To be honest, for the first 6 months of Ginger' life I struggled to find any sort of rhythm in our day. I was deceived by a popular parenting book into thinking I could set a feeding and sleeping schedule for my baby. Not so, I was the one with a baby who wasn't very interested in feeding - so that all important, start the day with a feed at 7am clause, caused me untold stress because Ginger never wanted to eat then. But then, around 9 am she might take a small feed, which of course threw us out for the next scheduled feed at 11 am! I felt like I was playing constant catch up with feeds and was trapped in the house because of her 'scheduled sleeps'.
Then, late last year, I read You are Your Child's First Teacher by Rhima Baldwin Dancy. I had a light bulb moment; Ginger and I could find a rhythm for our days without needing to have a schedule. A rhythm would give her a clue as to what the usual order of things were and would allow me to get the chores done as I needed (without always waiting for her naps!).
Dancy suggests using songs to ease transitions and clue your child as to what is happening. I have two I am using for Ginger's wake-up - Lyn's Clapping Song and Merrily, Merrily.
Lyn's Clapping Song by June Epstein
Every day is a happy day as soon as Lyn's awake,
She claps her hands and she nod her head and gives it a little shake.
She looks at us with her twinkling eyes and in a little while,
Everybody who looks at her begins to sing and smile.
With a tra-la-la .......... (repeat with tra-la-la)
Merrily, merrily greet the morn,
Cherrily, cherrily sound the horn,
Hark! the echo, hear it play, O'er hill and dale and far away.
The words and music are from Merrily, Merrily: A Book of Song and Rhymes by the Nursing Mothers' Association of Australia. I am pretty sure it is out of print now, as my copy was my mother's when I was a young child. Besides which, there is no longer a Nursing Mothers' Association in Australia, only the Breastfeeding Association. I have also heard good things too about The Singing Day and hope to get a copy of that later in the year so Ginger and I can work on incorporating more songs into our day.