How to Teach Your Baby About Jesus: 5 Tips for Toddlers & Babies
The first time I saw our daughter in an ultrasound (basically a beating heart with T-Rex arms) the gravity of motherhood hit me. God planned her life before she was even a desire in my heart. And I was the one tasked with giving her spiritual life a healthy start.
Almost three years later, I’m amazed by the passion she’s already displaying for Jesus and completely humbled that God chose me to teach her about Him.
If you’re a new Christian mom, the calling of motherhood might feel a little intimidating. You know you want to introduce your child to Jesus. But where do you start? When do you start? HOW do you start?
Personally, I think a child’s discipleship should begin long before their first birthday, while they are still learning the basics of eating and sleeping.
My goal for this post is to take the pressure off. It’s SO easy to teach your baby about Jesus and quite a bit of fun. Below are just a few of my favorite resources, tips, and daily habits that I think have been essential for us.
- 11 Ways to Celebrate a Christ-Centered Easter with Kids
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- How to Get Your Breastfed Baby to Sleep Through the Night
8 Easy Ways to Introduce Your Baby to God
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical conditions.
Make Prayer a Daily Routine
Hands down, my favorite strategy for teaching my baby about Jesus. Simply praying with her.
We pray every night before bed. It’s always the same routine: wash up, jammy time, cuddle, and pray. At first, prayer time could definitely be translated as “squirmy time.” This child could sit on my lap all day and night, but at the beginning of a prayer she had a sudden case of ants in the pants. Now, our goodnight prayer is a treasured quiet time for all three of us.
Don’t sweat it if you can’t get in more than a couple sentences at first.
For now, our prayers are pretty short. We just thank God for all of our blessings, ask for “Daddy’s protection when he drives to work tomorrow” and for the health and happiness of our direct family members.
The important thing is to make your prayers as sincere as possible. Your baby may not understand what you’re saying at first, but eventually she will see that when you pray, you’re actually talking to God, not just rehearsing words.
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Read Bible Stories and Christian Books
Reading Bible stories to your baby from a young age can teach them about the Christian faith, but also provide a wealth of cognitive and learning benefits as well! Reading our “Jesus stories” is now a part of our every day routine and my daughter LOVES it.
Here are just a few of my favorite books:
- Babies First Bible Stories
- God Made You Special
- Jesus Calling: The Story of Easter (A little difficult to read to a baby, but great for toddlers!)
- The Story of Jesus
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Relate Bible Stories to Daily Life
When you’re trying to learn how to teach toddlers about God, sometimes you need to get creative. Especially when you have a squirmy one that will not sit for reading time!
I’m going to be honest, this one was a little awkward at first. Reading is easy because I’m a bookworm. But randomly sharing Bible stories? Not so much.
But my daughter loves it!
Dig into your inner child and transform mundane activities into story time. When you give your baby a bath, tell him about how John baptized Jesus. When you see a cat, talk to your kiddo about how God saved Daniel from the really big cats in the lion’s den.
Not only will this make you feel like an awesome mom for five minutes, it also makes Christianity tangible and real to your child.
I have a theory about this particular type of discipleship. If we can help our babies relate Bible stories to silly real life examples now, how much easier will it be for them to do so later, when the situations are much more important?
Go to Church
Still trying to make it to church? Don’t feel bad. It took us 6 weeks before we walked through the doors. Between the night feedings, stress over germs, and the fact that babies have a perpetual cold, I’m surprised the building was still standing by the time we made it.
Making that first trip is a very personal decision for you and your family. Still, try to make it a priority.
Babies are blank slates and they only learn what you teach them. While the nursery may not be able to teach your baby about Jesus now, it can at least set the foundation for Bible school when they are older. Plus, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to get your baby accustomed to church later.
If you’re concerned about taking your newborn to the nursery, try taking him into the chapel with you. Before I gathered enough courage to drop my daughter off at the nursery, I fed her in the parking lot and designated the sermon as nap time. It worked out perfectly. She happily fell asleep in her car seat during the worship service.
Speaking of worship… I don’t mean to brag, but I have the kind of voice that is the envy of every alley cat on the block. Or maybe you’ve seen those screaming goat videos on Youtube. It’s something like that.
If you haven’t tried singing to your baby yet, you should! She’ll listen to you sing about anything. Even before she can understand your sentences, she listens to the nuances in your voice. In addition, singing can help your baby regulate stress, memorize concepts, and bond with you. It makes sense that worshiping can be an easy, fun way to introduce your baby to Jesus.
My favorite hymn is Amazing Grace. Not only are the words applicable to my personal testimony, but it serves as a soothing lullaby.
