Tag Archives: babysalmesang

Baby Activities in Sonderborg: Part 2

In August I wrote about some baby activities in the Sonderborg area. Now that I am getting close to the end of my parental leave, here is the promised second post about further activities.

Baby Stimulastik

As the title alludes to, stimulastik is a combination of stimulation of the baby senses with gymnastics. Occupational therapist Lotte Greve-Thomsen is the person behind this class offered either as an open group on Mondays at 9:45-10:45 or as a fixed group on Fridays.


We attended five Monday sessions so far. Each session starts with group exercises where the babies are moved up and down and left and right, stimulating the child’s sense of balance and orientation in space. This is followed by individual exercises at a number of stations set out around the room, such as different types of swings, a ball bath and other sensory items. The session then ends with group exercises to calm the children down.

At 90-105 DKK per session (depending on which payment solution you opt for), this was the most expensive class we attended. However, it is also probably the most different from the other (mostly) singing and music-oriented classes. It is also the class that the child potentially gets the most out of. The fact that you can pay as you go, however, means that you only pay for when you are there and can decide week by week.

Note: Since Lotte has moved away from Sonderborg, baby Stimulastik is now being offered by Line Lyneborg.

Baby Swimming

A while ago we wrote about baby swimming possibilities in the Sonderborg area. From these we ended up going to the class offered by Rinkenæs Swimming Club at the Gigthospital in Grasten. We went there as we were looking for somewhere with warm water and this was the first class that started.

As stated, there were 7 babies in the group. One new thing is taught in each session starting with floating on back and front at the first class, then proceeding to diving in different constellations. At 550 DKK (now 560 DKK) this is potentially the most expensive baby swimming class. However, our child really gained confidence in the water and went from being OK but concerned when in water prior to the course to very comfortable in water, splashing around happily. This also translated into happier bath times ;). So it was well worth it.

Baby Psalm Singing: Christianskirken

Before the summer holidays I went to baby psalm singing at Sct Marie Kirken. I enjoyed it so much that I thought of trying it again at Christianskirken. As with the other class it consists of mothers (mostly) and their babies, an organist, glockenspiels and cloths. However, there are also a number of differences.

The Baby psalm singing at Christianskirken is of a more mellow nature than that at Sct Marie Kirken. There is no talking between songs and we just follow what the organist and her two helpers do for 30 minutes. In contrast, at Sct Marie Kirken we sang and laughed and joked for 45 minutes. However, at Christianskirken we then get 1 hr afterwards with coffee and tea to talk and chat together, while at Sct Marie Kirken we brought our own drinks and had 15 minutes.

So the question would be: which would I pick? Well, first of all check which one has place as they are relatively similar. However, if you are spoiled for choice see what you are looking for most: something for the child? Then pick Sct Marie Kirken: Organist Pia has an amazing singing voice and the singing bit is longer. Somewhere where you as a parent can get some adult company? Then maybe pick Christianskirken: You get one hour of adult conversation here.

The picture in this post is used with permission from ErgoLeg.

Baby Activities in Sønderborg

Unless you have friends who have babies at similar times as you, parental leave can end up being a bit lonely. I have tried to keep myself busy by doing some baby classes. This has made sure that I got out of the house and met some other adults, while entertaining the little one without having to think too much myself. These are some of the baby activities I have tried and what I think about them

Babysalmesang – Sct Marie Kirke

Babysalmesang, literally baby psalm singing(!), seems to be a very popular baby activity, with most churches offering this possibility. I was a bit sceptical about this, but decide to try it out anyways (what I do in the name of research for this blog!). I first tried Christianskirken as it is closest, but the group was already full (word of warning: if interested don’t leave it till late to sign up as groups do get booked up), so the choice fell on Sct Marie Kirke.

Organist Pia leads the babysalmesang at Sct Marie Kirke. The class consisted of around 10 mothers and their babies meeting every Wednesday for an hour in the church. As the name implies what happens during that hour is that we sing psalms, but I was surprised to see that it was also so much more than that! Pia was always very organised. Equipped with a glockenspiel, rattles, bubbles, a piano, cloths and a swing (amongst others) we were kept constantly on the go (and babies entertained).

I was very impressed with this class, not least because it is all free! A new group is starting in September (as well as a group at Christianskirken that I will be checking out for yours truly) so if you are home with a baby I really do recommend trying to join one of these groups if you need the push to get out of the house. And no, don’t worry too much if you’re not Danish Protestant! I was made welcome with open arms. And if you do, say hi to Pia for me!

Babyrytmik – Sonderborg Musikskole

Babyrytmik is another baby music class, this time organised by the music school in Sonderborg. Again this was a one hour activity consisting of singing, movement and rattles. It was pretty similar to babysalmesang, with the main difference being the topic of the songs we were singing (church songs vs children’s popular songs)

Again this class was very well organised, and when I asked the teacher if he could share some Danish songs with me so I could learn them before class (Danish parents already knew them as grew up with them) he obliged very happily. However, when thinking that babysalmesang is all free, while this costs around 45 DKK, I started to doubt whether it was value for money.

