join your baby with your sensing self. Try the exercise we did in class at home for at least 3 minutes each day. Get on the floor in the position your baby is in. Let your baby teach you how to be fully present and explore like a scientist.
3. Hand Gesture Songs – Your baby LOVES hand gesture songs. Remember the three types we talked about? 1. Just using hands, 2. Using hands + body, and 3. Using full body. Try these different types this week. Which ones does your baby like? (need a list? Email me.)
4. Rhythm Play – In our class we use rhythm in various ways. For this exercise, pat by their ears so they feel and hear the rhythm in stereo, and see if your baby becomes more alert or calm. Babies LOVE rhythm. Use the songs we did in class to drum on the rug or on pots and pans. Use dynamics (loud, soft, slow, fast), to keep your baby engaged.
5. The Songwriting Method – If you’ve taken a Baby in Tune class, hopefully you left feeling like anyone can write a good ditty, even the sleep-deprived parent. In fact, only you can write the PERFECT song for your baby. Using the steps we use in class it takes less than 5 minutes to write a whole song. Try to write your own each day. Go silly, go nonsensical, go poopy and pee-pee if you must. And when you remember the song you wrote the next day, that’s your hit.
6. Dance Party – Your baby loves to be in SYNC. And so do we! Dance parties are the perfect way. The best time to do it? Right when you can’t take it any longer. When you’ve been pushed to your limits and can’t change another diaper, bounce, shush, or sway for another second. Yup – around 5:00pm. Need a playlist? Here is mine.
Here’s the thing. Caring for a baby, especially right now when you can’t leave the house, is draining. It’s ok to sometimes feel angry at your baby for needing SO MUCH. It’s ok to not feel in love with your baby all the time and need some time alone.
Activities like these can help us feel more in tune with our baby, and more attuned to our baby. When we start speaking our baby’s language through music, we start to understand our baby’s needs a whole lot more.
And that leads to more sleep, more peace, more joy, more snuggles, more smiles, more cooing, and less crying.
You know – that moment when you are both gazing into each other’s eyes and suddenly who cares if they woke you up every hour and a half? Connecting means shedding some of those indoor blues that we are all feeling right now.
And before doing these activities, try our “Three Breaths Technique” to bring you fully into the moment. Take in a breath and on every exhale think of something you are grateful for.
So let’s do this. Put the laundry pile aside, forget about the apple sauce crusted on the floor, put your phone in another room, and just be with your baby.
Do you know a parent of a baby who can’t sing Twinkle Twinkle one more time and needs some SOS activity help right NOW? Send them this.
AND – guys, I’ve got a big surprise coming to you THIS WEEK. Stay tuned.
COMMENT and let me know what your baby’s favorite activities are.
Yes! Please send me the Tuesday Tune-In!