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Infant - Week #41

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A 41-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Sit Ups?
           Don't be surprised if you plop your baby down on her tummy only to find her sitting up moments later.  Her core muscles have developed to the point that she is capable of transitioning herself from a lying position to a sitting position.  This is not only adorable to watch but a major milestone and an accomplishment in itself!


  Comprehending Directions Already?
           Your baby is not only developing physically but mentally as well.  She is now capable of comprehending and following verbal cues and directions.  Encourage this by giving her plenty of opportunities to follow directions.  Encourage her to wave bye-bye as you are leaving the room and follow basic directions like "Come here!" and "Arms up!" at clothes changing time.  Just keep in mind that although she is more than capable of following directions and more than likely understands what you want from her, she won't always be in the mood to do so. Encourage it and praise it when she cooperates, but don't get frustrated if she doesn't; she simply may not be in the mood!


  A Balancing Act
           As aforementioned, your baby's core muscles are developing and her coordination is improving.  Her new trick is to balance while crawling.  She can now be in a crawling position and keep her balance with one hand on the floor and her other hand grasping an object or being off the ground.  Encourage this development by giving her toys that she is able to grasp in one hand while she plays on the floor.  Don't be discouraged if she falls from time to time. After all...practice makes perfect, and she'll learn from these falls!


           Is that really a word?   And is it possible already?  Yes and yes. It seems unlikely that your ten-month-old could be toddling or beginning to walk, but it is a very real possibility.  Walking is one of those milestones that happens to different kids at a wide range of ages beginning anywhere from nine months to fifteen months.  Be prepared for this stage by babyproofing a whole new level of things in your home.  Things that were "safe" because they were out of your baby's reach are safe no more and need to be reassessed.  Have fun with this new stage and get that video camera ready!


  Item Of The Week:  Push And Walk Toys
           There is a whole section at your local baby superstore devoted to "push and walk" toys or toys that encourage the development of walking by holding on to a toy that rolls or moves while standing up.  These toys strengthen your baby's core muscles and coordination while giving her the opportunity to walk while holding on to something at her own height.  You will find an array of these toys in all different shapes and sizes - think shopping carts, strollers, rolling toys that make noise, cars, golf carts...the possibilities are endless.  Keep in mind that as cool as these toys look and as much fun as they are, they all serve the same purpose and WILL clutter up your house.  So as much as you think your baby NEEDS a golf cart and a shopping cart and a car...for your own sanity do yourself a favor-- restrain yourself and limit yourself to one or two!


  Do Try This At Home - The First Step Game
           Time flies by so quickly and it seems nearly impossible that your baby could be close to walking, but it truly is a reality that is upon you.  Encourage this development by giving your baby ample opportunity to practice walking.  Play the first step game with your baby and help her strengthen her balance and coordination.  To play this game, sit on the floor with your spouse or another person capable of holding and balancing your baby.  Sit across from each other about two feet apart with your baby between you, and encourage your baby to "walk" back and forth between you.  Depending on where your baby is in this "walking" or standing stage, this could look very different for everyone at this point.  For some people, you are simply handing your baby back and forth and encouraging her to stand. For others, your baby might be balancing on her own and simply tipping or falling forward to the other person. For yet others, your baby may actually be taking steps back and forth and really walking between you and your spouse or partner.  Regardless of where your baby is at this point, you are encouraging the development of those core muscles and teaching your baby the motions of walking.  You are also spending invaluable time with your baby and making memories that will last you a lifetime.  This is one of those activities that you will never forget, especially when you hit pay dirt and your baby really does take her first steps.  Enjoy this activity and this time with your little one!


  Stepping With Max
           This game has always been one of my favorites to play with my kids.  With Max it is a bit bittersweet because he is my last "baby" and I can't believe that I am already thinking about him walking.  Nonetheless, it is fun and exciting to watch him struggle and get excited about walking all at the same time.  To play this game with Max, I busy the other kids with an activity and slip into the living room with my husband and Max so that he won't get knocked over while we try to get him to walk.  I've always had the most luck with this activity if we undress the baby down to the diaper.  Clothes seem to be a hindrance and make balancing even more difficult.  Max is at the point where he can pull himself up on furniture and slightly move around, but he is still pretty wobbly.  So for us, this activity looks like us helping Max to get his balance then letting him go and seeing how long he can stand before he tips forward into my husband's outstretched arms.  We do this back and forth so that both my husband and I can see all the emotions on his face as he goes back and forth between us.  It starts out with frustration, and you can almost see him thinking, "Why don't they just put me down and let me be!"  Then once he regains his balance and stands on his own, he has this kind of pleased and proud of himself look on his face  This passes quickly and is replaced with terror and fear as he begins to fall and then giggling and excitement as he is caught and tossed up in the air only to start all over again.  After a full week of playing this game for a few minutes every night, I wish I could report that he is taking steps, but I can't yet. Truthfully, I'm not ready for Max to walk yet and am more than okay with the prospect of lots of weeks of playing this game.  When he is ready to walk, he'll walk. In the meantime, we are spending quality time with him and encouraging this development as much as we can!  Do try this at home. It is a boatload of fun for all and the elatedness you'll feel when all your "hard" work pays off is priceless!


  That's Questionable
           Q - Do you give your baby snacks?       

       Absolutely!  Max stopped eating jarred baby foods at seven months and has been exclusively on table food since then. He does have snacks from time to time throughout the day.  Sometimes I give him snacks to keep him occupied while I prepare dinner or get something done in the kitchen.  Sometimes I give him snacks while we eat or to keep him happy while we feed the other kids.  Sometimes I simply give him snacks so that he can work on developing those ever important fine motor skills.  Picking up little objects and transferring them into his mouth is hard work, but it is a necessary skill and a very important developmental milestone.       

       Some of Max's favorite snacks are bits of string cheese, peeled and quartered grapes, oyster crackers, saltines, craisins, and Cheerios.  He's also a huge fan of cantaloupe and watermelon and little pieces of bread.  The go-to snack, though, that I don't ever leave home without is raisins.  I love raisins because they aren't messy, they don't go bad in the diaper bag, and although in reality I know that they contain sugar, I can trick myself into thinking that I am giving Max "fruit" all the time.  I must admit though...they do make for some interesting diapers!  Happy snacking!


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