Bless Your Baby: (Ideas for a Ten-Month Old, Week 43)

Ready to Walk? 295. Magical Moments

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psalm 23:6

PRAYER: Oh, Father, a million thanks for being our shepherd. Thank you for watching over us so tenderly and for tending us so wisely. Truly we are blessed to be your sheep and a part of your fold! Please bless us with quiet hearts. May we willingly follow you, no matter how rocky or dark the path, ever grateful to know that you are leading us straight to heaven!

THOUGHT: Leading your child around by his hands is so much easier than later when you can only lead him with your heart and hope he follows. Treasure these early years together. You will remember them as magical moments.

ACTIVITY: When Baby starts taking tentative little steps, try this fun ditty to encourage him to walk while holding your hands:

“Hey, little Baby, little, hippity-hop!”
(Standing with Baby, holding his hands, rock him side to side.)
“I sure like the way you talkity talk!”
(Lean Baby forward and backward.)
“Hey, little Baby, little hippity-hop!”
(Rock him side to side again.)
“Let’s get going for a walkity walk!”
(Lift up his hands and start moving him forward, one baby step at a time, saying “Chugga-chugga-chugga-chug.”
(as you go)

And, for some blessed assurance that everything’s going to be okay…

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
“He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands,
He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands!”
Other verses: “He’s got the itty, bitty, baby in His hands…
He’s got momma and papa…
He’s got you and me, sister, in His hands…”
(American Spiritual)
NOTE: Almost all the songs I mention can be found on YouTube
if you’re trying to figure out the tunes.

Doggy aboard!296. Little Ditties

“The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.”
Genesis 31:49

PRAYER: Dear Father, thank you that you are present everywhere, and that you have promised to never leave us or forsake us. Please bless Baby. Watch over her day and night. May she always feel your nearness, even when I can’t be near.

THOUGHT: Fill your heart and mind with scriptures and songs of praise about our God. If you’ve still got room to spare, add a few nursery rhymes for fun!

ACTIVITY: There a numerous nursery rhymes and songs that will delight Baby, and if you commit them to memory, they will entertain her for years. Here are a few favorites that my mother used to recite to me:

“O where of where has my little dog gone?
Oh where, of where can he be?
With his ears so short and his tail so long,
Oh where, or where can he be?”
(Septimus Winter)

“How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the waggily tail?
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie’s for sale!”
(Bob Merrill and Ingrid Reuterskiöld in 1952)

“Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I’ve been to London to visit the queen.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under her chair!”
(Traditional English poem)

“Jack be nimble, Jack be quick!
Jack jump over the candlestick!”

10 months297. Songs of Joy

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to fill my heart and soul with “songs and hymns, and spiritual songs” so that I will be full of singing and making melody in my heart to the Lord, as Ephesians 5:19 teaches us to do. May the joy in my heart overflow in happiness that blesses Baby with joy too!

THOUGHT: When you’re not feeling joyful, they say to start counting your blessings, and after you’ve gotten to about 100, perhaps you will start to feel the joy of the Lord again!

ACTIVITY: Try singing songs of joy to Baby:

I’ve Got the Joy
“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. (Where?)
Down in my heart. (Where?), Down in my heart!
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. (Where?)
Down in my heart to stay.

Chorus:
And I’m so happy, so very happy.  I’ve got the love of Jesus in my h-e-a-r-t.
And I’m so happy, so very happy.  I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart!”

Additional Verses:
I’ve got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart…
I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus, down in my heart…
I’ve got the wonderful love of my blessed redeemer way down in the depths of my heart…
(—George Willis Cooke, 1848-1923)

Ode to Joy
“Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!”
(—Henry VanDyke, 1907)

Water Play298. The Fisherman’s Rest

“And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.”
Exodus 33:14

PRAYER: Oh, Father, thank you for our Lord Jesus Christ, who said to us, “Come unto me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 28:11). Thank you for promising to renew our strength is we wait on you. Thank you for the joy of the Lord, which is our strength. Please bless us, dear Lord. Help us to rest in you and give us supernatural strength to do your will!

THOUGHT: Since we’re called to be fishermen, let’s be the very best we can be!

ACTIVITY: Here’s an old camp and Sunday school song that might help Baby pick up some hand motions as well as inspire him to follow Christ when he gets older. Remember that most of these signs can be used regularly. (Use the traditional ones, given here, or teach baby “real” signs according to ASL or Baby Sign language.)

Fishers of Men

“I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men.”
(Throw right hand forward as if you’re casting a fishing line every time you sing “fishers,” and then pretend to reel in the line.)
“I will make you fishers of men—If you’ll follow me.”
(Wave your hand towards yourself, as if you’re inviting someone to come to you, every time you say, “follow me.”)
“If you’ll follow me. If you’ll follow me.
“I will make you fishers of men, if you’ll follow me.”

