Life with a toddler can be hectic and after I went back to work I was lying in bed one night reliving my day and I realised I hadn’t really done anything with my daughter. Apart from nursing, feeding and bathing her. It was an awful realisation! I’m her mother, and that’s what I’ve always wanted to be. Shouldn’t I be giving her more?
That’s when I made a list of 5 things I want to make sure we do with our daughter every day, and this is what I decided on…
We make sure to always make time to read to our daughter. There’s no denying the importance of reading to children’s language development. Since we have this wonderful chance to raise our daughter bilingual, it’s even more important that she is getting read to every day.
We usually read a story before bed, but that doesn’t stop us from reading to her when ever we or she feels like it. We travel a lot so I have a few ebooks on my iPad. It’s also a good idea to scan or take pictures of the pages of their favorite books on your phone or iPad so you will always have them on hand. I have even made a few simple picture ebooks for her on my phone so I can’t say I forgot to pack her books with us.
Since we have a bilingual family, my husband obviously reads to our daughter in English and I read to her in Finnish. We read a lot of bright picture books which we can each read in our own language. These are some of my favorites. I especially like these ones, since they are so small you can easily fit one or two in your purse. You can see ours have been through a lot
Our daughter LOVES singing and dancing. We sing a lot of nursery rhymes. Again I sing the Finnish versions and my husband sings in English. I take my daughter along to music and movement classes I teach and she absolutely loves it. She knows all the movements already and is trying to sing the songs too. Even at home I usually sing songs with actions, since Hailey seems to be more interested in those.
Finger plays and Action Poems
We have been doing finger plays and action poems ever since Hailey was born. The Maternity Package I received from the Finnish Government came with a wonderful little book which contained 5 different rhymes with actions for little babies. We did these every day for the first 6 months during play time and they were a wonderful bonding moment for Hailey and me. Some of them stuck around and we still do them from time to time.
As she started to sit up we added a variety of different Finger Plays in the mix. We do a mixture of Finnish and English Finger Plays.
Finger Plays are great for giving the child your undivided attention. We use Finger Plays to entertain Hailey during flights or train and subway rides. When the whining is about to start, nothing distracts her better than a little Finger Play time. Happy Baby, Happy MaMa!
I make sure that we cuddle every day. On the weekend I love to bring her to bed in the morning where we all cuddle for about half an hour before we get up. We like to get up slow. During the week I leave the house before she wakes up, but after I get home she gets my undivided attention for the first 15-30 min. Sometimes I just hold her on my lap while playing with her hair, but to be honest, this is quite rare. She’s a little wiggly worm and she much rather climbs all over me. She loves to wrestle with mom or dad on the bed.
We give plenty of kisses. When we wake up. When we make up after a fight. When we say thank you. Before we go to bed. And whenever we need one. And yes, We kiss on the lips!