Why do it?
- Home is the first learning place and the whānau the first teachers a child has.
- A young baby doesn’t need special learning activities. The simple everyday household activities and routines can provide learning experiences in a familiar environment.
- Having someone who loves them caring and nurturing them is exactly what they need.
How to do it
- Practise full attention when caring for baby. Try to put everything else out of your mind while you feed, comfort, wash and dress baby. Put the phone away for 10 minutes. During these times, you’re filling up baby’s emotional tank.
- Talk to baby in ‘parentese’ as you care for them — speak slower, exaggerate your mouth movements and use a higher pitch. Baby hears this way of talking better than ordinary speech.
- Do things with baby rather than to them. Tell them what you’re doing and ask if they can help you — for example, ‘Lift up for me, please my darling, while I clean your bottom’. One day they’ll surprise you by cooperating with you over this.
- Carry baby with you when you do chores round the house — use a sling, front pack or waha, so they’re warm and close. Sometimes people call this early period ‘the fourth trimester’. Baby is likely to be soothed by a womb-like environment and close contact with you.
- Have tummy-to-tummy time — you can talk to baby and stroke them.
- Go outside with baby — they can lie in the pram under trees and watch the leaves. You can go walking with them to have some exercise and fresh air.
Using more reo Māori
|Kia ora pēpi||Hello baby|
|Ko wai taku pēpi ataahua?||Who’s my beautiful baby?|
|He aha tēnā haunga?||What’s that smell?|
|Kua tikona e koe tō kope||You filled your nappy|
|Kei whea ngā tihi mākū hei ūkui i tō kumu?||Where are the wet wipes to wipe your bottom?|
|Nā, me whakamāu he kope mā||Let’s put on a clean nappy|
|Kua maroke pai koe ināianei||You’re all dry now|
|Titiro mai||Look here|
|He aha tēnei?||What’s this by me?|
|He aha tēnā?||What’s that by you?|
|He aha tērā?||What’s that away over there?|
|Titiro ki ngā pukapuka||Look at the books|
|Huriā te wharangi||Turn the page|
|Titiro ki ngā kararehe||Look at the animals|
|Me haere tāua ki waho?||Shall we go outside?|
|Kuhuna tō pōtae||Put on your hat|
|Whakapokohia te rama||Turn off the light|
|Huakina te kūaha||Open the door|
|Titiro ki tērā rākau nunui||Look at that big tree over there|