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Infant - Week #40

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Multi-tasking and Grocery Shopping

By Mary Perrin, edHelperBaby

  Your Baby's Development
           Tugga, tug, tug!  Your baby loves your attention.  He does not understand the idea that you may be trying to get dinner started, spending one-on-one time with another child, having an important phone conversation, etc.  All he knows is that he wants you.  He shows no patience as he does not understand the meaning of the words "just a minute" or "hold on one second."  Instead, he is persistent.  He tugs on your clothes to get your attention.  At this stage of development your baby may also show signs of jealousy if you pick up or pay attention to another child.  You may find that you make dinner with your little one on your hip and/or hold him on your lap as you play a game with his sibling.  All-in-all, he mostly just wants to feel involved in whatever you are involved with.  Below are some creative ways to encourage your baby's development, satisfy your baby's desire for constant interaction, and involve him in what you are doing.
  • Dinnertime dilemmas - Your baby is crawling around your feet as if to beg you to pick him up so he can see what you are doing.  What can you do?  Place your baby's highchair in a safe place near you in the kitchen.  Give him wooden spoons and a small pot to bang on.  If dinner will not be ready for a few hours, consider giving him a snack while you make dinner to hold him over.  The aroma of what you are preparing might confuse him into thinking it is dinnertime.
  • Game time grovels - You are playing a game with another child and your baby begs for your attention.  What can you do?  Obtain another game board, a deck of "these can be destroyed" playing cards, and a handful of Little People.  Position yourself as a barrier between you and your two children.  Play with your older child and between turns rotate over to play your baby's "game."
  • Conversation breakers - The phone rings, and it is a call you absolutely cannot ignore.  Your baby is crying and demands your attention.  What can you do?  If you know the phone conversation will only last a few moments, consider placing your baby in his play yard, crib, or another extremely safe baby-friendly place.  Take the phone to a quiet place and make the conversation as short as possible!  If you know the phone conversation will take longer, then it's best to answer the phone, explain the situation, and call the person back when the time is right.  Talking on the phone when your baby is unhappy is not a pleasant experience for you, your baby, or the person on the other end.


  Understanding Simple Tasks
           Create a baby obstacle course!  Take your baby to your breakfast nook or dining room.  Pull the chairs straight out from the table so that the two legs closest to the center of the table are directly below the edge of the table.  Place your baby at one end of the table and quickly move to the opposite end.  Get down on your hands and knees and encourage your baby to crawl through the legs of the table and chairs to reach you on the other side.  You may even try to place his favorite blanket or toy near you for added motivation.  Does he seem aware of the challenge?  How does he approach the situation?  Does he sit and ponder before acting, or does he immediately move in your direction?  If the obstacle poses very little challenge, place a few pillows here and there and see how he reacts to the new hurdles.  This activity will help your baby develop body awareness and problem solving skills as he figures out how to successfully get from one point to another.


  From A Parent's Perspective
           Reagan and I made our way to the dining room table for this activity where the carpet would be kind to her little knees.  I swiftly positioned myself on the opposite side of the table and in less than two minutes she had made her way to me.  Then I grabbed a handful of toys.  I placed some under chairs (which she did not crawl under as she initially made her way across), I hid some around the pedestals of the table, and I put one up on the seat of a chair.  She obtained the toys around the table legs but still refused to go under a chair.  At that point I considered a few things.  Either she is completely aware that her body must squeeze to crawl under the chair and she is not sure how to make herself do that or that claustrophobia may be a genetic trait carried on to her by no other than myself.  Her brother and sister ran into the room to see why I was being such a Reagan cheerleader.  They joined in on the fun, too.  After the novelty of the obstacle course wore off, I placed a large blanket over the top of the table and allowed it to flow over the edges of the table.  We played games, used flashlights, and read stories in our new hideout.  This activity led into an enjoyable evening for the entire family.  Even Dad scrunched in and joined in on the fun.  We never knew that our table that seats eight would fit one dad, one mom, three children, and two pedestal legs beneath it!


  Look Guys, One Hand!
           Babies learn how to bring their hands together in earlier stages of development, but it isn't until now that they really begin to use large muscle groups to help steady their bodies so that they are able to perform a different task with each hand.  Below is a list of developmental milestones that your baby will be able to master shortly, if he hasn't already.  These simple tasks can aid you in determining whether or not your baby has developed the skills to be able to do two things at once.  After reviewing the list, consider other ways your baby is able to manipulate his hands and body in an effort to accomplish his mission.  Just think.  Right now he is holding onto a table with one hand.  In about five years it may be his bicycle or scooter!
  • Uses his arms to prop himself up while on his knees and reaching for an object
  • Grips onto a sturdy piece of furniture with one and attempts to reach down to the floor with the other to reach a toy (You will notice him squatting as he does this, again working large muscle groups.)
  • Reaches down to the floor in an attempt to help break his fall when trying to go from a standing into a sitting position
  • Holds bottle with one hand and reaches for your face with the other hand
  • Bangs spoon on highchair tray with one hand while shoving a fist full of food into his mouth with the other


