Lullabies and Camp Songs: What Fun!
By Maureen Penko
Preparation is the most important process in being ready for an event. In this article I want to talk to you about preparation for a newborn and preparation for sending your older child off to camp.
Talking to baby in the womb as you prepare for the birth of your child can begin early on in the pregnancy. There is evidence that the auditory system starts forming at the 18th week of pregnancy and continues to develop until 6 months of age. Parents often wonder what does my child hear and if I play classical music will my child be musically inclined? There is research to support that a fetus will "hear" but little research to support a direct relationship for the last point, other than your child may be attuned, comforted and really enjoy the music heard during the early stages of development and later on. We know that at 22 to 24 weeks of development a fetus can hear low frequency sounds and by 6 months of development the most vital time of hearing development they will be able to turn their eyes or head towards the source of sound. Wow! So, this gives mothers information on the importance of sound so start playing or singing some of the tunes you enjoy and allow for calming to take place. The nonverbal communication signals and messages sent to your baby in the womb starts the bonding process. The sensation of the belly being rubbed at 26 weeks can create calmness, rubbing a kick could provide a connectedness and hearing vowel sounds and sound at 60 beats per minute at 32 weeks will create a studio for baby to dance.
Lullabies which have repetitive language and strains, along with vocals, all contribute to the communication connection and is something you will continue after the baby is born. Singing and talking in "motherese" which is language containing vowels is a form of verbal communication used by mothers and fathers to communicate to the baby. "Motherese" is a high-pitched intonation of the voice and adding lullabies and lyrics will be a truly rewarding experience as you "coo" back and forth.
The talk out loud to your unborn baby and to your other child can help the bonding process for all. This may involve reading stories, allowing the other child to touch your belly to feel the baby kicking and perhaps singing together. Preparation with your child for the birth of a new addition can include putting their art work up in the babies' room, choosing a gift that they will give the baby. Perhaps the baby may have a gift for your older child ready to be given upon arrival home. Don't forget about visits to grandparents and spending time alone with them for your older child who will love that special attention.
So let's think about camp. We have understandably been apprehensive to put our children in group activities due to the pandemic. Do your research and check into all the COVID related information that the camp organizers have been working hard on to deliver a safe environment for your child. Preparation and selection of the right camp for your older child is important for both the parent and the child. Knowing the details about the camp will help you select the camp that suits your child. Cut out the ad about the camp you choose and start a scrapbook with your child about the camp. If possible driving to the camp could be something that grandparents or a close family friend or relative can help with. Camps open up another learning experience for your child and help with their emotional, social and language development. Camps that have a focus or theme allow for your child to learn new routines, develop confidence and teaches them responsibility. Singing camp songs and sharing stories about the new adventures, are some of the experiences that your child could look forward to. Recently I read about The Canadian summer camp Research project (2010, University of Waterloo). They found that kids attending camps, develop emotional intelligence such as empathy, healthy attitudes towards physical activity and positive development in social integration. It certainly supports the value of camp. I remember how much team spirit my children experienced when they joined sports camps. Finally, don't forget to look in the backpack every day and talk about what the day with your child. Most importantly take photos, for they serve to capture the moments and build memories that can be shared verbally.
I wish you all the joys of parenting this spring.
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