If you go out there and read anything about having babies, and how to raise them. Talking, singing, laughing, and smiling to them are always recommended. The more interactions a baby can experience from his/her parents the better. Their brains are constantly developing, and with each day there are changes. At first the changes seem a bit slower, but after about 3-4 months, things start changing overnight. All the while they are taking information in their wildly growing minds.
Since day one, my wife and I have been doing all of these things with our daughter. Dancing has also been very commonplace in our household. I can only hope that all of those things have been helping her. Because we are not planning on stopping.
The best part about the whole thing is that it has really helped me. As a brand new dad, there are a whole lot of “what the hell do I do” moments. When your holding a newborn baby, that has no experience, and is just simply breathing and observing, Anything is helpful. Talk to her, dance with her, laugh, sing, whatever. Before you know it, you are in the game. It almost doesn’t take any thought. Just do the thing. The songs that I sing to her, consist of words like “You should go to sleep, because your a baby and your tired.” Definitely not the most riveting of lyrics, and I have a terrible voice. When I talk or sing to her, my voice goes up like 5 octaves. But it works, and it makes us both feel better.
This has been the biggest confidence builder for me. There is nothing worse than feeling that you cannot provide for a human that you are responsible for. And being frozen with uncertainty is a terrible place to be. Just interact, its all valuable for them, and who knows it might even make you feel like you have some stripes. It has done wonders for me.
2 years later commentary
These moments of having no idea what to do absolutely do not go away. They just ramp up in ferocity as they get older, and I am no where near done as our girls are still young. I am glad I have a few more years before they become teenagers because WHOAH. When I look back at these times that everything seems to be a blur, the only thing that really was of help was to interact with them. To be in the room and put forth effort, whatever seems to make sense to me, was the best move I could have made. In our culture we must banish this whole right and wrong thing. Each day we all wake up with a set of tools that has gotten us to this day. And they did a pretty good job. But sometimes, and commonly as a new parent we come upon situations that we don't have the tools. We can learn too and this is ok. Don't beat yourself up over your amateur status. Everyone was an amateur at one time, even the big wigs that wrote those books we are all supposed to read. Life is about experience and learning and becoming. All of these require a lack of resources, all of these require being in the room and not knowing. This is the beauty of parenthood. We get to learn to live again. We have the opportunity to do this again, and this time we have some experiences and some stripes.
Your kids are yours, and your intuition is also yours. Stay plugged in to both, and I believe you will figure it out. If you are in need of some inspiration, or advice reach out to someone you feel comfortable with. Always remember, they are just a person as well. What they say is their experience and it may have worked. That doesn't mean it works for you. But it damn well may offer some insight. Work on yourself and be clear with what you want. This is a good place to start from. All things will begin to fall in line as you focus on where your going, as opposed to the friction of the moment.
The beauty that is present when our girls read books to themselves, and dance and sing songs in their pjs is hard to explain, but its immensely joyous to watch. All of this grew from a place of amateur status. All of this beauty came from not knowing what to do, and following our intuition. What it grows into from here, who knows. But each day you are planting seeds with your children. The ones you plant when your in the room and present will prove to be the strongest and most steadfast trees in the lush forest that becomes their life. The ones that you plant when your not paying attention, well I am sure you can imagine how those will turn out.