Verse two: “Hear Christ calling,”
(Cup hand to ear like you’re listening)
“Come unto me… (etc.)”
(Beckon with the same wave that you used for “Come unto me.”)
“and I’ll give you rest.’”
(Fold your hands together and lay your head on your folded hands.)

Verse 3: “Read your Bible, pray every day…and you’ll grow, grow, grow.”

Verse 4: “Neglect your Bible, forget to pray…and you’ll shrink, shrink, shrink.”

Verse 5: “But, if you read your Bible, pray every day…then you’ll grow, grow, grow.”

Babies in Chair299. Remembering the Lord, Who Remembers Us

“The LORD reigneth: let the earth rejoice.” Psalm 97:1

PRAYER: Oh LORD—you are my king! Thank you for your sovereign rule over all the earth! May the whole world rejoice because you—the one, true God—are good! THOUGHT: Spend time every day rejoicing in God with Baby. He is good all the time!

ACTIVITY: Here are a couple of great songs that Baby can take pleasure in:

Do Lord
I’ve got a home in glory land that outshines the sun (Hallelujah!)
I’ve got a home in glory land that outshines the sun (Hallelujah!)
I’ve got a home in glory land that outshines the sun, way beyond the blue!

Chorus:
Oh, do Lord, oh do Lord, oh, do remember me.

Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh, do remember me.
Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh, do remember me, way beyond the blue!
Additional Verse:
I took Jesus as my Savior; you take him too.
I took Jesus as my Savior; you take him too.
I took Jesus as my Savior; you take him too,
Yes, he’s calling you.
(American Spiritual)

It will be some time before Baby is ready to play “London Bridge is Falling Down,” but there is a little clapping song sung to the same tune that’s good practice for early percussionists:

“Praise the Lord and clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap! (Clap)
Praise the Lord and clap, clap, clap, just like me!
Praise the Lord and lift your hands up and down, up and down,
(Wave both arms up and down)
Praise the Lord and lift your hands, just like me.
Make your arms go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
(Wave arms side to side)
Make your arms go back and forth, just like me!”
Make your head go side to side, side to side, side to side, (Rock head side to side)
Make your head go side to side, just like me!”

Playing Games with Daddy300. Like Men…and Like Women

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13

PRAYER: Dear Father, thank you for creating humans as male and female. Thank you for all the unique differences and comforting similarities. Please Bless Baby. May he grow up to be strong and brave, masculine and handsome, witty and bright, full of fun but deeply spiritual, and very, very good. Most of all, may he be like you!

THOUGHT: I hope you fully appreciate being just who God made you to be…down to each of your physical characteristics, including gender and race. “He hath made everything beautiful in His time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Part of beauty is variation and uniqueness. May we each experience thankfulness to God for creating us, understanding that he made us (and is continuing to work in us) as his own special, treasured masterpieces.

ACTIVITY: I was going to say that men excel at making non-speaking sounds and suggest that “Daddy” use this idea to spark interest in going on an imaginative tiger hunt with Baby. However, although I’m sure it would appeal to someone like my son Michael, other men might disdain such gender stereotyping. So, for what it’s worth, here are some ideas for a non-speaking verbal game. See how many of the following sounds you can get Baby to imitate with you: “Wa-wa-wa” (hitting mouth with hand to make an war whoop), “sh-h-h” (finger to lips, pretending to be very quiet), cough, pant, gr-r-r (growl), br-r-r (cold), boo! (surprise), o-h-h (as in “ooh-la-la, that’s special), sneeze, pr-r-r (like a kitty), vroom (car), chug (train), whee (here we go!), whistle, screech, grunts and groans, various bird calls and songs, engine sounds and animal noises, etc. Use your imagination and “let loose!”

Playing with baby in ocean301. Singing about the Water of Life

“Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14

PRAYER: Dear God, you are the water of life. Please bless Baby and me with a thirst for you like the deer panting for the water brooks (Psalm 42:1), because I know that nothing apart from you can satisfy the deepest longings of our souls.

THOUGHT: If you don’t know the melody for any of the songs I mention, you can always look up versions on the internet or turn songs into dramatic recitations.

ACTIVITY: Here are two old spirituals that can be done with motions and are full of joy:

Peace Like a River

Verse 1: I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.
I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river in my soul!
Verse 2: I’ve got love like an ocean…
Verse 3: I’ve got joy like a fountain…
Verse 4: I’ve got peace like a river
I’ve got love like an ocean
I’ve got joy like a fountain in my soul
I’ve got peace like a river
I’ve got love like an ocean
I’ve got joy like a fountain in my soul.
(Author Anonymous)

A River of Life

I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me!
Makes the lame to walk, and the blind to see.
Opens prison doors, sets the captives free!
I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me!
Spring up, O well, within my soul!
Spring up, O well, and make me whole!
Spring up, O well, and give to me
That life abundantly.

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