It’s been about a year that I’ve used certain songs with my kid and I wanted to give an update on how they work now that he’s almost 3. The first song I shared was the Diaper Change Distraction Song. I don’t use this one very much anymore because he’s become pretty compliant (most of the time) with diaper changes and we are about to focus on potty training. Last time I tried to use this song, he looked at me and said, “Shhhh!”
The next song I tried was the Brushing Teeth Song. My kid has gotten more independent and more wiggly and more messy during tooth brushing, but I still sing this song as I hand him his toothbrushes (he likes one for each hand), and sometimes hum it while I brush my teeth. Then I sing it as I check (by this I mean actually brush his teeth, because he still just plays) his teeth and go through the routine of rinsing the toothbrush, drying off his mouth, and hanging up the towel. We still do a high-five and a kiss after, too. The best part about this song, as he’s grown, is that it helps us transition from playing to going to daycare, because we usually brush teeth right before going to put on shoes and leaving. The song helps me to repeat the instructions without losing my cool when he’s less than cooperative.
We used to have real struggles with eating. I think he had some sensory issues that he was compensating for. I started using a song to help him chew and swallow before stuffing more food into his mouth. We don’t have that problem too much anymore, so I rarely use this song now. What I know now that I wish I knew then was that stuffing food in the mouth is often a sign of decreased sensory input–he probably couldn’t tell that he had food in his mouth until it was stuffed full. I heard this was a fairly common problem and if you’re struggling with this, Google it and see if you can find some information about it. I might have tried a few sensory integration tricks and consulted Google myself, if I had known then what I know now. My encouragement to you is that this problem didn’t really last all that long in the grand scheme of things and it did get better. He eats just fine now and is even starting to try new foods every once in a while. Update: My kid just offered me a bite of cantaloupe off his plate and sang this song spontaneously as I ate it. So maybe this had more of an impact on him than I thought!
I had serious safety fears in parking lots and my kid is so independent that I knew he’s resist holding my hand around cars that I started singing the walking song to establish the pattern and expectation of holding my hand. I also wanted to support his new walking skill rhythmically, which I knew would help him neurologically as he developed this skill. I don’t need to sing this song very much anymore and can’t remember the last time I used it. I think it worked to set up the expectation of holding my hand, and there were a few weeks where I said, “Hold my hand or I will carry you. Make a good choice.” Sometimes he did and sometimes I carried him.
My favorite song that I used was the Seatbelt Song. I still sing it when he is climbing all over the car to keep myself calmer (which works about 50% of the time). Now, though, he likes to climb into his car seat and will sometimes start singing the song all by himself! He really likes it when I sing “Mommy has to put her seat belt on.” I just love hearing him sing!
Amy and I have a new show we’re starting called Exhausted Moms. It’s actually the same show as the Parent Support Group shows we used to do. I just started a new Blog Talk Radio account for this series. We’re broadcasting later today, so please check us out! You can contact us on Twitter or Facebook or Gmail too.