Posted on

Sing! Sing! Sing!

These days, with the Christmas season approaching, it feels that all I do all day is singing and babies, babies and singing. Of course, babies and families are my work-work, but singing is my play-work and it takes over my life at this time of year. I sing in a choir and I am cast in a musical, and I will be singing for a few church services.

I sing because I love it, but also because I must. I must sing for my mental health, for my creative spirit, but also for my physical well-being. And I believe that singing to your babies is good for their mental health, their creative spirit and their physical well-being. And for yours too.

When you sing to your babies, you tell them that there is nothing to worry about (or why would you waste energy on song?). You master and regulate your breath and this relaxes your body and theirs. You share your feelings with them, joy or sadness.

When you sing to your babies, you expose them to long, often rhyming, rhythmic segments of language. This is such valuable input to someone who is trying to learn to speak! And the abstract words are combined with musical information about the emotions associated with those words. We know about the value of talking to your babies, but when that one-sided conversation starts to be difficult to maintain, sing!

When you sing to your babies, you give them information about their day. In the morning you sing getting-up-and-washing-your-face songs. When it’s time to go out you sing getting-into-your-car-seat songs. At changing times you sing diaper-changing-songs. And at bedtime you sing lullabies. Those musical snippets (Wagner called them leitmotifs) announce change, activities, moods, useful information for a baby who has no control over their day. It’s so much easier for them to go along with what you planned if you give them a little advance warning!

When you sing to your babies, don’t worry about how well you sing. Your enjoyment of and emotional commitment to the song is much more important that your vocal technique. Don’t pass a fear of singing on to your babies. As the days get shorter, and the winter cold keeps us indoors, pull out some old songbooks or cd’s from your childhood. Remind yourself of the lyrics you love and pass on a love of song!


Posted on

Every Monday is Grandparents’ Day! 15% off all regularly-priced merchandise

Grandparents are important

As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and often the most important members of that village are those of the previous generation. Grandparents are important for so many reasons.

Grandparents have such a special role in the life of a baby. They are often the first people parents rely on after baby’s birth. Grandpa may hold baby while mom has a shower or manages a quick bite to eat. Grandma may be there to help with baby’s first bath, or to help get ready for the first outing. This role helps establish a bond between baby and Grandparent. Grandparents are the first adults other than moms and dads that demonstrate to baby that they can trust other adults to provide comfort and basic necessities such as feeding and diapering. This is an important lesson in baby’s life.

Grandparents fill many roles in the life of the new baby. They are caregivers, giving parents a break when they need it most. They are the tradition keepers, passing on family customs and history. They are playmates, often having more time to play now in this new role and in this different time of life.

This is an entirely new phase in the life of parenting. Grandparents are now watching their children parent. It is sometimes a tricky transition. It is a role shift. This also means that it is a time of reinvention. Grandparents get to decide what this new role will look like. They can choose their new name, Grandma, Grandpa, Opa, Nona, Nanna, Papa… And they can choose their role. Taking baby to a music class once a week, or keeping a baby book of important events, or keeping the family close by having extended family gatherings or reunions. And of course, there are those grandparents that, for many reasons, end up taking on a much bigger role than expected, sometimes becoming primary caregivers. For these Grandparents as well, they must define their role.

At Mothering Touch we value Grandparents. We know how important Grandparents are to their children and grandchildren and that it takes more than the nuclear family to raise children. For this reason we are making every Monday Grandparent Day! Show off your grandchild by bringing in a photo (or ultrasound image) of him or her or them and we will give you 15% off your purchase.