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Infant - Week #28

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Crawling, Pushing, and Wrestling Matches

By Mary Perrin, edHelperBaby

  Encouraging Your Baby's Development
           Welcome to 7 months!  It is probably very hard to believe how rapidly your baby is growing and developing.  At this stage of development, your baby is beginning to rock back and forth on his hands and knees and gearing up for creeping and crawling around the house.  If your baby is currently unable to get his legs up underneath himself while in a pushup position, assist him into a crawling position.  Push his legs in and under him and support his tummy as he pushes up on his arms and establishes himself on all fours.  Talk to him and encourage him to grab a toy you have placed out in front of him.  This simple exercise will help him to better understand the next stage of his mobility, the positioning of his body parts, and also help him develop muscle strength.  It won't be long before he is off and going with unbound energy and glee.


  Creative Play Activities
           Naturally, babies tend to want to grab and pull objects in toward them, especially right into their little mouths.  They are pros at the concept of pulling.  He pulls hair as he ponders its texture, he pulls the bottle into his mouth during a feeding, and he pulls toys into his mouth as he learns about the concepts of hard, soft, smooth, etc.  Consider stretching your baby's mind by further developing the opposing concept, the concept of pushing.  Stretching your baby's mind and encouraging him to think differently about what he already knows will help your baby better understand how things around him are able to move and react the way they do.  Here are some ideas to help get you started:
  • Let your baby bang on a closed door.  Open the door slightly.  Encourage him to push open a door.  Does he realize that by pushing the door open he can now see new things?  What is his reaction when you walk through the door to the other side?
  • What happens when your baby pushes the buttons on the telephone?  Dial grandma's phone number.  How does your baby react to the voice he hears?  Does he listen intently or desire to stare at the phone instead?
  • Help your baby push a ball away from him.  How does he react to the ball rolling farther away?  Does he try to get it?  Does he watch to see where it goes?
  • Encourage him to give you a high-five.  Repeat it many times then ask him to give you a high-five.  Is he able to retain and perform the high-five action?
  • Let him bang on the piano keys.  How does he react to the outcome of his action?
  • Build a tall tower within your baby's reach.  Does he push the tower over?  If so, did he realize that by touching the tower he made it fall down?  Did he seem more intrigued by the tower as a whole or the individual blocks that fell?
  • Position yourself near a doorbell with the door open.  Help him ring a doorbell.  Does he react to the sound that follows?
  • Help your baby push the light button in the refrigerator to see what happens.  Does he seem to notice that the objects inside are hardly visible when the light is out?  Place a toy within his reach on a shelf.  You push the button this time and encourage him to try to get it when the light is dimmed.  Does he react to the difference in light and/or temperature?


  From a Parent's Perspective
           After performing these pushing activities, I feel very proud of my little peanut.  She loved banging on the door, pushing the refrigerator light (which I had to help her with), dialing the phone to hear grandma's voice on the other end, and playing the piano, but our ah-ha moment was when she realized that she could actually push the door closed and pull it open again all by herself.  She combined both the skills of pushing and pulling in just a few minutes of teaching her how to push.  While we stood in front of the pantry door with her on my hip, I leaned her hand into the door.  After a few times, she straightened her arm and began to push herself.  Then standing by the edge of the door I helped her catch the door after she pushed it, then together we pulled the door back open.  Then she began doing the same thing on her own.  I was amazed at how quickly she was able to not only pick up on pushing/pulling, but that she was able to mimic my actions so well.  I am awestruck by how babies are able to pick up complex tasks so quickly!


  Are Diaper Changes Turning into Wrestling Matches?
           Stopping a child from moving after he has found his mobility and momentum is a difficult task to accomplish.  At this stage of development, your baby probably spends very little time on his back.  His belly is mostly facing the floor as he cruises the house, his hands are constantly grabbing hard surfaces as he pulls himself into a steady position, and he is probably even sleeping on his belly by now.  With all of these things considered, a typical diaper change probably offers him very little.  As an infant, he was changed on his back since most of his awake hours were spent looking up at the world around him.  Now that he is mobile, he might do better with a more upright or belly down diapering approach to mimic how he now interacts with his world.  The following ideas might be worth trying to help you avoid getting caught in a "sticky" situation.  If he is giving you fits when you change him, it very well could be the diaper changing position he is in, not necessarily the changing process itself.  Try to distract him with a special toy or object to keep him from moving out from under you, change him as he lies on his stomach, or change him standing up.

