Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Slow and Steady: Week 1

I purchased Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June Oberlander sometime when Builder Boy was around two years old. It is a really cool concept, with an activity to teach your child something using (ideally, but not always) household items. There is an activity for every week of life starting at birth and going to the child's 5th birthday. I never did every week's activity with Builder Boy, but rather picked out what activities I liked, and used it to give me a good idea of what was developmentally appropriate. When Early Bird was born, there were so many things going on with him being in the NICU, and then just dealing with being home with an undersized newborn and a two year old that the book got forgotten about. But I always loved the idea of it, and I've got one last baby here, so I'm going to try to go through the book's activities week by week with Lady Bug.

This is the week that Lady Bug was supposed to be born. That puts her gestationally at 0 instead of negative numbers. I guess I had forgotten from when Early Bird was a preemie, but the nurses told us that preemies need 22 hours of sleep a day. Which means if she's not eating, she's usually asleep. I have to admit, it makes her pretty easy to take care of most of the time. Aside from the fact that her tummy is so small that she was hungry every 2.5 hours in the beginning (including the night time.) I am not sure when her waking time is going to be extended, but this past week she's had 30 minute times of being awake once a day, so now seemed like the perfect time to start.

Builder Boy and Early Bird have been so looking forward to teaching their baby sister how to do things. Early Bird started singing the ABC song to her when she was still inside me. Now that she's out he's been demonstrating things to her like finger spelling signs and how to sit down and stand up, not realizing that she can't see that far away from her. He's convinced every time she makes a fist that she's signing "a." So I decided to get the boys involved and let them "teach" the book with me.

Age 0, Week 1 is just about observing your baby's movements and helping them come to awareness about both sides of their bodies. The boys tried to get her to grasp their fingers (something they've been all about since they met her.) Then, with my guidance and supervision, they took turns bringing her hands together, and then stretching out one arm or leg at a time. We will do this for 5 minutes a day for this week.

I have also been spending some time with my face close to hers and moving her hands to reach out and touch my face. I also do something I call "Mama's Face, Baby's Face." While saying "Mama has a nose" I touch my nose; then I say "and (Baby's Name) has a nose" touching the baby's nose. I repeat that with ears, eyes (I touch the corners of the eyes,) cheeks, chin, and mouth. This is something I did with Early Bird (I can't remember if I did it with Builder Boy or not.) I do the say order every time I do it so it not only teaches the names of the parts of the face but also teaches the baby to anticipate what will happen next. Early Bird loved this and would open his mouth really big when it was that part of the routine.

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