Tippy Toe

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I love little nursery rhymes for babies – the words will bring a smile, or just a look of contentment. And of course many rhymes have actions that go along with the words, to engage multiple senses (think: This Little Piggie Went to Market or Hickory Dickory Dock).

Here was a new one Veronika and I played today! While your child is in your lap, walk your fingers up one arm, over the head, and down the other arm, saying this cute rhyme:

Tippy tippy tiptoe, off we go

Tippy tippy tiptoe, to and fro

Tippy tippy tiptoe, through the house

Tippy tippy tiptoe, quiet as a mouse.

We continued the game all day as I carried Veronika from place to place, tip-toeing as I moved. The words seem to demand a hushed whisper, and Veronika seemed to love hearing this very soft tone.

Older siblings may enjoy getting in on the tip-toe play, too!

Take a Neighborhood Walk

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Fresh air is so good for babies (just dress them in one more layer than you yourself are wearing), and it was so nice today to have a quiet moment just with Veronika to walk our neighborhood.

Buckle your baby in a carrier, and head out there! This was my chance to break out the carrier after 4 years, and remember how all the buckles attached!

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As we walked, I talked to Veronika about the things we could see – dogs out for a stroll, buildings, blue sky. It was hard to take pictures, so here is our shadow stopping to look at flowers:

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And fountains:

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Chances are, your baby will be so comfy they’ll nod off along the way – Veronika did! But that’s okay, I just kept walking and enjoying the moment with my baby girl.



Decode Baby’s Cries

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One of the best pieces of advice I found before becoming a mother was a snippet from an old Oprah episode that promised to decode a baby’s cries. I highly recommend watching the video in full, but for a quick summary, here’s the golden advice I took away from it.

  • Neh = I’m hungry
  • Heh = I’m tired
  • Eh = I’m uncomfortable (gas etc.)

It’s amazing that infants universally make these cries, and also how tuned into them you’ll be if you know what to listen for.

But because even this method isn’t fail-proof, today I took the time to listen to Veronika when she cried. You can even ask your child, “Why are you crying?” They won’t be able to tell you yet, but it sets up two-way conversation and makes baby feel heard.

Also be sure to look for non-verbal cues (i.e. baby’s body language). Turning their head toward an object or stuffing fists near their mouth (otherwise known as “rooting”) is a sure sign that baby is hungry. Turning their face away is a good indicator that the baby might feel overwhelmed or overstimulated. And of course you can guess what little smiles or wide-open eyes mean!

If you really can’t figure out what the baby needs, take a pause for you both. I lay Veronika down on a blanket on the floor, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Calming yourself is equally as important in these moments as calming the baby.

Do you have a secret tool you use to decode baby’s cries? Please share in the comments!


Begin a Baby Journal

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Today’s prompt from a baby game book was to start journaling about the journey… I confess it felt redundant, as I already journal every night. But in following the recommendation, I thought about other ways to journal and record Veronika’s days, alongside my nightly written entries.

When they are this young, babies are literally changing daily, and it’s these little moments that I try to jot down each night. But words can only jog the memory so much. A visual journal is equally important. Try to capture a picture of your child each day in these early weeks and months, carefully labeled (three days old, five days old, etc.), and you’ll see the changes that take place and add up over time.

5 days

I love storing pictures online, divided by folder into months, so they are easily accessible!

6 days

Video is a fantastic log, too. You’ll never remember quite the pitch of your baby’s coos, or the way their expression quirks into a little smile if you don’t have a video record.

You may also have been filling out a pregnancy journal along the way. Many contain a section at the end about the first few days back at home, so don’t neglect it! You’ll thank your past self when you look back on these precious early memories later on.

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What form will your baby journal take? Please share in the comments!

Update: Just a friendly reminder to add to your journal, since it’s been about a month since this post! There is so much to keep track of these days – that Veronika’s eyes are changing from baby blue to a deeper brown, that she loves staring at the apple prints I posted near her diaper table, that she’s beginning to make sounds more like coos than just cries, and that her smiles seem to be true ones of joy. What have you noticed that’s different? Please share in the comments!

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