- Metamorphosis “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when he is revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2 (NKJV)
PRAYER: Abba Father, we claim you as our own precious daddy! Bless Baby! As I am a child of God by faith, may Baby become your child too. Help me to be faithful to teach him about you both by what I say and by what I do. Gift Baby with faith to believe in Jesus and someday trust him as his own Savior. Thank you for the truth that “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” May we all grow up as a household of faith where each of your children resemble you!
THOUGHT: Usually by this age, most birth traumas have resolved and baby is starting to look as adorable as a cherub. Does he look more like Mom or Dad? Before long, he may favor someone else. Enjoy his constant changes!
ACTIVITY: Jiggity…Ohh! Hold Baby securely under his arms with his feet resting on the ground or your knees, and jiggle him gently up and down, saying something like “Jiggity jiggity….jiggity ohh!” Vary the number of times you let Baby bounce up and down, but on the “ooh!” lift him gently into the air as if he’s able to jump super high.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, our creator, thank you for creating all things…for “stretching forth the heavens” and “spreading abroad the earth” for us like a mother unfolding a tablecloth and laying out a scrumptious picnic. Thank you for the changing seasons…for springtime and harvest, for the heat of summer and the snows of winter.
THOUGHT: Babies have very tender, sensitive skin, so they shouldn’t be exposed to extremes in temperature, but they can be introduced to many different touch sensations.
ACTIVITY: If you don’t have any snowflakes, how about letting your baby rest the tip of her finger for just a second or two on the frosty side of a glass of cold water or warm (not hot) cocoa? Let her feel the gentle caress of your silkiest blouse against her cheek and the luxurious feel of your softest sweater. Let her enjoy the tickly sensation of a feather if you have one, and the lush feel of rabbit fur (or your family pet, but wash her hands afterward!). Let her explore the feel of the curtains in your living room, the couch cushions, the walls…finely polished wood and coarse burlap, stone, or brick. If you have any flowers, let her feel the delicate petals and sturdy stems. Stand over the kitchen sink and pour a little warm water over her hand. Let her feel all the (safe) things she sees around the house! As a last “good feel,” wash her hands in warm, soapy water to make sure they’re perfectly clean again. 🙂
- Tubby Time “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.” Isaiah 43:2
PRAYER: Dear Spirit of God who moved upon the face of the waters and brought beauty from a formless void, please take my beautiful but largely undeveloped child and make him beautiful in spirit, soul, and body. Give him a cheerful heart that delights in doing your will. Bless him with kindness and compassion. May he love all and be loved by all. May he enjoy long life and see good days because he has honored you in all he does and says. Please keep him safe by night and day—both in his work and in his play.
THOUGHT: By now, Baby will probably happily float in a tub of warm water if you hold his head in your hands and support his back. (Keep his face and ears entirely above the waterline.) Most babies love to kick and splash, and a time of play in the tub will not only insure that he’s fresh and clean for bed, it will help relax him and tire him out so he’ll be all ready to nurse and fall asleep!
ACTIVITY: If Dad is up for the sport, try starting some first class swimming lessons and father/son bonding by having Dad and Baby bathe together. It especially maximizes pleasure and minimizes the discomfort of being cold and wet if Mom will participate by undressing and redressing your tiny protégé.
- Super Poops!“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7
PRAYER: Dear Word of God who became flesh and dwelt among us, thank you for offering up your blood as an atonement for our sins so that we can become whiter than snow! Even as blood courses through our bodies every second, washing, repairing, and cleansing us, so may the blood of the Lamb of God course through our spirits and cleanse us spiritually.
THOUGHT: Sometime around now, Baby may go from having a bowel movement every hour or two to having fewer but bigger “super poops.” As you clean Baby, consider praying for your family to be cleansed and refreshed spiritually by the Word of God.
ACTIVITY: Is there any more unfun chore in motherdom than changing diapers? Make it a positive experience for Baby by expressing joy in being together. Congratulate her on her “hard work.” Sing songs to her or tell her about your day. After her diaper is back on, tickle her toes a little while they’re out and wiggling or massage her legs for a few seconds and help them do “bicycle” motions. Put a little pressure on the balls of her feet and see if she’ll press her legs against your hands. While she’s still on her back, pull her legs gently up into a knee bend position and back down. Almost every experience of life can also be an opportunity for growth and bonding.
- To Schedule or Not to Schedule: Is That the Question?“To every thing there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)
PRAYER: Dear Ancient of Days, who existed before the mountains were brought forth and to whom a thousand years is “as but yesterday when it is past,” thank you that our times are in your hands. Thank you that there is a time and season for every purpose under heaven. Help me to discern your will as I try to plan each day.
THOUGHT: To schedule or not to schedule. That is a good question. A generation ago, scheduling was touted as an absolute necessity for bringing up a well-adjusted child. By Baby#2 I stopped trying to rear children “by the books” and relied more on prayer, love, and instinct. And, I think the rest of the children profited from the change. Schedules and goals are worthwhile, but be sensitive and flexible. It’s important to have a target, just understand that it’s a moving target, so don’t expect to hit the bull’s eye often!
ACTIVITY: Here’s a little nursery rhyme that babies love to hear:
“Hickory dickory dock, the mouse ran up the clock!” (Run with your fingers up Baby’s leg to the top of his head.)
“The clock struck one— (Pause and clap Baby’s hands above his head while saying “BONG”)
“And down he did run! (Run your fingers back down from the top of Baby’s head to his toes.)
Hickory dickory dock.”
- A Perch with a View“For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit.” Isaiah. 57:15 (NKJV)
PRAYER: Dear holy God, who is high and lofty and inhabits eternity, it is almost incomprehensible to us that you are willing to “fix in us your humble dwelling” and desire that we should be your tabernacle…your dwelling place here on earth! Thank you that you not only dwell in the high and holy place above, where you invite us to be seated together with you in the heavenly places, but that you condescend to abide with all who, in repentant humility, open the door of our hearts and invite you to come in. Please come!
THOUGHT: Isn’t it exciting to see new sights…or “the same old things” from new perspectives? Give Baby opportunities to study her world from different points of view.
ACTIVITY: How many different safe perches can you make for Baby? Go from room to room and find the best spots for her to watch you. Can you make a secure nest for her on the couch? On a bed? On a table? In a chair? A swing? The car seat placed somewhere unusual? Don’t let financial constraints limit your options. Many places can be safe as long as they are warm, free from either hot or cold air drafts, and surrounded by appropriate barriers to keep Baby from falling.
- Daily Workouts “At the Club” “Your hands have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments.”
Psalm 119:73 (NKJV)
PRAYER: Dear Lord, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, give us great understanding as we walk through life. Please protect Baby from harm as he begins to explore his world, and bless him with a deep desire for true treasure. May he grow to discern good from evil and choose good!
THOUGHT: I remember watching mothers waiting for the doctor at a free medical clinic I attended with my firstborn. Some of the women would set their babies down in the middle of a small blanket and slap the child any time he tried to move. I was shocked at first, but perhaps the mothers thought they were just teaching their children to “be good” and stay out of trouble. Curiosity, activity, and exploration aren’t bad! These are good things…even if they are inconvenient at times. Whenever possible, don’t slow your child down…rise to meet him! If he wants to explore, encourage him. Just be there to make sure he doesn’t harm himself or others.
ACTIVITY: A cradle gym—an exerciser toy hung across Baby’s crib with rings and beads to grab and play with—is a great investment even at this age. Although Baby probably won’t touch it yet, it will very likely arouse his curiosity and inspire him to attempt capturing it within a month or two.