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Infant - Week #31

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A Sound Fieldtrip and Ten Parenting Thoughts

By Mary Perrin, edHelperBaby

  Your Baby's Development
           Is your baby intrigued by sounds?  Babies respond to different sounds much like adults do.  When a baby is startled, she jumps.  When she hears something new, her brain is able to quickly link the new sound to information already stored in the brain to form a reaction.  Her reaction is based on the emotion her brain pushes forth.  For example, if a child hears someone cry or scream, she may do the same; if a dog growls, it may make her feel scared and begin to cry; and if someone laughs, she will most likely mimic the same reaction.  Have you ever heard one of those radio contests where the station plays a song on the air and asks listeners to call the hotline number in an attempt to guess the sound?  A sound in isolation is hard to place (which defines the radio contest), but if callers were able to use more than just the sense of hearing, the contest would not be much of a contest, would it?  Providing your child with an opportunity to build up a repository or sound file will help her make insightful connections while she is playing with her toys, establishing mobility, and even understanding that words like "I'm home" come from daddy as he enters the door from work each night.  The following activity is designed to expose your child to a variety of sounds around the house so that she can develop an understanding of sounds everyday objects make.  As her brain continues to develop, she will be able to use this activity as a foundation for building meaning around those objects.  For example, expose her to the sound of an electric toothbrush and let her carefully touch it (building the foundation.)  Then as she gets older and has a mouthful of pearly whites, give her an electric toothbrush.  She will be able to make the connection that the familiar sound, the sound of the rotating bristles, helps to clean her teeth as she holds the toothbrush and moves it around in her mouth (linking to prior knowledge.)


  Encouraging Your Baby's Thinking
           Take a sound field trip around your house.  The following list will give you a starting point for things to listen to with your baby.  Consider printing this list off and jotting down a few words to describe her reaction to each sound.  Show her new sounds and also allow her to hear familiar ones, too.  As you listen to a familiar sound, consider interacting with the object in a different manner than she normally does to give her a different perspective and deeper understanding of its characteristics.
  • Ticking of a clock and/or the sound of an alarm clock
  • Ceiling fan (Can she feel the air?)
  • Car horn and/or turn signal
  • Washing machine and dryer (Can she feel the vibrations?)
  • Closing of a drawer, door, and/or toilet seat lid
  • Running water and/or whirlpool jets
  • A chair being pulled out from a table
  • Electric toothbrush
  • Hair dryer (Does she like to feel the air on her skin?)
  • Popping popcorn
  • Telephone ringing
  • Toilet flushing (Early exposure will help eliminate fear later when it's time for potty training.)
  • A toy that makes a unique sound
  • Knocking
  • Piano or other instrument
  • Blender or other appliance
  • Garage door opener
  • Crickets chirping outside
  • Paper shredder
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Vacuum


  From A Parent's Perspective
           My daughter enjoyed listening to most of the sounds listed above.  I wrote down how she reacted to each one as we progressed through the list.  The ones that seemed to frighten her were the very loud sounds like the sound of the vacuum, the whirlpool jets (but it probably didn't help that she was in the tub when I turned them on...oops), and the car alarm.  All three of those loud sounds elicited the same reaction; she got a scared pouty face and then began to whimper.  I was surprised by the reaction she gave to the vacuum, though, since she normally sits in the middle of the room and watches me vacuum around her without concern.  The one recommendation I would give would be not to run around the house doing all these at once.  You don't want to over stimulate your baby, especially if she is not comfortable with a few of the sounds she hears.  Give her ears a break and her mind time to make meaning out of the few sounds you expose her to during your quick lap around the house.  Also, consider giving her time to fiddle with an object, when appropriate of course, so she can learn more about how it works along with the sounds it produces.


