- A Good Night’s Sleep? How Wonderful!“Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever.” Psalm 106:1 (NKJV)
PRAYER: Lord, we praise you, for truly you are good. Your mercy endures forever and your loving kindness has no end. Thank you for Baby’s vitality—that he’s starting to “take root” and grow. May he always delight in your law and become like a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth abundant fruit and prospering in everything he does.
THOUGHT: You have now had your precious gift from God for eight weeks. It took a full two months before my firstborn ever slept through the night, but boy did I praise God when he did! It’s like a new lease on life. Be patient. There is hope!
ACTIVITY: How about taking some time today with Baby to hold your own “praise service”? Hold Baby on your lap and look at him from downy tip to wiggly toe. Stroke his head and thank God for the wonder of the human brain and its amazing capacity for experiencing life and love. Pat Baby’s shoulder and praise God for human companionship and the possibility of a lifetime of friendship with this beloved new friend. How about singing often with Baby this age-old doxology?
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures hear below. Praise him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.”
- Give Me My Parents, Please!“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.” Psalm 89:15 (NIV)
PRAYER: O Lord God of Hosts, the God of Israel, Issac, and Jacob, thank you for family and friends! Thank you that you have created us to live in community, that you “set the solitary in families” and “free the captives.” Bless Baby as she interacts with our world of people. Protect her from harm, help her to learn to love deeply, and may she be a source of joy to all who meet her.
THOUGHT: About this time, Baby will start to light up whenever she sees you…mostly because she loves being safely in the comfort of your arms! When you’re sharing time with close friends, be aware that there’s a fine line between enough and too much when it comes to attention. When Baby looks tired or unhappy: intercede!
ACTIVITY (for two): Blanket Swing: Place Baby in the center of a sturdy blanket. Securely grasp two corners while your partner takes the two near her feet. Keeping constant, reassuring eye contact, softly swing Baby from side to side. Make sure she doesn’t spook and enjoys the gentle motion, which will give her good practice at learning balance. If Baby likes this game, you might also try swinging her in the blanket:
- Back and forth
- Up and down
- One end higher while the other is lower and visa versa
- Around in slow circles
- Encouraging Counsel“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart: and good news refreshes the bones.” Proverbs 15:30 (ESV)
PRAYER: Father, thank you for sending us your perfect son, Jesus Christ. Thank you that he is “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Oh, Father, how we long to be like your wonderful, mighty son!
THOUGHT: Parents have the unique privilege of helping shape their baby’s character through example and positive reinforcement. Start now by imitating Jesus! Be a wonderful counselor to Baby. Let your eyes shine out with joy when Baby is being good, and give him lots of praise. Practice trying to be as unchanging in goodness as God, as faithful, as reassuring, as peaceful, and as patient. Remember: “Patience is the ability to let your light shine after the fuse has blown.” (Bob Levey).
ACTIVITY: One of the most important modes of communication between an infant and others is through positive facial expressions. Baby will spontaneously smile when he’s happy, but he will learn many of his expressions through imitation. Be very intentional about smiling and cooing at Baby. Tell him what a treasure he is and how thrilled you are with him. Tell him he’s a precious baby…a strong baby…a happy baby…a sweet-tempered baby. Start now by reinforcing good behaviors and praise him when he does well. You’ll never spoil a child by praising him for doing good things. You’ll encourage him to “keep on keepin’ on” (as they used to encourage us at my alma mater, Bob Jones University).
2 Peter 3:18
PRAYER: Dear God of all grace who has “called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus” (1Peter 5:10), how we long to grow in grace…to be gracious, good, and kind! Bless Baby with grace. May grace and peace be multiplied to our family through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
THOUGHT: Baby is almost two months old now. Wow! Where has the time gone? My husband and I would catch ourselves saying, “When Aaron was little…” As Baby matures, help her to grow not only in stature and strength but also in grace and wisdom.
