Gentle Newborn Routines to Strengthen Your Bond with Baby

My third trimester was filled with anxiety, and then depression ascended, and my days ebbed and flowed. Panic, anxiety, and a never ending list of tasks led into a spiral of inner thoughts that convinced me my husband and unborn child would thrive if they had a different woman in the house.

Someone more efficient, more cheerful, more kind.  Don't get me wrong, I did a LOT to reduce my stress during pregnancy, but postpartum depression and anxiety still found a way to meet me in my newfound motherhood. 

Newborn Routines

By week 3, my husband went back to work, and family wouldn't be making another visit for awhile.

I was facing my first week alone with my baby during the day, and I was scared. 

What if I get frustrated? What if we don’t bond? What if I make a mistake because I’m too tired? My mind kept thinking a schedule would protect her, but I knew it was impossible to schedule a newborn.

3 Simple Ways to Worship God with Your Toddler

We've been doing family devotions at home with Anna since she was about 12 months old, and I wish we had started sooner!

Not only does our 3-step approach allow God time to minister to my heart and my husband's heart when we were otherwise skipping over family devotional time, but it lays a foundation for our daughter to know God's love for her.

biblical discipline for toddlers

Family Devotions at Home with a Toddler

There's not much to it. The best part? It takes 5-10 minutes and can be achieved in three easy steps:

  1. Sing a song of praise
  2. Read a bible verse out loud
  3. Say a prayer

Sing a song of praise

We are lucky that my husband plays guitar. In fact, his talent for music is, what I believe, a blessing from God, but he has gone years without playing it. The act of doing this with our daughter has brought his guitar out of its case on a daily basis.

Matt and I will pick a song for the week and sing it every day with Anna. Sometimes, it's a favorite hymn. Sometimes, it's as simple as Jesus Loves Me.

The point is that we are worshiping together, and God loves that, no matter how simple the song.

If you don't play an instrument, play a recording of the song and sing along!

I recommend doing this step first as most toddlers can't resist a good song and opportunity to get the wiggles out.

Family Devotions for Toddlers

Pumpkin Patch Express in Durham NC

We are sitting on the Pumpkin Patch Express, children all around us "choo-choo-ing" and chattering excitedly. I lean my head on Matt's shoulder and close my eyes as Anna wraps her little hand around my fingers.

Our trip to the museum of life and science in Durham NC

Speeding through the wooded terrain of the Museum of Life and Science, I feel whole and at home with my little family, all squished in this tiny train car, quiet and observant and at peace with one another.

Visiting the pumpkin patch at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham NC

Before I was a mother, I remember thinking things like this were more for the children than the adults. I didn't realize how strong the feeling of joy would be in seeing my own child delight in something.

And Anna will find a way to delight in anything. We call her the Joy Bringer for her smiles are like little secret treasures that make you feel like you're her most favorite person in the world.

I repeat the words, "My little family," in my mind over and over, relishing this moment. I squeeze Matt's arm and he presses in closer. We both sneak little kisses on Anna's cheeks, and she pats our hands and happily babbles in response.

As long as these two are beside me, I am always at home.

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