Baby's Age

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Magazine play

This week's thrifty play involved an old magazine. I was about to throw it away, but gave it to Baby K as I was getting ready. He started by crunching it up, which was great fun. I then tore a page and he liked the sound. I helped him to tear a few more pieces off before letting him explore on his own. Eventually, he managed to tear a piece himself. We were both thrilled with that.
I supervised this activity carefully again as Baby K did put the magazine in his mouth a few times. I didn't want him chomping on it too much in case bits came off.

I will repeat this activity as it was so much fun. Next time,  will give Baby K seperate pieces, however, as I did think afterwards that it may prevent him from thinking he can tear all books and magazines!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

"Treasure" Gyms

One of our best buys and Baby K's favourite toys is his play gym. It is a Disney Baby Einstein model with the usual colourful mat and 2 arches. It comes with a variety of toys and teethers that can be hung over baby or attached to the mat for tummy time. Baby K has been using the gym almost every day since he was 12 weeks old. At first he just batted the toys, but swiftly moved onto grabbing them. I usually add about 3 or 4 toys at a time, rather than the whole lot. This ensures that he has choice, but gets the most out of each one without becoming overwhelmed.

Baby K usually plays enthusiastically when the toys are first put on and maintains interest for a few days, before getting a little bored. I decided to use his other toys to add interest. The above photograph shows a Lamaze zebra rattle that he managed to pull off! The photo below shows a range a range of rattles.

I started to read about Treasure baskets and how babies like to play with household objects. I was very excited about using them with Baby K, but he was too young. Instead I decided to try different objects on the play gym. Again, I use a few objects at a time and often have a theme. I change it every few days, depending on his interest. Most of the time, I sit back and watch the play, allowing Baby K to explore at his own pace. I speak only when he looks at me, so that he is initialising any interaction. I model a different way of playing with the objects only when he has had a good time on his own and is getting bored.

Balloons have been a great favourite. I have added extra interest by adding beads to create a "rattle" and water for a different feel. Baby K enjoyed swatting and kicking them.

A selection of scarves and belts (shown on my parents' gym) allowed exploration of different textures. Again, Baby K enjoyed exploring the scarves with his feet.

Different papers (greaseproof, cardboard and bubble wrap) were used for textures and sounds. I could not resisit joining in with this one by popping the bubbles! The patriotic tinsel was put up for the Olympics.

The photo above shows a few items I found in the kitchen; a selection of measuring spoons, bag clips and a garlic card crusher. I am watching Baby K play with these as I write this. He is chatting away to himself and trying desperately to get them into his mouth!

The "Treasure gyms" have been very successful and Baby K has, so far, loved all of the things I've tried. He gets really excited when something different is on the gym and starts playing enthusiastically almost immediately, usually very loudly! He is now nearly 5 months and, as well as the usual bashing and grabbing, he has started to examine each object more intently, turning them around to view and feel each side. They have been a fantastic form of play for developing all his senses. It won't be long before we move onto baskets now, but I still have a few more gyms planned before then.

Please be aware of health and safety if you do use objects not designed to go with a gym. The play must be supervised at all times (some more closely than others- I sat right next to him with the tinsel as it kept breaking off). Never leave a baby unattended with any potential choking hazard (I do not put up small objects, but things can break off) or anything that could strangle them. I will not use the gym once he can sit up by himself in case things get tangled around his neck.

I have added this post to the link-up hosted by The Imagination Tree.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Baby K month 4

Baby K is now 4 months old and so alert and active. I am loving this stage.