ACTIVITY: How about taking a few minutes today to dedicate Baby in a special way to the Lord, asking Christ to save her at an early age and be her Lord and guide forever? Ask God for wisdom to dream his dreams for your child and then provide the grace to make those dreams come true. Consider reciting or singing the Lord’s Prayer often with Baby:
“Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13
- How About Giving Me a Hand?“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17
PRAYER: Almighty God who holds the world in your hands, what a mystery that you should love us so dearly that you engrave us on the palms of your hands! Thank you for the promise that you give your sheep eternal life and that we will never perish, nor can anyone ever pluck us out of your hands. Bless Baby, Lord. Call him to yourself as one of your lambs. Bear him upon your shoulders and carry him in your bosom. And, dear Lord, let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us. Establish the work of our hands. May we always serve you with joy and gladness.
THOUGHT: Very soon Baby will begin playing with his hands. Once you notice that, it might be time to try “Patty Cake.”
ACTIVITY: Patty Cake: Hold Baby on your lap facing away from you, and hold his hands in yours. Take his hands and clap them together gently in time to the animated rhythm of this poem: “Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can!” “Roll it,” (make a rolling motion); “Pat it!” (pat), “and mark it with a B,” (draw a big B in the air in front of his face), “then throw it in the oven” (lift up Baby’s hands until his arms are extended comfortably up and out) “for Baby and me!” At that point hug Baby while crossing his arms over his chest. If Baby resists the game, then he’s too young, but try again in a week or two and he may smile with delight when you play!
- How about Taking a Stand?“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10
PRAYER: O God that formed us…the Rock that begat us, may we never forget you. Thank you that Baby is learning to stand! May our family always stand on Christ, the solid Rock, who alone is our source and sure foundation. May we stand on your love and promises forever. May we endure hardness as good soldiers, too, so that we will “be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
THOUGHT: Somewhere around the second month, an infant will start being able to support her own weight, although she won’t have the balance to stand up alone for months. However, when handling an infant, please always bear in mind how fragile their joints are. Alan once playfully tried to lift Aaron off the ground by his hands. Aaron screamed with pain, and we had to take him to an emergency room to discover that Aaron’s little wrist joint had popped out. Never expect your child to be able to hang by her arms or support her own weight on anything other than her sturdy little legs!
ACTIVITY: Try holding Baby on your lap facing you. Support her under her arms, and let her “stand up” while you keep her balanced and supported as much as she needs. If you practice with her, a strong baby will soon be supporting her own weight. Learning to balance will take many, many months, but practice on Mom or Daddy’s lap will help the process!
- Quality Time with Father“The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory…give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Ephesians 1:17-18
PRAYER: Dear God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, bless Baby with a spirit of wisdom to understand your revelation concerning God the Father and Jesus Christ, his son. I pray that as Baby gets to know us, his earthly parents, he will see reflected in us your Holy Spirit and learn more about his heavenly father. Lord, you are full of glory like so many rays of colorful light sparkling out from a diamond! How we long to have shining out from our lives your beautiful faithfulness, hope, patience, uprightness, humility, gentleness, goodness, self-control, love, joy and peace!
THOUGHT: If Baby rarely gets to spend quality time with his dad, be creative in thinking of some positive opportunities for interaction between your baby and husband.
ACTIVITY: How about visiting the “zoo” without leaving home? If Daddy is willing to be a one-man circus, give Baby some thrilling rides. Place Baby gently on his tummy on Daddy’s back, then keep him safely balanced as Daddy pads slowly around the room on all fours, pretending to be a roaring lion. If Baby is up for the adventure, the next time around, Daddy could bray and bounce a little, pretending to be a donkey. Baby could be in a sitting position (still balanced by you) and “ride the horse”…or camel…or elephant. Your husband could hold Baby securely in his arms and pretend to be a bouncing kangaroo, or sway from side to side like a chimpanzee. Have fun!