Baby Tju-Hej – Sonderborg Bibliotek

This is another music/singing activity for children, this time happening at the library in Sonderborg (as well as other branches) around once a month for 30 minutes. Surprisingly, the library has no story-telling or similar activities for young children, though the songs used here have more of a story-telling nature and are more action-songs than at the other two activities. The selection of action songs is potentially as the event is aimed at children up to 3 years.

Unlike the other two activities, there is no limit here on group number, so this was by far the activity with most children (around 40 at a quick guess when I went), and both parents and ‘dagpleje’ mothers (childminders) bringing their charges to the event. This made the activity more of a show rather than a class, but was just as well organised. Again, there were rattles, soft toys, and this time a guitar.

Other Activities

There are, of course, other activities going on. We have already written about Baby Swimming. There is also part 2 to this post about our experience of this, together with the babysalmesang at Christianskirken and a Baby Stimulastik class I am also doing.

Living with a Newborn in Sonderborg

A few days after giving birth I published a blog post about being pregnant in the Sonderborg area. But while being pregnant and giving birth is one experience, living with a newborn is a whole other experience!

Getting Home

We left the hospital 3 days after giving birth. Now, this is not normal as the basic expectation is that you stay in hospital for 24 hrs after birth, unless you require extra care (e.g. having had a C-section such as in my case). I feel a bit sad that not everyone gets the opportunity I got to stay in hospital for a couple of days and be supported in becoming a parent.

The care I got in hospital was excellent and I have not found that kind of support in the community as what I got from the nurses in terms of taking care of a baby but, especially, breastfeeding. I must admit that based on this decision I would not be too surprised if parents who would otherwise breastfeed give up when with a bit of support they could have successfully breastfed (if they wanted to, of course).

Leaving hospital was relatively painless. Once it was decided that I could leave (could get out of bed, had no fever etc) I was allowed to leave at my own pace. I am sure if I wanted to stay there too long I would have been moved on, but I was also looking forward to getting home and starting a new chapter.

Care in the community

Care in the community is, same as prenatal care, a two-pronged affair: support is mainly offered through your own sundhedsplejerske (health visitor). Your personal doctor is, however, also involved for medical checkups and vaccinations.

At first I was a bit confused as to what the sundhedsplejerske is. So let me set this straight: the sundhedsplejerske is not a nurse, or a doctor, or even any person who applies for the job. A sundhedsplejerske is a health care professional who has studied to become one (yes! there is a specific course for this, as facebook now constantly reminds me following me searching for more information!).

The sundhedsplejerske is assigned to you within days of giving birth and she contacts you herself in order to make arrangements for the first meeting, typically within the first week at your own home. During this meeting she will give you information leaflets on taking care of the baby, where to find further information if needed etc. She will also measure the baby and sees if you have any questions.

In my case the first sundhedsplejerske assigned was Danish-speaking who didn’t speak any English at all. Of course, good communication is very important as you often can get quite a lot of support from them. Luckily on asking to have someone else assigned who could speak some English this was quickly allowed and within 2 hrs of calling someone new was assigned. I have now also heard that you can also change your sundhedsplejerske if you do not click with the person assigned, so do make sure you feel comfortable with yours or else ask for a change. Nevertheless, I liked both the ones assigned to me (even if I couldn’t communicate perfectly with one of them).

What to do with a newborn?

So far I have been in work since the first day I moved to Sonderborg. So finding myself with whole days to fill did concern me! However, so far I have easily managed to fill my days with getting to grips with having a newborn, going to the shops for food, or going for walks along the water or to the forest (if you see me in town do say hi :D).

If you are interested, however, there are a number of other activities you can take part in that are not as ‘lonely’. First of all there are the ‘mother groups’ (mødregruppe) organised by the sundhedsplejerske, where they put you in a group with other mothers with whom you can go for walks, drop in for coffee, or go for lunch in town or anything else you want. So far, however, I have not been assigned a group as I have been told they are trying to organise an English-speaking group.

There are also other activities. The first I came across was babysalmesang (baby psalm singing). These meetings are, as the name might imply, organised by most of the churches in town. Now, I am not Danish Protestant (even though the churches organising these meetings are) but so far this doesn’t seem to be a problem. The group I am joining will start in April, so I cannot tell you much about what will happen, except that we will sing…psalms I guess? Do sign up early if interested, as there seems to be quite a demand and the groups get full relatively quickly.

Babysalmesang is probably OK for babies from newborn. For a bit older children there are also baby swimming classes. These are offered by different groups, including the Sonderborg swimming club (which recommends that the baby is 5-6 months old at the start). The classes are mainly to start getting the children used to the water. The music school also offers rhythym classes for babies. A new group will start in April.

Well, that is what I have found out about. Is there anything else baby-related I have missed?