  Out And About With Baby
           While grocery shopping with your baby in tow, you are undoubtedly distracted by other shoppers, your grocery lists, and satisfying the needs of your baby.  Shopping with children is definitely a job for someone who has the ability to multitask.  The following is a list of ideas that may help you and your baby get through the grocery store with a little less hassle.
  1. Park your car near a cart corral to make it easier on yourself when loading and unloading baby and groceries.
  2. Take full advantage of the cart cleaning wipes provided just inside most grocery stores.  Wipe the handles of the cart down to help eliminate germs and bacteria from the previous user.  To ease your worries about the "unknown" cart goobers, consider purchasing a grocery cart cover. You can find them at baby stores and even local supercenters.
  3. Try not to feed your baby as you shop.  A drink is probably okay, but food that needs to be handled by your hands and your baby's is probably not wise, especially if you will be shopping in the meat department at one point or another.
  4. Make sure your baby is securely fastened into the cart.  Your eyes will be focused on products and crazy cart drivers.  You don't want your baby dangling from the cart as he attempts to grab something in the cart behind him.
  5. Grocery store - cart mat, sanitary wipes, fasten in, refrain from touching food and then touching baby without wiping hands clean
  6. Do not feel bad about simply waving or expressing that you are in somewhat of a hurry if you see a neighbor or a colleague.  After all, is grocery shopping with a child ever a leisure activity?
  7. Take turns with your partner.  Switch on and off with who does the grocery shopping and whether or not baby goes shopping or stays home with his other parent.


  How YOUR Life Is Changing
           These money saving tips and tricks will help you lower your grocery bill.  It is a known fact that diapers, formula, wet wipes, baby food, etc., can lead to quite a hefty grocery bill.  There are certain milestones your baby will reach that will enable him to no longer require such pricey items.  For example, he will no longer need prepackaged containers of baby food when he begins eating regular adult-type foods.  His progression to whole milk will eliminate the need for expensive baby formula.  Then of course, you can do away with diapers when he graduates with honors from potty training 101.  But, in the meantime, keep these ideas in the forefront of your mind if your pocketbook is burdened with these high priced necessities.

       Tips and Tricks
  • If you haven't already, register your information online with whichever formula company you use.  They will send you checks in the mail that can range from one to ten dollars off your next purchase of infant formula.
  • Ask friends to keep their eyes out for coupons and to send the coupons your way.
  • Shop at stores that will double the price of the manufacturer's coupons.
  • Look for coupons under the wrappers of your baby food.  Often you can even find diaper coupons tucked inside the diaper package.
  • Search the weekly ads to find the store with the best deals.  Consider your baby's shopping demeanor, then shop multiple stores if you and your baby can handle it.
  • Search online for coupons.  You can find printable coupons, and you can also find coupons that can be linked directly to loyalty cards.


‘Body Building’ for Baby!
By Alicia Magee, edHelperBaby

           As your child has been growing, you may have become familiar with the percentages for weight and height given by your doctor at each visit. The normal ranges of these percentages can vary widely and should always be viewed in relation to your individual child's growth and your doctor's opinion. It can be worrying, however, when your baby experiences a drop in their body weight percentage.

       Often babies around the age of nine to twelve months will begin to move quite a bit more as they crawl, stand and wobble. They may be so interested in their new found talents that they do not want to nurse or eat as often. This can lead to more night feedings as well as more night waking. Though common, if you are concerned about your child's growth, talk with your doctor.

       You can also try some the following helpful hints:
  • Nurse/offer bottle more frequently during the day. You may need to take baby to a quiet, dim spot, away from distractions to keep his or her attention on eating.
  • Offer food more frequently during the day. Babies and toddlers tend to be ‘grazers', preferring to eat smaller amounts more often throughout the day.
  • Make meals count. Choose healthy food options that are high in vitamins, minerals and good fats. These bites will offer more to children than unhealthy snacks.
  • Limit juices and fruit drinks to less than 4 ounces daily. These offer very little nutrition to babies and can fill them up.
  • Mix a food they love with a healthy, protein-rich food. Babies who love fruit can have pears mixed with avocado or applesauce mixed with cottage cheese.

       Keep in mind that your baby's overall health and happiness are the most important things to watch as they grow and develop, not simply percentages!       


When Mom's Sick...
By Alicia Magee, About my child Keenan

           We had our first colds of the season these past few weeks and though it was difficult to deal with a stuffy, unhappy baby, dealing with a sick mom was a big challenge as well! With dad at work all day and mom not feeling up for much, we found some things that helped us. We took frequent baths, brief walks out in the yard, changed locations/toys from room-to-room, and picked up each room in five minute bursts. These little activities helped keep mom rested and baby fairly happy until she felt better!


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