  • He does not sleep quite as much, but still needs lots of naps and gets VERY upset if he doesn't get them. In the morning he tends to have a sleep in my arms about an hour after he gets up and then naps when he wants to in the car, pushchair or my arms. He often gets tired when we are at a class and switches from laughing to crying hysterically in a split second. In the afternoon I am trying to get him to take a long nap in his hammock. Progress with this is slow. He will go in it, but, no matter how tired he is, rarely falls asleep without me there and spends ages just kicking and gurgling. I find this very strange because he still settles himself very well at night.
  • He enjoys playing with the dangling toys on his play mat.
  • He loves his swing and grabs objects on it now. He is fascinated with his moving reflection on the side.
  • He enjoyed playing with an emergency blanket.
  • He tries to put everything in his mouth. He loves sucking on his comfort blanket and has started to put his clothes in. He finds it difficult to get some objects in the hole and can get frustrated with this!
  • He finds his feet fascinating!
  • He still loves music and it can often calm him still. Sometimes it sounds like he is trying to sing along!
  • He is taking an interest in books for a longer time. He tries to turn the pages himself when I hold them. He looks at the writing more than the pictures in some books.
  • He is babbling/gurgling a lot more. He says "hiya" a lot and makes "mama" sounds when he is upset. He smiles, giggles and shrieks when he is happy.
  • He still loves the bath, especially with Mummy. We read books, play with his toys and look at "light shows". He enjoyed it when we had a candle and was mesmorised by the flame. He continues to love lights.
  • He still hates tummy time, although he has laid on my knee and let me massage his back a couple of times. I've bought a Lamaze play gym and he will go on that for a couple of minutes before screaming.
  • He loves a massage and often squeals with delight.
  • He likes to move his hammock by pushing against the bed with both feet. He uses lots of force!
  • He studies my clothes and holds them when he lies on me.
  • He rubs his eyes more when he is tired.
  • He plays by himself for up to about 30 minutes at a time. He shows brilliant concentration.
  • He is starting to look at the television. He took a keen interest in Wimbledon, supporting the fellow Scot Andy Murray of course! He also appeared to enjoy Lady Gaga in concert.
  • He loves his dummy in the day and sucks his fingers/thumb a lot too.
  • He has started to smile at my reflection in the mirror.
  • He has started to take notice of animals and has smiled at Harvey a few times. He enjoyed looking at the fish in an aquarium, especially the brightly coloured ones.
  • Can grab things such as dangling toys, materials, small soft toys and rattles. He usually uses one hand, but can grab hold of things with both. He can shake a rattle a couple  of times.
  • Studies his hands and feet. He can hold on to them when I direct his hands to them.
  • Plays with other people's hands and has started to touch and play with them. He likes to put my fingers in his mouth. He is begining to touch faces and reaches out and grabs my hair. Ouch!
  • Is starting to put everything in his mouth.
  • Laughs, giggles and shrieks.
  • Keeps his head upright without support and can sit up straight when leaning on someone or in his summer infant seat (latter from around 16 weeks).
  • Can roll from his back onto his side, but not quite all the way to his tummy.
  • Tries to push against your hands or his hammock with both feet.
  • Chats to people and himself, sometimes as if in a conversation. He uses vowel sounds, "hiya" and "mmm". He uses different volume and pitch.
  • He can blow saliva bubbles.
  • He turns almost immediately to a sound and follows an object/person much more smoothly. He can see across a room.
  • He can pass a rattle from one hand to the other.
  • He is starting to push his bottle away. He sometimes puts his hands on it as if trying to hold it himself.
  • He can push down well with both his feet when upright and has just started bouncing in his Jumperoo.
  • He can roll over from his back to his side.
  • We went to baby massage classes for 3 weeks.
  • We continued with Peep, Baby Signing and Baby Sensory classes.
  • We went to soft play areas a few times. The ball pit in one was the greatest success.
  • We went to England to visit family and friends and he met his other Grandad, Great Grandma Aunt and cousin for the first time. He also met some of his Great-Great Aunts and Uncles.
  • Good friends Helen, Andy and Jonnie came for a visit.
  • He went to the beach, a farm and fed the ducks for the first time.
  • We spent the Queen's 50th Jubilee Day at Balmoral.
  • We saw the an Olympic torch (well Mummy, Grandad and Nanna did. Baby K was asleep!)
  • He went out for the day to Portsoy with Nanna and Grandad by himself.
  • He sat on lots of tractots with Daddy and was pushed around on a "JCB" by Daddy.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Baby K Month 3

