Bless Your Baby: (Ideas for the Ten-Month-Old, Week 44)

Clapping Hands302. Are You Happy? Do You Know It?

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
Proverbs 17:22

PRAYER: Oh, Father, you have given us so much! I am sorry for the times when I don’t appreciate all you’ve done for me. Help me to be full of your joy, and please bless Baby with a cheerful heart too! Help me to remember that if I’ll let you, you’ll always carry the heavy end of my burdens. Lift our spirits, and may our souls enjoy your rest today.

THOUGHT: Do you have a metronome? If so, this game can be played with more accuracy, but if not…give your best shot at being a metronome yourself! Hold Baby on your lap so he’s facing you and say “Tick, tock, tick, tock” in a steady rhythm (or set the metronome to a slow speed), tilting your head from side to side in time with the ticks and tocks. After you’ve established a pattern, see if you can get Baby to imitate you. If he doesn’t do so spontaneously, you can rock him back and forth by holding his hands and lifting your feet up and down in time. Try speeding up and slowing down. If at any time you can get him interested in imitating you, give him many excited congratulations and clap. Then, try clapping in rhythm with your tick-tocks. Start very slowly so that Baby has a chance to try too. If he doesn’t catch on, try clapping his hands together with him and see if you can get him to hear and respond to your claps. Learning to feel and respond to rhythm is an important step in developing musical giftedness.

ACTIVITY: Here’s a little children’s song that Baby might begin to enjoy clapping to:

“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,
If you’re happy and you know it, then your life will surely show it,
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!”
(From an old Latvian folk song)

Exercises with Baby303. Daily Exercises

“Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.” Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)

PRAYER: Dear Father, please help us to be supple and healthy throughout our lives!

THOUGHT: Whatever you do, keep breathing in (Bible meditation and church attendance) and breathing out (prayer and ministry) to keep your spiritual life vigorous. Similarly, daily exercise is really important! I started doing sit-ups with Aaron (my first baby) lying on my tummy as soon as I got my doctor’s approval. If you haven’t gotten your own exercise program up and running since Baby’s birth, why not start today? If you have, it would still be good to exercise Baby! Push-ups and squats are no-brainers for Baby, but women find them very challenging. Do some! There are many good exercise programs out there. Be sure to find one that works well for you, adapt it for some “Little Baby Exercises,” and start your own daily exercise club right here at home!

ACTIVITY: Here are a few basic “good ones”:

Sit ups or “crunches”: Have Baby lie down and help him sit up, supporting his back with one hand and encouraging him gently with your other hand pulling slightly on his.

Toe touchers: Stand up straight, feet almost together with your knees slightly bent, hands straight over your head. Bend down and see if you can touch your toes. See if you can get Baby to imitate you. If not, lift his hands up over his head for him and gently bring them down toward his knees.

Other options to adapt: leg lifts, windmills, bicycles, jumping jacks, twisters, etc.

Hand Motions304. Building, Building, Building

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
and he delighteth in his way.” Psalm 37:23

PRAYER: Dear Mighty God, you are our Rock of Ages and you have made your Son the cornerstone of your church as well as the foundation of our lives, our hope, and our family. May everything we do and say be measured and trued to the standards of your Word and your Son, so that our home will be like the house built on the rock that the winds and storms of life can’t destroy.

THOUGHT: Building a tower with giant blocks requires gathering, squatting, standing, and stacking, which may inspire Baby to forget himself and do a bit of walking.

ACTIVITY: You may be able to buy 5-10 lightweight, extra large building blocks or make your own by taping closed, (empty and cleaned) cereal boxes, rectangular milk or juice cartons, or even egg cartons. (Or, a shoe, stationery, or grocery store may be willing to save you some uniformly-sized boxes.) Work with Baby on learning to stack them into a “castle tower.” Also, here’s a song about building. Use some good hand motions too!

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man

“The wise man built his house upon the rock;
The wise man built his house upon the rock;
The wise man built his house upon the rock;
And the rains came tumbling down.

“The rains came down & the floods came up;
the rains came down & the floods came up;
The rains came down & the floods came up,
But the house on the rock stood firm.

“The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
House upon the sand, house upon the sand.
The foolish man built his house upon the sand;
And the rains came tumbling down.

“The rains came down & the floods came up;
The rains came down & the floods came up;
The rains came down & the floods came up,
And the house on the sand went “splat.”

“So build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ;
Build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ;
Build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ;
And the blessing will come down.

“Blessings come down as the prayers go up;
Blessings come down as the prayers go up;
The blessings come down as the prayers go up;
So build your life on the Lord!”

Bright eyed!305. Wondrous and Beautiful

“I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.”
Psalm 116:13

PRAYER: Ah, God most high, we praise you not only for being the God we worship, but also for giving us the Lord Jesus Christ as our great high priest forever…the Lamb slain before the foundation of the earth, the Worthy One, who redeems us, intercedes for us, and offers us the cup of your salvation. We bow in awe before you. You are beautiful!

THOUGHT: Soap bubbles floating thru the air make an irresistible and challenging target for a Baby, although it’s imperative that you keep the soap bubbles from bursting close enough to get into his eyes, and don’t let him rub his eyes with soapy hands! Keep a clean, wet washcloth close at hand to wipe him off as needed.

