“You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” Deuteronomy 6:7
When our babies got to be about six months old or so—and then throughout their toddlerhood—we seldom rocked them to sleep. If the baby was still nursing, I would nurse, rock, sing, oftentimes read, etc. then frequently put the baby in bed awake. (It should be noted that this was after a gentle introduction to the world with frequent nursings and close physical contact for the first few months.) When the baby was being weaned, the first feeding to go was often the afternoon nursing—and it was replaced with the baby’s own special story and song time.
While we seldom rocked our babies to sleep after six months or so, they were almost always gotten out of bed following naps and in the mornings with “rockies and reading.” This post is falling under “when you rise up,” but could also fall under “when you sit in your house” (after baby’s nap). “Rockies and reading” time is an opportunity to do many amazing things in parenting of these little ones: (1) Help them start their day or late afternoon/evening cheerfully; (2) Give them a little bonding time of their own (when other siblings do not need or “get” Mommy; (3) Start their Bible teaching, read aloud times, and love for learning at an early age; (4) Build memories that will warm your heart when your three youngest children are eighteen, sixteen, and twelve (!).
We had two baskets for our babies: the baby toy basket and the baby book basket (more on that in “character training” through chores in the morning later on). The baby book basket held cardboard, cloth, and plastic coated books for Baby. Several of these were Bible story books, and I read from these every day for as long as Baby would sit there and look at them with me, rocked, sang songs, did rhymes, and bonded when I got the toddler out of bed in the mornings or after naps. Our toddlers never missed being rocked to sleep with “rockies and readings” a couple of times a day! Smile…
Tomorrow: links for some of my favorite “early Bible books” for toddlers.