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You and your baby: building routine with stories, songs and rhymes

Discover simple ways to include songs and rhymes in your baby's daily routine.

Last updated: 30 September 2020

If you've joined one of our Facebook Live Bookbug Sessions, or an online session run by your local library, you will have noticed that they always open with the Hello Song and close with the Goodbye Song. These two simple songs act as signifiers to little ones that a session is about to start or has come to an end. Repeating them each time allows babies and toddlers to become familiar with the words and tune, but it also helps to establish a routine that they can easily follow - and join in with as they get older.

Using songs and rhymes is a great way to help babies settle into daily routines at home too. If you always sing a verse of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes or Round and Round the Garden at changing time, your baby will quickly start to understand what's coming when you sing this song. Likewise, cuddling up together for a story after bathtime can signal to your baby that bedtime is on the way - even if getting to sleep takes a wee bit longer! 

​Babies have so much new information - and so many new experiences to process - when they arrive in the world. Helping them find ways to make sense of it with routine and structure is one of the many ways we can support their development in the early years. By introducing songs, rhymes and stories into your day-to-day life from the very beginning, you're not only supporting important literacy and social skills, you're helping to establish clear patterns and routines that will benefit them as they move on to nursery and even school.​

You can find songs and rhymes perfect for every time of day with our themed lists on the Bookbug app and the Bookbug Song and Rhyme Library. Whether it's a playful tune to welcome the new day, rhymes about food to signal that snack is on the way, or calming songs to share at bedtime, there's something to suit every mood - and routine.

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