Developmental journey with baby 0-1 month.
… so, a month ago, we launched into an exciting journey: watching a little adorable newborn grow, and help him develop his potential to the fullest extent! We found many interesting books, methods, ideas and here I continue the description of the ones we’ve tried and how it worked for us.
- Newborn – first month
- 1 month old miracle!
- 2 months old giraffe hunter
- Hang on there! Three months old hanging for 12 seconds!
What worked for us: 1 month old miracle!
Our adorable little miracle happily reached his first ever birthday: he is one month old! His smiles are melting our hearts and his sleeping patterns are livable (not really comfortable, but being the parents of a firstborn who didn’t sleep for the first year at all, we learned to appreciate the little sleep that we get). Somehow, both the parents, the baby and even his older brother survived and ready to try new adventures in the first month.
Materials that we are using
- “How Smart is Your Baby?” by Doman – see our book review.
- “What Babies Say Before They Can Talk : The Nine Signals Infants Use to Express Their Feelings” by Paul Holinger, Kalia Doner
- Newborn Baby Swimming
- Elimination Communication method
We still are in sleepless oblivion and still didn’t realize we should be rereading our copy of…
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley
What are we doing:
“How Smart is Your Baby” This evaluation repulsed me even more then the first one. Some parts were not so bad: like vital perception of outline – bringing the baby into the dark room and letting him follow the light of the penlight on the hand. But we skipped it again. After spending 9 months in the darkness of my womb, our baby had enough darkness. He wants to see the light! A lot of light, not just little penlight in the dark room! In other words, our baby is actually afraid of the dark, so no light experiments for us. Some parts of the evaluation sound quite bad: do you like how the air horn sounds? It doesn’t sound so good to me, and the idea of scaring the baby “to produce the vital sensation” – basically, to get him to cry, – is something that I can’t bring myself up to. In my favorite “How to talk to your baby before he can talk”, the author emphasizes how important it is to reduce the negative sensations and to maximize the positive. Blowing air horn until the baby learns to cry to its sound seems to be quite against this advice, so no horns for us, please. Same for the “vital crying”, “vital release” (pinching a baby while he is holding an object). We’ve heard our baby cry when he is afraid of something. It’s “vital” enough for us on its own – we are not doing ANYTHING to bring it in again. What are we doing? Believe it or not, I still find this book incredibly useful. It has a lot more then just torturing the baby with weird evaluations. Motor Opportunity. We are still enjoying the Balance Activities – all of them. There are just 15 exercises that usually include moving baby in different ways (from side to side, over the head, on the floor on the mat, rocking in the chair, etc.). And they are should be done just once a day!
That was possible on most of the days, we liked those exercises for our first kid, we keep up with it! Infant Crawling Track: an ingenious idea for helping babies learn how to crawl. It looks like a board with two walls, open on the opposite ends. The walls help baby push, and to avoid flipping himself over all the time – to learn forward movement instead of being stuck at the “rolling from one side to another” stage. The track can be positioned at an incline, to let gravity help the baby learn how to move forward instead of pushing himself back. Pushing himself backwards used to be terribly frustrating to my first one, so this simple solution – inclining the crawling surface – sounds terrific to me!!! Now comes one of those “fun parts” of the book: the 1 month old baby should crawl 4-18 hours daily in a flat track, with the objective to crawl 150 feet a day!!! No, I am not kidding, I am quoting. Despite the fact that 150 feet, 4-18 hours sound a bit unrealistic to us, we stick to the original plan: let the baby stay in a track as long as he doesn’t mind it, praise him, hug and kiss him a lot, and… place him as much as we can. For us “as much as we can” translated to 2-4 times a day this month. No, he didn’t crawl 150 feet, cross pattern, but he did manage to slide and push himself downwards in the inclined track. And he still doesn’t like this idea at all, so we place him in a track only very briefly, only on an incline.
