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Dutch phrases for parenting and childcare

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Parenting and childcare involve a myriad of daily interactions, and knowing the local language can make these activities smoother, especially in a Dutch-speaking environment. Whether you’re a parent, caregiver, or even an observer looking to understand what’s being communicated, learning specific Dutch phrases related to parenting and child care can be quite useful. Here are some pivotal Dutch phrases and words accompanied by their definitions and example sentences to help you navigate through the beautiful yet challenging journey of raising children.

Slaap lekker – Sleep well
This phrase is commonly used when tucking a child in for the night.
Welterusten, slaap lekker en droom zacht.

Luier – Diaper/nappy
A diaper or nappy is an essential item for infants and toddlers.
Kun je de luier van de baby verschonen?

Etenstijd – Mealtime
This refers to the time set aside for eating, often a structured part of a child’s daily routine.
Kom aan tafel, het is etenstijd!

Speeltuin – Playground
A place designed for children to play outdoors.
Zullen we naar de speeltuin gaan deze middag?

Voorlezen – To read aloud
This is the act of reading a book or story out loud, typically to children.
Ik ga je nu uit je favoriete boek voorlezen.

Oppas – Babysitter
Someone who temporarily cares for children on behalf of the parents.
De oppas komt vanavond zodat wij uit kunnen gaan.

Knuffel – Hug or cuddly toy
This word can refer to a hug or a stuffed animal that children often cherish.
Geef je broertje een knuffel voor het slapengaan.

Driftbui – Tantrum
A tantrum is an emotional outburst, typically characterized by stubbornness, crying, screaming, defiance, or anger.
Hij had een driftbui omdat hij zijn zin niet kreeg.

Vasthouden – To hold
This refers to the physical act of holding on to something or someone.
Kan jij mama’s hand vasthouden als we de straat oversteken?

Bedtijd – Bedtime
The time when a child goes to bed to sleep for the night.
Het is al laat geworden, het is bedtijd voor jullie.

Brave jongen/meisje – Good boy/girl
A compliment given to children when they exhibit good behavior.
Je hebt al je groente opgegeten, wat een brave jongen!

Stilte – Silence
The state of being quiet or not making noise, which can be a rare commodity in a house with children.
Tijdens het voorlezen vraag ik om stilte zodat iedereen kan luisteren.

Spelen – To play
Any activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation, especially by children.
Na huiswerk mogen jullie buiten spelen.

Potje – Potty
A small bowl used by young children as a toilet while potty training.
Heb je het potje al gebruikt?

Groeien – To grow
The physical process of getting bigger or maturing, especially relevant in context to children.
Je bent al veel gegroeid sinds het begin van het schooljaar.

Understanding and using these Dutch phrases will surely enhance your ability to engage with children in a Dutch-speaking environment. Language is not only about words but also about the connection and understanding it fosters, especially significant when it comes to the nurturing moments of parenting and childcare.

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