Magic Thermostat Hands

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Brr! It’s getting chilly out there, that time of year where suddenly a 60 degree day feels downright warm, if you’ve had a spell in the 40s or 50s. I always marveled at this phenomenon myself as a child, and it was a great prompt to teach Travis about how temperature to our bodies is relative. All you need are three buckets of water. Ready, set, chill!

Fill one bowl or bucket with ice water. Fill a middle bucket with lukewarm water. Fill the third with hot water (make sure to test this one first, so it won’t hurt your child’s skin).

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Encourage your child to put one hand in the ice water and one in the hot. Let sit for about 30 seconds, then transfer both hands to the lukewarm water.

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They will discover that the ice water hand feels warm now, and the hot water hand feels cooler. Voila, a lesson on relative temperature!

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Mama’s Scent

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One of the biggest differences between baby one and baby two is that I can’t always be there for Veronika as I was for Travis – school drop-off, Halloween events, you name it. Even in one week, I’ve learned that I can’t be in two places at once.

Fact is, whether your newborn is your first or your fourth, you’re going to be away from them eventually. But you can leave a little bit of yourself behind – your scent that is. Newborns have a remarkably attuned sense of smell (able to distinguish their mother’s milk from another mom’s milk, for example), which is their most developed sense at birth.

If you’re like me, then you have a burp cloth draped around you pretty constantly. I especially have one on my shoulder while nursing Veronika, so it’s covered in my scent (And in leaked milk!). And this makes it the perfect item to leave behind.

Case in point, today while I went grocery shopping with Travis, the burp cloth was left behind to bring comfort.

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You don’t want to leave the cloth with a baby who is unattended (nothing in the crib until a year old, remember!) but under supervision, the scent may just help a crying baby settle down.

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Sing a Lullaby

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Phew! After a first few hectic days at home, adjusting to life with two, I’m taking time during nursing sessions or before bed to sing Veronika lullabies.

I love lullabies, and I particularly love singing them while nursing, even if bedtime isn’t shortly to follow (newborns are in and out of sleep so often, that pretty much any time counts as nap time!). Singing keeps me present and in the moment, instead of turning to my phone or another distraction. Plus it engages her senses, and helps us bond. If she dozes off at the end of the song, so much the better!

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Some traditional ones to sing include: “Baa Baa Black Sheep”; “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”; “Rock-a-Bye Baby”; “Hush Little Baby”; and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” But don’t stop there! Almost anything can be a lullaby if you sing it with the right intention. To wit, some others I love for little babies include:

The Water is Wide

Little Drummer Boy

Slip Sliding Away

Those Were the Days

Taxi

Blowing in the Wind

Scarborough Fair

I adore singing for my children so much that I even recorded an a cappella lullaby CD when Travis was small! It doesn’t matter if you are a professional musician or can’t carry a tune… I hope this post inspires some singing for your little one today.