  Parenting 411
           My husband and I were asked to give our friends who were about to be new parents some advice on parenthood. The following list of items are ten things we came up with that we continue to come back to time and time again as we progress through these wonderful years of parenthood with our three adorable children.  The list is by no means limited to these ten items or specifically to new parents.  We could have created page after page of little pieces of advice and wisdom; however, these were just a few of the first things that came to mind.  Sit down with your partner and come up with a list of your "ten wise thoughts" as they relate to parenting.  They can be little pieces of good advice, parenting no-no's, or clever little tricks you rely on to get you through tough moments.  When you are finished, compliment each other on surviving times of trial and tribulation, laugh at your mistakes, and rejoice in your accomplishments.  What a great way to reflect on parenthood...together!
  • Candid digital pictures taken by you are just as precious as the hundreds of dollars you will spend at a professional photographer only to have your child cry during the session!
  • Murphy's Oil Soap works wonders on clothing stains.
  • Refrain from telling a child what you are going to do if you are not 100% sure it is going to happen; let him be surprised when you actually do it.  Since kids have no regard for time, this will save you of many "Are we there yets?" or let downs if something comes up and you can't follow through with the plan.
  • A car DVD player is invaluable for long trips.
  • Use different wrapping paper to distinguish Santa's gifts from your gifts to eliminate questions.
  • Kids will say what adults only wish they could.
  • Establish monthly "date nights" with each other.  You deserve a least twelve nights out in one year.
  • Always be prepared by having extra baby items on hand when you venture out just in case "big messes" occur during inopportune times.
  • Laughing keeps you from crying.
  • The amount of love, support, and respect you show your child is directly related to the amount of love, support, and respect he/she will show you in return!


Bye-bye Binky (Or not!)
By Alicia Magee, edHelperBaby

           The pacifier, or ‘binky', is a great comfort to many babies. Many parents are grateful to have something to give to baby to help them sleep, to help with extended periods of crying, to soothe them in the car seat and to suck on instead of mom, if she is nursing. But when is the best time to help wean baby of the pacifier?

       There are as many opinions on this as there are babies or so it seems. Some recommend weaning the baby from pacifiers before six months. They say that babies are not as attached to the pacifier and parents may have a fussy night or two but then, baby will move away from the pacifier. Others see no worry for a child in having the binky into a his or her second or third year and noting only that parents should make sure that the pacifier is not delaying or interfering with a child's speech.

       As always, the best time to wean your baby of the pacifier is when you and the baby decide it is time. Some babies simply stop needing the pacifiers as much or the binky gets misplaced and the baby forgets about it. Other babies seem to very much need the comfort of a pacifier and parents may decide that it is not worth struggling with it at this age. If you feel you must wean and it does not go well, give it a month or two and try again. As with most parenting issues with babies, issues do not have to be resolved today. With all the things parents worry over, the pacifier is a really a relatively minor issue and one that will most surely be resolved when your child is ready.       

Bath Time Fun
By Jennifer Ruiz, edHelperBaby

           It is time to get your baby out of the baby tub and into the big tub.  You want this time to be a splash for your baby without them going down the drain.  There are a few things you can do to ensure that your baby's big tub experience is a success.  The key is to be prepared:
  • Have everything you will need for the bath ready before you put your baby into the tub.
  • Next, make sure your baby is safe and unable to slip.  One inexpensive way to do this is to place a towel underneath them while they are in the tub.
  • Make their bath time exciting.  You can do this by having some toys for them to use for play.  Every child loves to play in the tub.  Take the time to let your baby explore the toys in the water.
  • Be careful not to splash too much.  You want this to be an easy adjustment.  If water happens to splash your baby, do not freak out.  Gently wipe their face with a towel.  Some babies may love having water splashed on them.
  • Whatever you do, never leave your baby alone in the tub, not even for a minute.

       One important thing to remember is to have fun with your baby.  This is their first time in a big tub so make it a memorable one, at least for you.


Velcro Baby! Dealing with Separation Anxiety
By Alicia Magee, About my child Keenan

           As Keenan grows and learns, he has entered the realm of ‘separation anxiety'. He cries as if he is in pain every time I leave the room or move out of his eye sight. This can be very trying at times. As a mom, I do need to start a load of laundry, answer the phone, go to the bathroom and  can not always bring him with me right away. When I do pick him up, he is so grateful and cuddly. I know it is just a phase and we both do the best we can. I know that sometimes he is going to have to cry for a minute. I am also trying to take a lot more time these days to carry him in the sling and to just sit and cuddle.       

Isabel's Big Splash
By Jennifer Ruiz, About my child Isabel

           Isabel loved her baby tub.  Every time she would get in it, she would kick and splash.  I was a little nervous about the big tub, especially because of the slipperiness.  I put a washcloth underneath her and she was good to go.  Isabel's big sister, Olivia, was a big helper.  She played with Isabel and helped her ease into the new environment.  Isabel had a fun-filled time in the big tub.  It was a joy seeing Isabel having such a wonderful time!


     Time to Baby Proof

     Should I massage my baby?

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