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Infant - Week #47

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Week 47: Let's Pick Up!

By Meg Leonard, edHelperBaby

           Your 47-week-old is more vocal and mobile than ever before! He is babbling while playing or moving around the house. Listen for patterns in his babbling. You may find that your baby has a unique name for common items. Be sure to record this in a baby book, journal, or through the journaling section of edHelperBaby. You will want to remember these precious first words.

       Your 47-week-old probably enjoys filling and emptying containers with whatever he can find. As he is cruising around the furniture or exploring his environment, you may find him collecting objects that he puts in another location. You may find toys or other small objects in interesting places, such as a rattle in your shoe. He is building his fine motor skills by learning how to control his movements so that he can hold, manipulate, and drop items to his own liking.


Helping Around the House
           While it is too soon to expect your baby to take up a share of the housework, you can introduce her to the idea of helping. Explain what you are doing as you go about your daily chores. Let her watch you as you wash the dishes, fold the laundry, or pick up toys. You may want to try and engage her help in some tasks, such as picking up her toys. Let her see other family members doing their part to keep the house in order. Eventually, when she is old enough to have her own responsibilities, she will already be familiar with the idea of helping and be more willing to help out.


           While picking up your baby's toys, encourage him to help you. Take advantage of your baby's natural desire to put things in containers and have him help you put toys away. Use a large container, such as a toy box or bin. Guide his helping hands to put things in the correct containers, but don't expect too much from him. At this age, picking up is more of a game than an effort to help with household chores. Remember, babies also enjoy dumping the contents of a container back out. Don't be too disappointed if he helps you pick up all the toys from the floor and then promptly dumps the container over again!

       Continue to name items around the house. In addition, you may want to introduce your baby to words like "please" and "thank you" while you are cleaning. Use "please" when you ask him to do something, and then say "thank you" when he does. The foundations for good manners can be made early, even if it is too soon to expect him to use these words on a regular basis. After using the words "please" and "thank you" for a few days, see if your baby has any response to them. Does he smile when he hears either word? Does he pause or wait for either word?


Read All About Cleaning
    Book: Gator Cleans House by Mercer Mayer
       This adorable picture book features Mercer Mayer's Little Critters. In this story, Gator is cleaning his house when his friends stop by to see if he'd like to go swimming with them. Gator tells them that he can't because he's cleaning the house. His friends offer to help and trouble ensues. It's a cute book. While it doesn't teach much about cleaning, it has great illustrations and can be used as a vocabulary building book.


Real Life with Baby
           I asked Mary to help me pick up her books. We keep many of her board books in a wicker basket on a low shelf that she can easily pull down to look through whenever she wants to. Her books were thrown all over the floor. I started putting them back in the basket and asked her to come and help me. She watched for a minute, smiled, and then crawled over. We tend to cram a lot of books into a small basket, so it wasn't easy for her to put the books in the basket. Instead, she would pick up a book and place it on top of the other books. I would put it in order within the basket.

       I notice that Mary smiles when I say "please" or "thank you." I find myself saying "thank you" more often than "please," so this week I was making a conscious effort to increase the number of times I said "please" when I asked her to do something. I think she smiled because saying "please" and "thank you" tend to make you have a more pleasant sound to your voice. It's hard to say "please" or "thank you" while being crabby. Maybe the pleasant sounding voice was the key to making her smile, or maybe she recognized that they are words that show respect. Everyone likes to feel respected, even 47-week-old babies. In either case, she liked to hear "please" and "thank you." Mary isn't saying too many recognizable words yet, so I didn't expect to hear her imitating these words yet. That will have to wait for a few more weeks.

       Mary liked the bright colors of Gator Cleans House. I think she prefers photographs to illustrations at this age. She looked at the pictures with interest, but not with as much interest as she shows to her books with photos. We talked about what the Little Critters were doing on each page. It was a fun story for both of us to enjoy.


Managing Clutter
           One of the many surprising things about raising children is the amount of "stuff" that they help you acquire. It can be a challenge to manage all the baby equipment, as well as the things you had before your baby came into your life. Now is a great time to reorganize. After almost one year of parenting, you are in a routine. Evaluate your current organizational system. Does it still work for you? Could you make some improvements? Maybe you never had an organizational system before your baby, but would like to begin one to help manage your daily life. There are many books available at your public library or local bookstore on the subject. You can also ask friends or family members about things that work for them. An Internet search of "household organization" also brings up many websites with tips for making your life run more smoothly.


Organizing with Optimism
By Lindsey Hill, edHelperBaby

           If you are like many families with children, it can be challenging just to get everyone out the door when a schedule must be met. Therefore, give a few of these organizational tips a try for managing your "get out the door on a time schedule" kind of day:
  • Do as much as you can the night before: pack bags, sign papers, fill out forms, write the check, fill juice or milk cups, layout shoes and clothes, and clean up the kitchen and living room.
  • Keep the television off until everyone is completely ready to walk out the door. It can always be used as an incentive to get ready quickly.
  • Hang a sweater bag with at least five shelves in your child's closet for organizing the week's clothing, socks, shoes, and items needed for preschool.
  • Pin several clip magnets to the garage door and hang important information needed for your day's events to the door. You are sure to see it before you walk out.
  • Hang a key ring and coat hook by the garage door. Hang your purse, coat, sunglasses, and keys on the holder. Also consider a bungee-type bracelet for your keys to easily slide on your arm-out of your hands but with you when you need them.
  • Follow the same routine, in exact order, each morning and your kids will know what to expect next. You will find after a bit of time that you will have fewer arguments about getting ready.
  • Consider creating a poster with pictures and words indicating your child's tasks each morning and allow him to place a sticker or stamp next to each activity once finished.


Morning Must-Have
By Lindsey Hill, About my child Cory and Camden

           Mornings at our house are once again hectic now that I am back to work and the boys go to "school" by 7:30 each weekday. I spend enough time searching my own closet, the laundry basket, and drawers for something to wear that I refuse to spend the same amount of needless time finding my boys' clothes. Therefore, in order to smooth the morning routine just a bit, I hung a sweater bag with five pockets or shelves in each of the boy's closets. Each Sunday, I place socks, under clothes, t-shirts, and shorts/pants in each slot. Each morning, I simply grab their clothes and go!  We also put Cory's show-n-tell bag in his Thursday pocket which helps us remember to bring the bag with us.


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