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Infant - Week #33

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Crawling Activities and Defining Your Parenting Style

By Mary Perrin, edHelperBaby

  Your Baby's Development
           At nearly eight months your baby is beginning to explore her environment using a new set of motions.  These new motions are a direct result of her rapidly developing thought processes.   During her infancy stages, flinching, kicking, and waving were mostly done involuntarily, but quickly her mind has developed to understand basic cause and effect relationships, and she now has the ability to make her body react accordingly.  You may notice that your child is able to perform many of the following tasks at this stage of development.
  • Crawls
  • Sits upright from a lying or crawling position
  • Uses hands to grip and pull up on objects (although probably hasn't figured out how to successfully get down)
  • Feeds himself/herself using fingers and can hold a spoon in one hand
  • Begins to use a sippy and/or straw cup
  • Turns pages of a book
  • Looks for something after it has been dropped and tries to obtain it when possible
  • Waves and claps hands
  • Reacts to music by dancing and clapping
  • Responds to and anticipates repetitive play (peek-a-boo)
  • Recognizes when the primary caregiver walks out of sight and responds accordingly
  • Is increasingly more inquisitive and playful with toys by turning them upside down, shaking, etc.
  • Maintains focus on something very specific like a necklace or a small feature on a toy


  Crawling Activities
           The following activities are designed to help your baby master the art of crawling.  Your baby will learn how to maneuver her body so that she gets to an object that is not within her immediate reach.

       Turn Baby Turn: Place your baby into a crawling position on the floor facing you.  Back up slightly and encourage her to crawl toward you.  Once she begins crawling, quickly place a toy three to four feet directly to her right.  Is she interested in obtaining it?  Does she make a ninety-degree turn and crawl to the toy?  As you continue to repeat this activity, does she begin to anticipate turning and going to the right?  What happens when you switch it up and place the toy on her left?  What does she do when you place a toy three to four feet behind her?

       Play, Seek, and Acquire:  Place a small footstool or turn a basket upside down on one side of the room.  Set the stage of interest by reading a book or playing with a toy together on the opposite side of the room.  Then after engaging your child with the object, walk over and place the book or toy on top of the footstool or basket.  Encourage her to come get it.  Does she seem interested?  If not, would a different toy catch and hold her attention better?  If so, does she crawl toward the stool in an attempt to obtain it?  Does she attempt to pull herself up onto her knees or into a standing position? Sit with your child and support her as she tries to pull herself up, make sure the stool doesn't give way, and praise her for her accomplishment.  What does she do once she gets the book or toy?  Can she figure out how to get back down?

       Cruising Different Surfaces:  Encourage your baby to crawl on a variety of surfaces like carpet, hardwood, ceramic tile, grass, soft fuzzy blanket, a vinyl table cloth, etc.  Which one does she seem to like the best?  On which surface is it easiest for her to gain traction?   What happens when you encourage her to move from one surface to another?  Is she reluctant or does she move seamlessly without hesitation?


  From a Parent's Perspective
           My daughter has her joy back!  From the moment she was born she has been a very content and joyful baby, but then at about seven months she began to get frustrated with herself.  She knew that her body was able to do more than she could get it to do.  She would lie on her belly and kick her arms and legs, which frequently led to tears.  She couldn't figure out how to make her arms and legs work together to get where she wanted to go.  What a joyous day it was when she began to crawl.  As we often did when we tried to encourage her to crawl, the entire family gathered in great anticipation hoping for "the moment."  No one wanted to miss it, and as excited as we were to see her crawl for the first time, she was as excited to have done it!  She let out a high pitched squeal and smiled bright enough to show off both her adorable dimples.  If your baby isn't crawling yet, have the camera ready.  If your baby is off and crawling, then take a few minutes and write down your baby's story.  You surely are not going to want to forget it!

       It took Reagan about two weeks to move herself from the family room carpet to the kitchen tile.  She would crawl up to it, bang on it, lay her head on it, and put her toys on it, but she refused to crawl on it.  She finally decided that getting to me in the kitchen was worth her effort and took the plunge...literally.  The first time she decided to venture out onto it, her hand came out from underneath her and caused her face to involuntarily kiss the floor.  I wanted her to know that the tile was not something to be scared of, so I coddled her right there on the tile instead of sweeping her up into my arms like I really wanted to.  I wondered how she would react in the future, but she pressed on.  She is now a tile cruiser.  We keep the basement and back door closed at all times, the floors swept, and the staircase gated.  She loves her newfound freedom and finds all kinds of things to investigate!


