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Infant - Week #22

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Newborn Week Twenty Two

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

We've Got The Giggles
           Hearing your baby laugh is not only a joy - it's a sign that your baby is developing emotionally and socially. Have fun triggering a giggle by gently tickling those toes or thighs. Or develop a pint-size comedy routine by making exaggerated facial expressions and funny animal sounds, snorts, and whistles. Don't be surprised if your baby joins in with an ecstatic squeal that might catch your attention and make you laugh back.


           At about four to five months, your baby can tell that two shades of blue are more alike than a blue and a green, even without knowing their names.


The Power Of Music
           Music that soothes you or makes you happy may have the same or similar effect on your baby. Although there is evidence that music has cognitive benefits on older children (I actually did my masters thesis on the effects of music for high school students with emotional/behavioral disabilities), no one has studied this phenomenon in infants. Still you may find that music plays a useful role in your baby's life in other ways:
  • Music as a Soother: When your baby is fussy or crying, try singing a lullaby softly into his ear. The repetitive sounds and your familiar voice may help him feel more secure and relaxed.
  • Music as a Calming Background Noise: Instead of keeping the television or talk radio on all day, consider switching to an all-music station that you like. Or program a digital music player with tunes that comfort both you and your baby.
  • Music as a Source of Strength: A study at Brigham Young University found that premature infants who were exposed to music gained more weight, had lower blood pressure, and had a stronger heartbeat than a comparable group of babies who weren't.
  • There's no evidence that any one kind of music is more effective than another, so pick what you like.


Father Bonding Idea
           Bench press. The bad news is that once you're a parent, you don't have much time to get to the gym. The good news is that you have just acquired a fabulous set of hand weights, approximately 7 to 20 pounds. Once our kids' necks could support the weight of their heads, Scott would balance their bodies on his palms and then carefully curl them, bench them, whatever struck his fancy ... and both his biceps and the babies loved it.


Q - How Much Of What I Say Does My Baby Understand?
           Between now and your baby's first birthday, he'll be developing his receptive language skills. He probably understands few actual words at this point, but he's mastering the art of storing individual sounds in his brain, reading your tone, and picking up the meaning behind your words. By one year of age, a baby will recognize his name when called and understand no-no. But for many months before that time, a baby is able to recognize the sound of his parents' voices and the intent behind the communication, such as whether it's soothing, harsh, or fun.


Try This!
           Lay your baby next to you on a soft surface. Pick out two colorful toys that he will enjoy looking at. Put one of the toys on each side of the baby. Say to your baby, "Its time to roll." Gently roll him over on one side so that he can look at the toy, reach for it, and respond to it. Then roll him over to the other side so that he will see a different toy. This game will help encourage him to roll from side to side.


Dayvian's Experience
           I played this game with Dayvian after he had just woken up from his morning nap. I laid out his favorite blanket on the living room floor and placed him on it. I put his favorite crunchy turtle on one side of him and his bright colorful rattle on the other side of him. He began the activity lying on his back. I told him that it was time to roll over. I placed one hand behind his back and my other hand along his side to help guide him as I gently rolled him to his left side. He smiled to see his favorite turtle and immediately grabbed for it. I let him laugh and play with his turtle for a few minutes. Then I told him it was time to roll again. I gently moved him to his right side with both hands. He grabbed his rattle and put it right into his mouth. I let him chew on his rattle, drool everywhere, and coo and goo for a few minutes. I then repeated these steps a few more times. After about five minutes or so, Dayvian was making an effort to roll over by himself. Although he is not quite able to do it yet, he was able to get about halfway. "There you go Dayvian, you almost made it!"  We played this game for about 15 minutes.


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