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Infant - Week #38

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A 38-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

It's Okay To Say No!
           Disciplining your baby is never easy, and as the years fly by, it's only going to get harder, but the time to start has arrived.  Your baby has no way of knowing right from wrong or what's a hazard or a danger.  It's up to you to teach it to her, and the only way you can do that is to firmly tell her no if she is doing something harmful or inappropriate.  It is incredibly important to use a firm voice in a different tone than you usually use with your baby in situations like these.  Don't be surprised if your baby looks at you and her lower lip starts to quiver and she becomes upset. This is all new to her, but remind yourself it's for her safety and your sanity.


  Comprehending What You Say!
           It's amazing but true; your baby really comprehends much of what you say to her.  Yes...tone, inflection, and facial expressions play a large role in her understanding, but she is also beginning to understand the meaning of certain words.  Make sure that you talk to your child frequently and in as many different capacities as possible.  If there is a word that you are highlighting and really want her to understand, repeat it often and show encouragement when she appears to understand.


  More Conversing!
           Your baby loves being talked to and in the past month or so has really started babbling and "talking" up a storm.  Occasionally, you may hear something that sounds like a word, and likely it is, but more often than not it's still just babble....to you at least.  To her it's a real life important conversation. Make her feel even more important by acting as though you understand what she's saying and by being an active part of this "conversation"!


  Cool - It Moves!
           It's so exciting to see your baby really start to interact with toys these days.  For so many months you pulled out toy after expensive toy only to watch her jam it in her mouth.  The time has come where she is really beginning to "play" with toys.  At this age your baby loves toys that have moving parts like cars or wagons and pull toys.  Encourage this interest by providing your baby with these toys.  Always remember to check toys from time to time to make sure that none of these moving parts or pieces have come loose or broken off, possibly posing a hazard!


           It's so important to remember that all babies are complete and total individuals.  This is true in so many aspects: looks, personality, physical growth, motor skills, and all the other developmental areas.  It is so easy to get hung up on what other babies are doing and start comparing and contrasting them to your own.  This inevitably leads to worrying and headaches and concerns that are typically unfounded.  Try not to get sucked up in this game and enjoy your baby for what she is: an individual!


  Do Try This At Home - Stacking
           Your baby's fine and gross motor skills continue to develop on their own, but these skills can always benefit from a little encouragement.  Like anything else, practice makes perfect, and the more opportunities you provide your baby with, the quicker these skills will develop.  You've watched your baby pick up items and throw them around your house for the last few weeks. Why not show her how to set them down gently and even stack?  It's definitely early for mastery of these skills but never too early to put the idea in her head.  Pull out some big blocks and show your baby how to stack them, then give her some smaller ones and let her have at it.  She will most likely just bang them together and play with them, but the more she experiences something, the sooner she will try it on her own.  While you are playing with your baby, stack your blocks and help her stack hers.  Show her what happens when they tumble down and then do it all over again.  Repetition is key!


Stacking With Max
           Max is a huge observer in our house, and it amazes me how much he takes in.  The other day he had the remote control by his ear. It was probably just a fluke, but I like to believe he was mimicking holding a phone.  He is a definite people watcher, so to sit and play blocks with him was easy to do.  I gave him a few peek-a-blocks, which are fun little blocks filled with scenes. They are fun to look at, and they are the perfect size for little hands!  I got myself six big cushy blocks that were brightly colored and made of a vinyl-like material.  Max wouldn't have a chance of stacking these. They were too big for his fat little hands, but they got my point across, and when they toppled down and fell on him, it was safe and fun.  He had his blocks in his hands but was definitely watching me curiously as I built my tall, cushy tower.  As I built, I narrated what I was doing and encouraged myself as I went.  Max watched intently...then I knocked it down on him and he cracked up.  I did this a few more times with my big ones and then showed him how to do his little ones.  I wish I could say he got the stacking part, but he didn't, and I truly didn't expect him to.  He did get the knocking them down part and after a few times I couldn't even get them built high enough before he would catch up to where I moved to and knock it down.  The main purpose of stacking with Max was to put the idea in his head and give him the opportunity to experience manipulating these blocks.  In this case, my objective was met AND we had fun playing blocks together!  Do try this at home!


  That's Questionable
           Q - Do you "gate" your baby in?       

       Now that our babies are pretty much completely mobile, the question arises as to how to confine them.  Kind of funny, isn't it?  We wait and wait and urge and urge them to be able to crawl and move, and then we want to "lock them up"!  If only we'd been happy when they were stationary and left well enough alone.       

       There are lots of approaches to this newfound mobility.  Some people have the big gates that extend across major openings and keep their babies completely confined to a room.  Other people (the lucky ones) still get by with a pack and play. Some people just let their baby have freedom.  It all depends on your parenting style, your baby, and, in some cases, even the layout of your house.       

       In my case, Max is pretty much free to rove.  We live in a two-story house, and at this point he hasn't discovered the stairs to the upstairs, so he really isn't in any danger of falling down stairs.  I'd love to be able to gate him in a room and just keep the floor of that room totally babyproofed, but the layout doesn't allow it and my two-, three-, and four-year-olds would end up on the wrong side of the gate more than it would be worth.  So, in my world, Max is on the go and getting into everything.  I am incredibly careful to try to keep things off the floor that shouldn't be on the floor and have countless rules about what can be played with while Max is around.  It's definitely a case of what works for you, and for the time being beware; Max is on the loose!


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