Ah, the newborn days. Filled with squishy babies and spit-up and interrupted sleep and sore arms from lots of holding. We’ve had two babies so far, and somewhere in the blur of this simultaneously lovely and challenging season, both times I have found myself wondering how I can be intentional about introducing Jesus into the life of this sweet little baby.
Here are some ideas I’ve tried:
1. Above all else, show love and grace as you care for your baby’s basic needs.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all for the glory of God” (Colossians 3:17). As you change diapers, hold a crying baby, pick up dropped pacifier after dropped pacifier, warm bottles, change your baby’s outfit for the fifth time that day… do it all for His glory and your baby’s good. Offer grace and love to your baby. If that’s all you’re doing – if your day doesn’t find time for a special “devotion” time or worship music or Bible board books… this is enough.
2. Pray for your little one while they are still in the womb.
Expecting is my favorite gift for a couple when they find out they are having a baby. It’s a book with 40 different prayers and reflections, one for each week of pregnancy. The prayers focus on both physical development and spiritual development, casting prayers for both the present and the future.
3. Play praise music during your day.
Days with a little baby can sometimes be a little, well, quiet and boring. It’s nice to have things to break up the day, like music. As your little one naps, or does tummy time, or sits in a bouncy seat while you wash dishes… turn on some praise music. Pandora is an easy (free!) option. I like the “David Nevue” station for instrumental piano music inspired by hymns and worship songs.
Personally, I don’t prefer to keep music on all day long. At some point, it gets on my nerves. But, I do enjoy an hour or two a day.
Praise Baby DVDs are another nice option to break up the day. They have kids singing popular praise songs, coupled with very simple images that appeal to babies – black and white designs, puppies, other children. I know that TV isn’t recommended for the littlest ones, but I don’t mind a few minutes a day, especially for images that are very slow – it’s almost more of a photo slide show (and I find that often, the baby doesn’t watch anyway).
4. Do an activity from Playtime Devotions: Sharing Bible Moments with Your Baby or Toddler.
This book contains very basic songs and rhymes for little ones. They are usually versions of familiar rhymes, like:
“Peekaboo, peekaboo, God above,
Peekaboo peekaboo Gives His love,
Peekaboo peekaboo I love you
Peekaboo peekaboo God does too!”
This excellent book is no longer in print, but at the moment, there are several used versions on Amazon for just pennies (plus shipping).
5. Talk and read aloud about God.
When our first child was born, I remember feeling kind of awkward “talking” to my baby. We would be sitting in silence in our apartment, and I felt a little silly making conversation with her.
Over time, I got a little more comfortable, and now, with our second baby, it’s much easier – I’ve learned to make conversation with no response, and I also usually have the toddler around, so I’m not talking to silence. 🙂
With a baby, you can talk about anything – how to cook dinner, what your plans are for the day, how you met your wife, what you want to do this weekend. But as you talk about that “usual” stuff, you can also talk about spiritual stuff, too: how you came to know the Lord, a person who has been a great spiritual influence in your life, or how God has provided for your family financially.
6. Write a blessing or commitment for your child.
Based on an idea from Oh Amanda, we have written a blessing for each of our children: a page of prayers and intentions for our little one.
We come from a faith tradition that does infant baptism, so we’ve shared the blessing on the morning when our babies have been baptized (both of them have happened to be baptized at seven weeks old). You could also share this in conjunction with a baby dedication, when they are born, on a milestone “birthday” like 3 or 6 months old, or just on any old day – it doesn’t have to be a super-spectacular event!
We printed them out and put them on the wall of our daughter’s room, and we read a small section of our toddler’s blessing to her every night before bed. As 2 year olds tend to be, she’s pretty self-centered and loves that it’s all about her. 🙂
some links to check out if you want to write your own:
How do you intentionally focus on Jesus with your young baby?
I previously posted on an old personal blog, and here’s how “Annie Kate” responded – loved her resource if want to check it out!
“We used to sing old hymns or Psalms at bedtime and it was a wonderful tradition. We also sing one of them after each meal even now, and I often play them on the organ as well.
The New Genevan Psalter is a wonderful resource for singing if you love the Psalms. I just wrote about it on my blog: http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/2015/03/introducing-the-new-genevan-psalter/”