Baby sister’s 3 months old – beware: a long post

Time flies with 2 kids. L. is already 3 months old and loads have been going on. In this post I’ll try to focus on her development and what I do with her in English though it’ll be hard.

First of all, some parametres:

She is 57 cms “tall”, 5.23 kgs. Her eyes are still blue. Her hair is light brown (showing tinges of ginger) and getting longer in the back and started to grow in the front. She only sleeps on Mommy or Daddy, or in the sling. She can’t push herself up while on her tummy but can lift and turn her head nicely. She’s got her first 2 shots at the age of 2 months. She gurgles and babbles a lot. She’s smiley if her tummy is full, on the changing table or when she can look around. Though she’s got a stomach ache quite often mostly in the evenings then she cries desperately. She’s breastfed and I can see white lines on her lower gum so the crying might be caused by the staring of her teething.

English time:

The routine is the same as it was with E. I just started it earlier (at her birth) with L. Whenever we are just the two of us I speak English to her. I’ve already introduced the little song we always sing with E. before changing languages (showing the Makaton signs to L. as well):

Hello, hello how are you?
Hello, hello, it’s good to see you.
I say hello, I’m happy that you came

I say hello, please tell me, please tell me, please tell me your name
Mommy (pointing at me)
L. (pointing at her)

(This song is -or rather used to be- the theme song of a BBC series Something Special. On the link you can listen to the new version of it. But you can use any song of your choice if you want to signal the beginning or the end of the language usage)

So what we do in English:


1. Lullabies

It seems I sing continuously. Whenever I try to rock L. to sleep I sing the following lullabies:

Rock-a-by baby

Hush little baby

Go to sleep lullabies (Go to sleep, Moonlight so sweet and pale, Golden slumbers)


(This last one I used to sing to E. ALL THE TIME. You can check out a less detailed post about E.’s first 6 months)
2. Changing table fun:

When I need to change L.’s nappy or clothes (and we are in English) I start with this rhyme:

…. (child’ name) ‘s got a dirty nappy.
What shall we do? What shall we do?

Clean is up, clean it up
For Mommy, and for you.

When her legs are free from clothes I make her little feet march:

Oh, the grand old Duke of York

(I march with her feet) Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of (Lift her feet up) the hill
and he marched them down again. (Put her feet down)
And when they were up they were up. (Lift her feet up)
And when they were down they were down. (Put her feet down)
And when they were only half way up, (Wiggle her legs)
They were neither up nor down.
(When I sing UP I lift her feet up, and when I sing down I put her feet down)
I go through her body parts with this song from the BBC series Something Special- Baby episode (The song starts at 4.03 mins in the video but it’s worth watching the whole episode)

Two little eyes that open and close
Right in the middle a little nose
Two little ears on either side
one little mouth that opens wide

That’s baby (2x)

Two little legs that kick and wiggle
Two little feet that like a tickle
Two little arms that stretch up high
Two little hand that wave goodbye

That’s baby (2x)

The other thing she likes is tickling under her chin (or rather double chin *grin*). I chant these two rhymes:

Round and round the garden (stroking her tummy in a circle)
Like a Teddy Bear (showing the teddy bear sign)
One step, two steps (walking my fingers on her tummy)
Tickle you under there (tickle her under the chin)

Another variation can be you do the circling in the palm, the walking movement up the arm and tickle the armpit in the end


Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker’s man (patting the tummy)
Bake me a cake as fast as you can (patting faster)
Pat it and prick it and mark it with B (patting/rolling movements on tummy, forming a B with fingers)
Put it in the oven for baby and me. (2 palms up as if putting a tray in the oven, when saying BABY I tickle her tummy)
If you want to sing a tune here it is.

And finally 2 finger plays:

1. This little piggy went to market
This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed at home
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none
And this llittle piggy cried wee wee wee wee wee all the way home

Have a look at a video of This little piggy by Patty Shukla:


2. Two little dickie birds sitting on the wall
Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall
One named Peter the other named Paul
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

Here is a video about what to do with your fingers:

3. Bath-time
As for bath-time I have a great helper apart from Daddy and that is L.’s big sister, E. She helps taking off L.’s clothes, 

prepares what we can put on her afterwards, checks and throws the nappy into the bin, helps with the splashing too 🙂
Great practice for E. and L. hears not only me but her big sister talk in English. Sometimes we play the changing table games together again before bath-time.
One day E. sang a song for her little sister while I was busy with something and Daddy was preparing E.’s bath (that’s the noise in the background)
—–Oh, no! I can’t find the video anywhere 😦 As soon as I find it I’ll put it on——–
They’re just too cute.
—– 23/07/2016 I found the video 😀 ——-
4. Books
Baby books, of course. Black and white board books, cloth books or touch and feely books. 
Sometimes she just looks at the books while in the playpen/on the play mat and at other times I describe what she sees or tells her a story around the characters on the pages.  I’m working on a short list of useful and fun baby books you can read about in the next post.

