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|Infant - Week #34|
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|Encouraging Your Child's Development|
After a long day's work, nothing is more desirable than plopping down on the couch to watch the nightly news, read a good book, or just plain rest. On the contrary, your child has taken a long afternoon nap and is raring to go. How do you balance your wishes with the needs of your child? In an ideal scenario, the two of you have played for countless hours during the day and her social needs were met at some point; therefore, the evening allows for her to play independently as you lay watching guilt-free from the couch. However, if your schedule does not allow for you to give your child 75-100% of your daily energy and create a perfect schedule (which is the majority of us), then even though you are tired, challenge yourself to get down on the floor and give your child your undivided attention, even if it is just for fifteen to thirty minutes. Many parents do take the easy way out by throwing a few toys down on the floor and allowing their child to explore solely on their own. She will shake the toys, chew on them, and look at them intently, but how well will she really be developing her intelligence if she only has her own experiences to draw from? Consider how much more she will absorb if you show her and talk to her about how her toys work, how to make-believe, and how to expand upon her prior experiences. Also, if you have multiple children, challenge yourself to give each one of them some of your undivided attention each and every day. You will be fostering better listeners, improved behavior, and a more intimate relationship with each child as you become more in tune with each one's uniqueness.|
Five "I'm Too Tired" Playtime Ideas
Sitting down on the floor and actively trying to figure out how your baby feels can be a very intriguing process. Other than the occasional giggle, babble, or squeal, your baby will rely on her non-verbal language as she interacts. Your job is to model verbal language. For starters, you can do this simply by providing clear and short explanations of playtime toys and talking about how things make her and/or you feel. Study her like the best book you've ever read. Does she particularly like or dislike something? What makes her switch from non-verbal to verbal language? At what point does she become uninterested? Use the following list to give you ideas on how to make the most of the time you have together, especially during those times when mustering up the energy seems impossible.
|From A Parent's Perspective|
The bottom line at our house is that Reagan wants to be in the thick of the action. With the hustle and bustle of a day's events, she typically is a trooper and goes along with the flow of things. If I need to run errands for two hours, she's a gem; if we visit family or friends for longer than we should have, she doesn't squawk; and if I am spending time with her brother doing homework, she is content playing with toys at my feet. Because she is the most content of the three children at this stage, she probably gets less attention than the ones who verbally demand it. Her passiveness is sweet and innocent; however, I want to be sure she receives the same opportunities as the other children even when I'm too tired to really want to provide it. I have a mental checklist that I go through at the end of each day. I try to keep it short so I don't get overwhelmed and/or too down over the ones I can't check off. But in a nutshell, I always ask myself if my children were given opportunities to play socially, independently, and did they have some one-on-one time with at least one of us parents that day. I go through this checklist as I clean up the kitchen from dinner, and if I can't check something off, I attempt to make it happen before bed time.|
One evening my husband and I were incredibly tired. It took all we had to make dinner and hold our heads up to eat it. Following dinner I took the older two kids out to the play set to burn off some energy. My husband sat on the floor and did four of the activities listed above. His innovativeness was inspiring, and Reagan loved crawling all over him. The older two kids have since made puppets which now belong in the coffee table drawer which is just a reach away from the couch when one of us must really take a break. My husband tries to convince me that it is good for our kids to see us resting because that, too, is modeling the importance of contentment and stillness.
|Contemplate Your Feelings|
You have a play date set up tomorrow morning at your friend's house. Your friend calls you to confirm your play date and nonchalantly brings up that her baby, Megan, who is just a few months older than yours, has a runny nose. In general, parents feel differently about the topic of illnesses. Some believe that being around other kids makes their child's immune system stronger and being around another child who just happens to have a runny nose is just par for the course. Others believe that what may seem like simple runny nose is something their child should avoid all together. Consider how you feel about the following questions. There is never a right or wrong answer. Ultimately, you must do what you feel is best for your child and what fits best with your family situation.|
|Your Child's Six Month Check-Up|
In order to see how your baby is developing, your pediatrician will check for the following things:|
Your child's doctor will also ask you questions about your baby's eating habits, sleeping habits, growth, behavior and mood. If you have questions, it will be helpful if you write them down ahead of time. You might also need to write down suggestions that the doctor gives you, so that you can remember them later.
|Everyone Loves a “Lovey”|
At this age, many babies may start to find comfort from a favorite object, often called a ‘lovey' or ‘security blanket', such as a stuffed toy or blanket. These comfort objects can be wonderful for soothing a baby as they fall asleep, when they are in the car seat or at any time when they are feeling stressed or unhappy. They can also be a wonderful help to others when comforting your baby, such as when a caregiver or grandparent is trying to soothe baby when mom or dad is away.|
If your baby does not yet have a ‘lovey', you can help them gain comfort from something other than mom or dad. This can be especially helpful when trying to help baby fall asleep alone or stay asleep longer!
This should help baby find comfort and soothing and help to provide a break for moms and dads, too!
|The Wonders of Motherhood . . .|
DeVon went in for his six month old check-up today. He has grown five and a half inches and gained now weighs nineteen pounds. He has almost tripled his birth weight. Wow! Unfortunately, I forgot that he would be getting shots today and came alone. When he saw the needle come out, he began to cry. The nurse and I struggled to hold his legs down. It is unbelievable how strong he is at such a young age. I did not think that he remembered the pain from his previous shots. Boy, was I wrong! I wish that I had known that he was having shots so that I could have brought a hot towel wrapped in foil to place on his leg after the shots were given. I now know that he has to have shots every three months and promise to be prepared. |
|Adventures in Baby Proofing|
As Keenan has become really mobile, our adventures in babyproofing have begun! Our pediatrician's two most important recommendations were:|
She said falls and choking were her two biggest reasons for child injuries. We have also found that Keenan LOVES anything with a cord,laptops especially. We have moved some furniture to cover certain outlets, purchased a cover for the power strip where the computer is and coiled and tucked away many cords. It has only been a few weeks since he has begun to crawl so I am sure he will show us many more things we need to creatively keep safe from him!
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|Note: All information on edHelperBaby is of a general nature for educational purposes only.|
For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.