Wow, another month gone. We've been very busy and had lots of fun. I can't believe how quickly time is going and how much Baby K has developed.  Here's a summary:

  • He's still sleeping a lot, but is getting more alert and active during waking periods. He gets very miserable when tired and cries a lot when he is unable to sleep.
  • He likes his comfort blanket and often holds it when in his car seat.
  • He's getting more interested in toys. 
  • He's starting to have longer continuous sleep at night. The longest stretch has been 6 hours. He still won't nap flat or on his own in the day, however, unless in the car.
  • He will lie and play on his own on the play mat, or in his swing/seat for a short time and so I can get some jobs done!
  • He still loves looking at lights.
  • His hair is still falling out, mainly because he rubs his head on his mattress. He has super long eyelashes.
  • He has started to use a dummy for comfort, rather than the bottle. He sucks his fingers too.
  • He moves his hands together more.
  • He still hates getting dressed and cries every time. He's getting worse, not better, with this!
  • He still loves kicking his legs and moving his arms when on his back. They're getting strong!
  • He loves action rhymes. I think "Peter Rabbit" is his favourite.
  • He loves to hold things, such as his blue ted comfort blanket and ribbons.
  • He has learnt to bash hanging toys when on his play mat. He is beginning to try and grab hold of them. (From 11 weeks).

  • He is starting to try and support his weight on his legs when we hold him up ie push down. (Better from week 10).
  • His kicking and arm movements are getting more energetic and controlled.
  • He is beginning to sit with support.
  • He is starting to smile more at familiar people. He is learning to laugh.
  • He is becoming a lot more vocal. It's as if he is having a conversation with you at times.
  • He can grasp things like blankets and ribbons.
  • He is starting to pull things he can hold towards his mouth.
  • We had our first night away in a hotel (a birthday treat for myself). I decided to go to the Colymbridge in Aviemore as it is very child friendly. We had fun having afternoon tea in first class on the Strathspey Railway, completing a Treasure Trail and swimming. I was worried whether Baby K would sleep away from home, but we took his hammock and he was fine.
  • He had his first set of injections. He did not notice the first one, but cried for the second. I was worse though and had tears in my eyes. I made my Mum hold him too.
  • He was poorly for the first time. He slept for Britain and would not not look at me or any of his toys. I think it was a cold virus, as I was ill a few days before. Calpol picked him up, but it was horrible seeing him suffer.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Baby K's first 2 months

I intended to write a monthly update on Baby K, but did not manage the first month. Sleep deprivation has a lot to answer for! I did manage to create a Snapfish photo book though and so not all is lost. I'll have to group all the memories from month 1 and 2 together.

First memorable moment:

Me- opening my eyes briefly during the c-section and seeing him lifted up. I remember him looking a little grey and I was surprised he didn't have more blood on him. He wasn't crying at all and my husband said he was just looking around perfectly chilled! The doctors wondered why he wasn't screaming I think, but all was well. I didn't see him for long, initially, as he was whisked off to the side to be checked over. I closed my eyes again pretty quickly when I saw the two Doctors, dressed in what can only be described as "welding masks", stitching me up.  Not a relaxing sight!

Daddy K- watching him grab the towel tightly in his palm and pulling it towards him when he was laid on it straight after birth. He had a very tight grip right from the start.

  • Very expressive face! My favourite is when he has his lips pursed together as if giving a kiss.

