Saturday, January 24, 2009
I know you!
Even though your baby has been able to recognize you since he was just a few days old, he may now be able to show it. About half of babies this age begin to exhibit an obvious recognition of their parents.
Most likely he'll still smile at strangers, especially when they look him straight in the eye and coo or talk to him. But he's beginning to sort out who's who in his life, and he definitely prefers you, your partner, and a select few over others.
Your baby may quiet down and make eye contact with you, or he may search for you in a room and move his arms in excitement or smile when he finds you. He may even find your scent calming and comforting.
A big spurt is happening in your baby's brain development that coincides with significant behavioral changes. Your baby is more attuned to the outside world and more sensitive to changes in his environment.
The part of the brain that governs hand-eye coordination and allows a baby to recognize objects is developing rapidly now. His hearing, language, and smell have also become more receptive and active. When your baby hears your voice these days, he may even look directly at you and start gurgling or trying to talk back.
Early language development
Research shows that babies whose parents speak to them extensively have significantly higher IQs and bigger vocabularies when they get older than other children, so interaction is especially important right now. Set a solid foundation by exposing your baby to a variety of words.
Talk about your surroundings when you take him for a walk, and point to and identify objects as you roam the grocery store aisles. Your baby can't repeat these words yet, but he's storing all the information in his rapidly developing memory.
If your home is bilingual, your baby will benefit from hearing both languages spoken regularly. Don't worry if some of his verbal skills seem to lag a bit at first. He'll not only catch up later, but he may also excel in his general language skills.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Before Mommy had you, she was a cry baby in every sense of the word. She would cry over small stuff and would cry harder when things get tougher. But that does not mean that she's weak, that's just how Mommy expresses her emotions when she's sad, frustrated or disappointed. Once the tears ebb down, the worries go with it. Then Mommy's all better. Nevertheless, people around Mommy especially Daddy, GrandMa and GrandPa does not like it when Mommy cries. So Mommy vowed to control the tears when Mommy was already carrying you. Guess what, you did help Mommy on this mission. From the moment you were born till about a month ago, she's finally mastered the art of crying.
But it seems all that was temporary. When Wednesday's news sunk in, the tears came back. You know why? Because Mommy kept thinking of you. Of how small and young you are yet. You do not deserve to be deprived of her love and attention just yet. Mommy did not cry when she received the news but she cries when her thoughts are flooded by you.
Mommy is now praying for strenght to fight this fight so she can spend a longer time with you. When Mommy's all better, she will take an advocacy to help others just like her. And she will do it with you. Because you are her inspiration for taking on this fight.
Mommy vows to be around to witness many of your firsts. I love you very very much baby. You are Mommy's world.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Your little one first discovered her hands a couple of weeks back, and now she's downright fascinated with them. Watch as she examines them, puts them in her mouth, and tries to suck on them.
Don't worry if your baby becomes a bit obsessed with her newly discovered digits: This form of self-comfort can be very soothing for your baby — and can possibly give you a little break, too.
This week, when you go to pick up your baby, she may be able to lift her head and hold it up for several moments, or even longer, while lying on her back. When sitting with support, she should be able to hold her head steady and erect.
When she's on her stomach, you might see her lifting her head and chest to about 45 degrees as if she were doing mini-pushups. You can offer encouragement by sitting in front of her and dangling a toy.
For a fun game that also develops her neck muscles, place your baby on her back and slowly pull her up by her hands to a sitting position. Slowly ease her back down, and repeat. She should be able to hold her head in line with the rest of her body as it's pulled up.
Your baby may be ready for a jogging stroller at 4 months, but stick to smooth pavement for now. Running trails will be too bouncy for her at this point, unless she can hold her head up well and is able to sit up. When her head is steady, she may be ready for a backpack with good support and a headrest.
Reading to your baby, even at this young age, will pay off. Hearing you read helps your baby develop an ear for the cadence of language. Varying the pitch of your voice, using accents, and singing will make the connection between you and your baby that much more interesting.
If she looks the other way or loses interest while you're reading, just try something else or give her time to rest. Take your cue from her responses.
You'll find plenty of good books to read to your baby — such as Goodnight Moon, Good Night Gorilla, and The Big Red Barn. Choose board books that have large, bright pictures and simple text — or even wordless books that have pictures for you to narrate. At this point you needn't be slavish to age guidelines. Books designed for older children can captivate a baby if they have clear, crisp images and bright colors.
You can even read out loud to your child from something written for adult ears — try reading from the newspaper, your favorite novel, or a magazine. Whether it's Shakespeare or the latest bestseller, if you enjoy reading it, your baby will like hearing the rhythms of your voice.
Favorite activity this week would be:
Skills developed: gross motor coordination
What you'll need: a fairly large blanket
On a warm day, take your baby to the park or out into your backyard and spread a blanket on a patch of grass or soft ground (or simply do this in your home). Take off as many layers of clothing as weather permits, as babies seem to feel freer to move around when they find themselves in the buff. If you have some cloth diapers, you might even spread those under her and let her go diaperless for a few minutes. Lay your baby on her stomach or back, and help her roll over (or let her roll herself over if she's already capable of it)., with a little gentle support on your part if necessary. Then roll her over again yourself, so she's back in the same position. Continue in one direction until she reaches the edge of the blanket — to give her a sense of getting somewhere — then lift her back to the center again. Keep doing this as long as your baby enjoys it. Babies delight in new perspectives, so if she seems to savor a certain position (lying on her back and looking up at the scudding clouds, for example), lie down next to her and check it out together.