5. Baby’s Best Start
When L. has some tummy time or just looking around in her playpen I put on Baby’s Best Start Helen Doron CD about once a day. I’m not showing to her anything (no pictures, no soft toys, nothing) she just getting familiar with the music. I’m planning to start the course with L. soon, maybe September. (And I think we should restart with E. as well.)

Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite

Our days are finished with E.’s evening routine:

  1. watching a little bit of videos
  2. taking a bath
  3. putting on the jammies
  4. drinking milk + reading out a fairy tale (or two)
  5. talking to the angels
  6. falling asleep

 

Most of the evening routine is done in Hungarian. This is Daddy’s favourite time spent with E. that I would not like to take away from them. On the other hand I don’t want E. to miss the English vocabulary of the evening routine. Not to mention the fact that reading bedtime stories only in Hungarian is a heartbreak for me. So every now and then (like 2-3 times a week) I try to convince my husband to turn into English. And it works brilliantly.

Let’s see the programme step by step (the ideal version):

18:45 – watching videos: D. sits down in front of the computer to watch some English videos with E: (the usual collection of E.’s youtube videos, or this idiotic Meow, Meow song in the Tamil language:

Don’t ask me why they watch it. One guess is E. LOVES it, the other is this is the way my husband rebels against the English evening routine – just kidding 😉

In the meantime I do some things around the house, preparation for the feeding, E.’s room, jammies etc.

If I happen to sit down in front of the computer with E., I prefer to watch a Peppa pig episode or The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton or one of E.’s favourite song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with the owl:


19:00 – taking the bath:
E. sits in the bath and the sea creatures are jumping in one by one – the crocodile, the starfish, the octopus, the whale, the turtle, and then an extra duck, some measuring spoons of different colours, sometimes a filter and more bottle caps. So she can hardly move in the water.

We usually name the animals, sometimes we attack her with the animals, and spay her with water, of course, while we comment the happenings in English. But mostly we follow what she wants to do.

Sometime she asks for her plastic book – one is a biblical story of the lost lamb, the other is Vizipók and his friends. I tell her the Lost Lamb story in English, we talk about the pictures, and at the end I ask her to show me the shepherd, the lamb or other things in the pictures. But I’m in trouble with Vizipók as I don’t know the names in English or they sound really silly (Ormányosbogár = Snout Beetle, Keresztespók= Garden Spider) so I rather hide this booklet when we have a bath in English.

Another favourite is Mommy Duck and her ducklings. Mommy Duck can carry 3 little ducklings on her back. When we play with the ducks Mommy Duck is swimming around E. and when the ducks are behind her one of the ducklings is taken off Mommy Duck’s back (by D.). In the meantime we sing 5 Little Ducks (well, three in this version). E. is so cute as she is trying to turn back to see how the ducklings disappear, but usually she is not quick enough.

Another activity is toothbrushing. E. asks for her toothbrush, then she brushes the crocodiles teeth while we are singing This is the way we brush our teeth. She also wishes to brush Daddy’s teeth or mine. Every now and then she brushes her own teeth as well. If she is not in the mood, I do it for her, which she doesn’t really like.

When we are finished in the bath we say good bye to the toys. E. hands me the toys one by one and we say good night to them. If I tell her to look behind because there is one more toy, she understands it perfectly and turns around the grab the object. While we are putting the toys away she is waving good-bye.

19:30 – getting dressed into pyjamas:

We usually play the changing table games I have already posted about. D. puts on E.’s jammies and sleeping bag. He usually sings some songs. I prepare her milk. E. turns off her light, only a bedside lamp is on. Then E. and I sit down in the rocking chair to drink her milk, and D. reads a story or two. If we read in English at the moment we are reading the book: How Mama Brought the Spring by Fran Manushkin. It’s for kids around the age of 5, but E. adores the pictures in the book. Before E. finishes her milk, D. says good night to her and leaves the room. Then we turn off the light and talks to the angels. I say thank you for the nice day and recall the lovely happenings of our day. E. often repeats the words she can also say like, baby, happy, her name or grandparents’ name, Daddy, Mommy etc. SO actually she thanks for everything that happens to her. Then I put her down into her bed (she says ‘bed’) and I give her dummy (she says ‘dummy’) and I give her a textile nappy and her doggy she always sleeps with. I kiss her goodnight and leave the room. Most of the time she falls asleep within 5-10 minutes. Sometimes she chats to herself a little. If it’s an English evening she talks to herself in English.

