Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Establishing Rhythm: Wake Up

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
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.


  1. My girls and I were always singing music and clapping together as they grew up. Music does a child and Mother good. Those books sound very interesting. Now their music is differnet but I still love to listen with them when they come home.Good idea.

  2. Just for your information, the NMAA changed it's name to the Australian Breastfeeding Association in 2001 (because it was now possible to have the word breast in the phone book!!) and Merrily Merrily is still available as a book and with an accompanying CD. I use it with my children, and also in running our Australian Breastfeeding Association playgroup with toddlers and preschoolers!