I saw this amazing article today, and I had to share with everyone! For you new parents, use this as a guide on how to become Mom (or Dad) of the year! From birth to grade school, these 8 actions are so relevant and can make a difference in your little one’s life and will mold them into a great person!
We prop Savannah so she is in the sitting position. She seems to like the new views this gives her. This is one of the first steps for her to achieve one of the many major milestone she will encounter….sitting up. Pretty soon she will be sitting up all by herself without needing to be propped up with a pillow. It makes you realize how quickly the infant stages fly by which makes me a bit sad.
Between 5-6 months, Savannah should start sitting up by herself. “In order to sit up, your baby has to tackle a number of physical feats, including holding his neck steady and having control over his shoulders, lower back, and legs. At first, your baby will assume the tripod position, leaning forward on his hands for support, and over the next few months will grow steadier and steadier”(Parents.com). For now, I will continue sitting her up with pillows so she can practice… no need to rush her!
Savannah can’t talk, but in her own way she is constantly telling me what she needs. She does this by crying, making different types of sounds, kicking and facial expressions. It is sometimes hard to determine what it is she actually needs… I go down the line of possibilities and eventually come across the one it is. So far I have come across these needs of Savannah:
Wants to be held
Wants her binky (I guess another downfall of using a binky.. still in my eyes the pros outweigh the cons)
Or.. for all of those who know Savannah… she wants to get out of her car seat (she HATES it.. but is getting better)
I came across this great post about Reading Baby Body Language on the Raising Children Network’s site. From trying to determine if your baby is tired to just wanting to be held “learning your baby’s body language is about getting to know your baby. Of course you’ll be spending lots of time holding your baby as you perform all the practical tasks of care. But the key to understanding is really watching everything your baby does” (Grolnick, W.S., & Farkas, M., 2002). I couldn’t have said it better myself!
When Savannah is tired she normally gets fussy and wines until she gets swaddled and can comfortably close her little eyes. When she is hungry, she has loud little cries (that sounds like a seagull) but the second that bottle touches her lips she immediately stops. I am still learning all her different signs as they sometimes sound the same or can be different depending on how fussy she is… but either way I am trying and it gets a little easier every day!
Savannah has been rather fussy today. I think a lot of it has to do with her being tired and also wanting some cuddle time. When I pick her up to much I feel like I am spoiling her, which in turn will make it harder to find a babysitter if my husband and I want a date night. I mean… really.. who wants to babysit a baby who needs to constantly be held and comforted. As the mother of course I don’t mind, but sometimes I need to throw in a load of laundry, wash the dishes (or do my eCommerce homework)!
A website that I frequent is www.babycenter.com. This link helped set my mind at ease: Week 16 Developmental Milestone. It reviewed that a baby needs touch and it is very important to their growth and development. Skin to skin contact can be very soothing to the baby (and the mommy) and also is great for bonding. One of my favorite positions with Savannah is when she lays on my chest. She is so warm, cuddly and extremely content!
I think there needs to be a fine balance between how much you hold your baby to ensure they maintain some of their independence, but as a parent I also need to be able to spoil her every once in a while with my love!
Everyone has their own opinion on whether they want to use a pacifier (I call them binky’s) for their baby. I personally find binky’s very soothing to infants and I have used them with both. I don’t force the binky on Savannah and if she doesn’t ask for it, then I don’t give it to her. When she is sleeping she almost always spits them out and when she is awake I want to hear her cute little cooing noises. I also find that holding, singing and talking to her is very soothing. (you don’t want to be a fly on the wall when I am singing though :))!
In the book, What to Expect in the First Year they explain that: “at this age her memory is short and she will easily forget the pacifier when it disappears from her life” (1996, Pg. 177). This makes me think, but also gives me comfort that if I choose to break the habit now, then I easily can (well, it still may not be easy…. but easier then when she hits the toddler stages). Regarding my 6 year old son, Lucas, if it wasn’t for my husband, Lucas would still be using a binky. Primarily because I felt so bad trying to take it away from him when he was 2 years old. He would find one in the most mysterious place and come strolling out with it in his mouth (so very proud of himself)…. and again, we would have to take it away from him. But I have to admit, when I see a child over the age of 3 using a binky, I get a bit disgusted. Not sure why.. but it does!
One of the first questions I get asked by anyone (strangers. family or friends) is: “How is she sleeping?” Believe it or not, Savannah has been sleeping through the night for quite some time. The first month of her life, because she was so little, my husband and I alternated waking her up to feed her every 3 hours to make sure she continued to gain weight. After she had her one month check up her Doctor gave us the go ahead to just let her sleep and she will tell us when she is hungry. So we did! The first night she slept about 6 hours… which of course scared us so we were checking on her every few hours anyways! From that point, the time span in between feedings continued to increase and now we put her down for bed around 8PM and she wakes up to eat around 4AM. If that wasn’t awesome enough, after the 4AM feeding, we put her back to sleep and she sleeps until 8AM. Besides the 20 minutes she is awake at 4AM to eat, she pretty much sleeps 12 hrs a night!!! I told you she was a rock star! They say that how an infant sleeps carries with them through life- well my baby girl is a sleeper! No complaints here!!!
A few things I swear have helped assist us in getting her to sleep through the night:
Swaddle her– She LOVESto be swaddled as you can see in the picture. When she is not swaddled, her hands flair around and she wakes herself up!
Routine– I am a very routine person, and I find that with consistency it has helped her learn that when it is dark and silent it is time for sleep. At 8PM every night she is placed in her bassinet in my bedroom and typically we don’t hear a peep from her.
Feedings– This also goes along with routines. My husband and I make sure that she eats every three hours throughout the day so she is not hungry at night. She gets her last bottle of the day right before she goes to sleep at 8PM.
White noise– Right now we have the air conditioner in our bedroom on that sounds like white noise and it works! Babies love it… not sure why.
Quiet– When she wakes up to eat at 4AM, we do not talk to her or stimulate her which will wake her up (and it is very hard, especially when she starts her adorable cooing sounds)! She gets a diaper change and fed then it is back to bed for the little peanut.