So here are some expressions how to say good night:

  • Sleep well
  • Sweet dreams
  • Nighty-night
  • Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite (you can find the origin of this phrase here – quite interesting, worth reading the theories. The one I like the most is the rope idea.)

Have a good night!

Our daily activites – mornings and changing table time

When E. has woken up in the morning and I go into her room singing the following song while pulling up the blinds:

Good morning, good morning, good morning to you
Good morning Ms E…. cock-a-doodle-do
Good morning, good morning, good morning to you
Good morning Ms E…. cock-a-doodle-do
Cock-a-doodle-do, cock-a-doodle-do
Good morning to you.

 

In the original song there’s Mr Rooster, but I changed it to Ms E.’.
Even if D. goes in to her first he sings this song too. Though he continues talking to her in Hungarian.

If E. wakes up late and D. has already gone to work we start the whole day in English. So, for instance, I change her nappy and night clothes while talking in English to her:

  • asking about what she dreamt (I always wait a little for her answer)
  • what the problem was during the night (if she was up)
  • tell her milk is on the way
  • while changing the nappy we have a rhyme that I always chant several times:

    Baby’s got a dirty nappy
    What shall we do? (What shall we do?)
    Clean it up, clean it up
    For Mommy and for you

    She likes it a lot and smiles, what’s more, stays on her back patiently instead of turning onto her tummy or standing up. The rhyme is from here. You can find other games you can play, songs or rhymes to chant while your baby is on the changing table.

  • we play peek-a-boo with her textile nappy (I cover her with the nappy then ask “Where’s E.? Where’s she gone?” then she takes the nappy off – or I do it) “I see you.” or “There you are.”. Another variation is I hide behind her feet and ask “Where’s Mommy?” or “Where’s Mommy gone?” Then I open her legs and say: “Here I am” or “Peek-a-boo”
  • there’s a shelf over our changing table and at the bottom of it I stuck up wooden, painted animals, so I name them, make the sounds they make, or sing a song about them. E.g.:

    Ladybird, ladybird fly away home,
    your house is on fire, your children are gone
    All, but one her name is Ann,
    and she has crept under a frying pan.

    (I couldn’t find the tune online,but I’ll link it as soon as I do or please put it in a comment if you know where to find it)

    or

    Five little ducks went swimming one day
    Over the pond and far away
    Mommy duck said: quack-quack-quack
    But only four little duck came back

    Four little ducks went swimming one day
    Over the pond and far away
    Mommy duck said: quack-quack-quack
    But only three little duck came back
    (on the changing table I usually start with 3 ducks and by the time I finish changing the nappy or clothes we’ll get to the end)

  • still on the changing table we play “This little pig went to market“. E. likes this most on her toes. I grab each of her toes on one foot one by one and wiggle them a bit as I say the rhyme.

    This little pig went to market;
    This little pig stayed at home;
    This little pig had roast beef;
    And this little pig had none;
    This little pig cried, “Wee, wee, wee!
     All the way home
    . (I tickle the bottom of her foot)

  • While I’m putting on her clothes I usually name her body parts and what clothes go where:
    “Here’s your left arm, it goes into this sleeve”
    or
    “One foot goes into the tights, then the other foot goes into the tights” etc.
  • at the breakfast table we play with the coffee cup and the matching teapot. Both have four fruit on them and I name them; she loves the grapes and screams with joy when we get there. And of course, we can’t miss singing “I’m a little teapot” (4 or 5 times – in fact, this is MY favourite song)
  • E. didn’t use to like brushing or combing her hair, but when we sing along she enjoys it:

    This is the way we comb (or brush) our hair
    Comb our hair, comb our hair
    This is the way we comb (or brush) our hair
    Every day in the morning
    (I sing it twice as she expects me to comb my hair too)

  • she often watches me brushing my teeth while she is sitting in her high chair after breakfast. Then we brush her teeth (or rather she just plays with the toothbrush) and I sing “This is the way we brush our teeth” (same as the combing song, the tune has several verses – see an example here )
  • she sometimes watches me clear the breakfast table. I always tell her the name of the objects I put into the dishwasher, and I also tell her what I put into the fridge (the latter is more fun for her as I see because of the colourful things she can have a look at)
  • if E. is whiny in her high chair then I put her into her playpen where she plays alone. This is the time when she listens to her collection of music (compiled from youtube and added the Helen Doron songs). In the meantime I can do some housework.

Yeah, I sing a lot and keep talking all the time. Sometimes by the afternoon I can hardly talk, am totally tired of speaking, not to mention singing. Thank Goodness for coffee. It always gives a little energy back.

When we have our Hungarian sessions we do more or less the same. The morning routine is the same, the games are the same, only the songs are different. Sometimes I sing the combing/teeth brushing song or “I’m a little teapot” in English as I don’t know any good Hungarian versions of them.