It is probably because of my teaching training that I know that babies and children need routines so they can feel secure and calm in their environment. I could repeat by heart all I know about the bennefits that professionals found in years of studies about some of these routines, but as a first time mom I want to share instead why to read for 5 minutes a day, take a bubble bath while listening to harp music and infant massage are my favorite 3 baby routines.
1. To read aloud for 5 minutes a day: bennefits of reading aloud to babies go from the visible difference on the amount of vocabulary learned when children reach 3 years old to a better cognitive developmet but one of the main reasons to do it is to stablish a connection between one of the elements that babies want most (parents voice) with books. If we read to them with joy, they soon begin to associate books with happiness.
My baby is still on the stage where she wants to eat everything (books included). Now that she moves a lot more, is not always easy to sit her down to read, but amazingly and knowing that she doesn’t understand all the vocabulary from the stories, once we are able to start, she will remain quiet for the whole story time and also she started getting interested for passing the pages and watching the drawings on them. It almost seems she is concentraded on the book. Is only 5 minutes a day that have a direct influence in the rest of her life.
2. The bubble bath while hearing harp music: one of the thoughts that I was more excited about during pregnancy was the bathing experience. I use to watch those lovely videos of super relaxed babies that would fall asleep while water slid through their heads and shoulders. However, when she was finnally born, those first baths were a nightmare. Not only we were scared as first time parents usually are, but also she hated the water. It wasn’t until someone with more experience showed us a better technique that our baby actually started liking the experience.
When time starting passing, the excitment about those experiences started decreasing, they start becoming exhausting routines. Sometimes i just wish I could just get in the shower, give her a quick shower and finish that task quick. But then I remember how good a long bath while hearing relaxing music feels . So, for almost 8 months now, every afternoon we take out the tub, fill it, and we play and sing and make bubbles and listen to harp music and relax. To leave this routine for the afternoon was probably one of the best ideas we’ve had so far. Almost inmediately she gets hungry and very soon she will be deeply asleep.
There will be a moment where she will no longer want to do it again, where she is going to want to explore her new motor skills and when momma will be able to rest, but at the same time will be able to keep in her heart such beautiful memories.
3. The infant massage: From the 3 routines, I believe this one is my favorite. Bennefits from infant massage are numerous. It produces relaxation, it stimulates the proper functioning of baby’s body sistems, but mostly it strengthens the communication and the emotional bonds that occur when the hormones of happiness are released.
When I give her a massage we connect to each other using our senses. She stares at me, she listens carefully every word that comes out of my mouth. Sometimes it looks to me she is asking for more… infant massage have made me fall in love even more.
When I give a massage to my baby I feel that world stops for a few seconds to watch were the love begins.
One could have the best tub and changing table, or the most expensive body lotion, or one could simply use the kitchen sink and olive oil, but the most important thing is how those elements are used to spend quality time and how are they used to stimulate the cognitive and emotional functions of our little babies. I’m sure too, in the end, we all sleep better!