  • Frowns a lot when he's concentrating.
  • Smiles in his sleep all the time.
  • Has a lot of wind and makes a very funny grunting/loud straining sound when working his rear end! Puts a lot of effort into his bowels, bless him.
  • He snores- that makes 4 of us in this house if you count the dog! He also makes lots of other noises whilst sleeping.
  • He sleeps a lot, but some days more than others. He can sleep anywhere, except his travel cot, but likes his hammock and car seat best. He is starting to enjoy sleeping in his pram too; as long as it is moving.
  • He likes music. When he was first born, he often calmed down to Adele's "Rolling in the Deep", which I played a lot during pregnancy.
  • He loves having a bath, especially with Mummy.
  • He stares at lights and the mirror/windows in the lounge.
  • He looks at my hair a lot. One of the funniest moments was when I had a black towel on my head and his eyes popped out of his head when he noticed!
  • He has a grumbly hour in the early evening. This can be delayed by a walk in the pushchair. A bath and bed usually cures it around 7pm.
  • He hates getting dressed, especially when clothes are put over his head.
  • He likes to nap on my chest, holding onto my top. Sometimes he pulls it down!
  • He likes to lie on his tummy on my lap, but hates it on the floor.
  • Turned his head from side to side whilst on his back from week 1.
  • Moved his eyes to track objects from about 4-5 weeks.
  • Gave his first proper smile, for Mummy (of course!), aged 5 weeks and 3 days.
  • His first smile for both Daddy and Harvey was the day before he was 8 weeks (Daddy went away for a week just before) .
  • Supports his own head really well and improving all the time. He can now support it when helped to sit up and turn in right to left.
  • Sleep is getting better. At first he woke every 2 hours for a feed and took about another hour to go back to sleep. He now wakes less frequently and settles after about 15-20 mins. He can settle himself to sleep in the evening (started this at about 6 weeks). His longest sleep stretch has been 4.5 hours. 
  • Moves his hands together sometimes.
  • His first outing was to Dobbies garden centre. I carried him on my knee and hubby pushed us in a wheelchair. We bought him a few books and a wooden initial for his door.
  • His first outing with just me was to "Peep" group when he was 6 weeks.
  • He has been to baby yoga, Baby Sensory, Baby and Toddler group and Tiny Talk.
  • He has been shopping a few times.
  • He has been out for lunch lots. One lady in a place he has been too a few times now comments that he is always asleep!
  • We took him swimming aged 6 weeks and 6 days. He seemed to enjoy it, but got cold quickly.
  • We've been for walks, mainly in the forest.
  • I've taken him shopping and he slept the whole time.
Memorable comments
  • Most people think he resembles my hubby from the side and myself from the front.
  • "He must be so contented because his Mum's so relaxed and calm". (Lady in a thrift shop) Another lady in a restaurant made a similar comment. :-)
  • "I was told there's a very cute baby here". (Doctor in surgery)
  • I have not seen a baby as beautiful as him for a very long time. His face is gorgeous. (Lady in coffee shop)

We still haven't really got a complete day routine, but have started a bedtime one. There are some things that have just evolved.

Around 7am he wakes up and refuses to go back in his hammock. It is time for a cuddle with Mummy and a snooze.

It's then time for rhymes and nappy free time on the changing mat before getting dressed.

A quick sleep before going to a class/group.

More sleep into the afternoon.

A walk in the pushchair/rhymes/play on the mat.

Bath and change for bed.

Story and rhymes. Final rhyme is "Hush Little Baby".

In the hammock with Winnie the Pooh light/music toy playing. He kicks and moves his arms for a while before falling asleep.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Tiny Talk Baby Signing

Today was our first baby signing session with Tiny Talk. I debated whether to join a signing group as I wondered whether encouraging this way of communicating would delay Baby K's speech. After researching online, however, I have discovered that it encourages communication and can actually promote talking.

The session involved learning signs and then modelling them to baby whilst singing songs; some of them well known tunes and others new to me. The signs used are common with British Sign Language for children. Obviously, Baby K is too young to be doing the signs himself, but the idea is that you keep using them at home and he will eventually start to use them himself. The teacher's child was ten months when she began to sign and so we have a long way to go, lol!

I would recommend the class for babies of any age. It was fun and a great bonding/social session. Baby K was the youngest in the class at 7 weeks, but he thoroughly enjoyed himself. He was watching me intently whilst I was signing and singing and smiled more than he has ever done. We do action rhymes at home, but I feel that using the BSL signs teaches myself, as well as Baby K, a new skill. I won't remember all the signs we used today yet, but I think I'll remember some of the ones used in songs. I'm going to focus on the sign for "milk" this week when I'm talking to baby. I can't wait for next week.

To go to the Tiny Talk website click here