  Parenting 411
           No two people are alike; therefore, every baby is different!  Get together with a group of new or experienced mothers and they will inevitably chatter in circles about when their babies started crawling, walking, talking, eating solid foods, sleeping through the night, etc.  Since you are currently going down that developmental road, you might find it easy to become vulnerable to each person's experiences or ideas.  Questions will pile up and you might begin to feel inadequate as a parent.  "Should I not be allowing my child to _______?  Should I ask my doctor about _______?  Am I over/under feeding my child?  Am I spoiling my child?  I know my doctor said my child is developing within the normal limits, but should I consider getting a second opinion?"  Remember, it is important to be open minded and look for new ideas to improve upon parenting, and reflection is an important component to good parenting; but you must be realistic and keep in mind that if you listened and attempted to implement every single piece of advice bestowed upon you, your good intentions might possibly backfire and create a sense of insecurity in your child.  Your child will begin to anticipate and feed upon your inconsistencies.  Be as confident in your parenting as others appear to be in theirs.  No one is a perfect parent.  Find your technique, stay the course, and make changes when your boat has sprung a leak, not when others have made waves by rocking your vessel.

       Do you know groups of parents who have completely different parenting philosophies?  They may be great parents but perform their roles radically different from one another.  Define your family's philosophy and be confident in your style.  What might work for one family might not work for another.  If you are new parents, consider sitting down with your partner and discussing how you foresee your role as parents unfolding.  Here are ten discussion topics to help get you started.  If you have older children, use the following list as a springboard to discuss and reflect on what works and what needs to be improved upon.  Think about your childhood pet peeves and use those as discussion topics for how you anticipate handling situations with your own children. After all, the childhood experiences people have directly impact the type of parents they become.  What type of parent(s) are you?
  • How do you provide for your child's emotional needs?
  • How do you provide for your child's social needs?
  • Who is permitted to care for your child?
  • How will you discipline?
  • What plans do you have for caring for your child when he/she is sick?
  • How big of a role will television, music, and other electronics play in your child's development?
  • How will exercise and proper nutrition be a fundamental part of your child's development?
  • What long-term expectations do you have for your child?
  • When and how will you teach your child how to read?
  • How will you create a rich but safe environment for your child to learn and explore?


Harvest Goodness! Baby Foods for the Season
By Alicia Magee, edHelperBaby

           As your baby grows and his or her eating abilities and tastes expand, you can help your baby learn to love fruits and vegetables of the season and your local region. Seasonal produce, especially from a farmers market or local producers, can be a healthy and cost effective way to offer baby a variety of wonderful tastes and healthy meals.

       Most produce can be offered fresh to baby or steamed, baked or boiled and frozen in individual servings (ice cube trays are great for this), then stored in plastic bags or containers in the freezer. Berries, apples, peaches, potatoes, zucchinis and pumpkins are just a few of the wonderful options to offer fresh to baby or to save. As always, if you have questions about your baby's readiness for a particular food, check with his or her doctor.

       Here is a wonderful recipe for peaches for baby which came from www.wholesomebabyfood.com:

       Peaches & Tapioca

       (8 months+ with Yogurt and 6 months+ without)

       1/2 Cup Water

       1/3 Cup Quick-cooking Tapioca

       1 Peeled & pitted Peach

       1/2 Cup Vanilla Yogurt

       Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Gradually add tapioca, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low & cook 5 minutes, continuing to stir constantly. Separately puree the peach & add to the mixture. Blend tapioca with yogurt & peach.       


Watch Out! Baby Can Crawl!
By Alicia Magee, About my child Keenan

           Keenan began to crawl in earnest this week. He can make it across the room in about twenty seconds. We had put off ‘baby-proofing' the house up until now, but as I look around, the dangers are quite apparent! Cords, small objects, unsecured book shelves, low cupboards and drawer means we are definitely onto the next stage of parenting. We have begun to look into the safety devices on the market, but more importantly, we are trying to look at all the rooms in our house from his level by getting on our hands and knees to see what things we can simply make safe by removing, emptying and picking up. As I searched for advice on ‘baby-proofing', I did come across one really good piece of advice that said, "Nothing is baby-proof, only baby-resistant" which I think is really important to remember!


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