St. Louis, MO
Capturing Those Precious Moments with your Baby–Even in the Grocery
Precious moments with babies are fleeting. As an early childhood specialist and a Nana of two young granddaughters, I wanted to shout at the young woman struggling with the 5 month old baby at the grocery store, “ Take a deep breath, slow down. Don’t miss experiencing this with your child”.
I know it is a lot of work taking a baby to the grocery. There are many logistics. First, arranging to go between the window of finishing a nap and being fed. Then the preparations: changing into a fresh diaper. Taking; the baby front carrier pack, a bottle, small toy, a change of clothes, fresh diapers and wipes, plastic bags and the grocery list.
Once you are there, getting her settled and strapped in front of you, finding the list and a cart. Somehow you manage to get most of what is on the list. You are stopped by two women who want to make a fuss over the baby: talk to her and feel her legs, and get close to her. You are hoping are not sick with a virus/flu.
You get to the check out and begin to start unloading the cart, paying the bill. Pushing the cart to the car, putting her in her car seat (thank goodness it is not hot). Running to unload the bags and removing the front carrier off of you. And getting in the car to leave. And thinking about all of the tasks to do when you get home.
The daily routines of baby, and family life are precious opportunities for talking, singing, and snuggling with a little one. It is easy to be consumed with the task and the most efficient/quickest way to complete it. But can also offer special moments for bonding and learning that may be overlooked and then lost by a harried mother or father.
Babies are immersed in a language environment. How can parents make the most of the experience? By talking for yourself and your baby. Slowing the pace, talking about what is happening and going to happen.
Sensing the joy of the baby’s new feelings and thoughts no matter how many times she has gone into the same grocery. Just thinking of the smells, touches, and tastes that may happen. The noise, lighting, and people are different than home. Interactions with the environment and people are new. Now if you talk about the peaches as you put them in the cart, “We will get some of these peaches, Uuummm they smell good. Feel how soft it is!’ And the baby smells and feels, then puts her fingers in her mouth. You have supported the baby using different senses, experiencing all but tasting the peach. You will repeat some of this conversation when you get home after she watches you wash the peach and prepare it for eating.
The focus here is used every opportunity you have with your baby/toddler. Talk and talk and talk. You can make the simplest routine task meaningful and a learning experience.
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