The Season of Infancy addresses the very beginning of life and its development at the earliest stages from 0 – 4 years. During this time a child’s brain develops more than any other time in life. The quality of a child’s experiences in the first few years of life – positive or negative – helps shape how their brain develops. Creating a good and positive environment for children this age will greatly benefit their social, physical, emotion, and intellectual growth. During this season a child is prepared for baptism and is first introduced to the mysteries of faith.
Ten Quick Tools
- Take your children to Mass. From these early years they can learn that Church is special. Dress them in Sunday best (even if it does not stay clean for long), play soft instrumental music or maybe even some gregorian chant on Sunday mornings, prepare a “Quiet Mass Bag” for your child to bring to Church. This bag can include religious books, prayer cards, Rosary, small (non-breakable) saint statues, and a few crayons and religious coloring pages.
- Baptism is the first sacrament these children receive. Display pictures of your child’s baptism in your home. Place a small Holy Water holder at the entrance of your home or in the child’s bedroom. This serves as a reminder of the sacrament of baptism. Children love being able to fill up their Holy Water bottles at church and bringing it home to use.
- Create a prayer space in your home. Use some candles, statues, sacred images, a Bible, and/or Crucifix. It does not have to be ornate but setting aside and using the designated prayer space daily teaches children prayer is important.
- Bless your children: Here’s How.
- Listen to and read Catholic parenting podcasts, books and articles. There is a wealth of resources for Catholic parents. A few suggestions are: The Messy Family Project, and More 2 Life with Greg and Lisa Popcak with Ave Maria Radio.
- There are also many children resources for learning the faith: Catholic Sprouts, Glory Stories are great stories about the Saints that can be played in the car.
- The family is called the domestic church because it is in the context of the family that children first learn of the Good News of Jesus. Start from the earliest years introducing your young ones to Jesus. Read from a children’s Bible, have images of Jesus around the house, print coloring pages of Jesus when the kids want to color. There’s no such thing as too much Jesus!
- God is the Creator and source of all life. Take the time to thank God for the gift of your children and allow them time to explore God’s creation. From the earliest years, visiting the park, the zoo, or a garden can help awaken their sense of wonder and beauty. These are teachable moments to reinforce that those things come from God, our Creator.
- Read to your child. This will help him or her develop and understand language and sounds.
- Limit screen time. For children younger than eighteen months of age, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding screen time. For children ages two to five years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting screen use to one hour per day of high-quality programs.
- List of articles for the Season of Infancy at the Catholic East Texas
- Mikki Sciba, The Way of Christ, Lesson 7, “The Holy Spirit“
- Josh and Stacey Noem, “How to Take Young Children to Mass”
- Catholic Mom, “Mass Bags”
- Caitlin Bootsma, “Why is the Family called the domestic Church?”
- Bishop Robert Barron, “Bishop Barron on the Sacrament of Baptism”
- Adeline Avril, Little Life of Jesus
- Katy Warner, The Word of the Lord
- Katy Warner, Cloud of Witnesses
- David Clayton and Leila Marie Lawler, Little Oratory
- Carrie Gress, Marian Consecration for Children
- A Family of Faith series by the Sophia Institute
- The Body Matters series by the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team
- Greg and Lisa Popcak, Then Comes Baby: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Three Years of Parenthood
- Catechism of the Catholic Church