Pēpi says

When I’m comfortable and responded to, I’m learning to trust my world – tōku ao ataahua!

When I’m not settled, watch how I move my body and my face and how I cry.  I might just need a break.

Breast milk is the best kai for me.  It has all the protein, fats and nutrients I need to grow.  It also has natural antibodies that help to protect me from infections and illness.

If I can’t be breastfed, then the correct formula for my age, properly prepared, is the next best thing for me.  

I can push with my legs, lift and turn my head to see what you’re doing.  And I’ll follow your voice.  I love voices and recognise my favourite people.

I’m getting more interested in things around me.  First I grab them, then I look at them before I put them in my ‘testing machine’ – that’s my waha!

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Whānau say

Knowing what our pēpi needs and wants is sometimes hard to work out. We take time to watch closely and listen carefully, and we’re starting to know what those signs are telling us.

We are learning about:      

  • things that relax or upset pēpi
  • how pēpi likes to be held or fed
  • how pēpi goes to sleep

We all enjoy waiata time and it’s so good for growing brains. Pēpi hears te reo Māori and can be calmed by rhythm and gentle rocking.

We know that pēpi needs quiet times too. 

We make sure we pay attention to all their sounds. That way pēpi learns that crying is not the only way to get our attention.

We always talk to pēpi about things around us and what we’re doing.

Cot death or SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infants) is always a worry so we remember:

  • face up
  • face clear
  • smokefree  

Waiata Kohungahunga
Moe moe pēpi

Waiata is a great way to share and learn te reo Māori. 

Oriori can be soothing and calming.  You can include all the names of whānau members with this waiata.

Moe moe pēpi, moe moe rā,
Ka hoki mai a māmā ākuanei
Moe moe pēpi, moe moe rā,
Ka hoki mai a pāpā ākuanei

(Tune: Hush Little Baby, Don’t Say a Word)


The Legend of Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga

Long ago there lived a man named Māui, half man, half god, who had supernatural powers. He was the youngest of five sons. When Māui was born, Tāranga, his mother, thought mistakenly that he was still-born and in her grief she cut her hair and wrapped her baby in it, then placed him in the sea.

Tangaroa, god of the sea, saw Māui begin to move and sent Karengo to care for him until he was rescued by his great grandfather Tama nui ki te Rangi. He taught Māui waiata, haka and whakapapa and told him about his parents and whānau. As he grew up, Māui longed to meet his mother and his brothers. He left his home in the sea and went to his mother's house. There he found his four brothers, Māui Taha, Māui Roto, Māui Pae, and Māui Waho. They wondered who this young stranger was, so Māui had to prove himself to his brothers before they accepted him. After he showed them how he could do the haka, and his powers to change himself into a bird, his brothers were amazed.

That night Māui crept into the house and hid behind one of his brothers as his mother was counting them. She became confused when she counted one extra person. Māui tried to tell her who he was, but she didn’t believe he was her child.

Māui then told her how she had wrapped him in her topknot (tikitiki) of hair when he was born and Karengo had cared for him while in the sea. He told her about being found on shore by his great tipua, Tama nui ki te Rangi. Māui told her that when he was in her womb, he had heard her say the names of his older brothers and proceeded to recite them to prove that he was her son.

When his mother heard this, she cried out, “Aue, you are my son, from now on you will be named Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga.”


This pakiwaitara reminds us that:

When we mirimiri, kōrero and waiata to pēpi before birth, we’re preparing them for a safe and secure world.
By around 10 weeks before birth pēpi can hear the world outside the womb.  So just like Māui, they are already learning about their whanau and the things happening around them. 
Learning whakapapa gives pēpi a sense of belonging to his whole whānau.

Click here to go to our Māui app available on the Apple and Goggle stores for free

Learning thru waiata

Waiata Kohungahunga
Mēnā harikoa koe, pakipaki

If you’re happy and you know it - Māori style! Lots of repetition of Māori sounds and words help set language patterns in baby’s brain for the future.

Mēnā harikoa koe, pakipaki,
Mēnā harikoa koe, pakipaki
Mēnā harikoa koe, ki a puta atu ai
Mēnā harikoa koe, pakipaki

(Tune: If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands)


Kaitiaki pēpi
Waha, carrying and calming pēpi heart to heart

Our tipuna used hue or gourds to carry water to their whare. The term waha describes how they would cradle it close to their body to ensure its safety. This term is also used to describe how pēpi was carried or calmed by being held or rocked ‘heart to heart’. Kaitiaki would waha pēpi to help them feel safe and secure slung close to their body. The familiar foetal environment, warm and close to the rhythm of the manawa, calms and soothes an upset pēpi.

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Ngā mahi a whānau
Mirimiri – hands on aroha

A gentle mirimiri, especially after a bath, can be part of a relaxing routine for you and pëpi. Only do it as long as pēpi enjoys it – they’ll let you know when they’ve had enough.

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Your baby's brain

Pēpi is discovering the world outside of the womb. Their brain is making connections through repeated sensory experiences, so every time pēpi looks, touches, hears, tastes or smells, their brain is getting ‘messages’ that help it learn and grow. Pēpi watches and listens and soon learns which mouth movements go with which sounds. That’s why it’s so important to kōrero with pēpi ‘kanohi ki te kanohi.’ And remember to create time every day for play - that’s how the brain learns best!

Nutrients in breast milk help to coat baby’s brain connections with myelin. What is myelin? It’s a fatty coating that wraps itself around brain cells and acts as insulation ensuring messages flow smoothly and quickly around the brain. 

Play keeps the brain active. Pēpi is learning and discovering the world outside of the womb and the best way to do that is through playing.  Remember to create moments every day for play time - that’s how the brain learns best!


Ngā mahi a whānau
Developing babies vision

Contrasting patterns of light and dark, especially black and white, are great for stimulating vision in the early months. A quick homemade cardboard book with simple black and white shapes or patterns is perfect.

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Waiata Kohungahunga
Kōrero parirau

A cool little waiata for the whānau.

Hurihuri, hurihuri huri
E tū
Hurihuri, hurihuri huri
E tū
Hurihuri, hurihuri huri
E tū
Hurihuri, hurihuri huri
E tū

The wisdom of past generations

Hokia ki ō maunga kia pūrea koe e ngā hau a Tāwhirimātea.
Return to your mountains so you can be cleansed by the winds of Tāwhirimātea.

Tōku reo, tōku ohooho.
My language, my awakening.

He taonga te tamaiti.
Every child is a treasure.


What’s the time, Mr Wolf?