If you’re absolutely anti-singing, check out scripture lullabies on Youtube. The songs are so gentle. Perfect for a bedtime routine! If you prefer the CD or downloadable version, you can grab it Amazon.com.
The Bible is crystal clear about discipling your children:
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV)
Your baby’s knowledge of the Word has the potential to make or break his or her faith.
Recent studies indicate that babies can piece together actual words as early 6 months. That means the time to start is now!
Let’s be honest, though. If you’re up to your eyeballs in diapers and running on three hours of sleep, penciling in devotions for your 6 month old is probably the last thing on your mind. Luckily, you don’t have to. There are so many ways to introduce your baby to scripture!
If you’re a movie buff and your baby is older than 18 months, try out a few Christian children videos, like Veggie Tales, Storybook (my daughter’s fave!), or Boz the Green Bear. All of these are available for FREE on RightNow Media!
Aside from TV, just try reading your own scripture verses. I’ve gotten into the habit of reading my devotionals aloud while my daughter is happily playing. A friend of mine reads Psalms to her baby while they’re doing tummy time!
You might not feel like you’re making an impact in these situations, but trust me. You are!
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Play Inspirational Music
Every morning I fire up Alexa and play some contemporary Christian. It’s soothing, has great meaning, and is always appropriate for little ears. Plus, the benefits of listening to music is well-documented. Studies have shown that music can enhance fine motor skills, pattern recognition, and speech development. In other words, you’re teaching your baby about Jesus and assisting with her development!
Once again, I can’t recommend Scripture Lullabies enough. My mother-in-law got me into this series and it’s now an integral part of our wind-down routine.
Lead by Example
This might be the last item on the list, but make no mistake, it’s one of the most important. You can introduce your child to Jesus with stories and songs, but it means nothing if you yourself are not a good example of Christ.
I was raised in the church, yet when I gained my first taste of independence, I ran from it as fast as I could. Why? Hypocrisy. I believed in God but the Christians in my life made religion stale.
If you teach your baby in the Word yet fail to lead by example, you create a gaping hole in your child’s faith.
Babies are always watching. If we speak truth but act in bitterness or anger around our babies, they will never seek God. This entails everything you do, every day. How do you react when you’re cut off in traffic? Do you shake your fist and yell out, “You turkey!” (Very specific, I know…) or do you accept the rude behavior and move on?
How do you greet your husband? With open arms and love or is he treated as another interruption to your routine?
Honestly, I struggle with this aspect the most. From the way I treat my husband to how I deal with stress, I am blatantly flawed. If you’re like me and worry that you’ll never measure up, all I’ve got to say is have some grace for yourself. You’re not going to always get it right, no matter how hard you try.
But that’s the beauty of it. When your child sees you mess up and turn to God, he will see the greatest example of all: how Jesus transforms.
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Even the Small Things Matter
In the beginning, you truly are just introducing your baby to Jesus. You’re laying the foundation for a deeper relationship that she will pursue as grows and learns. Most of the work revolves around your daily routine: pray, sing, tell your child fantastical stories, or listen to uplifting music.
However, consider the larger commitments, such as taking your child to church, implementing scripture, and providing a solid example.
Some of these activities might seem insignificant, but remember, this is where it all begins. Teach your baby about Jesus now to create the foundation for a wonderful relationship later.
Gradually, you’ll start to see that relationship develop. It starts with a random prayer or comment. Then, you’ll start to see a true love develop that makes all of this effort worth it.
Alright, those are my best tips for teaching babies and toddlers about Jesus. Hopefully you have a few good ideas now!
Do you have any fun ways to teach your baby about Jesus? Share them below!
I love this! As a momma of seven kids, ranging in ages.
Yep, seven! I can truly account for the importance of instilling God’s truth in the hearts of your children.
My oldest is 28 and my youngest 4! I know, I’m a nut but that’s another topic.
I’ve seen my children stray and struggle with developing their own identity in Jesus. It’s the hardest experience a Mother’s can endure. Besides the death of a child, a child denying Jesus is heart breaking.
We have to instill HIS promises in their heart and they will come back to the only truth!
Wow, seven– that’s incredible! It sounds like you’re really intentional with teaching your children about Jesus. Thank you so much for sharing your insight…especially with older kids. These are little things that I’ve been using to teach my daughter about the Lord as a young baby. When she finally said “Jesus” for the first time I about cried my eyes out 🙂 Hopefully it translates into a fruitful relationship later
Erin, this is a BEAUTIFUL post. I am so glad you’re thinking about these things.. your tips are so simple & practical, and yet so intentional. I love the ways that you’re already sharing Christ with your baby! Keep it up. 🙂
Thank you, Sarah! I’m really glad you liked it. Those little hearts are so important!! 🙂