Leaps and Bounds

Last week was hectic at our house.  Petra ate a gazillion times a day and gave up on sleep.  By the weekend, Travis and I were a bit beat up.

We think Petra was going through a big developmental shift because after she mellowed out at the weekend, she started doing all kinds of new things, as abruptly as if someone had flipped a switch in her head.  She's suddenly very chatty and much louder, making all kinds of new sounds.  In fact, she's just generally more interactive.  She's newly ticklish – something I discovered when I tried to wash her the other day.  Lots of squirming and giggling took place, and not such a lot of washing.  She's responding to sights and sounds that she used to ignore.  Story time has gotten more active as a result.  She settles in to listen and look and talks back to the book.

She's found her hands as well.  I wiggled a soft block in front of her on Sunday, which she stared at vaguely for a while.  Then her face sharpened into focus and she put both hands out to hold it and move it around.  The block is now extremely amusing for her.  It has pictures of a sheep, a kiwi and another native bird that I can't identify on it, and the sheep is just the funniest thing ever.  Her laugh comes all the way from her belly.  We're captivated by it, laughing along with her every time. 

And she has a new tummy time skill.  She lifts her head and shoulders and pushes herself up with her forearms.  One day she couldn't do it; the next day she just pushed up as if she'd been doing it forever. 

  She's fascinating – we can see her learning and developing, making connections and working things out.

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6 Responses to Leaps and Bounds

  1. That's one thing that you'll see over and over again. Development isn't a nice smooth slope but a series of jumps to new levels. Once she starts babbling, it'll be an endless flow of sound. Once she gets that things have names, she'll feel she has to tell you about them all the time. Sooner than you think, she'll prop herself to stand up by furniture, then "cruise" from piece to piece, and from there do that hella-cute loose-limbed walk/run thing that toddlers do, with the occasional thump from landing bang! on their behind.So. If you take some time to wash the walls now, later you'll be able to track her height by seeing how high the handprints go. I can't think of a better excuse for not having clean walls.

  2. Janette says:

    Ah, nice description – I'm really looking forward to seeing all these changes. Although I'm a bit nervous about the crawling stage because our house is so not childproof that I don't even know where to start!We do have nice freshly-painted pale walls, just waiting for sticky fingers though. And we'll be able to leave the evidence for the landlord to tidy up. Perfect.

  3. Really, I wouldn't worry too much about childproofing because it gets so overwhelming that it's not worth it. It gets far too easy to see all sorts of dangers everywhere and next thing you know you'll be reduced to trying to cook dinner using only Nerf balls that are bigger than your head.Far easier too establish a safe "zone" and start at say, the nursery and work out what things to be careful of. The big thing is that small ones have curiosity raised to a superpower and explore everything first with their mouths. (Which makes sense, as their eyes aren't quite developed and that leaves mouth and nose as best tools to check out what their hands have already grabbed.) To best ensure your continuing sanity, keep small (read:chokeable) objects out of reach and all toxic stuff, but don't really sweat the other stuff. You will find things pre-drooled and that includes her fists. If you can get past the ewwww! reaction it does pass fairly quickly as she will develop to a point where she'll save her mouth for eating and making really fun noises. Hope you like Bronx cheers, because that's a universal favorite among the wee set. At that point, the easiest way to play with babies (for me at least, since I love silliness anyway) is to make all sorts of faces and noises either at random or to copy what baby does.Have fun!

  4. Janette says:

    Good idea. Now I just have to pick which piece of the house to start with. Petra doesn't really have a nursery (poor deprived child that she is). She's sleeping in our room and all her toys are stashed in the spare/guest room.I had to google Bronx cheer – turns out it's what we call a raspberry where I come from. I have Petra in training – I'm blowing them on her belly when I change her. So far she's unmoved, but I have hopes that she'll be more excited about them later. I'm up for making faces and silly noises – the next stage should be fun, for me if not for the baby.

  5. Roewan says:

    It's called a raspberry here too.
    So baby development is not a smooth gradual process, there are actual leaps and bounds! Having survived several puppy to adult dog transformations. I knew this happened with dogs but I never thought babies would develop similarly!
    With puppies, a big intellectual leap seems to occur at around six months, when you can actually begin to take your eyes off them for a few minutes without complete chaos breaking out.

  6. Janette says:

    With babies it's probably six years rather than six months before you can take your eyes off them!!

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