ACTIVITY: If it’s spring or summer, you can usually buy a bottle of soap solution with a metal wire for blowing out lots of bubbles. However, in a pinch you can make your own cup of bubbling fun with a tablespoon of Joy dish detergent mixed with about a half a cup of water and any old straw for blowing. Our (older) kids used to make huge bubbles by blowing with a straw into a plate filled with homemade soap solution. You could try blowing some for Baby with this method, putting just a small amount of solution on a plastic plate, but I suspect that all but the most docile babies would burst all the bubbles before you could get them formed unless you can entertain Baby at the kitchen table without letting him get close enough to hit them. Of course, all babies love to watch bubbles float by them on a sunny day outside, or while they’re seated happily in the bathtub with you. Bubbles are beautiful and full of wonder too!

Eleventh Month

Dancing306. A Ring of Rejoicing

“You have also given me the shield of your salvation; your right hand has held me up; your gentleness has made me great.” Psalm 18:35 (NKJV)

PRAYER: Dear Father, you are the high and exalted one who inhabits eternity. It is too wonderful to think that this great God is the one who shields me from harm with your salvation, who holds me up with your strong right hand, and makes me great through your gentle touch. Thank you for Jesus, who is the “arm of the Lord,” and for the Holy Spirit, who speaks to me through gentle whispers in my spirit. Please bless Baby too; please work in us both to will and to do of your good pleasure. Make us “great” in you!

THOUGHT: Stop often to consider the immensity, perfections, and incredible love of God. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” He is so worthy of our joyful praise!

ACTIVITY: Ring around the Rosies is a game you probably played when you were very little. Baby is too small to play it with anyone but patient parents or doting older siblings (if such exist), but it’s great for learning walking, squatting, and standing…all with a supportive parent holding a hand on either side. I have altered the words so the song speaks of rejoicing rather than dying in the bubonic plague (or whatever), but suit yourself!

Ring Around the Rosies

“Ring around the rosies”
(Everyone holds hands in a circle and walks slowly either to the left or right)
“A pocket full of posies,”
(Keep moving in a circle)
“Jump up, praise God,”
(Keep holding hands, but all jump up together.)
“And then bow down.”
(Keep holding hands, but all squat down together.)

Baby with Mom and Dad307.Three in One Family

“Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life will be many. I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble.”
Proverbs 4:10-12

PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, sometimes it’s hard to comprehend that you and Jesus are “one” and yet he is your son…as well as the physical “son of David,” your offspring but also the offspring of David…your “branch,” as well as the root of David, your divine ruler but also the “scepter out of Israel.” Please help our family to model your unity!

THOUGHT: I’ve heard the trinity likened to the three states of H2O: water, ice, and gas, although I’m sure no comparison is perfect for this mystery. We can praise God both for what we understand and for what we do not! One thing is for sure: God desires our unity in Christ, and he desires unity in our family. One family, with father, mother, and baby!

ACTIVITY: Another tongue turner to keep Baby occupied in the car is to take two words and add different endings to them: apples and bananas; applies and bananies; applanas and bananas, apps and bapps, etc. Dad can help play, although Baby won’t have a chance, but at this stage he will love listening to the different rhyming sounds. Also, keep on sharing favored stories, songs, and poems. Baby can enjoy animated narratives for a long time, especially if you have a mirror that you can peek into every once in a while and make quick eye contact with him. Here’s a silly song you’ve probably heard:

“Annie, annie bo banny, bonana fanna, foe fanny. Fee fie momanny, Annie!”
(You can use any letter and sing the song again…up to 26 or more times!):
“Bannie, bannie, bo banny, bonana, fanna, foe fanny. Fee fie momanny, bannie!”
Cannie, cannie, co canny, conana, fanna, foe fanny. Fee, fie, momanny, cannie!” (etc.)

Holding Baby308. Keep On Keepin’ On

“For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” Psalm 116:8

PRAYER: Oh, Father, thank you that Jesus is the resurrection and the life! Thank you for watching over Baby at moments when I cannot because I’m tending other needs…and for those times when I just plain fail to be as attentive as I should be. Lord, please protect Baby and keep him from all harm, intentional and accidental, from without or self-inflicted. Please forgive us when we fail, and help us to remember that faithfulness is a lifelong goal. May we be like the proverbial wise man: “A just man falls seven times, and rises up again.” Help us to have hearts to be good, to ask forgiveness when we sin, to get up when we fail, and to “keep on keepin’ on.”

THOUGHT: Most kids end up dangling at some point…off the bed, the couch, or many other places. I remember Kathy as a very little girl scrambling up a jungle gym behind her three older brothers but slipping with her feet and hanging on for dear life for a few seconds until she was rescued. When Baby finds himself frightened, take a minute to hug him on your lap and pray with him, thanking the Lord for sparing him from harm and asking for protection in the future.

ACTIVITY: Here’s a good, secure game to distract a child from his woes. Cuddle Baby on your lap facing out, pretending he’s hiding in a corner (which is your body):

“Little Jackie Horner sat in a corner, eating his pudding and pie.
He stuck in his thumb, and pulled out a plum…”
(Here you can stick your right thumb into your own open, left-handed fist.)
“And said, ‘What a good boy am I!’”
(Give Baby a big hug and a kiss.)



4 responses to “Bless Your Baby: (Ideas for the Ten-Month-Old, Week 44)

  1. Charylene Powers

    Your Bless Your Baby posts are so interesting and comforting. Did you write these when you were raising your own children or more recently?

    • I wrote them based on diaries I’d kept of each of my seven kids during their first year, but I wrote the book when my oldest kids were first expecting grandchildren.

  2. Charylene Powers

    Is your book published and are there copies for sale – this would make a wonderful baby gift for new parents.

    • I’ve thought of that, but I’m just now finding pictures to illustrate the ideas. After Week 52, hopefully I can go back and work on trying to make it into an e-book or something that might be helpful to new moms generally. Thanks for your ever encouraging feedback and for thinking with me!!

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