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Infant - Week #25

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A 25-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Taking Turns
           It seems early to be emphasizing sharing and taking turns with your baby, and it is early to think about that kind of taking turns, but your baby is ready for conversational turn taking.  She is beginning to understand the rules of language and loves the idea of the rhythm of it.  Make sure that after you talk you give her a chance to talk.  She'll not only be thrilled to get talked to but to have a chance to speak her mind as well!


  What's It Going to Be, Kid?
           Your baby is picking up items and grabbing everything around her.  Have you noticed that at times she uses her left hand and at other times she uses her right hand?  This is completely normal and doesn't mean that she is definitely going to be a lefty or definitely going to be a righty.  It's way too early for her to have developed a dominant hand.  For now, just let her use what she's using, and in a few years hand dominance will develop on its own.


  Bumping Corners
           Your baby's gross motor skills have grown leaps and bounds since birth.  It is very likely that she is rolling over both from front to back and from back to front...this is exciting, but it also means that she is capable of covering a lot of ground on your family room floor.  Be aware of corners of tables, fireplaces, and the like.  You simply can't cover everything with padding, but if she is in that particular area, throw a pillow in front of sharp edges for a little extra protection!


  Item Of The Week - Books
           It is the perfect time to introduce your baby to some new interactive board books.  Her attention span, while still slim to none, is growing and her interest in all things tactile makes this the perfect time.  Make it part of your daily routine!  As boring as it will get for you, choose three or four books and do these books over and over again to stimulate her memory and to give her something familiar to look at each night.  Favorites include:  Fuzzy, Fuzzy, Fuzzy by Sandra Boynton, Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle, and Baby Einstein's Touch and Feel Farm Animals.  Head to your favorite book store and find some favorites of your own!


  DO Try This At Home!
           Combine the gross motor development spurt that your baby is going through with her ability to know mentally what she wants, and it is the perfect time to begin teaching your baby sign language.  It sounds daunting, but it is proven to work, and it gives your baby a new outlet to communicate her wants.  Like everything else with your baby, patience is going to be the big key for this one.  It is not something that is going to happen

       overnight and, in fact, may take weeks and likely even months.  In addition to patience, consistency is also going to be a major factor for your baby's success with sign language.  The more you sign and the more obvious that you are about the meaning of your signs, the more likely your baby is to not only begin mimicking your signs but to comprehend what they mean.


  Signing, Signing, Signing
           I never signed with any of my other kids.  It wasn't something that I was interested in.  But when my third son began struggling with his speech, I wished I could have turned back the clock and gone back and signed with him.  Then and there I made a conscious decision that sign language was something that I was going to attempt with Max.  I decided on three signs that I thought were important: more, milk, and all done.  I chose these because the signs are relatively easy to reproduce and feeding time happens all day every day and the importance of feeding time is unquestionable.  This is going to have to be a "to be continued" because for me to say that I have made any progress in a week's time would be a blatant lie!  I have started signing, and I make a point of using the signs over and over and over again at every meal. I tried to sneak in the more and all done signs during playtime as well.  At this point, Max kind of looks at me like I am nutty and just smiles and goes on with what he is doing.  For now, I am just going to keep plugging away with my signs and hope to see progress in the weeks to come.  Keep in mind that now is the perfect time in your baby's development to try this at home!


  That's Questionable!
           Q -   Do you let your baby "cry it out"?       

       Why is it that I seem to always pose questions about these touchy subjects?  I think the reason they are touchy is that it's okay to do things differently.  It helps to hear how others approach these issues.  So...do I let Max cry it out?  Not anymore...I did when he was about three and a half months old and I sensed that he was ready to begin learning how to soothe himself to sleep.  Max was never much of a crier, still isn't, so it took about three nights of five to ten minutes of crying before he fell asleep on his own.  Since then, I lay him down with his paci in his mouth, punch on his mobile, and leave the room.  Usually, he is enthralled with his mobile, comfortable in his surroundings, and falls asleep without a sound.  From time to time he fusses and cries and eventually drifts off to sleep on his own.       

       Now, I do realize that I am lucky, and I am a realist.  I know firsthand that it isn't always this easy.  My oldest daughter was a nightmare.  Part of it was our fault; we kind of ruined her a bit with constant holding and coddling.  But part of it was just the kind of baby she was.  She was stubborn and smart and getting her to sleep was a nightmare.  We tried to let her cry it out.  We let her go for an hour one night, which I know sounds abusive, but I was pregnant and dead set on not spending hours putting her to sleep each night while caring for a newborn.  I thought a few nights of misery might be worth it.  I held out and listened to her scream and scream and scream, and each night it tapered off.  It didn't take the three easy days that it took Max.  It took about three weeks and they were horrible, but in the long run they were well worth it.  To this day (she is four and a half) she goes to bed without a fight and will not get out of bed unless we say it's okay.       

       Different things work for different people, and you have to do what is right for you.  Experiment a bit and see where that gets you, but keep in mind that this is sleep training and like all kinds of training it won't happen overnight!  Sweet dreams!


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