       The Belly Down Approach:  It may feel weird at first, but remember the very first diaper you ever changed?   It most likely felt a little odd, too.  This approach may even make clean up a little easier for you as well.  Holding his feet together and slightly upward will inhibit him from crawling out from under you while you are changing him.  Pressure through his arms while he plays with the "special" toy you've placed in front of him could be enough to keep his attention and give him a sense of security both helping to keep him still.

       The Standing Up Approach: This approach lends itself nicely to toilet training even at this early age.  Consider changing his diaper in the bathroom so he knows what the routine will be every time.  Get everything you need ready prior to grabbing your little one for a diaper change.  Even go as far as strapping the diaper together, but leave one side undone.  Take your child to the bathroom.  Help him hold onto a stool, your shoulder, or other sturdy object.  Quickly take his diaper off and slide the other diaper up and latch.  This process may take just as long as a traditional diaper change, but if he enjoys being in an upright position this approach might be a winner.


The Ants Go Marching with Baby!
By Alicia Magee, edHelperBaby

           Babies at this age love songs and especially love songs that involve movement. Here is one childhood favorite that can be adapted to you baby:       

       The ants go marching one by one, (tap one finger up baby's tummy to the beat)

       hurrah, hurrah! (tickle under his/her chin)

       The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah (repeat above)

       The ants go marching one by one, (tap one finger up baby's tummy to the beat)

       The little one stops to suck his thumb (Gently rub baby's thumb across his lips)

       And they all go marching down to the ground (tickle down baby's tummy)

       To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! (clap with each boom)       

       As you add other verses (The ants go marching two by two and three by three), you can make up other movements. Many favorite childhood tunes can be adapted to include clapping, tickling, tapping and waving. Be creative with your baby-they will not know if you know the words and movements perfectly, but they will enjoy and remember that you sang to them when they were little!       

This Month's "Helpful Hints"
By Jami Fowler-White, edHelperBaby

           Be careful of the things that you do and say around your child. He or she will begin to imitate what they see you do. Make sure that you are being a good role model for your child. Do not be surprised if your child begins to be clingy. Your child is now realizing that you can move faster than they can move and he or she does not like to be separated from you. It is imperative that you understand that this is an important stage in your child's growth. Research has proven that children who do not go through this stage learn not to rely on their parents and this continues throughout their lives.

       Your child needs lots of comfort and assistance from you this month. He or she will realize that they cannot do all of the things that they try this month. Here are a few tips that you can use to help your child this month:
  • Do not be surprised if your child goes back to crawling this month. He or she might realize that they are not ready to stand and still need to be closer to the ground for support.
  • Your child might begin to reach for their genitals between diaper changes. Do not freak out! Your child just thinks of these areas as new play toys.
  • Your child will probably slim down during this month. Since they are crawling around more, their body is developing more muscle. It is not necessary to feed your child more food this month. Just because they are losing weight does not mean that they are not healthy.
  • Take your baby's favorite toy. Place it out of their reach. Watch him as he crawls, rolls and creeps up over to it.
  • Give your child two things. One should be a toy and the other could be a spoon. Place one item in each hand. Watch as your child figures out how to move both items at the same time.
  • Buy blocks of different sizes. This will help your child to learn that the same things can come in a variety of sizes.
  • Talk about your child and include him in conversations. This will help him to feel like he belongs and is important.
  • Begin to allow your child to feed himself. Give him things such as dry cereal, crackers, diced carrots and soft toast. Feedings will take longer but it is important that your child is able to explore and learn the joys of eating.


Flying with Our Six Month Old
By Alicia Magee, About my child Keenan

           We recently took Keenan on a three hour flight. He had flown a few times before he was four months old and those flights were actually quite easy as he slept the majority of the flight and nursed if he became fussy. As he has passed the six month mark, however, he has become much more aware and wants to move more. We planned for the flight by filling a bag with a few new toys that we pulled out, one at a time, when he became bored. We also brought some small teething crackers that he could chew on. And finally, about halfway through the trip, I nursed him to sleep and my husband and I could both relax a bit before the landing.

The Wonders of Motherhood
By Jami Fowler-White, About my child DeVon

           DeVon has had a lot of changes this month. First of all, he began to talk. His first word was "bye." Shocking, I know. I did not expect for him to talk this soon either. Of course, I wanted him to say, "Mama," first, but I guess since it was his second word it is just as good. Next, he got his first two teeth at the same time. They came in at the bottom in the center of his mouth. He also began to drink milk from a sippy cup. The last new thing this month is my favorite. He began to give hugs this month. There is no greater joy than getting a hug from your child each morning.       


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