Manual Competence program: this is a fun program, enjoyed by all of us. The baby grabs our index fingers and we pull him into sitting, and, starting his 1st month birthday – into standing! On his 1st month birthday our baby could hang on to our fingers and sitting like that for 30 seconds. Starting this month we pulled the baby into standing and even slowly started practicing picking him up into the air, while he is hanging from our fingers. Already on the 2nd week of this month, the baby could stand on his feet for 20 seconds straight!!! It’s fun! The baby is rotating his head trying to absorb as much of the surroundings as he can (actually his head is moving so much and so swiftly, that I am wondering how come it doesn’t fall off – did you ever see how thin and tiny are baby’s necks?). We are admiring his adorable belly, his puzzled expression of his sheer wonder. For some reason, the baby didn’t like his Dad’s fingers as much as mine: I guess mine are smaller, easier to grab. Auditory Competence program (blowing air horn): as I said, no blowing air horns for us. Tactile Competence program: This month we should stimulate baby’s vital tactile stimulation – touch him with cold cloth, hot cloth, strong pressure. Each – 4 times a day. I actually thought that gently letting the baby compare the sensations of warm and cold (not freezing and hot!) is a good idea. So I did try to use the cold pack a few times – touch different body parts, label them, and as soon as baby tries to withdraw it – remove the unpleasant sensation. The baby didn’t mind, but we still could do it really rarely: only when we are right next to the fridge! Hot/warm sensations didn’t happen at all: I needed to allocate a towel, warm it up in a hot water, and then do the stimulation. Too many steps, too little time. Obviously, we skipped pinching or other similar things. Visual Competence program: this month it involves contrasting environment – large checkerboard of 12 white/black squares; spotting a penlight 10 times a day; outline of bits of intelligence cards. I just find it funny that the initial set that Gentle Revolution sells, contains items that do not correspond to book’s indications on sizes. Their squares are quite far from 10×10 inches.
Yet we placed a board of such squares right next to the crawling track and the baby was fascinated – he constantly was raising his head above the sides of the track to look at the squares I also laminated a few cards with black/white squares and placed on of them in the stroller, 1 next to baby gym, one in the crawling track and 3 in his bed. This way the baby had some contrasting squares to look at wherever he was. My squares were 4×4 inches, or 5×5 but it looked sufficiently large to the baby. Following flashlight in a dark room: we couldn’t do it since our baby doesn’t like the darkness. And… there was time issue: the rooms are dark at night, when the baby goes to bed. Outline bits of intelligence cards: sounds scarier then it really is. It is simply a collection of 21 cards containing black silhouettes of basic shapes (square, triangle, circle, star, etc), some animals (cat, fish, bird, elephant, etc), some body parts (hand, foot, eye, etc), some household objects (spoon, window, etc.). We used those cards. It took us a little longer to go through with them then it says in the book, but baby actually liked looking at them. Language (regular conversations with the baby, leaving lengthy opportunities for him to respond; reading poems together and eventually skipping some words for the baby to fill in): this is one of our most favorite recommendations in the book! The baby “agoo”s back, says “hi! Haeeee!” and similar sounds and our hearts melt, as his 8 year old cousin exclaims: “IT’S A MIRACLE! The baby can talk already – he learned the word Hi!” Swimming: We continue with the water exercises right in our own bathtub. I am becoming more and more proficient, more and more comfortable with the exercises. The baby is becoming more and more proficient in avoidance techniques: trying to “walk off” during the exercises that should be done floating on his back; trying to grab onto my hands while I am doing exercises on the tummy. Yet he is smiling and enjoying it, so that’s a sufficient reward for my aching back! Elimination Communication: This one is the most amazing! The baby actually TELLS us when he needs to go! He would start crying, believe it or not! Loud, crying… actually VERY LOUD crying is his favorite method of vocalizing. Some moms take pride in distinguishing their kids “hungry cries”, or “sleepy cries”. I can’t even describe to you how hard I tried to differentiate those. But my my baby prefers just two volume channels: sweet smiles with lots “agoo”ing and whaling that probably could be heard all the way in Australia.
Reminds me of one of those air horns I am supposed to be using for his auditory stimulation. So, we try all the remedies in succession: first – the potty (since I am not using any diapers or covers, both my baby and me will need a major clothes change if I miss that call), then – nursing, if all else fails – rock to sleep. Timing helps too: if I know that the baby is having fun for more then an hour, he is probably sleepy. If he just ate – potty is a very good idea! Though, don’t get too excited: it’s far from over. Since the diaper covers that I had for my first son are still too big for my little baby boy, we rely on onceis and cloth diapers for protection. And how much protection once and a piece of folded cloth can offer us? Not much. Both me and the baby change our clothes many times a day, and I spend lots of time cleaning the surrounding surfaces… we have to come up with some better solutions, but I am too tired and too busy with both of my boy’s teaching schedules to think… Hot question for all the parents: sleep! We are still in oblivion. We still haven’t picked up our “No cry to sleep” book. So we are still crying a lot over lost sleep. Our second baby is amazing: he can sleep 4-5 hours straight! Occasionally. I’d even say rarely. But that happens only right after baby’s bedtime (while we are still having dinner, putting our older one to bed) and he usually wakes up right about time we are trying to get to the pillows. So we can’t take advantage of this. Yet it is amazing. I just wish he wouldn’t wake up so early (how does 5 am sound to you?) and catnap during the day! Am I asking for too much? Most certainly, I am!
: read on our baby’s achievements as he reaches 2 months! And, by far, the most dear achievement to his parents’ hearts happens when he reaches his 4th week of the 2nd month (so he is 1 month and 3 weeks): he starts laughing!!! Nothing could beat that – it’s the best music ever!!!!