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Infant - Week #43

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A 43-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Everything Goes In!
           This is the age of discovery for your child.  She has developed mobility and is anxious to discover the world around her.  Unfortunately, one of her modes of discovery is oral, which means she finds it, she looks at it, and she jams it in her mouth.  Unfortunately, she finds everything, and much of the time it isn't safe or appropriate for her to be "eating her discoveries"!  Make sure that you do daily checks of your child's play area or any floors that she will be exploring.  A great way is to get down on all fours and crawl around; you might see things at this level that you didn't see from above.


  Play Dates Already?
           It seems too early to be thinking about play dates for your baby, but it really isn't.  Of course, it isn't going to look like a traditional play date where the kids interact with each other and truly play, but it'll be a play date nonetheless.  Through these play dates you are teaching her to interact with other kids, how to share, what's appropriate, and what's not.  Your baby may also learn some new tricks from her playmates...depending on what shes learns, this could be good or bad!


  Learn One, Forget One!
           Does it seem like you work so hard to teach your baby something new, like a finger play or a mimic, only to have her forget it the second she learns something new?  She may have mastered waving bye-bye, but the second you teach her peek-a-boo, bye-bye goes out the window.  Now every time you tell her to wave bye-bye, she does peek-a-boo at you.  As adorable as it is, it's also a bit frustrating.  Keep in mind that your baby is trying to please you, and her newest "trick" is what's foremost in her mind.  As soon as she hears that tone in your voice that is asking her to "perform," she goes to what is freshest.  Don't fret. She hasn't lost those old skills completely; they are just buried under her new ones.  Keep on teaching the new ones and enjoy every success. They are priceless!


  Setting Boundaries!
           It seems too soon to discipline your baby but certain boundaries need to be set.  It is NOT okay to pull the cat's tail or play in the toilet.  To get this point across to your baby you need to take her hand, look in her eyes, and seriously and firmly tell her "No!"  Do this every time and she might get the picture, but...she might not.  It might become a game to her where she flees to the cat every time she wants your attention and giggles at you when you say "No!"  Keep a straight face and be consistent. She's adorable but don't let HER manipulate YOU!


  I Got Up, Now What?
           So you think you are past sleep issues, huh?  Not so much.  Now that your baby is capable of standing up on her own, this might open up a whole new problem.  Once she gets up, she may not know how to get down.  If she can't lie down, chances of her falling asleep are slim to none.  When this happens, let her cry for a few minutes, go in, and lay her down.  If it's at all possible, avoid eye contact or any kind of verbal interaction.  Doing so lets her know that this is business and you aren't going to come in every time she cries.  Hang in there; a few weeks of this and she'll figure it out!


  Do Try This At Home - Developing Sensitivities
           Typically, when we think about ways to engage our babies and further their development, we focus on physical and cognitive milestones that are easily measurable.  Often overlooked are some ever important emotional skills.  Your baby is capable of sympathy and empathy and loving and cuddling and this needs to be encouraged.  Of course, we all snuggle our babies and love them and usually get loved right back. Now encourage your baby to love something else.  Get out those stuffed animals and baby dolls and show your baby how to snuggle them or hug them or feed them.  Don't be surprised if before long this new toy becomes one of your baby's favorites.  Boys and girls alike can play with dolls or animals and learn how to be kind and loving to them.  Not only will this help her if a sibling were to arrive but it helps her behave appropriately on play dates and simply to learn how to treat others.  Keep your camera handy because there is nothing sweeter than YOUR baby snuggling her baby!


  Playing "Babies" With Max!
           There really isn't anything sweeter than seeing your child be kind to another child.  No matter how old he is, it just melts your heart to know that you did something right and your child is on the way to being a caring person.  For this reason I was anxious to get out the babies and spend some one on one time with Max playing with them and simply loving them.  First issue...where to find the babies?  In a house with a three- and a four-year-old girl, this didn't pose a problem for me; we have babies everywhere!  I chose one that no one else is really attached to so that it could become "Max's baby."  My baby of choice was little and easy for Max to hold and to appease my husband had a blue outfit on.  When everyone else was otherwise occupied, I got out this special little baby, who we now refer to as "baby."  I also got out a bigger doll for me to hold and a few little props like a burp cloth, a toy baby bottle, and a receiving blanket.  I sat Max up on the floor with his baby between his legs and ignored him as I cared for my baby.  I talked to her and snuggled her and covered her with the burp cloth and then put her down.  Max was definitely interested in what I was doing but didn't really know what to make of it.  Then I handed Max his baby and he just held his for a minute and then started hitting the baby's head.  I talked him through being gentle and took his hand in mine and showed him how to touch the baby nicely, and I helped him hug the baby.  I could sense that Max had had about enough of this baby business, so I covered my baby with the receiving blanket and waved bye-bye to the baby, and then we did the same with Max's baby and the burp cloth.  We did the same thing a few times for a week, and while I can't say that he is Mr. Mom quite yet, he does recognize his baby and gravitate towards it.  I haven't seen him hug or kiss or snuggle the baby yet, but his time will come!  This is definitely a fun "play date" to have with your baby, and in the long run you are teaching such an important lesson.  Boy or girl, doll or stuffed animal, DO try this at home!


  That's Questionable
           Q - What are some favorite toys for a 43-week-old?       

       At my house, Max's favorite toys are anything that he can't have, like the blinds or the outlets.  He's also partial to anything that the older kids are playing with.  Go figure!  He really does like things that roll - cars, those old school poppers that you push and the balls pop (he's not walking and pushing them, just playing with them on the floor), trains, and trucks, too.  He's also recently a big fan of toys that go together.--things like smooshy balls that go in tubes or blocks that go in wagons.  One of his all time favorites though is pots and pans and spoons and dog bowls.  If I give him a few spatulas and some Tupperware, he will play and play and play.  For his first birthday I plan to hit the dollar store and buy some of these items of his very own!  What fun he will have and the price is right, too!


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